How to apply as a visiting student (free mover)

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If your home university does not have a student exchange agreement with the University of Helsinki or if your studies in Helsinki are not based on an exchange agreement, you can apply for the visiting student status. 

Who can apply as a visiting student (free mover)

The prerequisite is that you will take courses or do an internship/thesis work/PhD research at the University of Helsinki and that the credits/courses/research completed at the University of Helsinki are approved as a part of your degree at your home institution.
You may also apply for the visiting student status if you have received a scholarship (e.g. fromEdufi, Fulbright Center or Erasmus+ training SMP) or if you present other compelling academic reasons.
As a visiting student you will receive credit units (ECTS) for all of your work but you are not able to obtain a degree from the University of Helsinki. The visiting student status is normally valid for a minimum of two months and a maximum of one academic year. Visiting students do not need to pay tuition fees at the University of Helsinki.

Please note that the demand for visiting student places is high. Due to the limited number of available places, we may not be able to accept all applicants.

Application deadlines

If you are applying for the visiting student status to complete course work at the University of Helsinki, you must follow the application deadlines for exchange students.

If you are applying for the visiting student status for internship/thesis work/PhD research, you should apply two months prior to the start of your stay in Helsinki the latest. You can apply closer to the date, but in that case we can not guarantee that your application will be handled in time before you start your stay in Helsinki. 

Before you start the application, please read the instructions below and collect all necessary documents for your application. Some details can no longer be edited by you, once you have filled in the registration form. Reading the instructions saves a lot of time and effort. Following the detailed instructions on how to apply via Mobility Online while filling in the the application form can be very helpful. 

You start the application process by choosing the heading for visiting student applications from the top of the Mobility Online portal. On the following page you choose Visiting student as the Exchange program of the institution. Once you have chosen the correct program, you can register your application. Mobility Online will guide you forward step-by-step.

Please note:

  • You should apply for the visiting student status from the Faculty you plan to study/receive the credits in.
  • It is not possible to apply for a visiting student status for courses provided by the the University of Helsinki Language Center.
  • All the requested documents must be in either in Finnish, Swedish or English. In case your home university does not provide transcripts in any of the aforementioned languages, you are responsible for translating the document yourself. Such a document needs to be either a certified translation of the original document or the sending institution needs to verify your own translation with a stamp and a signature.
  • Applications that are not complete (e.g. there are documents missing) will not be processed.
  • Use of forged or invalid documents causes a cancellation of the student's admission.
  • Application documents are not returned to you.

Fixed-term right to study granted to visiting students is not intended for mobility between Finnish institutes of higher education. Instead, students enrolled at a Finnish institute of higher education as degree students should apply for the right to complete flexible studies (JOO scheme) or nondegree studies at the University of Helsinki.

Required documents for course work

The following documents (as pdf) must be uploaded to the Mobility Online application system by the deadline:

  • Fully completed and signed application form (downloaded from Mobility Online)
  • Motivation letter
  • Certificate of Language skills
  • Preliminary Learning Agreement approved and signed by the appropriate person at your home university. When you plan your studies please note that you should mainly select courses from one faculty, which best corresponds your field of study.
  • An official transcript of records (same as transcript of credits) (in English, Finnish or Swedish), i.e. a certified list of all the courses and exams you have completed at your home university, must be attached to your application.
    • Please note that you should include a complete transcript for both current and past degrees, i.e. if you are applying as a Master's Degree student, you should also include a complete transcript for your Bachelor's Degree. If you are applying as a PhD student, please also provide transcripts of your Bachelor's and Master's degrees. It is important that the courses are listed in English, Finnish, or Swedish. In case your home university does not provide transcripts in any of the aforementioned languages, you are responsible for translating the document yourself. Such a document needs to be either a certified translation of the original document or the sending institution needs to verify the translation with a stamp and a signature.

Information concerning courses in English can be found in the Instructions for students -  Course selection

Re­quired doc­u­ments for in­tern­ship/​thesis work/​PhD research

The prerequisites for a visiting student status are that you have already secured a supervisor at the University of Helsinki (UH) and receive credits units (ECTS) for internship/thesis work/PhD research at the hosting unit. If you do not yet have a supervisor, you can use the University of Helsinki Research Portal to look for a potential supervisor.

Following documents (as pdf) must be uploaded to the Mobility Online application system before the application can be processed:

  • Fully completed and signed application form (from Mobility Online)
  • Motivation letter
  • Certificate of Language skills or a clarification of sufficient language skills from the supervisor at UH. The supervisor can verify the sufficient language skills in the invitation letter, for which we have provided a template below. The faculty may ask you to demonstrate further evidence of sufficient language skills
  • Preliminary Learning Agreement approved and signed by the appropriate person at your home university. If you don't have a suitable course name/code for the work you will conduct at the University of Helsinki at hand, you can write internship/thesis work/PhD research and the estimated amount of credits you receive for the work. 
  • Invitation letter in EnglishFinnish or Swedish (including dates for the visiting period and the estimated amount of credits received at the UH) from the academic contact person who has agreed to supervise your work at the UH. Please note that in order to obtain a student status at the University of Helsinki, your supervisor must commit to granting ECTS credits for your work. (Not required from applicants to summer training at Veterinary teaching hospital)
  • An official transcript of records (same as transcript of credits) (in English, Finnish or Swedish), i.e. a certified list of all the courses and exams you have completed at your home university, must be attached to your application.
    • Please note that you should include a complete transcript for both current and past degrees, i.e. if you are applying as a Master's Degree student, you should also include a complete transcript for your Bachelor's Degree. If you are applying as a PhD student, please also provide transcripts of your Bachelor's and Master's degrees. It is important that the courses are listed in English, Finnish, or Swedish. In case your home university does not provide transcripts in any of the aforementioned languages, you are responsible for translating the document yourself. Such a document needs to be either a certified translation of the original document or the sending institution needs to verify the translation with a stamp and a signature.
  • The Learning agreement and an invitation letter from the UH supervisor may also be replaced with a research plan / agreement for traineeship (e.g. Erasmus+ traineeship (SMP)) approved and signed by the appropriate persons at your home and host university.
  • EDUFI fellowship and Fulbright scholarship receivers: the only required document is a copy of the decision or agreement for your scholarship.

NOTE: Erasmus Traineeship agreements should not be sent to the International Exchange Services nor to the Faculty Office before they are signed by all parties. Training agreements are signed and agreed upon by the academic host at the receiving unit, usually by the supervisor. The contact person can be the same as the supervisor. 

China schol­ar­ship Coun­cil ap­plic­ants

China scholarship Council applicants apply to the University of Helsinki according to the normal visiting student application deadlines listed above. During the funding application process, China Scholarship Council may ask for an acceptance letter from the University of Helsinki. Because University of Helsinki has its own application deadlines, which are different from CSC, applicants can get an invitation letter from  their potential supervisor at the University of Helsinki for CSC, which explains UH's application process. China Scholarship Council applicants are required to provide a certificate of language skills during the application process.

In­sur­ance

You are strongly recommended to have a good personal insurance including liability insrurance. University of Helsinki does not provide insurance to incoming students unless they will be hired by the receiving institute. Here you can find more information on insurances for students.

Fac­ulty spe­cific re­quire­ments

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Training at the Veterinary teaching hospital
When applying for clinical practice: In case you have not yet passed some of the clinical theory courses but will have by the time you start studies in Helsinki, you have to include a list of those courses in the application. You should also mention your previous and forthcoming clinical practice experience in the application.