Returning home - instructions for returning exchange students

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This article concerns all degree students regardless of whether they are studying in the new degree programmes or according to the old degree structures. 

You should prepare for your return to Finland even before the end of your exchange studies. Once you have returned, you must submit your target university's documents to International Exchange Services. Faculties are responsible for the transfer of credits completed during an exchange.

Do not abandon your international outlook after the exchange studies!  Use the support available for engaging in internationalisation at home and for describing the international competence acquired through exchange studies.

Exchange documents to be submitted to international exchange services

Complete and sign the following exchange documents and deliver them to International Exchange Services within two months of the end of your exchange.*

Erasmus exchanges: Upload the documents as PDF versions directly to your Mobility Online account (After the mobility -> "Upload signed Learning Agreement/ Letter of Confirmation/ Transcript of Records from the host university").

Alternatively, you can send copies of the forms via email to studentexchange@helsinki.fi or deliver the paper versions to International Exchange Services during office hours.

*Last date of the exchange as indicated in the letter of confirmation

1. Transcript of Records

Before returning to Finland, find out how and where to obtain an official transcript of records at your target university. You are responsible for obtaining the transcript before your return to Finland or for providing your target university with a current address in Finland if the transcript is mailed to you.

Did your target university tell you that your transcript of records will be sent directly to International Exchange Services? If you participated in an exchange outside the EU/EEA and If your target university has told you that your transcript will be sent directly to International Exchange Services, we will inform you when it has arrived.

If you worked on your thesis during your exchange studies (Erasmus/Nordplus), ask your supervisor at the University of Helsinki to provide a statement indicating the amount of such work in credits. Also note that exchange students who receive a grant must complete 5 ECTS credits per exchange month. To check whether your progress complies with the requirements for student financial aid, click here.

2.  Letter of Confirmation

NB! Erasmus, Nordplus and Nordlys exchange students only

Print the letter of confirmation form from your Mobility Online account under Print Letter of Confirmation.

Before returning to Finland, obtain a signature and stamp from your target university on the letter of confirmation form. Please upload the filled, signed and stamped version of the document on your Mobility Online account

If you forgot to do this before your return, print and scan the form, send it as a file attachment to your target university and ask the staff there to complete the form and send it directly to International Exchange Services.

3. Learning Agreement

NB! Erasmus exchange students only

Before your departure, you drafted a learning agreement on a form which was printed from Mobility Online or provided by the target university. If your original learning agreement has changed, you must also print and complete the form Changes to the original Learning Agreement . If you have agreed on changes to your learning agreement via email with University of Helsinki, you can submit your learning agreement accompanied by your email correspondence with a contact person at the University of Helsinki.

Signatures: The target university's signature is only needed in one Learning agreement form: either the original or the 'Changes to the Learning Agreement' form. Upon returning the form you don't need to get a signature from the University of Helsinki as we have already approved your learning agreement upon selection to exchange. Remember to sign the form yourself! After that upload the Learning Agreement as one document on your Mobility Online account.

 

Once you have returned to Finland, make sure that the credits you earned during the exchange are transferred to your degree at the University of Helsinki (through inclusion or substitution). Read your faculty’s instructions for credit transfer. (See the link)

NB! International Exchange Services does not decide on credit transfer or complete related tasks.

Make sure the credits you have earned are transferred to your degree as soon as possible! In mid-September, Kela verifies whether your progress complies with the requirements for student financial aid. You must act in good time so that the credits completed during your exchange are recorded on your transcript at the University of Helsinki before October.

Credits can be transferred for studies actually completed during the exchange. The Student Register entry for transferred credits includes a mention of the original location and date of completion. A grade is indicated for transferred credits only if the grade was given according to the grading scale utilised by the University of Helsinki. If known, the language of completion for transferred credits is also registered.

Each unit makes its own credit transfer decisions, including decisions on the scope of the credits transferred.

NB! For the purposes of credit transfer, keep course descriptions or similar accounts of the courses you have completed.

THE FOLLOWING ARE GENERALLY NEEDED FOR CREDIT TRANSFER:

  • Your original transcript of studies from the target university
  • The learning agreement approved in advance by the University of Helsinki, or an amended version of the learning agreement approved during the exchange
  • Your target university’s instructions concerning the course workload and grading scale (if available)
  • Course descriptions or similar accounts of the courses you have completed
  • If the transcript of studies and the course description do not indicate the course scope, request additional instructions from your faculty and, if necessary, International Exchange Services (destinations outside Europe).

WHERE DOES CREDIT TRANSFER TAKE PLACE?

  • Always check your faculty’s instructions for credit transfer first!
  • If you completed a minor subject module during your exchange (in faculties where this is possible), follow your faculty’s instructions.
  • For language courses, see the Language Centre.
  • Other or elective studies: check your faculty’s instructions.

Checklist for returning exchange students

Complete, sign and submit the following documents to International Exchange Services:

  1. Copy of the target university’s transcript of records
  2. Letter of confirmation (Erasmus, Nordplus and Nordplus exchange students only)
  3. Learning agreement (Erasmus exchange students only)

Provide feedback on your exchange.

  • Log in to Mobility Online with your University username and provide feedback under Enter the Feedback Questionnaire.
  • If you are an Erasmus exchange student, you should give feedback through the EU Survey. After your exchange, you will be emailed the survey together with instructions. You need not submit feedback through Mobility Online.

Follow your faculty’s instructions for credit transfer.

  • For the purposes of credit transfer, keep course descriptions or similar accounts of the courses you have completed.
  • NB! International Exchange Services is not responsible for credit transfer decisions.

Test how your language skills have improved with the OLS language test for returning students (Erasmus exchange students only). 
The invitation to take the test will be emailed to you after your exchange.

Also remember the following:

  • Register at the University of Helsinki for the following academic year. For more information, see the Student Services’ site.
  • Make sure that the duration of your studies has not changed so that you must reimburse the excess of student financial aid paid to you. For more information, click here.
  • Inform Kela that you have moved back to Finland so as to remain covered by the Finnish social security system.
  • Inform your local register office that you have moved back to Finland.

Use of international competence after the exchange

Participate in the event "What I learned during my exchange"!

International Exchange Services usually organises the What I learned during my exchange event once every academic year together with Career Services. The purpose is to consider how to use international experience in the job market and to better highlight related skills in job applications or the CV so that the competence does not remain hidden. For the dates of future sessions, click here

Research on covert skills

Find out more about the study on hidden skills (2013), commissioned by CIMO from Demos Helsinki. The study analysed the significance of international experience in the future job market.

Maailmalle.net

The Maailmalle.net site offers tools to help you identify your international skills and describe them, for example, when applying for a job. The site also features the toolkit for international job seekers.

Internationalisation at home

Apply to become a peer tutor

Outgoing exchange students need your help! As a peer tutor for outgoing exchange students, you can provide valuable support and share your experiences and tips. The duties of peer tutors include writing about their exchange experiences or blogging about them, as well as participating in the orientation of outgoing students headed to your target university. All previous exchange students can apply to become peer tutors. Successful applicants receive a small fee.

International Exchange Services recruits peer tutors for destinations outside the EU/EEA in April and May, and for Erasmus/Nordplus destinations, in May and June. 

Get to know incoming exchange students of the University of Helsinki

You can help international students by acting as a peer tutor. International tutors advise the exchange students and international degree students who arrive at their faculty at the beginning of the term. The tutors receive a small fee. For more information, contact International Exchange Services.

If you wish to meet students arriving at the University of Helsinki from your destination, you can reach them, for example, by posting a message to the Facebook group for the University of Helsinki’s new international students or requesting that International Exchange Services (studentexchange@helsinki.fi) send an email from you to the incoming students.

International Helsinki Summer School

Helsinki Summer School (HSS) is perfect for you who wish to earn 5-6 credits during August and attend an international intensive course. Helsinki Summer School attracts annually students from all over the world. Multidisciplinary courses are fully credited and taught in English. HSS also arranges a wide range of social events to help students get to know their colleagues and Finland better while having fun. Most events are free of charge for HSS students. Detailed information on the Helsinki Summer School website.

Maintain your language skills with a language buddy

The Language Centre’s ALICE courses (Academic Language and Intercultural Exchange) enable students to study a language in pairs under a teacher’s supervision, learn informally about the other student’s culture and customs, and find out more about practical matters. Your language buddy can be an exchange student. ALICE courses are offered in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Finnish (as the second national language of Finland), Swedish and Russian.

ESN Uni Helsinki

You can also meet incoming exchange students through student organisations to further broaden your international outlook. ESN Uni Helsinki organises a wide range of activities for exchange students arriving in Helsinki, from cultural and sports events to formal academic dinners and trips to Lapland. The events are also open to all Finnish students. Join the fun and make new friends from around the world! If you wish to participate in organising events, contact board@esnunihelsinki.org and help provide exchange students with an unforgettable year! For more information, see Facebook and the ESN website.