International services 

At Humak, you can complete part of your studies as an international student exchange and internship abroad. There are exchange places and organizations all over the world. On this page you will find information on how to get involved in student exchange.

Interested in a student exchange or internship abroad?

At Humak, you can complete part of your studies as an international student exchange and internship abroad. There are exchange places and organizations all over the world.

The same academic principles apply to international student exchanges and placements as to all other courses offered at Humak. Before you apply for an exchange or placement, you should find out about the opportunities offered by the host institution or organization and match these with your own personal study plan. Cooperation between you, your PSP coach, and the international education coordinator is an absolute prerequisite for a successful exchange and international placement.

Please refer to the guidelines below when planning an international student exchange or internship abroad.

It is important to get to know a foreign country, and especially its culture, well in advance. Libraries and international associations have many books on different countries and their customs. Knowing what to expect in the country you are going to avoid unpleasant surprises. It’s also worth asking people who have already been on an exchange or internship about their experiences of the country and culture. The better you know the country beforehand, the easier it will be to live and work there.

Everyone who studies abroad is an ambassador for Finland. You should be prepared to be asked to tell people about Finland, where you live, and where you went to school. People abroad ask a lot about Finland’s history in particular. It is a good idea to take along school presentation material, photographs, Finnish music, and anything else that tells about Finland. Small Finnish souvenirs and gifts, recipes, or even sheet music, can also prove very valuable, so it’s worth taking the trouble to carry them with you. An open attitude towards the most bizarre concepts of Finland is the best currency abroad. It is always worth giving a good impression of yourself, Finland, and Finns.

You should allow enough time to apply for your passport. Depending on the number of years you are applying for, it can take between a couple of weeks and a month. You apply for a passport by writing an application to the police in your municipality. When applying for a passport, you must bring two identical photographs and your old passport or identity card.

Every citizen of a Member State of the European Union has the right to reside temporarily (usually for less than three months) in any EU country. For stays of less than three months in another Member State, a valid passport or identity card is required, but you do not need to apply for a residence permit. If you stay in another Member State for more than three months, you must apply for a residence permit for that period. The following documents are usually required when applying for a residence permit:

  • a valid passport
  • a certificate confirming that you have been admitted to a course of study
  • a certificate from your higher education institution (in English)
  • a declaration of sufficient financial resources (e.g. study grant decision, scholarship decision)
  • certificate of health insurance (Kela e-forms for EU countries)
  • photographs
  • a certificate of residence and a medical certificate may also be required

The documents required and the procedures for applying for a residence permit vary somewhat from country to country. In the country of destination, the application for a residence permit is submitted to the relevant authority, usually the police. The application for a residence permit should be submitted within one week of the date of arrival.

If the host country is not an EU/EEA country, the normal procedure is to apply for a residence permit and visa at the embassy of the host country in your home country before you go on exchange. In addition to these documents, other documents may be required, such as a letter of invitation from the host institution.

Visas are not required to study in the EU or EEA, but are required for most non-European countries. Visas are usually applied for at the embassy of the host country in your home country. Students applying for visas and residence permits should have at least a passport, 2-3 photographs, a certificate of enrollment, proof of financial support, and proof of health insurance cover in the country of origin. It is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance, as it can take a few weeks to obtain one. Tour operators and travel agencies are usually very familiar with visa issues. You can also check visa requirements with the embassy of the country you are planning to visit.

Students are responsible for their own passport and visa requirements for studying abroad. If you are staying abroad for more than 3 months, you should check with your embassy well in advance to find out about the residence permit regulations in the country you are studying in!

Everyone going abroad is responsible for their own travel insurance. Some institutions or countries may require specific insurance, so it is a good idea to check before you go. Finland has a medical agreement with the EEA countries and Hungary. Finnish citizens are therefore entitled to treatment in other EEA countries.

If you study abroad for a maximum of one year, you will also be covered by Finnish social security for the duration of your studies, i.e. you will be insured in Finland. Before leaving, you must always notify Kela of your move or temporary stay abroad. Without an application, social security will end at the time of departure.

If you are going to an EU/EEA country, you must obtain a European Health Insurance Card before you leave. This card provides medical cover for a temporary stay in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. Anyone covered by Finnish social security who is planning a holiday, study, work assignment, or job search in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, can apply for a European Health Insurance Card.

You can apply for a European Health Insurance Card at Kela offices. The application form is also available on the Kela website. You can apply for the card at any Kela office.

The European Health Insurance Card entitles the holder to health care necessary for medical reasons during a stay in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. Each country provides medical care in accordance with its own legislation and system. The traveller will receive the same medical care at the same cost as the nationals of the country concerned.

For example, in the event of a sudden illness or if a pre-existing chronic illness requires essential treatment. If you seek treatment from a doctor or hospital that is not covered by the national scheme, you will have to pay the full cost yourself.

Students going abroad should take out personal travel insurance to cover accidents. Travel insurance covers the cost of medical treatment in the event of a sudden illness or accident while travelling. Baggage insurance covers direct damage to baggage caused unexpectedly and suddenly. You can find out more about travel insurance and its conditions from insurance companies and travel agencies. You can also ask your airline about baggage cover.

The host institution will usually help you find accommodation. If you do not want or need this, or if you have allergies or other medical conditions to take into account when considering accommodation, you should inform the International Coordinator as soon as possible. It is advisable to find out about accommodation in your home country through your unit coordinator or by contacting the coordinator of the host institution directly. At the same time, it is a good idea to find out how the accommodation is equipped. It is also important to note that the standard of equipment in student halls of residence varies!

Note! In your home country, it is not advisable to make any arrangements for accommodation etc. or to pay for travel tickets before you have received confirmation of your departure date.

There are many ways to manage your money abroad. It is advisable to find the most suitable and cheapest option for you. These include opening an account in the country of destination, using a debit or credit card (e.g. Visa or Visa Electron) and traveler cheques. Your own bank will tell you the cheapest way to transfer money to your destination country. It is also a good idea to compare the options offered by other banks, as practices and costs can vary widely between banks.

Student grants are paid monthly into a Finnish bank account. If you are thinking of opening an account in the country of destination, it is a good idea to ask your bank in advance for all the information you will need when transferring money to a foreign bank (e.g. SWIFT code). However, the conditions for opening an account depend entirely on the country of destination, so sometimes this option may not be possible at all.

Anyone going abroad to study should check that their basic vaccinations are in order. These include:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Polio

Students should find out what vaccinations are required and recommended in the country of destination. The vaccination requirements (compulsory) and recommended vaccinations can be checked by the student health service, the local health center or the public health department. Vaccination costs and doctor’s fees are not reimbursed.

It is a good idea to take your international student card with you. It gives you a wide range of student discounts in many different countries. The most typical discounts are for travel, accommodation, museums, theaters, and cultural events.

The best-known student card abroad is the ISIC card. It is available from Kilroy Travels. Showing the card gets you flights at student prices. It can also be useful when traveling with a travel agent in your destination country (Kilroy also operates in most of them), or when you are otherwise travelling in Europe. For example, in some countries you can get a discount on train fares by showing your ISIC card. Also, many camping lodges have better rates for ISIC card holders.

The IYTC/Euro26 card is a combined international youth card. If you are under 26 and not a full-time student, you must have an International Youth Card to be eligible to purchase Kilroy Travels Youth Passes. The card also gives you great benefits both in Finland and abroad.

International student exchange

Student exchanges between higher education institutions are mainly carried out under the EU-supported Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ is a higher education programme that aims to raise the quality of education, increase international cooperation between higher education institutions and promote mobility of both students and teaching staff in Europe.

Erasmus+ exchanges are based on bilateral agreements between higher education institutions in EU Member States. Erasmus+ exchanges are also possible with higher education institutions in Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Turkey.

The Erasmus+ programme is coordinated and planned at Humak by the Erasmus Coordinator, Timo Sorvoja (timo.sorvoja@humak.fi).

Students who have completed their first year of studies at the time of their exchange are eligible to apply for an Erasmus+ grant to study abroad.

Student and teacher exchanges between the Nordic and Baltic countries are also organized under the Nordplus programme.

Information on other opportunities for international student exchanges can be found on the website of The Finnish National Agency for Education.

Take a closer look at the recommended Erasmus student exchange destinations in spring 2022. Note: the file is constantly updated and requires Humak organization IDs.

Applying for an international student exchange involves participating in an application process that involves transporting different forms between different institutions. Although the process may seem complicated and cumbersome at first, it is not. The purpose of the forms is to make as many people as possible aware of the exchange student’s educational objectives and commitments, thus avoiding any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Before applying for an exchange, students must decide whether their exchange period will be three months or longer. A minimum of 3 months is recommended, 2 months for internships, but sometimes a longer exchange is justified. In the latter case, it is advisable to plan a particularly sensible and coherent package of studies for the exchange with your own coach, in the light of your progress towards your qualification.

Students may participate in both student and intern exchanges on more than one occasion. There is no limit to the number of exchanges, but students may participate in an Erasmus exchange for a maximum total of 12 months at each level of study.

In the transition phase, periods of mobility at the same degree level under the old programme will be taken into account, e.g. a student who has spent 6 months on a mobility during a Bachelor’s degree can participate in a further 6 months in total on a student or intern mobility during the same Bachelor’s degree.

Students applying for an exchange must complete the following documents (ECTS documents):

1. Application Form Erasmus Exchange Application Form

  • The application form is an e-file. For the application for student exchanges in the following academic year, the form must be completed by March 31.

2. Learning Agreement form

  • The form is filled in after logging into the Erasmus Online Learning Agreement programme. A link to the programme will be sent by e-mail after the applications have been processed.
  • The form will be filled in by the student together with the lecturer/lecturer responsible for international affairs on campus, the student’s own coach and the international affairs contact person at the exchange institution. The form indicates the courses that the student will attend during the exchange. The Humak contact person at the exchange institution will submit the form to the host institution for signature. The signed agreement should be sent by e-mail to the lecturer/lecturer responsible for the exchange program on your campus.

3. Erasmus grant form

  • The pre-completed scholarship form will be sent to the student after the Learning Agreement form has been signed.
  • The scholarship will be awarded once the scholarship form has been completed, signed and returned to the Erasmus coordinator at Humak. The form cannot be completed until both the place and the exact date of the exchange are known. Before starting an international exchange, the student must also complete a preparatory course for the exchange.

4. Preparatory course for the exchange (3 ECTS)

  • This course provides an introduction to cultural encounters and an opportunity to share the experiences of students who have been on exchange. It is advisable to start this course well in advance of the exchange. The tasks include writing a report and completing a feedback form. These tasks will only be completed after the exchange period. The assignments for the exchange course must be completed by May 15 as agreed in the programme.
  • For further information on the exchange course, please contact the lecturer in charge of the exchange program in your programme.
  • Before starting the exchange, students must attend the pre-departure training in May.

5. Language requirement

  • The language requirement for exchange students is level B2 of the European framework of reference for languages.
  • A self-assessment test will be attached to the exchange application.
  • In addition to the language passport, an EU language proficiency test must be taken before the exchange period via the European Online Linguistic Service. Detailed instructions on how to take the language test will be sent to selected students by e-mail.

For student exchanges, the amount of the Erasmus grant depends, among other things, on the country of the exchange. Those going to the most expensive countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK) will all receive the same monthly grant of at least 470€/month.

For all other programme countries, a slightly lower monthly allowance of at least 420€/month will be granted.

A student with minor children is entitled to an additional allowance of 200€/month.

For contractual exchange programmes, no tuition fees are charged. The main and most essential costs are travel, accommodation, and food. You may also have to pay for other study expenses. Certain university services, such as study materials or photocopying, may be subject to a fee, as may the use of e.g. computers. Often, a substantial part of the funds needed must usually be available at the beginning of the semester.

How to apply for student benefits for studying abroad:

Kela study grants

  • Study grants (Kela and others) are also available for international student exchange, if the studies abroad are recognized towards a degree at Humak. The study grant for studies abroad is normally used up in months of support and is taken into account in the monitoring of progress.
  • Before starting the student exchange, the student must submit a notification of change of study support to Kela electronically in the Kela e-service. Alternatively, you can fill in a paper Kela form. In this case, you can ask the Humak Study Affairs Office for a certificate of studying abroad, which will be sent to Kela together with the paper application.
  • Read more about Kela study support for studies abroad on the Kela website.

Other sponsors

If you are studying with the support of the TE Office or the Employment Fund, for example, you must agree with your sponsor about studying abroad in advance.
Further information is available directly from the sponsors and from the Humak Study Affairs Office opintotoimisto@humak.fi or +358 29 4519 253.

After the exchange, the student must bring the following documents from the exchange institution:

1. Transcript of Records

  • The certificate contains information on the studies completed under the study agreement.

2. Erasmus Letter of Confirmation

  • The exact period of study abroad and the host exchange institution are mentioned here. If the student is unable to prove that they attended the host institution, the grant may be recovered.

3. Report

  • All students going on exchange have a reporting obligation. The report is a condition for the award of funding. The written report and the Erasmus certificates issued by the host institution must be submitted to the coach and the lecturer in charge of the programme within one month of the return. The report will be written by the student as part of the compulsory exchange preparation course. Guidance is available from the lecturer/lecturer in charge of the module.
  • Download the cover report template here.
  • Attach the report to the Microsoft Teams Humak Team files in the Student International Exchange Reports folder so that other students can familiarize themselves your international exchange experience.

Internships abroad

An important part of the degree is a compulsory internship of at least 30 ECTS. The purpose of the placement is to familiarise students with their profession and to give them the opportunity to apply what they have learned in practice.

All or part of the internship may also be carried out abroad. Humak will assist in arranging the placement, but the student can also arrange the placement themselves. If necessary, the internship coordinators in the field of education and the international coordinators on the campuses will help you with the practical arrangements. Interns can apply for an Erasmus grant.

The minimum duration of an international placement supported by an Erasmus grant is 2 months and the maximum duration is 12 months. It is possible to combine a period of study in an international environment with an internship. The internship must take place under the supervision of the same host institution and must be directly followed by a period of study and a period of training. The combined period must be at least 3 months in total.

First-year students are also eligible to apply for an Erasmus international placement.

Information on other opportunities for international placements can be found on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education, and you can also apply for placements through the program www.erasmusintern.org.

Applications are made using an e-form (in Finnish). The application is continuous and the form can only be filled in once the internship has been confirmed and the internship contract has been signed. The application form should be completed at least one month before the start of the internship. If you are applying for an internship outside the EU, you should first contact the EU coordinator.

Applications will be assessed by the lecturers in charge of international relations in the fields of study and the Erasmus coordinator. The evaluation will take into account the placement plan approved by the trainer and a grant will be awarded to all successful placements that meet the Erasmus criteria.

Once the university has approved the student’s application for an international placement, the following documents are completed before the placement starts:

1. Erasmus placement funding agreement

2. Learning Agreement Internship Form and internship planning

  • The internship agreement must be approved by the student, the sending higher education institution and the host company/organisation. The agreement will include the internship programme, the student’s work tasks, the learning outcomes to be achieved and the evaluation of the internship. The content of the internship is planned by the lecturer/university teacher responsible for international relations in the unit, who ensures that the content of the internship is drawn up by the student, the trainer and the lecturers responsible for the courses included in the internship, together with a representative of the host organisation. The content of the placement will be planned in accordance with the general planning guidelines set out in the placement handbook.
  • The internship contract is signed by the lecturer/lecturer in charge of international relations.
  • Any necessary amendments to the contract must be made in writing within one month of the student’s arrival at the host organisation. Any subsequent changes must be agreed by all three parties.
  • The agreement also includes an annex setting out the responsibilities and roles of the parties.

4. Preparatory course for the exchange (3 ECTS)

  • Before starting an international placement, the student must also complete an exchange preparation course.
  • This course will provide an introduction to cultural encounters and an opportunity to share the experiences of students who have been on exchange. The course should be started well in advance of the placement.  The tasks include writing a report and filling in a feedback form, which will be completed only after the placement.
  • The trainees must return the assignments for the exchange course as agreed in the training program.
  • For further information on the exchange course, please contact the lecturer responsible for the exchange in your programme.

5. Pre-departure training

  • Before starting the internship, students must attend a pre-departure training in May.

6. Language requirement

  • The language proficiency requirement for the English language for the traineeship is level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • A self-assessment test will be attached to the exchange application.
  • In addition to the language passport, an EU language test must be taken before the exchange period via the European Online Linguistic Service. Detailed instructions on how to take the language test will be sent to selected students by e-mail.

The purpose of the exchange grant is to cover the additional costs of the internship. The grant is awarded to individual students according to the duration of their placement abroad. For those going to the most expensive countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), all interns will receive the same monthly grant of at least 620€/month.

A slightly lower monthly allowance of at least 570€/month will be granted to all other programme countries (the same amount applies to all countries in this group).

The grant is conditional on the duration of the internship being at least 2 months (60 days). The grant application form should be sent to the Erasmus coordinator by post to the following address at least two weeks before the start of the placement:

Humak Timo Sorvoja
Jyväskylä RDI Center (Akseli)
Kympinkatu 3 B
40320 Jyväskylä

The internship is primarily carried out under the guidance of the workplace, but the lecturer/university teacher in charge of the unit’s international affairs is also in regular contact with the representative of the internship organisation and the student, and ensures that the internship meets its objectives.

The student must submit the following documents to the lecturer in charge of the degree programme within one month of returning from the placement:

1. Internship Certificate

  • The certificate contains details of the work carried out under the contract. The certificate or the accreditation of studies may not be granted if the student does not meet the professional requirements of the host organisation or otherwise does not comply with the agreed conditions.

2. Report

  • All students on placement are required to report to the host institution. The report is a condition for the award of funding and a prerequisite for the student to be eligible for the grant. If the student fails to submit a report, the funding already granted may also be recovered.
  • The report is required as part of the compulsory International Exchange course. Instructions are available from the lecturer in charge of international relations in your unit. In addition to the report, the student must complete the Erasmus Traineeship Exchange Data Collection Form which will be sent to the student’s e-mail address.
  • Download the cover template for the Internship Report here.
  • Attach the report to the Microsoft Teams Humak Team files in the Student International Internship Reports folder so that other students can familiarize themselves with your international internship experience.

3. Other documents

  • Any other assignments agreed in advance for the credit of the course must be returned by the student to the lecturers responsible for the revision of the assignments.

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Last modified: October 14, 2021