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Guide for going on Exchange: The Choosing Process

The decision is made; you want to go on exchange, but what happens next? Here are some tips and steps that need to be considered during the decision-making process and application for the chosen university.

Step 1: Creating an Excel Sheet

To keep track of deadlines, requirements and costs for each possible university, creating an excel sheet beforehand can give a good overview and help in the decision-making process.

Steps 2: Researching

  1. Information Gathering

First, you have to look up the possible partner universities you can go on exchange to. Comparison can be made via Times Higher Education University Ranking, by looking up the provided courses, facilities or housing. In addition, inform yourself about the countries the universities are located in as well as the travel destinations around it. Don’t forget to gather information about the prices of flights, housing and living costs. Most of the times these can be found on the website of each university.

  1. What requirements are needed?

Different universities have different regulation for accepting you as an exchange student. Some require language tests, a certain grade average, Visa, a special insurance or a motivation letter. Once again inform yourself about the prices of insurance and Visas and add these to your excel sheet.

  1. Which grant am I able to get?

If you study at a European university and are going on exchange in Europe, you are qualified in getting the Erasmus + grant. The country will influence how much money each you will get. For students going on an exchange outside Europe, Erasmus + does not apply. Some universities offer grants for those students, however the deadline and application process for those are different and include a longer application process in comparison to Erasmus +.

Step 3: Laying out your budget

This needs to be done relatively early. Different countries have different expenses and the one thing that you don’t want to experience is running out of money or constantly worrying about it. Don’t forget to include travel money because traveling is one of the best things about going on exchange. Also, you need to take in consideration that most of the exchange students do not work while being on exchange. Even if you plan on working you will probably not have the time for that. Increase your calculated budget by 10% for unforeseen cost and to provide a buffer for emergencies.

Step 4: Choosing a university

After doing your research it’s time to choose the top 5 universities you are interested in. Check your research and cross out requirements that aren’t met, courses you are not interested in and universities which are over your budget.

Step 5: Application

Now to the easiest step: Handing in your application and waiting for the result. Make sure to hand in all the documents on time. Sometimes there is a second round of applications if you missed the first one. Simultaneously to your exchange application you should also apply for your grant.

Good luck!

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