How Do I Prepare?

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Read through this information carefully when preparing your exchange semester.

#Preparing for Departure
#Scholarships
#Application forms to your Host University
#Check the semester dates at your host university
#Apply for a visa
#Health certificate and possible vaccinations
#Course Choice (Learning Agreement)
#Accommodation
#Documents and forms from Hanken
#Prepare for a crisis and do a notification of travel
#Read the information for travellers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
#Keep Informed about Global Events
#Insurance
#Register as Present at Hanken Before You Leave
#Information about Hanken
#Applying for Student Financial Aid
#Check List

Preparing for Departure

You have confirmed your exchange and you will soon be on your way to study as an exchange student at one of Hanken's partner universities. To make things as easy as possible, please read the information found below.

Hanken has already or is about to nominate you to your host university. You will soon receive information about registration to your host unviersity, how to apply for accommodation etc, directly from your host university or from the International Co-ordinator at Hanken. Read the instructions carefully and send in your regsitration/application before the deadline.

Also read the information for exchange students found on the home pages of your host university.

It is also important to prepare by reading the information the Ministry of Foreign Affairs publish about global events (political instabilities, epidemisc etc). Make sure you are aware of the security situation in your host country. You should also make a notification of travel (reseanmälan/matkustusilmoitus) before you leave for your exchange destiantion. More information about this below.

If you still have questions, you can always contact the International Co-ordinator at Hanken at outgoing.mobility(at)hanken.fi.

Start here:

  • Take part in the preparatory workshop arranged in April/November. All exchange students should participate. Areas dealt with are intercultural communication, culture shock etc. The workshop is intended to help you adapt to a new environment in an intercultural atmosphere. If you have already participated in a course, you can still contribute and take part in the discussions. You can never know too much about interacting in an international environment.
  • Take part in the information on practical matters offered by the International Co-ordinator at Hanken (April/November).
  • Re-read the Exchange Reports as well as older reports in the Learning Lab in Helsinki and the Reading Hall in Vaasa. Now that you are actually on your way, you will read the reports with a fresh outlook. In these reports you can learn about various bureaucratic processes before your departure and on your arrival in your host country; you will get a lot of useful information about what to take with you (documents, forms, photographs etc.) New reports are continuously added to the collection.
  • Read CIMO's brochures about studying in different countries.They are written in Finnish and can be found on Maatieto.net.
    Read up particularly well on the various educational systems in different countries; this will help you when you choose your courses.
  • Read the information for incoming exchange students on your host universities web page.

Scholarships

Hanken's scholarships for exchange students are paid at the beginning of July for those leaving for a university outside Europe, where the semester begins in July and August (eg. India, Canada, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the U.S.A). Otherwise, the scholarship is paid to you on 1 September if you are going for the autumn semester or for the whole year, and 15 December if you are going for the spring semester.

To finance your exchange studies you can also apply for other scholarships. Information about available scholarships can be found on fyrk.fi (in Swedish).

Application forms to your Host University

You may already have received information on the application procedure to your host university, how to apply for housing, how to send in the course choice (Learning Agreement), apply for visa etc. Read all the instructions carefully and check the deadlines. Do not wait until the specified deadline - do the application as soon as possible as it may take some time to finalise the application. Many universities have an online application procedure where you are also asked to upload documents such as the course choice form (Learning Agreement), housing application etc. Sometimes the enclosures have to be sent by mail after the online application is done.

Check the semester dates at your host university

Please check the semester dates at your host university before you book your tickets. Also check when the host university arrange introduction days. To attend the introduction for incoming excahnge students are mandatory for all. You have to complete all the courses and do all exams at your host university before you leave.

You can fins exact semster dates at your host university on the web, often under academic calendar or in the universities' fact sheets in the Mobility Online portal.

Apply for a visa

Some desitantions may require that you apply for a visa.Ususally you need a Letter of Acceptance (a certificate from your host university stating that they have accepted your application). The Letter of Acceptance will be sent to you after registration or when you have handed in your application documents to the host university. Please, read the information about the visa application procedures provided by your host university.

The embassies usually also have useful information on their websites. By reading this information you can prepare your visa application while waiting for the Letter of Acceptance. Sometimes the ambassies require that you personally hand in your visa application, so prepare for this, in particular, if you don't live close to the embassy. Please, note that some countries (e.g. USA) require a certificate stating that you have particular sum of money.

The visa application procedures may take a long time, so please start the process in time

Health certificate and possible vaccinations

Some of Hanken's partner universites (mainly outside EU) require that you add a health certificate in your application/registration to the university. Book a time at the Student Health Service and ask for a certificate in English.

You should also check if you need any vaccinations. Please note that you might have to get some vaccinations several times. Reserve enough time for this before your departure.

Course Choice (Learning Agreement)

You will now have to make a new course choice for studies at your host university. You have to study full time while on exchange and choose courses for 30 credits for a semester. 1 credit corresponds to 1 ECTS (30 credits correpsonds to 30 ECTS). ECTS stands for the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, a system designed to facilitate the transfer of credits from one university to another within Europe (particularly within the Erasmus Porgramme). Information on the required course load for universities outside the Erasmus programme can be found in the document displaying details of each bilateral agreement found in the Mobility Online portal.

At many universities you are required to make your choice of courses as soon as you apply/register. Within Europe the course choice is called a Learning Agreement. If you are a MSc student, please discuss your course choice with a professor to ensure that you make a good choice, especially if you would like to choose courses within your major. After that the Learning Agreement has to be signed by the international co-ordinator at Hanken; you can do so at the Centre during office hours.

Within the European Erasmus Programme the Learning Agreements have to be signed by the Departmental Co-ordinator/ECTS Co-ordinator and the Institutional Co-ordinator. The Departmental Co-ordinator/ECTS Co-ordinator at Hanken/The Centre for Research and International Affairs is Margareta Granholm; the Institutional Co-ordinator is Johanna Lilius.

Remember to take a copy of the learning agreement for Hanken's files.

At some universities you choose your courses on arrival. If this is the case, please send a copy of your choice of courses, signed by the Co-ordinator at your host university and by yourself, to the International Co-ordinator at Hanken. The learning agreement will then also be signed by the Coordinators at Hanken.

All courses successfully completed at your partner university will be transferred to your degree at Hanken. You can read more about the transfer of credits under How do I report?

Accommodation

Your host university will inform you about the accommodation options after you have been nominated as an exchange student. Prepare by reading the information available on the university's information pages for international studentents regarding how to apply for accommodation. The host university may offer you the opportunity to apply for on-campus housing or may help you with finding accommodation on the privet market. In some cases you may receive contact details to housing organisations and are expected to contact them directly to arrange the housing.

Apply for accomodation well in advance and follow the deadlines set by the host university. Many host universities select students for their available housing options on a "first come first served" basis, if you apply in time you are more likely to get accommodation in the location you would prefer.

Some universities encourage incoming exchange students to get in contact with each other through an exchange student facebook page. It may be easier/cheaper to rent an apartment together with other students. Be aware of that you may have to travel to your exchange destination a few weeks in advance to sort out the accommodation situation.

Note that you are responsible for the housing expenses. It maybe required to pay a guarantee rent or to pay part of the rent in advance. You can read about how previous exchange students have arranged their housing in the exchange reports. Older exchange reports are available in the Learning Lab in Helsinki and in the Reading Room in Vaasa.

Hanken is a partner of HousingAnywhere.com, the international student-to-student housing platform. Before leaving Helsinki for your study abroad, exchange, Erasmus or internship program you can safely rent out your room to an incoming exchange student. In this way you can avoid paying double rent and ensure that you have your room available at your return. Housing Anywhere is free of charge by using your student e-mail address. Before renting out a room via the platform, make sure you have informed your landlord. Housing Anywhere has over 125+ partner universities worldwide. You can easily find and book your room in more than 500 cities in the world.

Documents and forms from Hanken

The International Co-ordinator with responsibility for outbound exchange students will send you the following forms by e-mail in June/July for the autumn semester and in November/December for the spring semester:

  • A certificate in English stating that you are an exchange student and entitled to a scholarship. Students applying for visas will need this document (available May/October). Those not in need of a visa should take the document with them; it will be needed when reporting to the authorities.
     
  • An application form for a scholarship. The form has now been signed by the International Co-ordinator. Don't forget to read this form thoroughly. It serves as a contract between Hanken and the exchange student. The grant means that you are obliged to study full time and on your return to write a report. More information can be found under How do I report?
     
  • An Erasmus form. Exchange students in Europe, i.e. within the ERASMUS programme, will be sent an Erasmus form, showing the funds you will get from the Erasmus programme for your exchange studies. Complete this form, sign it and upload it to Mobility-Online within the set deadline. This scholarship will be paid on 1 September or 15 December respectively, provided of course that you have signed and returned the form within the required time limit. The Erasmus rules requires you to sign this form as proof that you have received an Erasmus scholarship. There will be more information in the e-mail you will receive. If your scholarship comes from other sources than Erasmus, you will of course not be sent an Erasmus form, although you are still considered an Erasmus student if your host university is a European one.
     
  • Erasmus Student Charter. Those of you travelling within the ERASMUS programme (i.e. within Europe) will also be sent an Erasmus Student Charter. This Charter specifies your rights and your duties as an Erasmus exchange student.

Prepare for a crisis and do a notification of travel

Please check the health and security situation in your host country by reading the country specific information ("matkustustiedotteet") on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web pages (in Swedish or in Finnish). Always follow the Ministry's advice. Prepare for a crisis and do a notification of travel. By doing a notification of travel the Ministry can contact you if needed. You can also check the information given by organisations mentioned below under Keep informed about global events.

Finnish citizens: Please note that all students that are Finnish citizens or permanent residents in Finland who are going abroad are recommended to do a notification of travel (matkustusilmoitus/reseanmälan) to the Foreign Ministry. This means that you give the ministry your personal details, contact details abroad, and other details about the trip. This way the ministry can contact you in case of an emergency or crisis situation. Your personal details will never be given to anyone except necessary authorities.

It is very easy to do a notification of travel as it can be done online or by sending a SMS message with your mobile phone. For further instructions please see Registration of Finns abroad.

You can find the Finnish embassies abroad under Finnish missions abroad by country. Also follow the information on facebook of the embassy at your destination.

Please note that it is also extremely important that you register with the authorities in your host country. You will receive instructions on how to register from your host university.

Foreign citizens in Finland:
Please contact the embassy of your home country to check what kind of notification of travel they have and follow their instructions.

Please also check the contact information of the embassy of your home country at your destination and notify the embassy of your stay in the country (dates for your stay, contact details etc). Also follow the information on facebook of the embassy at your destination.

Please note that it is also extremely important that you register with the authorities in your host country. You will receive instructions on how to register from your host university.

Read the information for travellers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Read the information for travellers Before you travel abroad and When travelling abroad on the web pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland. Read also the brochure Ulkoministeriön palvelut matkailijoille (scroll down the page).

Keep Informed about Global Events

Keep informed about global events such as political instabilities, epidemics and natural disasters and check the Finnish and foreign authorities' recommendations concerning different countries. You should assess the situation in your host country and determine whether you want to go there as an exchange student. Here are some useful links:

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
For information about the situation in foreign countries and what recommendations the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives, please see the Finnish website of the ministry and choose the country you wish to check (only available in Finnish/Swedish). Please follow the instructions given!

2. The Ministry for Social Affairs and Health

3. The National Institute for Health and Welfare

4. World Health Organization

5. Foreign and Commonwealth Office

In the event that you should choose not to accept an exchange post because of acts of terrorism, epidemics, a natural disaster or other similar events, Hanken can only in a very limited capacity try to find a new exchange post at a university in another country; this is dependent on the registration schedules maintained by the host universities.

Insurance

Destinations within the European Union
If you are covered by the Finnish health insurance system and you travel as an exchange student within Europe, you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card  from KELA (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland). As some host universities require a copy of the Health Insurance Card when you fill in their application form, we recommend that you apply for the card at the latest when you receive the confirmation of your exhange study placement. Take the card with you when you leave for your stay abroad.

The European Health Insurance Card mainly covers emergency treatment, and in such cases guarantees you the same basic medical treatment as the local residents are entitled to in accordance to the laws of that particular country. (Please check with KELA to see what the exact regulations are in your host country.) It does not, however, cover any costs induced from any services outside the national health care system. Should you need special transportation to Finland due to illness or injury, you would also have to pay for it yourself. It is therefore important to purchase private travel insurance to cover any such possible costs.

Destinations outside the European Union
It is always important that you acquaint yourself with what your insurance covers, especially when you travel to a destination outside the European Union. The insurance required by your host university is not always sufficient in case of illness or accident. Please contact your own insurance company and see that you have sufficient insurance. Don't forget your liability insurance.

Regardless of the destination it is very important that you have a valid insurance that covers e.g. travelling, belongings, health care, accidents, hospitalization and special transportation home in case of injury/death. Also remember third party liability coverage!

Register as Present at Hanken Before You Leave

Remember to register as present in WebOodi before you leave! Everyone going on exchange abroad must be registered as present.

Information about Hanken

In case your host university arranges a Study Abroad Fair (an exchange studies fair) and invites exchange students to talk about their home university, you will need material about Hanken and Finland.

Information about studies, housing and other useful information for exchange students coming to Hanken can be found under Incoming Exchange Students. The “Hanken Exchange Fact Sheet” contains all the necessary information about Hanken, including instructions on how to find courses that are open for exchange students.

General information about studying in Finland can be found at http://www.studyinfinland.fi/

Before your departure you will receive more information about appropriate material that you could use to promote Hanken at a Study Abroad Fair.

Applying for Student Financial Aid

Please note that you should clearly indicate that you will be an exchange student when you apply for your Student Financial Aid. The international co-ordinator will inform the financial aid secretary at Hanken about Hanken's exchange students.

Check List

This list will help you keep track of all the forms and procedures you will encounter.

After having been informed of your exchange place

  • Confirm in Mobility Online that you accept/do not accept the exchange post according to the date given.
  • Take part in the practical information given by the International Co-ordinator at Hanken.
  • Participate in the preparatory workshop (culture shock etc).
  • Check up on the courses offered by your host university (according to the instructions you may already have received from your host university).
  • Complete the application forms of the host university (application/registration, course choice, accommodation etc) and send them to the host university. Please follow the deadlines given. You will receive instructions on the application process directly from your host university or from International Co-ordinator at Hanken.
  • Make sure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay. Please note that in order to obtain a visa to certain countries outside Europe, your passport needs to be valid for a certain length of time after your return. Check this information on the web site of the embassy in question.
  • Apply for a visa (to countries outside Europe, e.g. USA, Australia, Mexico). Please see more information about visa above.
  • Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (exchange students within Europe) from FPA/KELA or get a copy of the social insurance guaranteed Finnish citizens by law (some universities outside European Union).
  • Check up on the social insurance guaranteed Finnish citizens in your host country (outside European Union). Students travelling to HEC Montréal need a KELA (The Social Insurance Institution) certificate affirming these rights.
  • Purchase private travel insurance to cover possible costs for hospitalization, travel, luggage etc. This concerns all exchange students!
  • See a doctor for a health certificate according to the instructions your host university may require (some universities outside Europe). Those travelling to Japan need this certificate in March/October. Please note that an HIV-test is required by some universities outside Europe.
  • If your host university requires that you hand in letter of recommendations, please reserve time for professors at Hanken to write these recommendations (universities outside EU).
  • Check possible vaccinations with, for instance, the Student Health Care Centre. Please note that some vaccinations should be administered several times with a few weeks in between. Reserve enough time for this!
  • Check the semester dates at your host university
  • Check flight prices. N.B.! Please check your host universities schedules for introduction dates for exchange students before the beginning of the semester and the last dates for exams before booking your ticket. Remember that your host university wants you to participate in the introductory courses. Please note that you have to do all the exams of your exchange semester at your host university before you leave.
  • Make use of the fact that Hanken is an international university! Contact foreign students at Hanken or students at Hanken who have been abroad on an exchange at the university where you are going, if you haven't already done so. The International Co-ordinator can provide you with contact details.
  • Read the exchange reports submittted by previous students once more.
  • Please note that concerning exchange outside of Europe it is always the receiving university that makes the final decision on whether to accept you as an exchange student or not, and informs you of this.
  • Read about the educational system in CIMO's country reports (on CIMO's web site or in the Learning Lab in Helsinki and the Reading Hall in Vaasa). Available in Finnish only.

Before you leave

  • Keep informed about global events such as political instabilities, epidemics and natural disasters
  • All students that are Finnish citizens or permanent residents in Finland who are going abroad are recommended to do a notification of travel (matkustusilmoitus) to the Foreign Ministry. The easiest way to do a notification of travel is by sending a text-message with your mobile phone. For specific instructions please see www.formin.fi -> Matkustusilmoitus
  • Check the contact information of the embassy of your home country at your destination and notify the embassy of your stay in the country (dates for your stay, contact details etc). In case of an emergency it is good to have the contact information of the embassy within easy reach.
  • Take copies of your passport and other important documents such as the (health) insurance etc to bring with you
  • Take a transcript of records (in English!) with you. This will help you when choosing courses. You might need proof of previous courses in order to be allowed to attend a specific course.
  • Be sure to take with you the Hanken certificate stating that you are, indeed, an exchange student
  • And don't forget your letter of acceptance from your host university
  • Acquaint yourself with the Hanken presentation (film and power point at the web site). You don't have to make up your own presentation, stick to the information this material gives (then dates and figures will be correct).
  • Register as present at Hanken according in WebOodi. All students going on exchange must be registered as present at Hanken.

Upon arrival at your host university

  • Register with the authorities in your host country in accordance with the instructions from your host university.
  • Notify the embassy of your home country at your destination of your stay in the country (dates for your stay, contact details etc).
  • Send the International Programme Co-ordinator at Hanken your approved and final course selection.
  • If you have any problems with your selection of courses, contact the International Programme Co-ordinator at Hanken.
  • Please note office hours of professors, the international office at your host university and follow them
  • We rely on you to conduct your studies in a suitable and ethical manner.
  • Remember that you are an ambassador for Hanken and for Finland. We hope you will adapt to the customs of your host university - and give others a good impression of Hanken and of Finland!

Before leaving for home

  • Follow the instructions your host universities has given you.
  • Erasmus students (on exchange within EU) should ask the international coordinator at the host university to fill in the form Letter of confirmation. Please hand in this form to the International Programme Co-ordinator at Hanken .
  • Read How should I report?
  • Take with you all the course descriptions and material from your host university so that you have "proof" of the contents of the courses and your own achievements when you apply for a transfer of credits.
  • Prepare to share your experiences with other students at Hanken.

Good luck!