Exchange programmes

The goal of international exchange is to combine professional goals with personal growth. An exchange period is an opportunity to learn cultural awareness and challenge oneself.

As a student you can develop your skills and professional expertise – international experiences are highly valued in today’s world of work!

You can find the learning aims of work placements and courses in your own curriculum. During an exchange period, you will study more or less the same thematic cycles, and you should list the proposed contents in your learning agreement (Europe/Erasmus+) or study plan.

You can take up to two exchange periods during your studies.

When considering a suitable institution, focus on the following:

  • What is my specialization?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What are my language skills and cultural knowledge?
  • Which culture is closest to me?

Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. Erasmus+ aims to modernize education, training and youth work across Europe.

For the past 30 years, the Erasmus+ program has enabled countless students to spend time in Europe. Erasmus+ is an easy way to explore Europe and include the experience as part of your degree.

In practice, Diak students can get funding for an exchange period at a European partner institution or work placement. The program aims to provide unique experiences and help students gain cultural and linguistic competences. In Finland, the program is coordinated by the Finnish Agency for Education.

Seeing how other people live and sharing in their culture is an important way to develop a more tolerant and understanding view of other people. You will also learn more about yourself and develop your professional identity.

Having an Erasmus+ Exchange on your CV makes you stand out as an adventurous individual who is willing to take risks and is open to new challenges and self-improvement. These attributes can set you apart from other applicants.

Learning Agreement

All students have to complete a Learning Agreement. For a student exchange period, you will choose your preferred courses from the partner institution’s course catalogue and specify which courses they will be accredited towards in Diak’s curriculum. The form will be signed by departmental coordinators at Diak. The recommended minimum credit load is 5 ECTS/month.

The form also includes basic information about you and the host and home institutions. All three parties sign the document. If necessary, the document can be amended during the exchange period. The document is the basic template for Erasmus+ exchanges.

For training exchange periods, the document includes same basic data. Instead of courses, you will specify the proposed mobility programme, including tasks and responsibilities during the placement. You should also describe what knowledge and skills will be required.

The Learning Agreement for placements also includes a monitoring and evaluation plan. It must be accepted by Diak’s coordinator and the host organization’s training supervisor. The Learning Agreement for a placement is similar to an employment contract, including the rights and responsibilities, as well as important information about insurance, ECTS credits and certificates.


Language assessments

All students selected in Erasmus+ student or placement exchange programs are entitled to take the language assessment in the main language of their studies or placement, i.e. the language used in studies or placement. Assessment is compulsory: only native speakers are exempted.

The second part of the assessment will be completed after the exchange and is directly linked with the grant. Further information about the language assessment is available on the Erasmus+ OLS website.


Language courses

After the assessments, free online language courses are available for students who want to work on their language skills. For instance, if you are going to spend an exchange period in the Netherlands, you can complete the language assessment in English and take a language course in Dutch. Please notify the international office of your preferred language course option.

For more information, please contact the international office: international.office@diak.fi.


EUsurvey

After the exchange, you will be asked to complete an EUSurvey and describe the results and your overall impression of the exchange period. The survey is compulsory and directly linked to your Erasmus+ grant in addition to the language test.

Bilateral Agreements

Diak has many partners in Asia, Africa and Chile. These long-standing partnerships have taken Diak students to destinations such as:

  • India, Nepal, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania

All accepted students will take the orientation course (PRO1) and formulate their professional goals during the course. Students will coordinate their exchange process in the Mobility Online system. For example, you can apply for a student grant and print the insurance certificate on Mobility Online.

Free Mover

Free Mover exchanges are rare outside of Europe, but they are possible if you have previous experience of the country in question and are aware of the relevant cultural and safety aspects. If you wish to complete a Free Mover exchange period outside Europe, please ask international office about the possibility.

In Europe, Free Mover exchanges are possible within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. The place must be suitable for the practice and the length of the exchange period must be at least two months. The exchange will be part of the Erasmus+ program, but you have to find a placement outside of Diak’s network.

Applications for European Free Mover exchanges can be submitted throughout the year. However, you should first contact the international office in order to find out what documents and steps are needed. Submit your application as soon as you have the following information:

  • the proposed program in the host institution
  • information about the organization and contact person
  • information about practical arrangements such as accommodation.

You can submit the Free Mover application in Mobility Online.