Checklist for outgoing students
Studying or working abroad during your studies is an unforgettable experience. However before the experience begins there are many things to do and arrange. Completing the required steps carefully helps you to have a successful experience. Outgoing student’s check list includes all the things you should remember to do before, during and after the exchange.
Before the exchange
1. Apply for exchange
There are two application periods every year, in September and in February. More information about the application process is available at Applying for exchange website.
2. Attend the orientation course
After applying and being selected for student exchange, you will be added to the student exchange orientation course. The course is compulsory for all Diak exchange students. Take the course on the semester preceding your exchange. The orientation course gives you a possibility to meet other Diak students going on exchange. The course includes intercultural and interreligious training as well as practical information about the exchange process, such as insurance and grants.
- All exchange students: Student Exchange Orientation KVS0002A20S, 2 cr.
- Students going on exchange to Africa or Asia: Exploitation in a Global Frame EXP0003B16S , 3 cr.
3. Contact the destination organisation and submit required documents on time
Studies abroad: Universities require exchange students to fill in several documents in order to register as an exchange student. Find out the required documents and the deadline for submitting the documents from the university website (you can find a link to the relevant website from our destination portal). Submit all the required documents by the deadline. Some universities have online application systems, some ask you to send the documents via email, some require the Diak International office to submit the documents.
Work placement abroad: Contact the work placement organisation and agree about your work placement. Include a CV and a motivation letter in English (or in the local language). You can find CV examples here. Agree on the work placement dates and update the dates in Mobility Online. Agree on the goals and tasks of the work placement with the organisation and your international work placement supervisor. After you know the dates and contents of your placement, you can fill in the traineeship agreement.
4. Fill in the Learning agreement / Traineeship agreement
Learning Agreement is an agreement between the student, the destination organisation and Diak. It is a binding agreement in which the host organisation agrees to offer the courses or work tasks listed in the agreement and Diak agrees to transfer the credits to your Diak degree. Fill in the Learning Agreement carefully and agree about the contents with your international academic supervisor.
The planning of the contents begins already in the application interview. If you are going to study abroad, get to know the courses the destination organisation offers and make a preliminary plan. Course lists are often published just before your exchange, so you can use the course lists of the previous years.
For work placement planning, check the tasks that previous Diak students have completed and the learning outcomes for international exchange.
Learning agreement is approved by the international academic supervisor.
- Complete the Learning Agreement in Mobility Online.
- Get signatures from all the parties (student, host organisation, Diak) before the exchange. The signed version must be submitted to the Mobility Online workflow before you apply for the student exchange grant.
- Take a copy of the Learning Agreement with you to the student exchange.
- If the contents of your student exchange change, update the Learning Agreement. The Learning Agreement must include the same contents as your final certificate (transcript of records or placement certificate).
- Upload the final version of the Learning Agreement to Mobility Online.
5. Apply for housing
Apply for housing in the destination early. The host organisation can often give you tips for apartment hunting. If you search for housing by yourself, be careful, since there are many fraudulent offers in the housing markets. It is recommended to check the reliability of the housing offer from the destination organisation.
If you complete your student exchange in a university, they often have student housing available. You can apply for student housing as part of the host university’s application process. The number of places is often limited and given on first come first served basis, so be fast.
In the Diak destinations outside Europe (Nepal, Vietnam, Tansania, Swaziland) the local coordinator helps you with finding housing.
Students studying in Helsinki can use the Apartments for students in Helsinki Metropolitan area Facebook group when subletting your apartment in Helsinki.
6. Students going on work placement abroad: Print documents
Print and take with you abroad the following documents:
- Student Agreement and Goals for Work Placement Abroad
- Practical Training – Feedback and Assessment Form
- Letter to the Supervisor
- Learning Outcomes for International Exchange
4. Inform Kela about the changed circumstances
If you are entitled to Kela study grant during your studies in Finland, you have to notify Kela about your changed circumstances with a specific form. The form can be completed in the Kela’s online service. Diak confirms your student exchange to Kela according to the Mobility Online information. Please make sure that the destination information and dates of your student exchange are correct in Mobility online.
Please check Kela website for details.
If you receive general housing allowance, check how studies abroad affect the housing allowance.
5. Apply for grant
Apply for student exchange grant in Mobility Online. The grant application can be made once the previous steps (e.g. Learning Agreement) have been completed. You are only entitled to one of the grants listed below; the type of grant is determined by the exchange programme.
Please enter the exact start date and end date of your exchange period to Mobility Online once you have the information. Erasmus+ grants are based on the exact duration of your student exchange (number of days). Also your travel insurance will be in place for the days specified in the grant form.
Please check that you have entered your bank account information in the IBAN format.
Apply for one of the following funds:
- Diak study grant
For students who do not qualify for an Erasmus+ grant (all destinations outside Europe).
- Erasmus+ Study Grant
For students participating in the Erasmus Study Programme (university exchange in Europe). Every now and then it is also possible to attend the global Erasmus+ exchange.
- Erasmus+ Work Placement Grant
For students participating in the Erasmus Work Placement Programme (normally any work organisation placement in Europe).
6. Arrange tickets, work permits, residency permits and visa
The student is responsible for buying travel tickets and applying for work permits, residence permits and visas. Please note that bureaucratic processes take time, and it is advisable to start early. Should you need some official statements, you can get those from the international office.
EU citizens do not need to apply for visa or residence permit before the exchange when moving to another EU country.
Students with a residence permit in Finland can often apply for Mobility notification on the basis of EU Directive 2016/801 when moving to another EU country for student exchange. This is cheaper than getting a new residence permit.
7. Find out about insurance cover
Diak has traveller’s insurance, liability insurance and accident insurance coverage provided by LähiTapiola Ltd. for outgoing exchange students, who are members of the Finnish social security system Kela.
- Diak students are insured against accidents also while studying and/or completing practical training abroad. The insurance policy covers medical expenses, daily allowances, permanent disability and death caused by an accident if the accident occurs during curriculum-based activities or travel directly related to such activities.
- Students travelling to the United States or Canada are required to get private liability insurance.
- Students may choose the doctor or place of treatment themselves. The treatment fees must be paid on the spot, and compensation cannot be claimed until the student has returned home.
- Insurance certificate can be printed from Mobility Online.
- Please note that the insurance is valid only during your student exchange. If you go travelling before or after the exchange, the insurance does not cover your expenses.
- We recommend that outgoing exchange students should also obtain their own travel insurance for additional coverage. For example, luggage is not covered by Diak’s insurance.
Important: Please note that if you are not a member of the Finnish social security system Kela and you don’t have permanent residence in Finland, Diak cannot provide travel insurance for you. In this case, you should obtain travel insurance coverage for the entire exchange period, including travel from Finland to the destination and back.
If you are going to another EU country and are a citizen of a member state, you are normally entitled to public health care services in acute cases on the basis of the Finnish health insurance scheme provided that you are a member (see 8. European Health card).
Note: The level of health care compensation or treatment may not be equivalent to that provided by health care services in Finland.
More information about insurance coverage.
8. Apply for a European Health Insurance Card
In order to prove your right to medical care, you must apply for a European Health Insurance Card from Kela. The health insurance card is free of charge.
9. Apply for a criminal record extract
This document can be obtained from the Suomi.fi online service center if your practical training involves working with children.
10. Send a travel notification to Formin
All students (including non-Finnish citizens) must notify the local Finnish embassy about their stay in the area. For instructions and forms, see formin.fi.
During the exchange
1. Inform Diak about any changes
Please inform Diak if there are any changes in your mobility once you are abroad. It is advisable to maintain regular contact with the international office – all feedback and observations are welcome.
2. If there are changes to the study modules, update your Learning Agreement
If you are taking an exchange period under the Erasmus+ programme and there are changes to your courses or programme, you will have to complete a form to update your Learning Agreement. This document must be signed by the departmental coordinator at Diak and in the host institution.
In addition, if the dates of your exchange period change, please inform the international office immediately.
3. What if I decide to come home in the middle of the exchange period?
If you come home significantly earlier than planned, you may have to pay part of the grant back.
If something is unclear to you during the exchange, do not hesitate to contact the international office.
After the exchange
Students must deliver a transcript of records and signed Letter of Confirmation by uploading them directly to the Mobility Online system.
You can ask your international academic supervisor to help you with the credit transfer process. Please note: the credits will not be transferred automatically.
Participate in a post-exchange review session
Upon your return from the exchange period, you should participate in a review session either in a group or individually. If you are unable to attend a group session, you must contact the international academic supervisor to schedule a personal appointment.
Fill in an exchange report
The exchange report is a mandatory part of your exchange process. You are expected to submit your exchange report without delay after your return. The report can be filled in on Mobility Online.
Fill in the Participant Survey
After the last day of your exchange, you will receive an email with a link to the compulsory Erasmus+ Participant Survey. Each student taking part in an Erasmus+ exchange programme must complete this. The second part of your grant will be paid only after all the above steps have been completed.
Share your experiences!
As part of the exchange process, all Diak exchange students are expected to share their experiences with other students who are considering an exchange period.
An invitation to the information sessions and/or to the orientation of the next outgoing exchange group will be sent by email in the coming semesters.