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Practical information for students going abroad

On this page you will find important information about things you should be aware of before, during and after your stay abroad. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. You will also need to look for information elsewhere.

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Important preparations before departure

As an outgoing student, you must be prepared to take on a lot of personal responsibility, both before and during your stay abroad. This means, for example, that you will need to

  • keep track of deadlines
  • plan well in advance, and
  • find information yourself.

You will also need to know and comply with the laws and regulations of the host organisation and country, and be a good representative of the University.

Please note that the information on this page is not exhaustive. You will also need to check with your faculty, host organisation, airlines and embassies, for example, to get up-to-date information.


Preparing mentally for your trip is just as important as preparing practically.

                   Sofie, International Officer


 

Online course, webinar and workshop

Going abroad for an exchange, traineeship or fieldwork during your studies gives you the opportunity to experience new cultures, practise language skills, make new friends and gain experience in new environments. You need to make practical preparations for your departure, but you also need to prepare yourself mentally. In some countries, you may also need to think about your safety for a variety of reasons.

To help you with this, we have developed a 'preparation pack' that includes an online course, a webinar and a workshop.
 
Course, webinar and workshop for students going abroad

Practical preparations

If you have been nominated for an exchange, or are planning a traineeship or fieldwork, you need to know what to do before you leave – and when. Read more under each heading below.

Don't wait to apply for a grant for your stay abroad!

There are different grants you can apply for depending on whether you

  • have been nominated for exchange studies
  • have found a traineeship or
  • are planning to do fieldwork.

You can apply for some grants when you are nominated and others when you receive your 'Letter of Acceptance'/ 'Letter of Invitation' or 'Cooperation Agreement'. Read more about the requirements for each grant.

Applying for a grant takes some time, but is well worth the effort.

Grants and scholarships for studies and traineeships abroad

If you are receiving student finance from your home country's student finance provider for your studies at Lund University, you may be eligible to continue receiving this financial support while you are abroad. You can check your eligibility by visiting their website or contacting them directly.

If you are eligible for and are receiving Swedish student finance (CSN) for your studies at Lund, which applies to very few international students, you may be able to continue receiving it while you are abroad.

Once you have confirmed that you are eligible, you should apply for student finance as soon as you receive your admission letter from your host university. You may also be able to take out an additional loan to cover your time abroad if you need it.

If you are going on an exchange for one semester and then returning to Lund to study the following semester, remember to apply for student finance for a full academic year. This includes your semester abroad as well as the following semester at Lund University. Note that you will need to complete, sign and submit two separate applications.

For your exchange semester, apply for studies at a school abroad ('skola utomlands'). For the semester in Sweden, apply for studies at a school in Sweden ('skola i Sverige').

This is to avoid a delay in payment for the following semester. It can take some time before you receive your grades from abroad and before the courses are credited in Ladok.

In your application you must attach your Letter of Acceptance in order to show which period it applies to. If it does not show the date, you can instead attach a screenshot from the host university’s online information about term times, known as the 'Academic Calendar'.

If you have not already checked whether you need a visa for your destination, now is the time to do so. The embassy of the host country in Sweden can give you information. 

You are responsible for the entire visa process.

If you are going to a country that requires a visa, you must submit your visa application as soon as possible after receiving your admission letter or equivalent from your host university, as processing times can be long.

Prepare the documents required for your visa application as soon as possible. In some cases, you may need to provide a medical certificate.

Make sure that your passport is valid for the entire period you will be away, and for at least six months after your planned return.

If you are a fee-paying (non-EU/EEA) student and have a Swedish residence permit for studies, please read the information on the Swedish Migration Agency's website carefully: 

Resi­dence permit for studies in higher educa­tion*

*Relevant information can be found under 'After you have sent the application', 'If you are granted a residence permit' and 'If the study programme includes studies abroad'.

If you are going on an exchange, you are not guaranteed a place until you have received an acceptance letter from your host university. If you are going on a traineeship or fieldwork abroad, the 'Letter of Invitation' or 'Cooperation Agreement' is the formal confirmation that everything is in place at your host organisation.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to wait with booking travel and buying tickets until you have this letter/confirmation in your hand. If you do not want to wait, we recommend that you buy tickets that can be cancelled or changed, even if they are a little more expensive, just to be on the safe side.

Visit the vaccination guide website to find out which vaccinations are recommended for your destination and any other countries you may be planning to visit. The website of the healthcare helpline 1177.se also has information about travel and vaccinations.

Make sure you have documentation about which vaccinations you have already taken. Some host universities require this information, and it is difficult and expensive to get hold of it while you are abroad.

International students coming to Lund often find it difficult to find accommodation. You can help an incoming student by subletting your accommodation while you are abroad.

Contact your landlord and BoPoolen.

BoPoolen website

To get an overview of the current security situation and any restrictions/recommendations for your destination, please check the following links:

Sweden Abroad

On the official website for Sweden’s embassies and consulates, Sweden Abroad, you can, among other things

  • find country-specific information from the embassies for travellers from Sweden
  • subscribe to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs' travel advice newsletter
  • download the app 'UD Resklar'.

If you have a Swedish citizenship, you can also register your contact details with 'Svensklistan'. The Swedish authorities can then use this information to contact you in the event of a crisis. If you are not a Swedish citizen, check with your embassy to see if they have a similar service.

swedenabroad.se

Travel information from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

On the Government Offices website you will find the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' pages with comprehensive travel information on, for example, what advice against travel means, as well as links to podcasts, the app 'UD Resklar' etc. Unfortunately, the content is only available in Swedish.

Recommendations from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs – regeringen.se (in Swedish)

Covid-19

The pandemic has been affecting the world around us for several years. Countries have been affected to different degrees. Authorities and universities have reacted differently, and recommendations and restrictions vary and change over time, so make sure you are up to date with what is happening at your destination.

Check the website of your host university/host organisation for their Covid-19 information.

If you plan to travel in connection with your stay abroad

Admission and visa processes can be lengthy, and are not something that the University can influence or speed up. We therefore recommend that you plan any travel related to your exchange at the end of your exchange period.

If you take medicine regularly

If you are on regular medication, it is important that you bring a prescription with you after consulting your doctor. If you are taking any medicine with you on your trip, you will need to check that it is permitted in the country you are travelling to.

You should also bring a signed medical certificate in English, stating that the medicine is for your personal use. You may need to show this at customs.

If you want to take a language course

Courses in the language of the host country may be offered by the host university or by private language schools. However, it is not always the case that these language courses can be credited as part of your exchange studies. You will be responsible for any additional course fees and other costs yourself.

Important documents to take with you on your trip:

  • a valid passport (the passport should be valid for the duration of your trip abroad and for at least six months after your planned return. Leave a copy of your passport at home.)
  • insurance documents
  • Letter of Acceptance or Letter of Invitation from your host university/host organisation.
  • proof of vaccinations
  • medicine, prescriptions and any relevant medical certificates in English.

In some cases

  • a visa
  • proof of funding (student finance provider, bank)
  • up-to-date certificate from Ladok.

Being a student ambassador abroad

As a Lund University student abroad, you are an important representative of the University. As a student ambassador you may, for example, be asked to participate in various events or to speak about Lund University in different contexts.

Being a student ambassador abroad

Student OUT insurance

When you travel through Lund University, you are covered by the Student OUT insurance from Kammarkollegiet.

Student OUT insurance

Studying abroad with a disability

If you are going to study abroad and have received a decision granting learning support at Lund University, you are responsible for applying for support at the host university where you will be studying. You can get help and guidance in your contacts with the host university from the international exchange administrator at your faculty or at External Relations.

If you are going to study or do a traineeship in Europe, you have the possibility to apply for supplementary grants, read more below.

Remember that you may need to take documentation about your disability, for example a certificate for the host university, with you on your trip:

The documentation that Lund University has to send to the host university is your valid decision granting learning support. You have access to your decision in NAIS:

NAIS – uhr.se

It is possible that your host university will ask for a doctor's certificate or equivalent, to confirm your disability. You should therefore be prepared to take your certificate with you to give to your host university. The certificate must be written in English.

If you have any questions about NAIS or need help translating the document, please contact the relevant accessibility officer at Disability Support Services (see link below).

If you do not have documentation

If you have not received a decision granting learning support but wish to receive one, you will need to apply for it. See the Disability Support Services webpage for information on the process:

Students with disabilities

If you need learning support or special adaptations during your studies or traineeship in a European country, you can apply for a grant to cover the extra costs. You can find more information about this on our grants pages:

Erasmus+ mobility grant

Erasmus+ traineeship grant

While you are away

While you are away, you are still considered a student at Lund University. Find out what you need to keep track of while you are abroad, what help is available and what you need to do to ensure that your stay and your further studies go smoothly.

If you have received a grant or scholarship from Lund University for your stay abroad, you will also need to keep track of information, documents etc. from your grant administrator/grant database.

You must register your exchange in Ladok when you start your studies abroad. If you are going away for a year, you must confirm that you will continue your studies in the second semester.

Log in to Ladok to register your exchange

If you have an Erasmus+ traineeship grant, you should upload a Confirmation of Arrival document to the Erasmus+ database instead. Follow the instructions provided by your grant administrator.

If you change your email address during your stay abroad, you must inform your coordinator at Lund University. It is your responsibility to ensure that we can reach you.

Would you like to be one of our official guest Instagrammers while abroad and contribute inspiring content for our Instagram account @lund_university_abroad?

Send us a DM or an email:

  • @lund_university_abroad
  • lunduniversityabroad [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se (lunduniversityabroad[at]er[dot]lu[dot]se)

Listen to what exchange ambassador Beatrice says about being a guest Instagrammer for @lund_university_abroad:

Instagram takeover – youtube.com

Remember to apply for courses at Lund University for the semester following your exchange.

Information on where to get help and what to do in different situations – for example, if you fall ill, are the victim of a crime or if something serious happens in the country you are visiting – can be found on the Student OUT insurance page:

Student OUT – If something happens while you are abroad

Notify your coordinator and your faculty if you need to cut short your exchange studies or traineeship.

In some cases, you may be able to continue taking classes remotely. Contact your course lecturer to find out which rules apply to you.

If you have received an Erasmus+ grant, you must contact erasmusstudier [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se (erasmusstudier[at]er[dot]lu[dot]se) or erasmuspraktik [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se (erasmuspraktik[at]er[dot]lu[dot]se) to report the number of days you have been on exchange and the costs you have incurred.

In addition to what applies to all outgoing students, there are a few other things to consider if you are going on an exchange:

Gather information about your courses

Gather as much information as possible about the courses you will be taking at your host university, such as detailed course descriptions, reading lists and timetables. This material will complement your transcript and will make it easier to transfer credits when you return.

If you change courses in your study plan

If you change courses after you have arrived at the host university, you must make sure that your changed study plan can be credited at Lund University. Contact your department or the international office at your faculty. If you have completed an Online Learning Agreement (a requirement for Erasmus+ students), this must be updated and approved by your coordinator at Lund University.

After your return

After your time abroad, you will have gained new experiences that you will draw from and remember for the rest of your life.

You may find that you miss your international lifestyle, or have thoughts about your future career.

Or you may find it difficult to settle back into everyday life at home.

Here are some tips on what to do next, and what you might need to do, for example when it comes to credit transfer or grant payments.

Once you are back, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in international issues and make new connections. For example, you could become an international mentor and help other international students settle in to Lund, meet students from different backgrounds through a student organisation or language café, or take internationally oriented courses.

Find out more about what you can do to keep that international feeling long after your return:

International opportunities on campus

Your experience abroad is valuable – for students about to go themselves, coordinators and contract officers at Lund University. You will receive an email from your coordinator reminding you to write something for our travel report portal.

Lund University Travel Reports – utlandstudier.lu.se

If you need a sounding board for your thoughts on how to use your new experiences in your future career, contact a study and careers advisor at your faculty or department.

If you are thinking about your future education, you can make an appointment with one of the University’s general study advisors for guidance:

Study guidance

You can also find out more about career choices, traineeships and future jobs on our careers pages:

Careers service

Discover your new skills with an app

Your experience abroad has probably been both enriching and challenging at times, and you have had to adapt to many new circumstances. Employers tend to recognise the flexibility and skills needed to do this, and see it as an asset.

Being aware of these valuable new skills can help you get an interesting job when you've finished your studies at Lund.

To help you discover your new or improved skills, Erasmus+ and Uppsala University have developed an app called ‘SkillMill Project’. You can download it from the App Store.

Are you finding it difficult to adjust to being back in Sweden after your stay abroad? Do you have difficult thoughts and feelings that you need to explore?

Contact the Student Health Centre if you need someone to talk to after your return.

Student Health Centre

Exchange studies

About a month after your exchange, you will receive a transcript from your host university.

Most universities will send the transcript directly to you by email or give you a code to download a digital version. Some host universities will instead send your transcript to your coordinator at Lund University. Your coordinator will then contact you.

You are responsible for submitting your transcript to your faculty at Lund University so that they can transfer and register your exchange credits in Ladok.

The credit transfer will be handled by your study advisor/programme director or your faculty's international office.

If you are receiving student finance from CSN

Once the credit transfer has been completed in Ladok, CSN will be able to see it.

Traineeship, fieldwork, clinical placement

If you are going abroad through Lund University to do a traineeship, fieldwork or clinical placement, you should contact your department/programme director before you leave to confirm what credits you may be able to count towards your studies.

Upon your return, you should contact your department/programme director again to ensure that any agreed-upon credits for your traineeship, fieldwork, or equivalent are approved and registered in Ladok.