□ Plan your exchange well in advance. Search for information about the host country, region, and host university. Think about your goals for the exchange.
□ The final acceptance from the host university usually arrives late in the summer/at the beginning of the year. You can start planning the arrangements even before the acceptance letter arrives; however, booking your plane tickets, giving away your apartment, or arranging anything permanent before you receive the final acceptance is done at your own risk.
□ If you understand Finnish, participate in the pre-departure orientation.
□ Make sure that your passport is valid for long enough (at least for the time you are spending abroad and the period mentioned in your residence permit; for example, your time abroad + extra 6 months afterwards).
□ Find out about the residence permit/student visa regulations of your host country from the embassy/consulate. If a residence permit is required, prepare the application before receiving the final acceptance from your host university.
□ Check the vaccination requirements in good time! Contact the Finnish Students’ Health Service (Travel Advice) or consult your doctor on health matters and renewing your medical prescriptions. Take enough medicine with you.
□ Get a comprehensive insurance – it should cover e.g. ambulance flights. Ask advice from your insurance company. Also find out if Finland/your home country has a social security agreement with the host country and what this agreement covers.
□ If you receive a study grant from Kela, you may be able to get it for your studies abroad as well. More information: http://www.kela.fi/web/en/financial-aid-for-students-if-you-study-abroad
□ The total costs of living may be higher during your exchange. Make a budget and be prepared for unexpected expenses especially at the beginning of the exchange. In case you need extra funding, find out about the different possibilities before the departure.
□ If you need someone to take care of your matters in your home country or in Finland, remember to give a power of attorney to a reliable member of your family or a friend.
□ Ask your bank for the best solution to take care of your finances and banking while abroad. A credit card may be more useful than a debit card in some areas.
□ Keep the information of your permanent address (in Finland/your home country) updated in WebOodi.
□ Compare the different ways and prices to travel. You might benefit from the international student card ISIC that you can order the card eg from Kilroy Travel Agency.
□ Persons travelling or moving abroad and especially to risk-prone areas can submit a travel notification to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or the mission of Finland in the host country.
□ Get an ICE card. Keep it e.g. in your wallet.
□ Find out about the housing possibilities of the host university or in your host region. Be prepared to stay some nights in a hotel/hostel and to search for a flat on the spot.
□ Remember to register as a present student at the UEF for the full period of exchange before your departure and pay the Student Union fee.
□ Take a certificate of registration and a transcript of academic records in English with you. You can get these documents from UEF Student Services.
□ Bring along several passport photos, a copy of your passport, proof of your insurance, and guides, brochures, and other information about the University of Eastern Finland and Finland.
□ Keep scanned copies of important documents on a cloud service or on your email.
□ Make a list of important contact information (eg the nearest embassy of Finland or your home country) and keep it with you.
□ Contact your host university and inform them about your arrival time (if requested). If possible, arrive on a working day and on reasonable time of day.
□ Participate in the orientation and/or other welcoming events organised by your host university.
□ Prepare to adjust to the new surroundings – travel with an open mind!