Funding your studies abroad

GENERAL INFORMATION

The tuition fees of the host university are waived for the outgoing exchange students who go on exchange via the exchange programmes or bilateral agreements of University of Eastern Finland. However, the outgoing exchange students should be prepared for other costs (study materials, membership fees, photocopies, etc.)

In most student exchange programmes (including Erasmus+, Nordplus, and FIRST+) and the majority of bilateral host universities, the students are required to cover their own accommodation and living costs during the exchange.

In the ISEP Exchange programme, the student will pay an ISEP fee to University of Eastern Finland and the fee covers the accommodation and meal plan of an incoming ISEP student at UEF. Correspondingly, this incoming ISEP student pays the ISEP fee to their home university and this is used to cover the accommodation and living costs of the UEF student going on ISEP exchange. The ISEP fee is not a tuition fee or administrative fee, but instead, it is used to cover some of the costs of the student exchange in advance. This may be more affordable than paying the costs of living at the host country.

In some bilateral host universities, free accommodation in a dormitory and/or a small monthly grant are offered to the UEF student by the host university.

Students must secure funding for their student exchange beforehand, because obtaining funding in the host country can be difficult, even impossible. Some countries want to confirm in advance the student’s ability to support themselves and require documentation on the sufficient funds with the student visa application. The student may use UEF Certificate, Kela’s financial aid certificate in English, and the bank statement of the student or a family member to demonstrate the sufficiency of the funds.

KELA FINANCIAL AID FOR STUDENTS

Financial aid from Kela can be granted for student exchange if the exchange studies are equivalent to Finnish studies eligible for financial aid or are included in a Finnish degree.

Outgoing exchange students may receive the normal study grant from Kela for the exchange period. The housing supplement is normally a fixed amount, but can be smaller for some countries with lower level of rent. An increased student loan can be obtained for exchange studies.

The progress of studies (a minimum of 5 credits/month of financial aid on average) is a general requirement for granting financial aid. After the student exchange, the student should make sure that the studies completed abroad are recorded for the time of the exchange period, i.e. the studies should be recorded for the academic year in which they were actually completed. The student exchange must fit within the maximum period of financial aid which cannot be extended due to exchange studies.

Financial aid for studies abroad is applied for with a Notification of changes form (OTm) stating the types of aid applied for. The notification can be filed through Kela’s online customer service. Additional information is available on Kela’s website.

MOBILITY GRANT

All the students who go on exchange via the exchange programmes or bilateral agreements of University of Eastern Finland receive a mobility grant. Before the grant can be paid, the student needs to submit to UEF International Mobility Services 1) a mobility grant form and 2) a copy of the acceptance letter/email sent by the host university. The grant can only be paid after the student has been accepted by the host university and no earlier than one month before the beginning of the exchange period. You should allow approximately 4 weeks for the processing of the mobility grant form. Payments can be delayed in the holiday seasons.

The precise sums of the mobility grants vary by year, destination, and exchange programme. The purpose of the mobility grant is to subsidise the extra expenses caused by the student exchange (e.g. travel costs). The mobility grant is not intended to cover the normal costs of living in the host country.

In addition to the UEF mobility grant, you should find out whether funding could be arranged from elsewhere. You may look for possibilities offered by various associations, foundations, funds, cities, municipalities, friendship societies etc. More information is available at the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) and the Aurora database of the Council of Finnish Foundations. The websites of the Finnish National Agency for Education and Fulbright Center also contain information on mobility grants.

ACCESSIBILITY GRANT

If the outgoing exchange student has a disability, illness, learning difficulty, or other special need, they may be able to get additional support in the form of an accessibility grant for the exchange period. An accessibility grant can be issued to the student if the disability/illness/learning difficulty/other special need causes extra expenses during the exchange – e.g. accessible housing or mobility, or special arrangements for studying, such as study materials. For more information on the accessibility grant, please contact UEF International Mobility Services.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH CHILDREN 

If the outgoing exchange student has underage children (dependants), they can get an additional support for the exchange in addition to the mobility grant. The additional support can be granted to the student regardless of whether the children accompany the student on the exchange or not. The grant sums vary with the exchange programme. For more information on the additional support for a student with children, please contact UEF International Mobility Services.