Do your degree project abroad

Last changed: 24 November 2016

As a student at SLU you can choose to do your degree project abroad. Many SLU students, for example, do their degree project in a developing country on an MFS scholarship.

I fält i Ethiopien

Degree project as part of an Erasmus or Nordplus exchange 

Bear in mind that you can do your degree project as part of an Erasmus or Nordplus exchange if you identify a subject and a supervisor yourself and comply with the other rules and regulations for a scholarship. The project must be connected to a university with whom SLU has an agreement, and this can be in conjunction with you studying courses there. 

Degree project abroad with a supervisor at SLU 

Even if you do your degree project and take a degree project course at SLU, you can choose to gather material and write it while abroad. You have your supervisor at SLU but you do part of your fieldwork abroad. Bear in mind that it might be good to contact your supervisor in plenty of time before the start of your degree project.

Degree project in a developing country - MFS 

Would you like to write your Bachelor’s, Master’s (60 credits) or Master’s (120 credits) dissertation in a developing country? You can go there on an MFS (Minor Field Studies) programme financed by Sida.

Read more about MFS in the menus below. 

What is MFS?

Every year SLU awards approximately 25 MFS scholarships worth SEK 27,000. MFS is intended for students at first and second-cycle level who for a minimum period of 8 weeks would like to gather material for their degree project in a developing country.

MFS can be carried out individually, in pairs or, in exceptional cases, in threes. As a participant on the MFS programme you will have a supervisor at SLU and a contact person in the host country.

Purpose and goal

The purpose of the MFS programme is to give students broader and more in-depth international competence in international development partnerships and to broaden Sweden’s resource base for its international involvement and work.

The overriding goal of MFS is to give students the opportunity to learn more about developing countries and development issues and to establish contacts to this end.

List of potential host countries

You can carry out your MFS study in a developing country included in the list of potential host countries  (in Swedish). Note that MFS will not be granted for a country where the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against travel.

Who can apply?

The idea behind your MFS study is to gather material for your degree project at first or second-cycle level. To meet the entry requirements for applying for MFS:

  • you must have earned 150 credits for your outward journey and must not have started third-cycle studies.
  • you must be a Swedish citizen or have permanent residence in Sweden. In the latter case your studies may not be carried out in your home country. Note that the right of EU citizens to permanent residence is not the same as having permanent residence. Students from other parts of the Nordic region must have been domiciled (registered as living) in Sweden for a minimum of one year in order to qualify for an MFS scholarship.
  • you must have a good command of English and Swedish. A good knowledge of the official language of your host country is an advantage.
  • you must not have been granted an MFS scholarship before.
  • you must be registered at a higher education institution/university at the time of application and for the duration of your MFS study.

How do I apply for MFS?

Who can apply?

The idea behind your MFS study is to gather material for your degree project at first or second-cycle level. To meet the entry requirements for applying for MFS:

  • you must have earned 150 credits for your outward journey and must not have started third-cycle studies.
  • you must be a Swedish citizen or have permanent residence in Sweden. In the latter case your studies may not be carried out in your home country. Note that the right of EU citizens to permanent residence is not the same as having permanent residence. Students from other parts of the Nordic region must have been domiciled (registered as living) in Sweden for a minimum of one year in order to qualify for an MFS scholarship.
  • you must have a good command of English and Swedish. A good knowledge of the official language of your host country is an advantage.
  • you must not have been granted an MFS scholarship before.
  • you must be registered at a higher education institution/university at the time of application and for the duration of your MFS study.

How do I apply for MFS?

MFS scholarships are awarded once a year. The final application date is 15 February.

It is possible to apply for an MFS scholarship together with one or, in exceptional cases, two other students. A scholarship may not be shared by several students; instead, every student accepted on the MFS programme is granted their own scholarship. The application must be completed in full in order to be processed! 

A complete MFS application must contain the following:

  1. Summary (Complete the form and then print out for signing)
  2. Personal History Form  (Complete the form and then print out for signing)
  3. Project description, maximum of 5 pages. The project description (with name of applicant) must be thorough and written in English. It must contain the background, purpose, approach and intended date for completion of the study, as well as a cost summary (budget). It must also contain preliminary costs for vaccinations, flights, any essential travel within the country/region, accommodation, any costs arising for equipment, interpreting services etc. You must also describe an alternative plan in case your study cannot be carried out as intended.

    The study must not consist of pure research; it ought to be applied research as far as possible and enable you to establish good contacts in both professional and social life in the country. In your capacity as a student and applicant for an MFS scholarship, you write the project description yourself or in collaboration with your supervisor in Sweden. 
  4. Written confirmation from your Swedish supervisor on the applicability of the ideas raised in your study to professional life etc.                       
  5. Welcome letter from the contact person in the field.

If you are one of two or three students wishing to carry out jointly an MFS study, you complete the form entitled Summary. A copy of the project description, written confirmation from your Swedish supervisor and a welcome letter from the contact person in the field will suffice for attaching to your application, but bear in mind that the names of all the students must be stated. All student applicants complete their own Personal History Form.

Here you will find the instructions in English to the supervisor in Sweden and the contact person in the host country .

Applications

Applications must have reached the Registrar or arrived by email by 15 February at the latest.

Postal address for the Registrar: Registrator, SLU, Box 7070, SE-750 07 UPPSALA. It is possible to mail the application in the mailbox outside Ulls hus, Almas allé 8, Ultuna, Uppsala.

If you choose to email your application, send it to mobility@slu.se.

Budget

The MFS scholarship is fixed at SEK 27,000 and is a travel scholarship which might need supplementing with funds such as student finance.

Selection and notification

SLU has a university-wide assessment group for MFS applications which determines which students are to be granted an MFS scholarship.

About a month after the time of application you will be notified as to whether you have been granted an MFS scholarship, and you may travel no sooner than two months after the time of application since you will be required to attend an MFS preparatory course prior to your departure.

Contact

If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact Monica Halling at mobility@slu.se or on +46 (0) 18 67 23 09.

What to do before and after your field study

Practical information on what you ought to do before and after your field study

You book your travel and arrange your vaccinations and visa yourself. If, for example, you suffer from a chronic illness or if a visit abroad may affect your health, you should also undergo a medical examination to ensure that there no obstacles to your going.

Safety and insurance

You are personally responsible for keeping yourself informed before your field trip about the travel advice issued by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding your destination and the country and/or region you will be visiting. Once you are in your host country, you are personally responsible for your safety in the form of personal travel insurance. The travel advice issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (in Swedish) must be complied with.

If you have been granted an MFS scholarship, you will be covered by Kammarkollegiet’s insurance Student UT  (in Swedish). If you stay on by yourself or travel to another country, you must take out personal insurance.

Compulsory preparatory course and the MFS portal

If you have been granted an MFS scholarship, you are to attend a compulsory preparatory course before your departure. This course covers two and a half days and looks at development work, issues relating to cultural encounters, health issues, safety information, certain field methods and information specific to the country.

Application dates and course dates are given on the MFS portal (in Swedish). You apply for the course on the MFS portal after you have been granted an MFS scholarship, and the MFS supervisor will approve/reject your application. The final application date for the course is usually three weeks before the start of the course. You pay the expenses yourself for travel to and from the Sida Partnership Forum training centre in Härnösand.

Supervisor in Sweden and contact person in the host country

The MFS study presupposes the cooperation of both the supervisor at SLU and the contact person in the host country. The Swedish supervisor has overall charge of the project, while the local contact person will assist you on the spot. The issue of your supervisor must have been resolved at the time of your application, and written confirmation and a welcome letter/email from the supervisor and contact person respectively must be attached.

The Swedish supervisor is responsible for ensuring that you are very familiar with the method you will be using and familiar with field methods in general, and for supporting and seeking to facilitate your contacts with the contact person and authorities in the host country. In order to arrange a supervisor at the university, contact your course/programme. The academic supervisor at SLU will have the same responsibility as he or she has for other degree projects at the equivalent level.

The contact person in the host country shall assist the student with practical arrangements, such as finding people to interview and providing advice on accommodation, transport and safety information. The contact person in the field need not be someone with an academic connection to the host country. The contact person shall, in accordance with the guidelines for MFS, be reimbursed by the student for minor expenses in connection with such assistance. These may be for local travel, compensation for material etc.

The contact person will receive no reimbursement other than this from the MFS programme. It is advisable that the student and contact person come to a clear agreement on costs and reimbursement that will allow these to be included in the student’s budget.

MFS essay

The essay shall be written in English or, if approved by your department, in the official language of the host country. It shall be assessed in accordance with the criteria for essays/degree projects which apply at the department in question.

The essay shall be approved by an examiner no later than six months, where possible, after your return to Sweden. The MFS supervisor will upload the essay on the MFS portal . There you can also read essays by past MFS students!

An account of your trip

When you have completed your MFS study, you are to write a short account of your experiences and upload this on the MFS portal . The MFS supervisor will receive notification that you have posted an account of your trip and will approve this before its publication. The accounts posted by past MFS students of their trips have been collected on the MFS portal .

After your return – dissemination of information

Once you have completed your MFS study, you should take every opportunity to inform others both at your university/higher education institution and in the specialist press/mass media about the Sida-financed MFS programme and about your MSFS study and its results. You can present your MFS study to students who are in the year below you, write an article in the students’ union paper, make a poster showing pictures and text etc.

After your return – submission of your travel documents

You submit/send to the MFS supervisor your receipts for the travel documents used, such as your boarding pass. The travel documents must be saved for up to 5 years after completion of your study in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).

After your return – save your receipts for MFS-related expenses

All your receipts for expenses related your MFS study, such as air tickets, vaccinations, local transport, accommodation, interpreting services etc, must be saved for up to 5 years after completion of your MFS study in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).


Contact
Page editor: utb-webb@slu.se