Exchange studies

Last changed: 19 December 2018
Foto: Matilda Lindström

Studying abroad is a good way for you to broaden your knowledge of your subject, develop your language skills and make new contacts in a totally different culture. SLU is in partnership with over 100 universities around the world, so there are good opportunities for you to find an exciting country or a higher education institution which is tailored specifically to you and your programme.

Most students on three-year programmes choose to go on an exchange during their final year. Students on longer programmes usually find it best to do their exchange studies during year four or five.

You can apply for student finance from CSN for your exchange studies. In addition, if you choose to study at a university in Europe with which SLU has an agreement, you are eligible for a scholarship.

In the menus below we have gathered information which could be useful for you to have before you decide to study abroad.

How does it work?

If you want to go on an exchange study programme, it is important that you apply in good time and ensure that your application is well written. You must find out for yourself whether there are courses at the foreign university that you can study and then transfer the credits to your degree at SLU.

It is therefore important that you discuss your study plan with your programme director of studies or the Erasmus Coordinators available.

Erasmus+ scholarship

If you wish to study at another European university, you can do so as an Erasmus student. Erasmus is an exchange programme financed by the European Commission. If you are granted an Erasmus placement you will receive the scholarship. There will a bit of paperwork for you keep track of.

The scholarship is a grant to cover additional costs in during your exchange. The sum is EUR 375/month for studies in Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Norway, Great Britain and Austria. For all other European countries it is EUR 315/month. The scholarship is paid before the exchange takes place.

Nordplus scholarship

Studying abroad does not necessarily mean you have to travel far away. There are great opportunities to travel as an exchange student within the Nordic region and the Baltic States as part of what is known as Nordplus . You can choose to be away for a period lasting from one week to twelve months, and you can study in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia. 

If you are allocated an exchange placement on the Nordplus programme, a scholarship is always included. This means you need not apply separately for a scholarship. In order to qualify for a Nordplus scholarship, you must be studying full-time and living in your country of study.

  • For periods of study lasting longer than one month, the scholarship is EUR 200 per month.
  • You will also receive a travel scholarship of EUR 250 if you travel to Norway, Estonia, Denmark, Latvia, Finland or Lithuania, and EUR 350 if you travel to Iceland.
  • If you are away for a shorter time, the scholarship is EUR 330 per week for all countries participating in Nordplus apart from Iceland, where the scholarship is EUR 430.

Please contact a study adviser at, your programme director of studies or the Erasmus Coordinator for your studies to discuss your options.

Residence permit and visa

If you are going to study in an EU country for less than three months, you do not need a residence permit or a visa. You do, however, need a valid passport. If you are going to study for more than three months, you are entitled to a residence permit. You apply for a residence permit after your arrival in your country of study. You must by that time be registered at your host university and have insurance and sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.

Countries outside Europe require a residence permit/student visa. Contact the embassy or consulate representing the country you will be going to. You cannot, however, apply for a residence permit before you have been notified of your acceptance at the university where you are to study.

Credit transfer of studies abroad

When you have completed your studies abroad, you are to apply for a credit transfer so that your studies abroad will count towards your degree.  You will find further information on the Student´s web page on credit transfers.

SLU holds regular information meetings where you will find out everything you need to know before you apply.

Where can I go?

SLU has agreements with universities located throughout Europe. To see which agreements apply in your particular subject, go on MoveOn, the SLU database for exchange studies   and search for the faculty to which you belong.

Do look at the mutual agreements shown under “All faculties” so as not to overlook important information. The database also contains links to the websites of the universities. There you will find information on the courses offered by those universities. Remember that there are a lot of good universities where you can study courses given in English, including those in countries which are non-English-speaking.

When and how do I apply?

Final application date

If you want to do exchange studies in the academic year 2018/2020 the application period is November 1st-December 1st  2018.

In order for your exchange to be as successful as possible, a fair amount of preparation is required. This is where you will find information on entry requirements, which language skills are needed, and how the application process works.

Entry requirements

In order to qualify to go on exchange studies at SLU, you must:

  • have carried out at least one year of full-time study at SLU before going on exchange studies.
  • have completed at least 75% of the courses on which you have registered. If you have had a break from studying, your absence should be registered in Ladok.
  • ensure that your exchange studies will count towards your degree at SLU. You must have had your choice of courses abroad approved in advance by your programme director of studies or similar.
  • have sufficiently good language skills so you can carry out your university studies in the relevant language. Read more about this further below under language skills.
  • do two language tests, one before the exchange and the other at the end of it. Applies only to an Erasmus exchange.

Language skills

In SLU:s experience, Swedish students usually cope well studying in English and experience no major difficulties. The universities in Europe usually accept SLU:s corroboration that a student’s level of competence is the minimum equivalent of English B. Certain universities do not therefore require a language test, while others do.

In order to apply for exchange studies where the language of instruction is not English, you must attach certification to your application which show your language skills in the relevant language. If you are interested in studying in Spain, France, Italy or Chile, you must expect instruction to be given in the national language of the country. Consider whether you need to take an extra language course either before you go or during your stay at the foreign university. One good way of practising the language before you go is to socialise with exchange students studying at SLU.


Applications are welcome as of one month before the final application date. You apply by completing a form which is available here during the application period.

You can choose from three different exchange options. It is important that all of these options offer courses in your area and at the right level.

Documents to upload with your application

  • Photo (voluntary)
  • Certification showing your language skills if you are going to study a language other than English.
  • You should also give your reasons for wanting to study abroad by answering a number of questions on this. Give a brief account in Swedish or English or the language you are comfortable with.

The form works best in the web browser Mozilla Firefox. Do use your student email address when completing the form. You cannot add other supplements to your application once you have submitted it!

What happens once you have submitted your application?

The processing of your application will begin straight after the final application date. We will get in touch if supplements are required.


We do not assess your application on the basis of which grades you have received on your courses or whether you have been an active member of the students’ union. We base our assessment entirely on the content of your application. It is also crucial that you have applied for courses where the credits earned will count towards your degree at SLU. If there are two students competing for one exchange place, the successful applicant will be selected by drawing lots.


Nominations for SLU:s exchange placements are made by the international students officers at the International Students Office at SLU.  However, it is always the host university which decides whether or not to accept you. That said, it is most unusual that a nominated student is not accepted.

When the decision has been made as to which students will be nominated for an exchange, all the students are informed by email. This also applies to those who have not been given an exchange placement.

If you accept your nomination, you will be invited to a meeting where you will be given information on how to proceed with your application for the foreign university.

Studying abroad without assistance

Does SLU not have any partner universities that interest you? Do you feel you want to study abroad anyway? Bear in mind that you must allow yourself plenty of time to prepare because you yourself will need to obtain all the information, maintain contact with the university and authorities and see to your choice of course, your application and everything else. 

  • Find out how much the tuition fees are, if applicable. Certain universities in the EU charge no fees if you are an EU citizen.
  • You yourself must organise your visa, accommodation, insurance and all other practical matters.
  • Embassies and consulates, or institutes connected to them, can often assist with information. 
  • If you require student finance, you need to check that the university is recognised or comes under state supervision. You are responsible for finding out what the actual study programme is worth; i.e. if it qualifies for student finance and if the credits earned can count towards your studies on your return home. 
  • Make sure that you meet the entry requirements and have sufficiently good language skills. Usually your upper secondary school qualifications will require translation. A template for translation into English is available on the Swedish National Agency for Education’s website. 
  • If you need an approved translation of your qualifications, you can apply to Kammarkollegiet for an authorised translator. NEVER submit the originals of your qualifications.
  • If you have any certificates showing that you qualify for higher education courses, you can obtain these from the Swedish Council for Higher Education’s website (UHR).
  • Contact the university directly and ask for information and application documents. Some countries operate a central admission system, while others require you to apply directly to the university - this can also vary within the same country. 
  • Fill in your application with care. An application which is not correctly filled in or not received in time may be discarded straight away!
  • There are a number of private-sector institutions which recruit students for universities abroad. They are very familiar with these universities, and usually assist with applications and everything of relevance that is free of charge, since they are funded by these same universities for whom they are recruiting. This means that you may have to pay the tuition fee at “their” university.
  • You should apply for approved leave from your studies for the period you are studying abroad.
  • Maybe you can find out about some scholarships worth applying for? There are compiled lists available online and companies who will perform searches for a fee.

Master’s degrees and PhDs abroad

There is also the opportunity for you to study your entire Master’s programme abroad. It is, for example, possible for students to apply for a scholarship as part of an ongoing Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree or an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate.

In September 2016, 106 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees, for which all students at SLU can apply, will be offered. You will find more information here on which Master’s programmes are offered .

There are also 17 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates. Students can apply for the 2016/2017 academic year.
You will find more information here on which doctoral programmes are offered .


Summer courses and other short courses abroad

Summer course coming under the NOVA/BOVA network

Do you want to experience something new during your summer break and at the same time earn credits? Summer courses suit those who may not want to study abroad for a whole semester or may be wondering whether studying abroad appeals to them. SLU is a member of various networks which arrange summer courses.

NOVA and BOVA are two networks made up of Nordic and Baltic universities which, just like SLU, offer studies in life science. These networks organise short courses lasting between five days and four weeks.

If you go on a NOVA or BOVA course, you can apply for a Nordplus scholarship . You apply to SLU for the scholarship once you have been accepted on the course.

ELLS summer courses

ELLS is a network made up of seven European Life Science universities. There are ten summer courses to choose from. Apply via ELLS .

If you go on an ELLS summer course you can apply for a travel grant of EUR 500 irrespective of the country where the course is offered (with the exception of courses offered in Sweden).

SLU advertises 10 travel scholarships per academic year, and these are settled by drawing lots if there are more than 10 applicants. The decision to award a travel grant is only taken after you have been accepted to the course.

The final application date for travel grant is May 31. You apply for a travel scholarship separately.

Form for application for travel grant.

BOVA Intensive MSc Course
Application of Circular Economy Principles in Landfills

16th-20th April 2018
Venue: Paikre Sanitary Landfill in Pärnu, Estonia

3 ECTS (pass/no pass), Max 20 students

Registration deadline


Registration form

Course description

Circular Economy is becoming a backbone for Waste Management in EU. It is to extract the maximum benefits from materials and to generate the minimum load to the environment. The application of waste management hierarchy will help to prevent emissions of greenhouse gases, reduce pollutants, save energy and resources, create jobs and stimulate the development of green technologies. Even if the role of sanitary landfills will be minimised in the future, they will still remain as important part of waste management infrastructure.

Aim of this course is to demonstrate, that it is possible to apply the principles of Circular Economy also within one individual landfill, thus minimising its environmental footprint, reducing demand for virgin construction materials, and creating local jobs in emerging waste-to-product business. The rationale of the course is to provide students with understanding about how the sanitary landfills should implement alternative treatment methods within legal and safety regulations, and as ultimate objective, attempt to use 100 % of renewal energy and recycled materials in all activities within landfill itself.

BOVA Intensive MSc Course will consist of two parts:

1. Distance learning 2nd – 15th April, 2018. Every student will prepare a review on one given waste type. Student will get his/her waste type after confirmation about participation;
2. Meeting in person 16th – 20th April, 2018, will entirely take place at a sanitary landfill site, Pärnu, Estonia ( During meeting in person the students will:

  • Witness how a modern Sanitary Landfill and waste sorting facility functions;
  • Gain a work experience at a waste sorting facility;
  • Study waste processing technologies;
  • Learn waste composition and study basic properties of waste fractions by experience;
  • Estimates quality of individual waste fractions;
  • Learn about waste-to-product concepts and aspects of Circular Economy;
  • Learn basic remediation methods of contaminated soils;

Final assignment will be publicly presented in five groups. Each group will propose a particular chapter for a ‘Master Plan of a sustainable Sanitary Landfill 2030’. Combining academic teaching with daily activities in a large functional landfill & waste recycling facility is rare and innovative.


There is no participation fee. All participants need to cover their transport to/from Estonia and accommodation in Pärnu (EMÜ will book rooms for all participants). All lunches and the icebreaking party are paid by EMÜ. NOVA/BOVA students should contact their local NOVA/BOVA coordinators for funding options for travel and accommodation (Nordplus Express Mobility Grant). EMÜ is not offering any scholarships, non BOVA-NOVA students are advise to seek for alternative funding.

Lecture topics

  • EU legislation and Circular Economy.
  • Future of landfills in conditions of Circular Economy.
  • Sorting of materials: what machines can do?
  • End-of-waste approach.
  • Certification of waste products.
  • Composting of biowaste.
  • Contaminated soils and remediation of soil.
  • Landfill as material bank.
  • Landfill Mining & landfill remediation.
  • Learning and testing measurement equipment.


prof Mait Kriipsalu,

Helsinki Summer School

7 August - 23 August 2018
  • Earn credits while learning from world-class scientists
  • Network with students and experts from around the world
  • Direct track to a Master's Programme at the University of Helsinki

All applications submitted before 28 February 2018 benefit from the lower early-bird course fee.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development
March 19th – 23rd 2018, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia

Registration deadline

February 26th, 2018

Course description

Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the key drivers of rural development. Therefore, the course aims to give the students a better understanding about entrepreneurship and innovation in the Baltic and Nordic countries. After the course, the students:

  • Are able to analyse innovation related activities and develop business models to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of rural enterprises.
  • Are aware about Baltic and Nordic specific institutional, socio-economic and development contexts related to the problems of rural development;
  • Are aware about theoretical perspectives and practical tools necessary for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship process.
  • Rural entrepreneurship and its development contexts in the Baltic and Nordic countries.
  • Student Entrepreneurship and its challenges
  • Innovation and innovation process
  • Business model canvas and its use in idea development
  • Pitching a business idea: how to attract investors
  • Start-up ecosystem and financing of innovation.
  • Practical issues and challenges in setting up a rural business

The course consists of two parts:
(1) Distance learning from March 5th to 18th 2018; students have to use e-learning environment Moodle; read
the literature on the topic, and prepare individual assignment.
(2) Meeting in person from March 19th- 23rd 2018: lectures, presentation of individual assignments; group work
on business idea; study visits to enterprises.

Student performance will be evaluated on the basis of individual pre-course assignment; and group assignments
during the course week. Grading will be pass/fail.


The course is primarily targeted to maximum 30 Baltic and Nordic master students. General
background in the social sciences or agricultural sciences, as well as good English skills are required.

More information


Anne Põder, Estonian University of Life Sciences,


Registration form

June 14 - July 18, 2018 in Lyon, FRANCE

Academic Program, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems (in English)

Coursework consists of lectures, case studies, field work, excursions (fish pond landscape, mixed crop livestock systems in mountains areas and conservation biological control in vegetal production), use of geographical information system, economics, agronomy and ecology, traditional food systems, local food supply chains, personal research study.

Linguistic & Cultural Program, French language & culture

Visits and events:

  • Lyon, UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Vallée du Rhône Vineyards
  • Cheese makers in the Alps
  • Regional companies & industries
  • Chocolate factory
  • Tasting of traditional French foods
  • Dinner in a lyonnaise family



ACADEMIC Program (In English)
Sustainable Agriculture & Food Heritage

Coursework consists of lectures, case studies, field work, excursions.
Subjects: European agriculture, economics, agronomy and ecology, traditional food systems, food typicity and sensory analysis.

Linguistic & Cultural Program
French language & culture

Example of visits:

  • Lyon, UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Annecy
  • Cheese makers in the Alps
  • Regional companies & industries
  • Chocolate factory
  • Cooking workshop
  • Excursion to Paris
  • Tasting of traditional French foods


Emilien PAX,



Nordplus summer course at the University of Copenhagen

Time: 24-29 June 2018

Place: Copenhagen, Denmark

Main organizer: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Copenhagen Plant Science Centre (CPSC) at the Faculty of Science’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Maximum number of participants: 30

Target group: Master students


In recent years new developments in plant breeding technologies (NPBT) and selection methods have emerged that bring new enthusiasm into crop development to meet the 2050 challenges in food production under different climate conditions. This summer course introduces the most important new breeding technologies and their legal implications. A wide range of regional experts from both science and industry will teach the course and share up to date knowledge and insights. The course will cover:

  • The principles and application of eight new breeding technologies
  • Association genetics (GWAS) and genomic selection (GS) 
  • Breeding strategies in different crops
  • Breeders right, IPR and GMO regulation


In order to apply, please fill in the registration form and send it to along with a copy of your passport/photo ID and an official transcript in English from your home university. If you have any questions, please contact

Application deadline

November 1. 2017

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