The European experience: Erasmus traineeships roadmap for UGent students

This page will answer all your questions on Erasmus traineeship mobility.

NOTE: this page is for Ghent University students who have the intention to go on an exchange abroad (and NOT for exchange students applying at Ghent University) 

Before mobility

Step 1: Autumn: gather information

  • Specific administrative questions regarding an Erasmus application (e.g. application procedure, scholarships) can be directed to the International Relations Office.
  • All academic questions (e.g. about the opportunities for mobility, the study programme) can be directed to the FCI chair/staff member at your own faculty or study programme.
  • In the autumn, each faculty organizes an information session on its Erasmus programme. Depending on the faculty, it is possible that during this session information will be given on Erasmus Traineeships. The FCI chair/staff member can provide you with more information on this topic.
No. First and foremost, you have to be a student at Ghent University, both in the year of your application and in the year of mobility. Moreover, you have to check with your faculty during which period of your study programme a traineeship abroad is allowed. For example, in some fields, it is customary to take up a traineeship in the third bachelor year.
An Erasmus Traineeship is part of your study programme and is equated with a certain number of ECTS credits. After you have successfully completed your traineeship, these credits will be included in your Transcript of Records. An Erasmus Traineeship is therefore considered for your degree.
Yes. You can take up an Erasmus Traineeship in each private or public organisation active on the job market, except in EU institutions. You can suggest a trainee post yourself. Your FCI chair/staff member can provide you with a list of trainee posts of students who previously went abroad.

The minimum duration of an Erasmus traineeship is 2 months and the maximum duration is 12 months.

The exact duration of your stay is relevant for calculating of your scholarship.

Yes. Scholarship students who are entitled to a reduction of the registration fee fully retain this right while staying abroad. All rights to child benefit are also retained.

Yes. Currently, all students are entitled to an Erasmus scholarship if they respect all administrative formalities.

The European Commission and the Flemish Government annually provide scholarships for Erasmus trainees. As part of the Erasmus +
reforms, the allowance is calculated based on the destination. European countries are subdivided into three groups.

  • Group 1: Denmark, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Liechtenstein, Norway: 435 €.
  • Group 2: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey: 385 €.
  • Group 3: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): 335 €.

Students who have a right to a reduction of the registration fee receive a monthly extra of 100 €.

During your traineeship abroad, you are still a student at Ghent University. You are not a student at a host institution, which means you do not enjoy the possible benefits of a host institution: student restaurants, student doctors … This is why a monthly Erasmus Traineeship allowance is slightly higher than a monthly allowance for Erasmus studies.
 
The International Relations Office is responsible for disbursement of the Erasmus scholarship. Students who leave in the first semester can expect the first instalment in the second half of November. Students who leave in the second semester get their first instalment at the end of the second month of their stay.

Erasmus students are fully exempt from paying tuition fees at the host institution. However, they continue paying the tuition fee at Ghent University.

The Erasmus traineeship scholarship is not comprehensive and does not cover all extra costs of staying abroad. The real cost of an Erasmus traineeship depends on the country and the city you stay in, the type of accommodation, the travel costs...

Tip: draft a savings plan when you are abroad and spend your scholarship economically.

Tip: in France, Erasmus students can obtain an additional scholarship thanks to the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales). More information on how to apply for this scholarship can be found here.

In theory, you can do a second Erasmus traineeship if your study programme/faculty allows this.  The Erasmus + programme enables you to go abroad with scholarship for up to 12 months per study cycle (bachelor, master, PhD).

Other possibilities are Erasmus Belgica (going to French-speaking Belgium) or destinations outside Europe under the terms of bilateral framework agreements (BIRAKS). In these cases, your faculty always has the final say.

Step 2: As of January: submit application

If you want to apply for a specific Erasmus trainee post, you need to submit an application form with your FCI chair/staff member. At this point, it is possible that your faculty will already ask you to submit a completed and signed Learning Agreement (see below). The application deadline is usually set in January or February, depending on the faculty.

  1. Exchange application
    The application form is the first important document. In Oasis you need to draft an exchange application for each possible destination you want to apply for. The application contains the following elements:
    • details about your exchange
    • motivation
    • language skills
    • contact person in case of emergencies
    • learning agreement (see below)
  2. Learning Agreement
    • The Learning Agreement for Traineeships describes which tasks you will take on during your traineeship. Which knowledge and skills will you obtain? What will be the outcome of your traineeship? Who will supervise you and how will you be evaluated?
    • Your preliminary Learning Agreement for Traineeships is to be approved by your faculty before you leave abroad. Always check the specific procedure at your faculty. Any amendment to the Learning Agreement for Traineeships must be re-approved by all parties and completed with all necessary signatures.
    • The Learning Agreement for Traineeships is signed by the trainee, the traineeship supervisor and your faculty’s FCI.
    • It is the personal responsibility of the student to submit one copy of this document to the International Relations Office and one to the FCI BEFORE mobility. 2

All changes to the Learning Agreement for Traineeships are to be reported to the FCI as soon as possible after departure.

Depending on your faculty, you may be required to submit the Learning Agreement for Traineeships at the time of initial application in January or February.

Step 3: Administrative processing of application

The applications approved by the faculty are sent to the Internationalization Department. t is the student's own responsibility to contact the trainee supervisor abroad for further processing of the administrative formalities.

Step 4: After approval by trainee post: start preparing your stay

In the first half of July, a number of documents will be available for consultation under ‘Documents’ on your exchange application page on the Oasis website. The following documents can be consulted:

  1. Erasmus + Student Charter
    Every Traineeship student is required to sign an Erasmus Traineeship contract before leaving abroad. The Erasmus charter stipulates all necessary regulations (conditions, rights and obligations) for Traineeship students. It also serves as evidence of your participation to the Erasmus Traineeship programme.
  2. Erasmus + scholarship contract
    This contract is signed by both the International Relations Office and the student.  
    The scholarship contract organizes the payment of the scholarship. Please print your scholarship contract on Oasis, complete it and sign where necessary. After signing the document, upload it (or a picture of it) on your exchange application page on Oasis. After your stay abroad, please submit the original signed copy to Kelly Van Malderen and Greet Naessens, International Relations Office, Het Pand, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent. 
  3. Language voucher
    As an exchange student, you can take 1 language course at the University Language Centre (see below) at a reduced registration fee. The Language Centre is automatically informed of your Erasmus participation, which means you can just register at the Centre. To qualify for reduction of the registration fee, you need an attendance rate of at least 80% for the course. You can only choose a course in (one of) the educational language(s) of your host country.
  4. Confirmation of Erasmus status
    This is an official letter confirming your selection as an Erasmus student, which will be useful in your host country. You can print this letter on Oasis.
  5. Mandatory language test on online linguistic support (OLS) platform
    Before the start of your stay abroad, you will receive an invitation by email from the Online Linguistic Support platform (under the authority of the European Commission) to take a language test.
    The test is mandatory and immediately provides you with the opportunity to assess your language level. It also enables you to take an online language course during your stay. This course is free.
    This test is mandatory for all Erasmus students who are leaving abroad. You are tested on the language in which your courses will be taught. If you are leaving to Spain, but the majority of your courses is taught in English, you will be tested on your English skills.
    Students who are exempt from taking the language test are:
    • students who are studying the language of their host country
    • students who can be considered native speakers of the language in which they will be studying (e.g. because of nationality or because they are in an English-spoken study programme)
    As an Erasmus student, you are required to take the test twice – before/at the start of your stay abroad and at the end – in order to assess your language progress. Except if you are exempt from taking the test, you will receive an invitation by email from the Online Linguistic Support platform to complete the language test.

    Completing the test takes about 45 minutes. The programme will guide you through the various steps.

    After completion of the test, you can immediately see which level (A1-A2-B1-B2-C1-C2) you have obtained for each part of the test.
    If your level is generally below B2, you are invited to take a voluntary online language course during your stay abroad.
    The results have no impact on your acceptance by the host institution.

    At the end of your stay, you will get a new invitation by email to take the final language test.

Finding lodgings is your own responsibility. Here are some tips:

  • The International Relations Office of your host institution can help you in your search.
  • Some universities have a housing service, which can assist you.
  • Contact other UGent students who are currently studying at your host institution. Perhaps you can take over their lodgings or they can give you some interesting tips.
Always be aware of possible fraud while looking for lodgings!

Do you want to rent out your own lodgings while you are abroad? Take the following steps:

  1. Complete the registration form
  2. Send the document to
After the information has been received, your address will be included in the database.
Interested parties will contact you by email of telephone.
All further arrangements will be settled between you and the prospective tenant.

Once your application is approved, and you are registered with the International Relations Office as an Erasmus student, you have the right to take a language course at the University Language Centre at a reduced registration fee. A small contribution will be charged for the course material. In order to qualify for this reduction, you have to be registered at Ghent University for the new academic year and, upon registration at the Language Centre, mention that you are an exchange student. You can contact the Language Centre for an overview of their programme.

To qualify for the reduction of registration fee, you need an attendance rate of at least 80% for the course. You can only choose a course in (one of) the language(s) of your host country.

You can also take a free language course on the European Commission's Online Linguistic Support platform (see above)

In principle, you can withdraw your application for a traineeship abroad if you have a serious reason. Write a motivated letter to the International Relations Office and to your FCI chair/staff member announcing your withdrawal and the reason why.
As for health insurance, you should inquire – before you leave – with your health insurance fund about the formalities that need to be respected in order for your medical expenses abroad to be refunded and about how to acquire the ‘European Health Insurance Card’ – recognizable by its blue colour. Beware! The European Health Insurance Card is not valid in Turkey.
The terms under which a UGent Erasmus student is insured against accidents are the same as those for a student who attends classes at Ghent university. On Oasis ‘Certificates’, you can print a certificate as proof of insurance for the host institution. Cases in which you are insured by Ghent University:
  • Civil liability: if you harm a third party in the context of a college activity, so NOT on the way to and from college activities.
  • Personal physical injury: for medical expenses if you are the victim of a personal physical accident in the context of a college activity or on the way to and from college activities.
  • Travel assistance: for example for medical expenses, and repatriation, if students take trips abroad as part of a college activity.
Further information on insurance can be found on the website of the Legal Department or by contacting your private insurance.
In case of an accident during a college activity at the host institution, please immediately contact the UGent Legal Department and/or the International Relations Office.
Also, register by mail at your embassy or consulate in the country of your destination, mentioning your name, the duration of your stay and your contact information.
In case of security problems, illness, accident or loss of identity papers, you need to contact your local embassy/consulate as soon as possible. For further information, consult the website of your Foreign Office.
Note that the emergency number 112 is valid in all EU countries.
Please check the website of your embassy/consulate or your Foreign Office.
Always take a copy of important documents
Before you leave, check with your bank whether your bank card works in the country of destination. In case of loss or theft of Belgian your bank card, immediately call Card Stop: 0032 70 344 344.  You can reach this number 24/7.
Within the European Union, customs policy is very lenient. If you go to Turkey, this is much more strict.
Tip: keep the receipts of goods and products you want to export when leaving the country.

During mobility

Step 5: What is expected of me during my traineeship abroad?

During your traineeship abroad, you have to keep in touch with your faculty. The Internationalization Department will occasionally contact you by email to process your file. It is important to remember that we will only use your UGent email address.

Once you have arrived in the host country and the Welcome Week or classes have started, we expect you to register as soon as possible with your traineeship supervisor. Ask him/her to complete and sign the section ‘arrival’ on your ‘confirmation of stay’ document. Upload this document on Oasis by selecting the tab 'Documents' on your exchange application page.

Upon arrival at your host country, you may discover that your set of tasks needs to be adjusted. In that case, you need to report these changes to your faculty as soon as possible.  To this end, you need to modify your set of tasks on Oasis. Your modified tasks will then be submitted for approval to the faculty. After approval, you can access the official signed form by selecting the tab ‘Documents’ on your Oasis exchange application form.

Your traineeship abroad is equated with similar study time at your home university. Your traineeship will represent a number of ECTS credits. These credits will be mentioned on your Transcript of Records and considered for your degree. The credits will be awarded to you based on your traineeship supervisor’s evaluation (see below). This evaluation form is called the Transcript of Work for Traineeship.

Should you experience problems of any kind during your stay abroad, first person to address is your traineeship supervisor. In case of serious problems, do not hesitate to also contact your FCI staff member, as well as the International Relations Office.

In case of security problems or loss of identity papers, you need to contact your local embassy/consulate as soon as possible. For more information, consult the website of the your Foreign Office.

Get signature for document 'confirmation of study period/departure'

At the end of your traineeship, you need to sign out at your traineeship supervisor. Ask him/her to complete the second section of the document ‘Confirmation of stay/departure’. You can print this document by selecting the tab ‘Documents’ on your Oasis exchange application page. Subsequently, upload the signed document.

After mobility

Step 6: Which formalities are to be respected after your return?

As a final administrative duty, the Internationalization Department requires you to complete an online student survey. Information about this survey will be automatically sent to you after the reported end date.

As soon as all formalities are met, the last monthly instalment of the scholarship will be paid.

Your traineeship supervisor will send the evaluation of your traineeship (= Transcript of Work for Traineeship) to the FCI of your faculty. Your results will be converted to ECTS credits and added to your Transcript of Records.

After your return, you need to submit the original copy of your contract to Kelly Van Malderen and Greet Naessens, International Relations Office

Het Pand, Onderbergen 1
9000 Gent.