The European experience: Erasmus roadmap for UGent students

This page will answer all your questions on Erasmus 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. During this session, you will be informed about the procedures and scholarships available for each destination. 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 stay abroad is allowed. For example, in some fields, it is customary to go on Erasmus in the third bachelor year.

You cannot choose your own destination. Your department will draft a list of possible destinations. All destinations are regulated by bilateral agreements between the study programme at Ghent University and its counterpart abroad. You cannot register for another study programme.

These ‘vacancies’ were established in mutual agreement between the concerned professors. In each faculty, (at least) 1 professor plays a key role in the activities on internationalization. He/she is the chair of the Faculty Committee Internationalization (FCI chair). He/she is well-informed about the agreements his/her faculty has reached for the coming year. In most faculties, there is also an administrative Erasmus contact person.

Your FCI chair/staff member can provide you with a list of possible destinations.

The minimum duration of your stay is 3 months and the maximum duration is 12 months.

The exact duration of your stay is relevant for calculating 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 students. 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: 335 €.
  • Group 2: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey: 285 €.
  • Group 3: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): 235 €.

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

The International Relations Office is responsible for paying the Erasmus scholarship. Students who leave in the first semester can expect the first instalment in the first half of November, provided that all formalities are met. Students who leave in the second semester get their first instalment at the end of the second month of their stay, provided that all formalities are met.

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 scholarship is not comprehensive and does not cover all extra costs of staying abroad. The real cost of going on Erasmus depends on the country and the city you study in, the type of accommodation, the travel costs. The number of times you travel will also have an impact on these additional costs.

Tip: draft a savings plan when you are abroad and spend your scholarship economically. You can also take up a student job abroad. The job service or your host institution’s International Relations Office can help you find a job.

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.

Interesting fact: In Germany, a ‘semester fee’ is charged each semester, which results in an additional cost. This can amount to 200 euro per semester. This fee often comprises a season ticket for public transportation.

In theory, you can go on Erasmus twice 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).

Moreover, you can register for a traineeship abroad (Erasmus Traineeship). Other possibilities are Erasmus Belgica (going to French-speaking Belgium) or destinations outside Europe under the terms of bilateral agreements. 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 destination, you need to submit an exchange application on the Oasis website. 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
    In Oasis you need to dradft 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)
    The programme will guide you through the different steps of the application procedure. Submit the complete application form for approval to your faculty.

    The FCI chair/staff member selects and allocates the destinations. The files of the students who are selected by the faculty are sent to the International Relations Office, which forwards these data to the host institution. This procedure is called the Erasmus student nomination.

    Most host universities also expect you to directly apply to the host institution, under the terms of their own procedure. You have to check yourself whether or not this is the case.
  2. Learning Agreement
    • The Learning Agreement is a document in which you specify which courses you will take at the host institution (study programme). On Oasis, you can indicate which programme you will follow abroad. After obtaining approval from the FCI staff member/academic exchange coordinator, you can print the signed Learning Agreement by selecting the tab ‘Documents’ on your exchange application form.
    • If you leave for one semester, you need to choose courses for a total of 30 ECTS credits. If you leave for an entire academic year, you need to choose courses for 60 ECTS credits.
    • Your preliminary Erasmus study programme 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 must be reapproved by all parties and completed with all necessary signatures.
    All changes to the Learning Agreement are to be implemented in the curriculum on Oasis as soon as possible after departure. After obtaining approval from the FCI staff member/academic exchange coordinator, you can print a signed copy of the official document ‘changes to the Learning Agreement’.

    Depending on your faculty, you are either required to submit a Learning Agreement for each possible destination at the time of initial application, or you only need to draft a Learning Agreement for the destination for which you were selected.

Important! Before departure, your Learning Agreement should be fully signed by all three parties and uploaded in Oasis. The signing parties are : the student, the host and the sending institution.

Step 3: Administrative processing of application

The applications approved by the faculty are sent to the International Relations Office. In the first half of April, the International Relations Office nominates each student to the host institution he/she is assigned to. You will receive a confirmation email.

Only after completion of the application procedure ánd approval of the host institution are you finally admitted to the programme.

Most host universities will, amongst other formalities, require you to also complete the application form of the host department. Please check the website of your host institution for deadlines!

Note that at some universities the academic year starts earlier than at Ghent University. This means that the deadline for handing in the application form will also be set earlier.

For further information, you can consult the International Relations Office.

Step 4: After approval by the host institution: 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 Erasmus student is required to sign an Erasmus contract before leaving abroad. The Erasmus charter stipulates all necessary regulations (conditions, rights and obligations) for Erasmus students. It also serves as evidence of your participation to the Erasmus programme, required for registration at the foreign partner university.
  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.

It is advisable to take a language course at your host institution. Knowledge of the local language will facilitate communication. Check the programme and fees of your host institution’s language centre. You have to pay for this course yourself. Be sure to consult the guidelines at your faculty: some faculties provide a partial refund of the cost.
Should you decide to take a language course at your host institution, it is possible that you want to do this before the actual start of your Erasmus mobility. For example, if you leave two weeks early to attend this course and it is not part of your Learning Agreement, these two weeks will not be taken into consideration for your scholarship.
In principle, you can withdraw your application for studying 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 studies abroad?

During your studies abroad, you have to keep in touch with your faculty. The International Relations Office 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 at the International Relations Office of your host institution/faculty. Ask them to complete and sign the section ‘arrival’ on your ‘confirmation of stay’ document. You will find this document by selecting the tab ‘Documents’ on your OASIS exchange application page. This is also where you need to upload the signed document.

Upon arrival at your host institution, you may discover that some courses are no longer taught. In that case, you need to report these changes to your faculty as soon as possible.  To this end, you need to modify your exchange curriculum on Oasis. Your modified curriculum 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 page.

As the university applies a semester system, exams are held each semester. This implies that, for example, during the first semester you have courses and exams at Ghent University (30 ECTS credits) and mid-February you start at the host institution (remaining 30 ECTS credits). Unfortunately, in reality this is often more complicated, because the second semester at the host institution starts earlier or later. If the semester starts later, there is no problem; if it starts earlier, you could arrange with your UGent examiners to take your exams a few weeks earlier (if feasible). In these cases, the UGent Education and Examination Code is to be respected. If this is not feasible, you need to report to your host institution that you can only start mid-February. Most universities do not have problems with this.

Your study time abroad (including exams or other evaluations) is equated with study time at your home university (even if the content of the courses is slightly different). Most European countries apply a different system for examination and marking.

Erasmus students are evaluated and marked based on the system applied by the host institution, which often deviates from the UGent system. To that end, a conversion key was developed within the ECTS credit system to allow the Examination Board to fit in the scores obtained abroad with the final scores obtained at Ghent University.

In any case, before you return to Ghent University, contact your host supervisor and ask him to submit your transcript of records in time. Some universities cannot issue the transcript before your departure. Always find out who the concerned contact person at your host institution is and when you will receive your transcript of records. Also check whether you will receive the transcript electronically or in the form of a letter.

Should you experience problems of any kind during your stay at your host institution, first address your host institution’s contact person. 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 study or traineeship abroad, you need to sign out at your host institution’s International Relations Office. Ask them 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 on Oasis.

By ‘end date of study period’ we mean the day after your last exam.

After mobility

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

As a final administrative duty, the International Relations Office 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.

It is the student’s own responsibility to upload his/her final scores as soon as possible, in the form of a transcript of records, under the tab “Documents” on his/her Oasis exchange application page. Some universities cannot issue this transcript before the student’s departure. In any case, find out who the concerned contact person is at your host institution and when you will receive your transcript of records. Also check whether you will receive the transcript electronically or in the form of a letter.

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.