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Education Exchange

Q&A Coronavirus - Exchange measures

Incoming exchange students

Will the UG accept international students for exchange?

The intention is to facilitate incoming exchange as much as possible, but unfortunately the COVID pandemic is unpredictable and beyond our control. The UG exchange is organized at the faculty level. For organisational reasons caused by COVID restrictions, faculties might decide to reduce their intake of exchange students. You will be contacted directly by the faculty exchange officers about your application.

Where can I find information about COVID situation in Groningen

Information for all incoming international students, coming for a degree course or on exchange can be found on the Coronavirus pandemic information for prospective students at our website.

Where can I find information about housing in Groningen

The general information can be found on the Accommodation page at our website. Once you have been accepted as an exchange student the faculty exchange officer will provide you with further information on this

Outbound exchange students

Does UG allow for exchange, internship or a research project in semester 1?

The UG has decided that outbound student mobility in the first semester of the academic year 2021-22 can in principle be implemented. However, given the current uncertain global situation there are conditions you need to meet before a final decision about your study abroad activity can be made. The guidelines by the National Health Agency (“RIVM”) and the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be leading in this decision.

Please stay in close contact with your exchange office about your specific case before you book tickets or make reservations for your stay abroad.

What is the timeline for the decision whether I can go or not?

The first reference date is 1 July 2021. There will be a “go” decision if:

  • The travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for your destination country is code yellow and green, and
  • Your host institution has not cancelled incoming physical student mobility for this semester

When these two conditions are met, you can continue with preparations for your study abroad activity.

Note: if your study abroad activity starts before 1 September 2021 your Faculty may choose, based on implementability, for the option that the first reference date will be two months before the start of your study abroad activity *eg, if your start date is 15 August 2021 your first reference date will be 15 June 2021.

The second reference date: your day of departure

On the day of your departure, you need to check the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs again. If on your departure date the travel advice for your destination country is orange or red, the following applies:

  • Travel advice orange: if your destination is an EEA country, or an Erasmus+ affiliated programme country (Turkey, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia and Iceland) or the UK and Switzerland, you will be able to continue with your study abroad activity whereby you travel at your own risk for all costs incurred by your decision to travel abroad. You will still receive a grant through the University of Groningen (Erasmus+ or Marco Polo) if you were deemed eligible for a grant for this specific mobility. You will need to sign an indemnity agreement.
  • Travel advice orange: if your destination is any other country than mentioned above: your study abroad activity is not facilitated by the University and no grant is provided.
  • Travel advice red: your study abroad activity is not possible regardless of destination and no grant is provided.
Why does UG work with these reference dates?

Beyond the educational aspects, a study abroad period mostly means a huge personal financial investment. By informing students well in advance we hope to prevent that students run into problems.

More in general: The restart of education in September is a challenging exercise for everyone involved. The wellbeing of students and staff and the quality of education and facilities we provide is at stake. Therefore, it is necessary to make accurate estimations of the number of students that take part in education on site from September 2021 onwards. Last minute changes can never be avoided, but the more we can anticipate the ‘back to normal’ situation the better. We count on you in this respect.

What if I have to cancel my trip at the last minute because the code changed from green/yellow to orange or red?

This is very unfortunate. Hopefully you can still find an alternative study path at UG and/or postpone your exchange to the next semester. Please discuss this with your study advisor or international office.

Travel costs you have already made can be reimbursed to a maximum of €300 for trips in Europe and €900 for destinations outside Europe provided you cannot claim it at your travel insurance or change it into a voucher.

For all other costs involved in study abroad, the risk is on you

What if I have to cancel my trip at the last minute because the hosting institution is forced to cancel my exchange, research project or internship because of COVID-19?

This is very unfortunate. Hopefully you can still find an alternative study path at UG and/or postpone your exchange to the next semester. Please discuss this with your study advisor or international office.

Travel costs you have already made can be reimbursed to a maximum of €300 for trips in Europe and max €900 for destinations outside Europe, provided you cannot claim it at your travel insurance or change it into a voucher.

For all other costs involved in study abroad, the risk is on you. Requests for travel refund will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please note, the compensation for travel costs is only eligible for students that received a 'go' from the faculty on the reference date.

Is the travel insurance of UG (AIG) valid when I travel to a country with code orange or red?

No, the insurance is not valid when travelling to countries with a travel advice orange: you will have to take care of your own travel and medical insurance.

Is there any option for the University to arrange exchange students to get vaccinated before going abroad?

Unfortunately, we are all depending on the speed of the vaccination process. The University of Groningen is unable to get much involved in this process, as this is managed by the Dutch government. More information about the vaccination order can be found on the Dutch vaccination programme against Covid-19 page at the website of the Government of the Netherlands.

When am I eligible for an Erasmus+ and Marco Polo Grants?

Erasmus+ and Marco Polo Grants are for physical mobility only. Students that have a positive decision by their faculty about their study abroad period are in general eligible for Erasmus+ or Marco Polo Grant and can sign the grant agreement. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic will last, additional regulation can be applicable. This means that if you have been accepted for an exchange or for an internship by a partner institution, it does not automatically imply that you are eligible for Erasmus+ or Marco Polo Grants. The Faculty decision with regard to outbound exchange and the advice of RIVM or Ministry of Foreign Affairs can overrule this.

Are there special conditions for Erasmus+ and Marco Polo Grants?

As a rule, a grant provider (in this case the EU or UG) decides on the regulations and conditions with regard to a grant.

Until the COVID-19 outbreak is under control special conditions may apply for Erasmus+ and Marco Polo Grants and are set by the Board of the University.

Please note that the fact that you have been accepted for exchange or for an internship by a partner institution, does not automatically imply that you are eligible for Erasmus+ or Marco Polo Grants. The Faculty decision with regard to outbound exchange and the advice of RIVM or Ministry of Foreign Affairs can overrule this.

Marco Polo Grants are UG grants. The grant amount will be adapted to the actual period spent abroad in case of blended learning or an unforeseen early return. In case of a new lock down no extra costs of any kind will be reimbursed by the UG. Reimbursement of costs by the insurance company AIG are at the distinction of the insurance company.

Cancellation physical exchange, second semester of 2020/2021

All physical exchange programmes in the second semester of the 2020-2021 academic year at the University of Groningen have been cancelled. This applies to both incoming and outgoing students in exchange programmes and internship programmes.

Quickly changing circumstances and the unpredictability of the pandemic will result in a high degree of uncertainty in coming months regarding health situations, travel guidelines and the provision of on-site and online education at universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

The Executive Board has therefore taken the decision to cancel the exchange programmes together with the faculties and in close consultation with the other universities in the Netherlands. Although students may have anticipated it already, we do of course understand that this is still a huge disappointment.

For all outgoing exchange students we will try and arrange alternatives. The options will vary per student, faculty and programme, and could range from postponing the exchange, taking a minor, electives or a project course at the University of Groningen or following online education at a partner university.

International degree students are of course welcome. They can start or continue their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at the University of Groningen.

Last modified:15 July 2021 4.31 p.m.