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Checklist for new exchange students

Interested in visiting the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (Human Geography, Planning, Demography) of the University of Groningen as an exchange student? Take the following steps:

STEP 1- Partner university

Make sure you are enrolled at a partner university of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences/University of Groningen.

If you are not presently enrolled at a partner university, please check the conditions for exchange students from non-partner universities and be advised that we can only accept a small number of exchange students from non-partner universities.

STEP 2 - Nomination

Make sure that you are nominated by e-mail by your home university. We will only be able to communicate with you, or to enroll you, after we have received the nomination. The nomination should include your:

  • name
  • sex (male or female)
  • email address
  • requested exchange period: first/autumn semester or second/spring semester  (see timetables)
  • current degree level (bachelor, master, or PhD) as well as the title/subject of your degree (e.g. 'Human geography', 'Planning')
  • Only for students from partner universities that are not located in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Germany and Austria: the nomination could also include a written declaration that you, the nominated student, have a (very) good command of English in speaking and writing. See Step 5 below for further information.

This nomination should be emailed to International Office by your home university.

STEP 3 - Acceptance

If you can be accepted as a visiting exchange student, you will receive an acceptance email. Read this email carefully and save it. It has a lot of important information, as well as more specific and detailed information on steps 4-8 below.

STEP 4 - Housing

Make sure that you apply for housing in time (approximately early May for first semester arrivals, approximately second half of October or early November for second semester arrivals) and pay as soon as the SSH asks you to do so. See the explanations on the application process and other regulations that will be sent to you with the acceptance email. Be advised that the rental agreements for housing in an international student house are always 5 months or 10 months for exchange students.

STEP 5 -  Proof of language proficiency

Submit proof of a sufficient command of the English language. Minimum levels:

  • IELTS Academic 6
  • TOEFL internet based 80
  • TOEFL paper based 550
  • Cambridge Advanced English C, B or A
  • Cambridge Proficiency C, B or A
  • CEFR test B2/C1

Students from partner universities from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland Germany and Austria do not need to submit proof of a sufficient command of the English language. Students from partner universities in other countries do not need to submit proof of a sufficient command of the English language if a representative of the home university declares in the nomination email that the student has a (very) good command of English.

Students from non-partner universities always need to submit proof of a sufficient command of the English language.

STEP 6 - Resident permit and visa

If applicable: Send in the documents for your application for a temporary residence permit and/or visa in time and, if necessary, make the payment in time. See the explanation in the acceptance email.

STEP 7 - Course selections

Please consult the course options, make first course selections and get approval from your home university to take these courses. When making your course selections, please take into account the following:

  • the academic year consists of 2 semesters, that are each divided into 2 teaching terms. You can take 15 credits (EC's) in each of the 4 teaching terms, so 30 credits in one full semester and 60 credits in one full year.
  • all visiting exchange students are required to take the course ‘Spatial Problems and Spatial Policies: The Dutch Experience’, 10 EC, in semester 1-a or semester 2-a.
  • you can take no more than 10 EC per semester at other Faculties of the University of Groningen (Please see Other courses, in English for further information and conditions).

Submit your course preferences by sending an email to International Office before June 1st (for first semester arrivals) or before December 1st (for second semester arrivals). We do not have so-called 'learning agreement' forms online.

STEP 8 - Registration

As soon as you are requested to do so, send in documentation necessary for your registration as a visiting exchange student. Respond timely to our request to send in specific documents. We do not have online application or registration forms.

STEP 9 - Welcoming Ceremony

Remember that you are required to attend the University of Groningen's Welcoming Ceremony for newly arrived international students and - even more important - the 'Faculty of Spatial Sciences Acquaintance and Information session' (usually delivered on Friday before the start of the teaching term).

We can not accept students that (plan to) arrive after the late August or late January 'Welcoming Ceremony' and 'Faculty of Spatial Sciences Acquaintance and Information session'.

Last modified:25 March 2020 08.40 a.m.