Studying abroad for students of Spatial Sciences
Every year dozens of students of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences take part in an exchange programme with a foreign university. These student exchange or study abroad programmes are available to bachelor students (third year) and to master level students. Students who are considering to participate in an exchange programme are advised to read this 2018 brochure first (a new, updated edition will be available late October 2018). It is important to explore the possibilities where you can go to, and what you can study abroad. It is equally important to plan your own study programmes. You can ask Paul van Steen to get access to the Nestor Organization Spatial Sciences Abroad - where you can read student experience reports for a large number of partner universities.
1. Planning your exchange
Each year in October or November, an information meeting on student exchange options for students of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is organized. In 2018, the meeting was on Thursday, October 25 (see below). You can apply for participation in an exchange program by means of an application document, that needs to be filled in and submitted not later than January 7, 2019. In the months of January and February the selection procedures will take place and the application procedures for visiting foreign universities will be started.
1.1. Information session Thursday October 25, 2018
On Thursday October 25, 2018, 17:00-19:00, an information session for students wanting to go abroad in the academic year 2019-2020 was delivered. The powerpoint that was presented and discussed in this information meeting can be found here - you are advised to search for information in this powerpoint!
1.2. Personal advice on your exchange options
Students are advised to have a personal advisory meeting with the exchange coordinator, Paul van Steen, to discuss options or plans for studying abroad. You can sign up for a personal advisory meeting of 20 minutes with Paul van Steen by means of sign-up lists on his office door (5417.0019). Here are the dates and time slots for which you can sign up (by writing your name on the list on the office door of 5417.0019):
- Monday October 29, 12:00-14:00
- Tuesday October 30, 09:00-12:00
- Wednesday November 7, 12:00-15:00
- Thursday November 8, 10:00-12:00
- Wednesday November 21, 12:00-15:00
- Friday November 23, 14:00-16:00
- Monday December 3, 12:00-15:00
- Tuesday December 4, 14:00-17:00
- Wednesday December 5, 11:00-13:00
- Thursday December 6, 13:00-16:00
- Wednesday December 12, 13:00-15:00
- Thursday December 13, 12:00-17:00
- Monday December 17, 12:00-17:00
- Wednesday December 19, 09:00-12:00
- Monday January 7, 12:00-17:00
You can also visit Paul van Steen, after October 25, during his open office hours. If you want to participate in a specific exchange program together with one or more other students from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, you are advised to visit Paul van Steen together (and, for example, sign up for two slots of 20 minutes each on the sign-up lists).
2. Application and selection procedures
2.1. Application form
The application form to sign up for your exchange programme can be downloaded here. You have to print this form, fill it in, sign it and deliver the hard copy in the mailbox of Paul van Steen, ground floor Mercator building (below the staircase in the middle of the corridor) on or before Tuesday, January 7, 2019. You only need to submit the one page application form; you do not need to submit other documents (e.g., transcript of records, recommendation letters or motivation letters). If you want to apply for an exchange as part of the University of Groningen's Multi-Faculty Exchange program, you need to submit the one page application form on or before January 7, 2019 AND you need to submit all the Multi-Faculty Exchange application documents on or before January 31, 2019 (See this website for the Multi-Facuty Exchange application explanations).
2.2. Selection procedure
What happens after you have submitted your application form?
- A quick check will take place: are you a student in Spatial Sciences, what is your progress in your educational programme, are your preferred destinations possible (in terms of your educational programme, the academic timetable, etc.). If necessary, you will be emailed and asked to submit additional information or to discuss your interests as expressed on the application form.
- Each year, for a few destinations, the number of students interested in the exchange is higher than the number of places available. (As the maximum number of students in the exchange has been agreed upon beforehand with each partner university by means of exchange contracts). For these destinations, Paul van Steen will first contact the partner university to see if more students from Spatial Sciences might be welcomed. Also, Paul van Steen will invite the students to see if their exchange interests or goals could perhaps not be better or equally satisfied at other partner universities.
- Sometimes it is necessary to add a selection procedure in order to determine which students can be exchanged to the partner universities for which the interest is higher than the available exchange capacity. The selection will require that students write a motivation letter. These motivation letters, together with information on the progress in the educational programme as well as the grades achieved so far, will be assessed by a number of teachers from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. This will result in a ranking of the candidates. Students that are not selected for participation in the exchange programme of their first interest, will be prioritized, if possible, for their 2nd or 3rd preferred university.
- Finally, in March or April, the procedures for applying for a scholarship (Erasmus+, Marco Polo, GUF) will be explained and started, as well as the procedures for applying for the student exchange programme with the foreign university where you will go to. The latter also includes, if applicable, the housing application process.
3. Reading up on your possibilities
- Read the brochure about the exchange programmes for Faculty of Spatial Sciences students
- Check the websites of our partner universities where you can go
- Read the student experiences you can find on Nestor Organization (get access by first emailing Paul van Steen)
- The University Student Desk in the Academy building also has a lot of documentation
- Read about the Erasmus+ program (procedures, scholarships for European partners)
- Read about the Marco Polo fund (procedures, scholarships)
- Read about general options to study abroad (University of Groningen website)
Visit Paul van steen in his office, during one of his walk-in hours.
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