How to prepare yourself before going abroad
It is important to be well prepared before you travel for your stay abroad. Read here what to remember before you travel.
Practical information and personal preparation
You must apply for an advance credit transfer before you leave to study abroad.
- Choose the study program and/or courses that you want to follow at the foreign university in cooperation with your academic adviser.
- Apply for advance credit transfer at your study board. This is to ensure that you will get a credit transfer for your foreign stay when you return to AAU.
- You must choose courses that add up to a semester: 30 ECTS or equivalent. However, it is a good idea to choose more courses that you need as it happens that a course falls through.
- Examine if your study board has a special form that you need to fill in. If not, make your application. In both cases remember to enclose a detailed description of the courses you are going to follow.
- Also examine if there are deadlines for applying for advance credit transfer.
What to pay special attention to
- Note that credit transfer of your study activities abroad is a requirement for obtaining financial support from the various support schemes related to student exchange.
- Be aware that the approval from the study board is preliminary approval, which must be finally confirmed when you return to AAU after your stay abroad.
- During the stay: Therefore, any intended changes in your foreign study program must be discussed with your academic adviser as well as your study board beforehand. This is to make sure that you will not be faced with any problems when the final approval will take place upon your return to AAU.
- After the stay: After your return, you must send or hand in documentation to the study board to prove that you have followed your foreign study program and activities as planned and that you have fulfilled the requirements on which you have received the preliminary approval. This documentation will be issued by your host university and can vary a lot from university to university as to design and content.
Contact your study secretary regarding the pre-approved credit transfer application process.
In most cases, the partner university does require a language test. However, if a language test is required by a foreign university you will need to meet this demand. It is your responsibility to sign up for the test at the appropriate time. The most common tests are TOEFL and IELTS.
If you are not supposed to take a language test this Reference Form can be used as proof of your English abilities. Must be signed by your supervisor.
Please note: There are special requirements for Erasmus+ students: Erasmus+ Online Language Assessment and Courses
Be sure to check early on with the embassy or consulate of your destination country for any requirements you may need to meet to enter your destination and to reside there for the duration of your study stay or internship. Make sure to resolve all affairs related to this matter before your stay abroad.
Visa or residence permit? Start well in advance
It is a good idea to generally start well in advance by obtaining information from the relevant embassy about how far in advance they need your visa application or application for a residence permit.
In general, you must contact the embassy/consulate of the country in question in Copenhagen for information on whether a visa or residence permit is required for your stay abroad.
On the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, you will find an overview of other countries' visa rules.
How to re-enter Denmark
Furthermore, you need to check with the responsible registration authorities where you are registered, to find out what you need to, do to be allowed to re-enter Denmark after your stay abroad has ended.
It is your responsibility to be covered by proper insurance during your stay abroad. Aalborg University (AAU) has no insurance, which covers students going abroad.
You must be covered in terms of the following insurances:
- Sickness/health (both physical and mental diseases)
When you go abroad to study with the Erasmus+ program it is a requirement that you are covered by at least health insurance.
Awareness about the blue EU Health Insurance Card
If you are an EU citizen you may already have the blue EU Health Insurance Card, but please note the following:
- The blue card gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
- The card is issued by your national health insurance provider.
- The blue EU-health insurance card is not to be considered a travel insurance
It is important to pay attention to the fact, that the EU-health insurance card is not an alternative to travel insurance.
- It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,
- It does not cover your costs if you are traveling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,
- it does not guarantee free services. As each country’s healthcare system is different; services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country.
We recommend you contact your private insurance company (or the examples listed below) to ensure that you are covered according to the requirements of the European Commission.
Studying abroad outside the EU/EEA
In most countries outside Europe, foreigners can't have any public health insurance at all. You should take out private insurance (health, liability, and accident).
We recommend you contact your private insurance company to ensure that you are covered appropriately or take out the insurance with the company or another insurance company.
Examples of insurance companies
If you are going to a university with which AAU has a cooperation agreement, the host institution is usually responsible for providing accommodation. Often, you will have to apply for accommodation at the same time as you apply for admission to the university. In some cases, you will not receive the accommodation papers before you have been accepted as a student.
If you are going to a university with which AAU has no cooperation agreement, you should find out whether the university has any student accommodation. If it does, the university will have an accommodation office, which can help you find a place to live. If the university does not have any student accommodation, you should ask your contact person at the foreign university as early as possible to help you find accommodation.
You do not have to pay tax on grants that you have received for study or a traineeship period abroad, provided that you use your grant for the intended purpose and can provide proof of this.
Note that your Danish residence permit will automatically lapse if you no longer have a residence in Denmark - that is if you are no longer registered at a Danish address in the Central Office of Civil Registration (CPR office).
The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration provides more information on how and when to apply for a dispensation to prevent your residency permit from lapsing.
Living and studying in another culture is both exciting and challenging. It is important to realize that as a foreigner, you are the one who has the most adjusting to do, and the more you can do now to prepare yourself, the better.
Even if you travel in your host country, it is important to realize that the study and learning culture (study abroad) or professional culture - including etiquette, language, and ideas of punctuality (internship abroad) may be quite a bit different than what you encountered as a tourist or as an international student in Denmark!
Be sure to set aside time and do some thorough research so you are well prepared. However, note that it is important to realize that no matter how much you prepare, there will be misunderstandings, communication issues, and challenges along the way. While they may be frustrating at the time, they are also the best lessons in culture!
Advice for succeeding in a new culture:
- Keep an open mind
- Be observant
- Ask questions
And you will learn more than you thought possible.
We strongly recommend that you keep yourself updated on the situation of the country you are visiting by checking your home country’s travel advice. Should such information not be accessible, please visit e.g www.fco.gov.uk/travel carrying up-to-date travel advice for over 200 countries.
- Keep away from all kinds of demonstrations, also peaceful ones, and heated situations.
- Follow the advice of the authorities in your host country.
- Cyber security when traveling; Please check https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/cybersecurity-tips-international-travelers or similar pages.
- Be aware of suspicious behavior/activities you encounter. University students can be a target for recruiting by foreign intelligence services and attempt industrial espionage. Always trust your instincts.
- Be aware of the rules for taking medicines containing controlled drugs to another country.
Talk to a supervisor from International Office
As an AAU student, you can receive guidance on staying abroad during your studies.
You may be in doubt about what makes sense regarding your studies when you can travel, and how to go about it? Maybe you are also in doubt about whether it is something for you?
Book a time for guidance by calling or sending an email to email@example.com. Please state what you would like guidance on and if possible if you wish to stay outside or inside of EU/EEA.
Contact International Office
If you want to talk to a supervisor from International Office, you need to book an appointment in advance by calling or sending an email to the right employee. Please indicate whether you prefer the guidance to be held physically, by phone, or via teams.
Find the emails and phone numbers here
The office is basically staffed Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9-15, and Friday 9-14.
To ensure you get the best guidance, we recommend that you book an interview about your topic by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please state if possible, if you wish to go abroad outside or within the EU/EEA and if you need guidance on studying abroad or about a Project-oriented course (internship).
Write if you prefer the guidance to be held physically, by phone, or via teams.
Shared email: email@example.com.