Free mover exchange
General instructions about Free mover exchanges
Note! The ministry of Foreign affairs of Finland has adviced to not travel to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus until further notice. Aalto University will not grant mobility scholarships to these countries.
If you wish to apply to a university that Aalto does not have a mobility agreement with, you can arrange the exchange independently and apply as a so-called free mover student (also often called study abroad or visiting student). Free mover exchange requires more work and effort from the student than going abroad through Aalto's own exchange programme, because free mover students are responsible for taking care of the exchange arrangements, such as the application process to the exchange university, independently. Usually free mover students have to pay for tuition in the hosting university.
Short instructions for planning Free mover exchange:
- Check the costs beforehand- how much is the tuition, is there other costs etc.
- Find out whethet the university accepts free mover students or not. Also check what studies are available for free mover students.
- Check the application deadlines and applciation documents. Taking care of the arrangements may take time, so start about a year before you want to start your exchange period.
- Read the Aalto University's terms of exchange, they apply to free mover exchanges too.
- Remember that the destination university must fulfill quality criteria of Aalto University. If you are unsure, please contact the exchange coordinator of your own school.
- You need an approved study plan before your exchange. You can transfer the courses you complete during your exchange only if your degree progamme approves the courses as part of your degree. Please also remember that KELA grants student benefits only to studies that are part of a degree.
- You can apply Aalto University exchange scholarship for your free mover exchange. More information about scholarships.
Quality criteria for free mover destinations:
The university you are planning to join as a free mover has to fill the quality requirements set by Aalto University. When entering a university as a free mover, you must take part in the normal degree studies, not for example participate in a separate program designed only for exchange students.
To ensure the quality of the destination, check the university ranking lists, such as FT Ranking, U.S. News Ranking, Shanghai Ranking. The School of Business students should also check whether the destination has any of the international accreditations which Aalto University School of Business has (AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA).
Field specific information for free mover exchanges
Information about the application times, application instructions etc.
Discuss with your own degree programme's Professor/Academic Advisor what would be a suitable destination for you and what studies you can complete during the exchange. Read through carefully the Selection Criteria and Terms of Exchange.
Check from the host institution whether they accept free mover students, what studies they offer during your exchange period, if you have to pay tuition fees, and when the host institution's application deadline is.
ARTS freemover application dates
Application round for autumn term 2024 and academic year 2024 - 2025: 19.2. - 19.5.2024.
Application round for spring term 2025: 15.10. - 24.11.2024.
Submit the ARTS free mover application well before your host institution's application deadline! Please note that it will take 1-2 weeks to process your free mover application.
The free mover application is completed online. The application is available in the ARTS Study Abroad portal during the application period. After you have submitted the online application, save the pdf document and email it to ARTS Learning Services ([email protected]). Please note that applications which have not been sent by email will not be processed!
You must attach the following documents to the online application:
- Approved ARTS Student Exchange Plan form (i.e. study plan). Note that you must complete the required number of credits during the exchange (BA: 30 ETCS/semester, MA: at least 24 ECTS/semester, Phd: agreed with your Advisor) during the exchange.
- Transcript of records, which you can get from Sisu.
All the attachments have to be in English and in PDF format.
After you have been accepted for free mover exchange by ARTS, you can apply for the host institution. After you have received the official acceptance letter from your host institution you must deliver it to ARTS Learning Services ([email protected])!
Free mover scholarship
The amount of the free mover scholarship is 1500€/semester and 2500€/academic year. The grant is paid in 2 installments. First part (i.e. 1200€) is paid before the exchange, after you have delivered your official acceptance letter to ARTS Learning Services ([email protected]). The second part (300€) is paid after the exchange, after the student has returned all required exchange documents, provided that the student has completed the required amount of credits, during the exchange.
If you need more information on the free mover exchange, you can contact the ARTS Learning Services ([email protected]).
A school of Business student can apply for a free mover scholarship and the amount of the scholarship is 1500€/student.
The electronic free mover application must be sent no later than 16:15 on the date of the deadline. You can find application form here.
The application must always be submitted before the beginning of the exchange – it cannot be granted afterward! The free mover scholarship can usually not be granted to universities Aalto University School of Business has an exchange agreement with.
Please note that you should not use Internet Explorer as your browser when filling out the application.
The application must contain the following attachments:
- A copy of the acceptance letter of the host university
- PSP (Personal Study Plan / Hops) including international minor. NOTE! The exchange must be confirmed in the accepted HOPS, otherwise the scholarship cannot be granted.
- Study plan ECTS Learning agreement
- Course descriptions
- Transcript of records.
Requirements for the grant can be found from the Exchange Destinations page.
Application deadlines for free mover scholarship 2023–2024
Exchange period: Autumn term 2023
Deadline for applications 22.4.2023. All application appendices must be handed in by 12.5.2023
Exchange period: Spring term 2024
Deadline for applications 10.11.2023. All application appendices must be handed in by 30.11.2023
You can apply for a free mover scholarship (1500€/semester or 2500€/academic year) online during the application periods for exchange studies. As a rule, you should apply for the scholarship prior to the start of the exchange period. However, free mover scholarship can also be applied for during the exchange (within existing application rounds), but not after returning from the exchange.
Attachments to the application
- Study plan for (30 ECTS (bachelor level)/semester or 24 ECTS (master)/semester, signed by the planning officer and professor of your degree programme
- Transcript of records (you can get an electronically verified transcript from Sisu)
- Language certificate (if necessary)
- Copy of the acceptance letter from host university. You can deliver the acceptance letter later, but the scholarship will only be paid after the letter has been delivered to your own school.
- Free mover scholarship will not be granted if Aalto University has an echange agreement with the host university.
- Students completing their master's thesis abroad may also be eligible to apply for a free mover scholarship for 3-6 months' thesis work abroad. If you plan to complete your thesis abroad, you should arrange the thesis position in a foreign university independently. However, you must first consult your professor in Aalto about the possibility of completing your thesis abroad. In addition to having a thesis supervisor in Aalto, you need to also have a thesis supervisor in a university abroad. The thesis must comply with the thesis regulations of Aalto University in order to be accepted in Aalto.
- The Free mover scholarship is not awarded to students earning a degree at the university abroad. However, if you study in Aalto University's international double degree programme, you may be eligible for free mover scholarship if you do not receive other scholarship for the mobility.
- Free mover scholarship may not be granted, if you have cancelled an earlier exchange placement without a justifying reason, or you have failed to fulfill the requirements of an earlier exchange.
- Some of the technical Schools may offer a tuition fee grant for outgoing free mover students. The scholarship sum is max. 2000 €. For details, please contact the exchange coordinator of your School.