Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Are you planning to go on exchange? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

To apply for exchange

Do I need good grades to go on exchange?

An offer of exchange is in general not dependent on your grades. Some partners do however have requirements to your grade average. This is written on HVLs webpage for the relevant institution.

For more information please see this webpage.

May I book an appointment for advice about exchange?

Yes! Get in touch with a study advisor at your faculty to book an appointment 

Is there a deadline for withdrawing my application? How do I do it?

There is no formal deadline for withdrawing your application. We do however expect you to let your case worker know as soon as possible if you consider withdrawing.

If you choose to withdraw from your exchange while abroad, please notify the host institution first, before letting HVL know.

For more information please consult Academic Approval.

May my friend and I go on exchange to the same place?

Following the Regulations for Student Exchange, HVL cannot take any wishes for travel companions into consideration when processing applications.

If there are more applicants that spaces available to a specific institution, applicants will be ranked based on grade averages. If you can go on exchange to the same place as your friend will therefore depend on how many available spaces there is, and how many applicants there are to this institution.

Will there be any information meetings before the application deadline?

Before the application deadline HVL organises an information meeting. There will be information about the application process, expectations, Erasmus+ language preparations and financing.

Once your application is accepted HVL invites you to a webinar with a particular focus on practicalities like accommodation, visa and safety while abroad.

There might also be information meetings organised by your department or study programme. Please ask your academic contact person to find out more. 

Prepare your application

What kind of documentation do I have to upload to Soknadsweb?

None. Your pre-approval form is uploaded automatically once approved by your academic contact persons.

You can find more information about how to apply here.

When do I need to fill in the pre-approval form?

You have to fill out the pre-approval form before applying for exchange.

The deadline is the same as the deadline for applying: For exchange in the Spring semester, the deadline is 15 September. For exchange in the Autumn semester, the deadline is 1 February.

When will I receive an answer to my exchange application?

HVL have four weeks to process applications. Answers are given as soon as they are processed, therefore some students get an early reply while others have to wait.

When do I get information on what to do after the application deadline?

You receive an answer to your application within four weeks from the application deadline. If you receive an offer, you will get an e-mail with information regarding how to apply to your partner institution. The timing of when you receive the e-mail depends on when your application has been processed.

If you are applying for exchange in Europe through the Erasmus programme, please find more information on the Erasmus+ site.

I have applied to the partner institution. When do I get my Letter of Admission?

The timing of when you receive an answer from the partner institution depends on their processing time. You should contact the partner institution directly for questions about their admission process.

Decide on the courses you want to take

Which courses can I study at the partner institution, and who can help me?

You are yourself responsible for doing the main work identifying courses on the website of the university you want to apply to. Your academic contact person can help you with questions you might have regarding choice of courses.

Find more information at how you apply.

What do I do if I need to change my courses during the exchange?

If you need to change courses during while you are abroad, you have to get a new pre-approval. Find the new courses and fill in the new pre-approval online.

Erasmus students must also change their Online Learning Agreement. Read about this in our user manual.

My study programme has obligatory assignments/practical placement each semester. What will happen with this if I go on exchange?

If you do not get to do similar practical placement on exchange, you must do your placement either before you leave or after you return from the exchange.

For obligatory assignments it will depend on whether the host institution can offer you to do the assignment there.

Please ask your study counsellor for advice.

What will happen if I fail my exam on exchange?

If you fail any exam while on exchange without taking a re-sit exam arranged by the host institution, you will receive 0 study points for this course upon your return to HVL. In such an event, you will need to take courses at HVL to regain your study progression. Make sure you check with the host institution yourself if they offer a re-sit exam. Note that re-sit exams may take place after your exchange period has ended.

This may have implications for your loan and grant in Lånekassen in the same way as if you fail your exam at home. Check with Lånekassen which consequences this may have for you. If you receive Erasmus scholarship this will not be affected.

How to afford going on exchange

What is Erasmus+ grant and how do I get it?

If you go on exchange to Europe with Erasmus+ you qualify for an extra grant.

You will receive the Erasmus+ grant in addition to any support from Lånekassen. You will be notified about the process from HVL. Preparations to receive the grant is one of the last things you do before you travel.

You can read more about the Erasmus+ grant on this webpage.

How much do I get from Lånekassen when going abroad?

You will receive the same amount of support from Lånekassen as when you are studying in Norway. Additionally, you can apply for support covering the travel expenses outside the Nordic countries.

Read more about the different funding possibilities on Lånekassen’s page. 

If you have to pay tuition may cover this if you upload the letter of admission from the partner institution when applying. Tuition fees are supported with approximately 30% grant and 70% loan.

I have applied for grant from Lånekassen and uploaded the Letter of Admission from the partner institution but am informed that I am not registered for exchange in FS. What is the problem?

HVL register most of the students for exchange in FS during November / May. Erasmus students are registered when the student has sent the Letter of Admission to their case worker at HVL.

If you apply for grant and support before this, you will get an error from Lånekassen. The registration at Lånekassen will be automatically approved when HVL has registered students in FS.

Do I get travel support from Lånekassen if I travel to an institution HVL does not have an agreement with?

Yes, you will receive support for this. For more information please consult Lånekassen’s pages.

Plan your exchange

Can you review/help me fill out the application forms from my host institution?

Read the application thoroughly and prepare well before filling it out. If you are having issues with your application form, we advise you to contact the host institution for help. The host institution knows their own forms best!

If you can’t reach your host institution, you can contact a student adviser at HVL.

I need to document my English proficiency. When should I take the TOEFL or IELTS test?

If you know that you’ll need to document your English proficiency, you should sign up for the TOEFL/IELTS test as soon as possible in the application process. The spaces available for these tests are limited and are quickly filled.

Are there any language courses available for me?

If you are applying for exchange through the Erasmus+ programme, you will be required to take a mandatory language assessment, called Online Linguistic Support (OLS). You will also be offered language courses through this system.

If you want to prepare for a new language before going on exchange, you can contact the host institution and ask if they offer courses before the exchange period starts. If you qualify for support from Lånekassen, they can support you financially for such courses.

Other language courses may be available. Check online to see what’s available.

 

What about accommodation on exchange? Is there a scheme for this or do I need to find a place to stay myself?

It is your responsibility to find a place to stay. Most universities have student accommodation available, but you can also find housing on the private market. Your host institution will provide you with information about student accommodation.

If you are planning on finding private accommodation, we recommend that you travel to the city you’re staying in 1-2 weeks before the start of the semester. This enables you to focus on finding accommodation before the courses start.

If you are doing a clinical placement in Africa or Cuba through the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FHS), you can get information about accommodation through your academic contact person at HVL.

HVL will invite you to an information meeting after you have been given an offer of exchange where this will be covered.

How do I apply for Visa to Australia/South-Africa/Tanzania/Cuba/USA/Brazil/China/South-Korea?

It is your responsibility to acquire a student visa to countries that require it. You will get more information about the visa process in the information meeting HVL has after you have been approved for exchange.

It should be noted that the application processes for student visa to Australia and Brazil are the most complicated, while students going to South-Africa and USA must go to Oslo for an interview at the embassy.

When can I book plane tickets?

When you have received a Letter of Admission from the host institution. Never before that!

The host institution has the final say in giving you an offer of place. It is therefore better to wait and get a plane ticket that’s a bit more expensive, than to purchase a “cheap” ticket you won’t be able to use and won’t get a refund for.

What do I do if I’m subjected to crime / natural disasters / disease / terrorism while I’m on exchange?

Report any criminal incidents to the police in the host country. Contact the embassy and your travel insurance company.

Inform your study programme and AFII Internationalisation (international@hvl.no)

In case of larger events, contact HVL’s emergency number (+47 48 11 07 00) and / or the emergency number for Sjømannskirken – The Norwegian Church Abroad (+47 95 11 91 81).

På den sikre siden is a webpage with a lot of useful information about what you need to prepare for before going abroad and what you should do if something happens during your exchange.