Preparations

Lay the foundations for a smooth exchange period once you have accepted the admissions offer from the host institution. The list below provides you tips on how to best prepare for your exchange.

Academic and financial

Keep your student status at HVL

To avoid having your right to study at HVL revoked, remember to register as a student by paying the semester fee to HVL even though you are going on exchange.

Also make sure you withdraw from all planned exams at HVL during the exchange period. By withdrawing you avoid getting registered as no-show at the exam. You can withdraw from exams in Studentweb

Lånekassen

If applicable, apply for loan and grant from Lånekassen as soon as you receive a letter of admission from the partner institution. If you need to pay tuition fees at your host institution, you can document this by uploading your admission letter as an attachment to the application.

Erasmus student?

Please see www.hvl.no/erasmus to follow preparations specific for Erasmus students.

Travel

Visa and passport

Some countries require a visa for students to be able to enter the country and to enrol at the partner institution. You must arrange this yourself. Contact the host country's embassy in Norway as early as possible to get detailed information about visa-application requirements and deadlines. A list of Contact information to all Diplomatic Missions accredited to Norway can be found here.

Apply for the visa after you have been admitted to the study program, or when the traineeship program has been confirmed by the partner institution. In some countries, in addition to visas, you must also obtain a residence permit. The embassy will provide you with more information.

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you return to Norway.

Please note that if you have a citizenship other than Norwegian, different rules and regulation for visa may apply to you.

Insurance

If you have legal residency in Norway, you are entitled to basic insurance coverage through the National Insurance Scheme. However, this does not cover travel- and accident insurance, contents insurance, transport home in the event of illness etc.

HVL advises all students traveling abroad to obtain an adequate insurance coverage. ANSA and the Norwegian Student Organization (NSO) offer student insurance, but you are free to choose the insurance provider you want depending on your requirements and destination.

If you major in health- or social studies and are planning to complete a traineeship abroad, you should investigate whether it is necessary to obtain liability insurance which covers liability in case you inflict injuries on others during the traineeship. ANSA and most unions offer such insurance to their members.

Health and safety

It is important that you take care of yourself and your fellow students while you are on an exchange. Read more about safety and preparedness.

Vaccines

Contact your GP or your local vaccination office to find out which vaccines you need. Some vaccines should be taken months in advance of departure, so start the process early. At the National Institute of Public Health (FHI), you can read more about travel vaccines.

NB! Are you completing a traineeship abroad? Some educational institutions may require you to take specific vaccines before initiating your traineeship. Contact your institution well in advance for more information.

European health insurance card

If you are going to Europe, you are recommended to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EU/EEA country.  You are also advised to have travel insurance in addition to EHIC.

Register your travel

As soon as your housing arrangements are settled, you need to update your contact information in Studentweb. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) also recommends all Norwegian nationals to register their travels with them so they can send you information by SMS or email in case a serious incident has occurred.

You can register online via reiseregistrering.no.

Self-declaration

Before departure, you should familiarise yourself with the HVL self-declaration for student exchange. You will also receive a link from HVL where you are required to include key information about yourself and your emergency contact person. This information is only used in case something unforseen happens while you are on exchange.

Staying abroad

Language

If you are going on exchange to a non-English-speaking country, we recommend that you take a language course before you leave, even if the teaching takes place in English.

Lånekassen may provide financial support for language courses.

In Germany, DAAD offers scholarships to students at bachelor's and master's level who want to take a summer- or professional course in German.

All Erasmus students must complete a language test through Online Linguistic Support (OLS). This is an informal assessment of your language skills. You can also access language courses through OLS.

Housing

Most of HVL partners assist you finding accommodation. You can find information about this on their website, or by contacting the institution's international office directly.

Social

Many universities have student organisations that you may join, and which are great starting points for meeting new people. If you have a particular hobby or field of interest, check if there is a club for this too. If you are going to Europe, membership in the local European Student Network might be useful. Prepare yourself for taking the initiative to get to know new people while you are abroad. If you try new things and are open to new acquaintances, you might just return with new interests and a different set of friends than what you had before.

Equality and diversity

Remember that different countries do not necessarily have the same laws and customs that you are familiar with in Norway. If you identify with a protected characteristic group, we advise you research the local laws, customs and support provision for minority groups. This includes if you have a disability, are LGBT or from a minority faith or ethnicity in your destination country.

By identifying support services that can provide help before travelling, you are better prepared and know better what to expect when going to your destination. This also makes it easier if you at any point should need help or anyone to talk to. For example, your host university may have a student organisation you can join or a dedicated member of staff in their student services team who may be good resources for you. There may also be interest organisations in your destination country that you can join.

If you have any disabilities that makes exchange not possible without extra funding, you may receive an extra grant if you travel with Erasmus+. Read more about this on HVL’s page about Erasmus+.