Broaden your horizon around the world

Incoming exchange

Explore the Netherlands: come to Erasmus University Rotterdam

Outgoing exchange

Exchange during your time at Erasmus University Rotterdam

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Are you eager to broaden your horizons, come into contact with different cultures and, simply, have a great time: consider going on an exchange abroad! Whether you are a student hoping to study at Erasmus University Rotterdam from another country, or a current student planning to go abroad, the possibilities are endless. Take your pick above: are you coming to Rotterdam, or going abroad?

One year before leaving

  • Choose what you want to do (exchange/internship/summer school/volunteer work);
  • Check your faculty’s website (for possibilities, conditions, recognition of study points, etc);
  • Apply to the university (through your faculty) or company of your choice;
  • Arrange your finances (make a budget, apply for grants, etc);
  • Ensure you know the relevant language well enough (do you need to take a test?);
  • Ensure you have all the required visas and permits (check Nuffic’s or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ websites).

Three months before leaving

  • Apply to the university (if you have been nominated) or project abroad;
  • Arrange banking abroad (for some countries it may be handy to bring along a credit card);
  • Arrange housing (abroad and subletting your own room/flat/house);
  • Arrange transportation;
  • Conclude insurance;
  • Check whether your vaccinations are correct/up-to-date;
  • Appoint a representative;
  • Check the validity of your driving licence;
  • Check all DUO-related matters are in order;
  • Undertake background reading.

During your studies, exchange is a once (or maybe twice) in a lifetime opportunity that will not open up again later in your life in the same way.

Being a student on exchange really lets you explore new cultures from a completely different perspective. You will meet lots of other exchange students from all over the world, make local friends and by the end of your exchange you maybe even have a home away from home. Our students recommend to just make sure you go on exchange and enjoy it to the fullest

Most often you're able to go on exchange in the third year of your bachelor programme, but please:

  • Students coming to EUR: check with the exchange coordinator of your home university
  • EUR students going abroad: check with your faculty

They can provide you with more detailed information on this matter, as the exchange possibilities might differ per faculty and programme.

As a first step, always contact the exchange coordinator of your faculty to discuss the options and to start the application procedure.

  • Students coming to EUR: check with the exchange coordinator of your home university.
  • EUR students going abroad: check with your faculty.

In principle, no. Everything is well arranged in the exchange programmes. Make sure to familiarise yourself with this before your departure though, as sometimes you're obliged to take certain pre-departure courses before leaving which might take extra time.

Clara’s exchange experience in Santiago, Chile

Clara - Exchange experience in Santiago, Chile

Chile welcomed me with warm people, lively cities, and breath-taking scenery ...
Group of Clara's friend at the surfbeach
Chile welcomed me with warm people, lively cities, and breath-taking scenery ...

Clara, International Psychology student at Erasmus University Rotterdam chose Santiago, Chile as destination for her exchange. Reflecting on her experience, she shares: “Chile welcomed me with warm people, lively cities, and breath-taking scenery that always made me want to explore the country even more. To me, it felt like home.”

What motivated you to participate in a study exchange programme?
I thought it was a great opportunity to experience a different place and culture. Being originally from Brazil, I was excited to return to Latin America, but I wanted to explore somewhere new rather than going back to Brazil. I visited Santiago with my parents when I was young and loved the city.

What were your expectations before you left for your exchange?
I was excited and open-minded about experiencing a different culture. I was curious to see how my background as a Brazilian might help me adapt and whether the experience would be like my move to the Netherlands, because here I am also far away from home.

How did your host university differ from our university?
The teaching style was more traditional, with open question exams instead of multiple-choice on computers. Also, they don’t offer problem-based learning, like I have here at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The academic level was very comparable.

How did you find the process of making friends in a new environment?
Initially, it was challenging, especially making friends in Spanish, but my experience of moving to the Netherlands helped me in being more open to the experience and knowing that things are going to be fine. Even if you might feel overwhelmed in the first week. I quickly bonded with other international students because we were all in the same situation.

Are you still in touch with any of the people you met during your exchange?
Yes, we have a WhatsApp group with friends from Colombia, Mexico, and countries from all Europe. We share updates, memes, and even created a Google form to keep each other informed about our monthly highlights.

What challenges did you face during your exchange, and how did you overcome them?
The main challenge was the language barrier. Chilean Spanish was different from what I know due to different slangs. Therefore, it was sometimes hard to express myself as I wanted. I also had to be more alert about safety and familiarize myself with the city.

How did you handle homesickness or any feelings of isolation?
I didn't experience much homesickness because everything was so new and exciting. Plus, two family members visited me, which helped a lot.

What was the most rewarding part of your exchange experience?
The most rewarding part was seeing how I could manage things on my own and improve my Spanish. I also loved meeting people from diverse backgrounds and forming lasting friendships.

How would you summarize your exchange experience in one sentence?
Chile welcomed me with warm people, lively cities, and breath-taking scenery that always made me want to explore the country even more. To me, it felt like home.

What practical tips would you give to future exchange students?
If you are considering Chile as a destination, speaking Spanish is crucial for navigating daily life in Chile. More general: plan your trips and budget wisely, as it can be more expensive than expected. To avoid high fees when withdrawing money, consider using Revolut. Bring clothes for all seasons and don’t forget good hiking shoes. 

What advice would you give to students considering a study exchange?
Be open-minded and ready for surprises. Explore the nature and culture that the country of your destination has to offer!

Group of Clara's friend at the surfbeach

Paulina - study exchange to Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Paulina - went to Rotterdam

I don’t think I've had any scary experiences since I got here.
Exchange student Paulina
I don’t think I've had any scary experiences since I got here.

Why did you come on exchange?

I love travelling and I’ve always wanted to go for an exchange for semester. That was always on my bucket list. I couldn’t go my first year so I figured that the second year might be the best time to go on exchange.

What influenced you to choose Erasmus University & Rotterdam?

I’ve never been to Holland before, but some of my classmates from my international high school in Prague are studying at Erasmus University Rotterdam as full time students. They always said they liked it a lot. I visited Rotterdam this October and I really liked it as well, therefore I decided that I would want to live here for 6 months. It’s not that far away from home and Holland is beautiful and has so much to offer.

What has been the scariest experience since you got here?

I don’t think I've had any scary experiences since I got here. If I ever needed anything I always could ask my boyfriend for help.

What has been the best experience since you got here?

There’s been many amazing times that I have had since I got here. I think just meeting people from all over the world and learning about them and their culture/countries has been one of the best experiences. Our trip to Brussels was really fun and I would say going and partying in Amsterdam was really fun too.

What advice would you give to a potential exchange student?

Maybe if it’s possible to visit the place they’re gonna be moving in first, to see if they actually like the city and if they think they would like it there. That’s what I’ve done and I think it helped me a lot to make my decision.

Exchange student Paulina

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