Arranging your own study abroad: Free mover

What is a study abroad or what does it mean to be a free mover?

If there is no formal agreement on student exchange between Erasmus School of Economics and the university you wish to attend, you may be able to apply to this university as a free mover. Going on a study abroad semester as a free mover means that you arrange your study abroad independently. In university terminology, free movers can also be called visiting students, fee-paying students or study abroad students.

Pros and Cons of being a free mover

+You are free to choose any university that accepts free movers, this should be clear from their website. 
+The selection criteria of Erasmus School of Economics as well as the limited number of spots will not be applicable
-As you do not participate in the exchange programme, you do not get the same guidance and support from Erasmus School of Economics as regular exchange students
-You will have to arrange your study abroad yourself
-You will need to pay tuition fees to the host university, while remaining enrolled at Erasmus University Rotterdam (so you pay tuition fees to both institutions)

If you require funding, you will need to find and apply for external funding yourself. Unfortunately, the Erasmus+ Scholarship, Holland Scholarship and ESE (Additional) Scholarship are open to students participating in the exchange programme of Erasmus School of Economics only

-There is no guarantee that your obtained grades will count towards your diploma. The Examination Board will only look at your completed courses and obtained grades after your study abroad. Therefore, make sure that you attend a recognized and accredited research university and meet the course requirements that apply to regular exchange students

Before your study abroad period

If you wish to study abroad as a free mover, you must find out if the university of your preference accepts so-called non-degree students. If they accept free mover students, ask them about the application procedures, admission requirements and the fees. 

During the application process, you may be required to submit documents from the university. You can obtain them in the following ways:

  • Transcript of records: Request at ESSC
  • Proof of enrollment: Download from Osiris
  • Language proficiency: Take a test on or off campus 
  • OV Verklaring DUO: In consultation with the study advisers
  • Other statements: In consultation with the study advisers

During your stay abroad

Enjoy your time at the host university! Make sure that you are enrolled at Erasmus University Rotterdam for the academic year to ensure that your study abroad period can be recognized.

After your stay abroad

After your mobility period, you can submit a request to the Examination Board to incorporate your courses in your bachelor's degree. In this case, you follow the same procedure as exchange students. If you attended a non-partner university, make sure to include a calculation of the student workload in ECTS and provide proof thereof.

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