Portal for

    What is exchange?

    VUB students have the opportunity to study or do a traineeship abroad as part of their studies.

    VUB has set up partnerships with several universities throughout Europe and around the world. Students can apply for grants, for example those offered by the Erasmus+ programme or the Flemish government.

    Whether you are eligible for an exchange is determined at faculty/programme level. Please browse through the information online and contact us if some of your questions remained unanswered.

    Exchange Take-Off Info Session 2018

    Students nominated for an exchange during the academic year 2018-2019 can access the presentation of the mandatory Exchange Take-Off information session (8 may 2018) here. It contains useful information to prepare your departure and stay abroad.

    Expand your horizons

    You don't have to go far to be away

    Going on an exchange doesn't mean you have to move across the globe. Ruben went on a one year exchange to Tilburg (The Netherlands) and would recommend everyone to do the same.

    Read his full testimonial.

    Discover another way of living

    Loreno was attracted to the Scandinavian way of thinking and working, that is why he decided to do part of his studies in Norway. Next to that, Norways nature was a great bonus: "I also chose Norway for its hiking culture and breathtaking landscapes. If you like being out in nature, the Northern Lights, hiking and the mountains, this is THE place to be."

    Read his full testimonial.


    There are a few ways to help you finance your studies abroad:

    • Erasmus+ grants
    • Non EU-Scholarships
    • Financial Support by VUB
    Covers 50-60% of your expenses abroad


    While on exchange (studies or traineeship) in Europe you can receive an Erasmus+ grant. On average this grant covers 50-60% of the expenses made while abroad.

    Given the cost of living is different through Europe, the amounts awarded vary depending on the destinations. The amount is settled by the National Agency for European programs in Flanders.

    Students receiving a scholarship (‘studietoelage’) from the Flemish government, receive a 100 EUR top-up (exchange for studies only). In case there would be an insufficient amount of scholarship, the faculties will prioritize using their own standards.

    More information about the grant instalment per destination >>

    Studying outside Europe? There are specific regulations per programme


    There are different programmes offering scholarship for intercontinental exchanges (outside Europe). Specific regulations apply per programme. Not that even if you don’t receive a grant, you are still eligible to go on exchange at your own expense (tuition fee waiver applies when going on exchange for studies to a VUB partner institution).

    Generieke Beurzen

    • 650 / 850* EUR per month
    • Min. duration 1 month & Max. duration 12 months
    • Exchange to VUB partner institutions only
    • Return Flight covered

    Priority Country Program

    The Washington Center

    VLIR - UOS Reisbeurzen

    Erasmus Belgica

    • Only for studies (not for trainees)
    • €100 (one time pay-off)
    • Min. 2 – max. 10 months

    China Scholarship Council

    *The additional funding for students with a scholarship is only applicable if you receive a scholarship or “studietoelage” by the Flemish government.

    For more information contact the International Relations Office.

    Difficulties financing your study abroad? Contact the social legal & financial support team.


    Exchange grant

    Belgian students (*) who experience difficulties financing their study period abroad, can apply for an exchange grant (buitenlandtoelage). With this exchange grant, you can finance the study costs abroad (transport, housing, study books, etc.). To receive this grant, there are general and specific conditions you must comply to.

    (*) Some EU/EEA-students can be entitled if they have been living in Belgium for at least five years or if they (or their parents) have been working in Belgium at least one year. Non-EEA-students can be entitled if they have a permanent residence in Belgium.

    Social legal & financial support

    If you are not entitled to an exchange grant and experience difficulties in paying the study expenses for your international exchange, you can contact Social legal & financial support to see if you are eligible for another kind of financial support. All your questions will be treated confidentially and your specific situation will be considered.


    for outgoing exchange students.

    Download the PDF of the procedures.

    1. Faculty nomination

    The nominations are done by your exchange coordinator. Nomination procedures start in December, so you should contact your exchange coordinator sooner rather than later.

    After consulting with your exchange coordinator, he or she will let you know if you may partake in your exchange program. Please note that this approval will be determined by:

    • The results you obtained
    • The approval of the guest institution

    Not sure who your exchange coordinator is? Have a look at the info file of your programme.

    2. Learning Agreement & Student Self Service

    Your exchange coordinator will let the Education and Student Administration know if you've been nominated. They will adjust your student profile in the Student SelfService and add a To Do List.

    You can consult your To Do List by navigating to:
    Main Menu > Self Service > Campus Personal Information > To Do List.

    This To Do List will show all administrative steps. It looks something like this:

    The first thing on your To Do List will be 'Learning Agreement'.

    The template of your Learning Agreement (LA) will be sent to you by e-mail. It should be filled out digitally and sent to exchange.outgoing@vub.ac.be. It will be added to your file and you'll see that the status in your To Do List has changed from ‘initiated' to 'received’.

    Note: You should send the document from the e-mail address mentioned in your learning agreement.

    Do not forget to apply at your guest institution.

    Some institutions will inform you of their procedures, others will not. Submitting an application and sorting out your administration at the guest institution is your own responsibility.

    3. OLS: Online Linguistic Support test

    You will need to take an Online Linguistic Support test (OLS) before leaving and another one when you get back. This test evaluates your language proficiency, doing another test when you get back lets us measure if it has improved during your stay.

    The test takes approximately 50 minutes and contains five main parts:

    • grammar
    • vocabulary
    • key communication
    • listening
    • reading

    The result you obtained is not visible to the guest institution. Your guest institution is not permitted to organise an additional language test or demand the result of the OLS test.

    Please be aware that you should indicate a certain language proficiency in your LA and you should have obtained this proficiency when you leave.

    Not happy with your result? Want to improve your knowledge? Send an e-mail to exchange.outgoing@vub.ac.be to get access to free online courses.

    Please note: Students whose mother tongue is the main language of instruction are exempted from the test.

    4. Approval faculty & guest institution

    There are three parties who should agree to your exchange program:

    • the student
    • the VUB
    • the guest institution.  

    This approval is given by signing your Learning Agreement. The approval of student is given by him- or herself by filling out the form and signing it, the approval of the coordinator is given in your To Do List. The Education and Student Administration will then nominates you at the guest institution.

    Your learning agreement will be an official contract once it has been signed by all three parties.

    Please note that you will only be allowed to leave once you have obtained sufficient grades on your exams.

    5. Departure (package)

    After receiving official approval from your exchange coordinator, you will receive a departure package.

    This package contains:

    • Erasmus Charter: Informs you of your rights and duties as an exchange student.
    • Grant agreement: Needs to be sent to exchange.outgoing@vub.ac.be. The first part of your Erasmus+ grant (70%) is paid after submitting the grant agreement and the Certificate of arrival and departure (CAD).
    • Certificate of arrival and departure (CAD): The arrival part is needed for the first part of your Erasmus+ grant. The departure part is needed for the second part of your Erasmus+ grant.

    6. Return

    When you return, the Education and Student Administration asks three things from you:

    • Certificate of arrival and departure (CAD, signed by your guest institution)
    • Transcript of records of your guest institution
    • Take the second part of your OLS test (we receive these results automatically)

    You will receive the remaining 30% of your Erasmus+ grant when receiving these three documents. The faculty will also process the grades you have obtained.

    Please take into account that your grades will be converted and that they may differ from the result you have obtained at your guest institution. For more information, please contact your exchange coordinator.

    Get in touch!

    Do you have any questions? Do not hesitate to contact us.

    All general questions