Important practicalities

Below you will find some practical matters that you can or in some cases need to arrange before your departure. Read this information carefully.

Language training

Students who go abroad must master the language of the host institution sufficiently. This is usually English, but there may also be other languages of instruction. Sometimes, mastery of language is even a formal requirement. If this is the case, you will have to take a test to demonstrate your proficiency.

Read more about language training

Admission tests

Students who go abroad to study, to do an internship or to conduct research are sometimes required to take tests. A language test, for example, or a test that measures other qualities.

Two well-known language tests are the American TOEFL and the British IELTS. In addition, students are sometimes required to take a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination).

Read more about the admission tests

Scholarships and grants

There are several scholarships available for students who would like to go abroad. Most scholarships are intended for a specific group of students. Please check whether you meet all the conditions before you decide to apply for a scholarship.

Read more about scholarships for study and research abroad
Read more about Erasmus+ grants


Healthcare insurance

If you have a Dutch insurance in the Netherlands, you have a private health insurance. Always check with your insurance company if it offers worldwide coverage. For some non-EU countries, you will need additional coverage because of the extremely high medical expenses (e.g. USA, Canada, Australia and Switzerland). Some host universities in fact have compulsory university health insurance.

Additional insurances

During your stay abroad you are covered by UM’s liability insurance. This insurance covers damages for which you are legally responsible. However, this only covers academic activities (internships included), but no damages caused during private time. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you also take out a good travel insurance, and possibly also a personal liability insurance and an accident insurance. 

Visa and residence permit

Depending on your destination and your nationality, you may have to apply for an entry visa and/or a residence permit. The host institution will normally inform you about this, but we do also advise you to check the host country’s embassy and immigration pages. Please stick to their instructions in order not to delay any processes.

You do not need a visa for EU-countries if you have an EU nationality. However, if you do not possess an EU nationality, you need a residence permit if you stay longer than three months in an EU country. For details, check the information from the embassy of the host country.

If you have a Dutch residence permit, you are allowed to spend a period of a maximum of nine months abroad during your studies without jeopardizing your Dutch residence permit. If your permit expires while abroad, make arrangements to have it renewed before you go on exchange. A Dutch residence permit does not automatically grant you a legal stay in the other EU countries; always check with the relevant embassy.

For non-EU countries, a visa is almost always required. You should start the visa procedure as soon as you have received the required document(s) from your host university. For details, check the information from the embassy of the host country.


  • Make appointments for vaccinations via the GGD (Public Health Service in many Dutch cities), if necessary. The host institution’s information material will usually tell you if vaccinations are required and which ones. For up-to-date information, check the host country’s embassy or local health authority.
  • If you take special medication, you should check with the embassy if there are requirements to legally take this medication with you. You may need to ask your doctor to draw up an official medical statement.