Internship abroad

Would you like to say goodbye to Hasselt University’s auditoria for a change and live an experience abroad? Do you want to brush up on your languages and get to know a different culture? It is possible at Hasselt University! We encourage students to spend some time abroad. During an international study period or internship, you acquire an open worldview and develop a whole lot of ‘soft skills’ (independence, self-confidence, language skills, communication and social skills, …). In short, an experience abroad is an important asset on the globalised labour market.

During your studies

Certain courses at Hasselt University offer the possibility to do an internship abroad during your studies.

General principles:

  • Your internship abroad is integrated in your course (and thus not a study duration extension).
  • You will receive academic recognition for your internship abroad. It will be mentioned on your diploma. Your internship and internship location should be approved by your faculty prior to departure.
  • Each faculty determines at which level (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD) and during which period a stay abroad is possible. Find out about the requirements with the internationalisation coordinator of your faculty.
  • You will receive organisational and administrative support from Hasselt University and from the host institution.

Step 1 – Candidacy

You can apply for an internship abroad via your Student File (exchange section). Candidatures open in December. The deadline for submission is 20 February at the latest. Every course has specific requirements for going abroad and every faculty also has their own internship locations. If interested, contact the internationalisation coordinator of your faculty for more information. You can also consult the manuals per course on this webpage.

Have you contacted the internationalisation coordinator and have you applied for an internship? Then proceed to step 2, applying for a scholarship.

Step 2 – Apply for a scholarship

For your international internship, Hasselt University provides different scholarships, both within and outside Europe. You can apply for an internship at the International Office every year to finance your internship abroad. Apply for an internship within Europe, outside Europe (including the UK and Switzerland), or both. There is a strict deadline for these applications:

  • 10 March for a scholarship application outside Europe
  • 30 April for a scholarship application within Europe

Based on the quality of your scholarship application and your selection interview at the faculty, you will be awarded a definitive grant or not. There are several scholarships available. The International Office will inform you by e-mail about the grant that will be awarded to you. You can find more information about the possible scholarships below.

Erasmus+

Erasmus is part of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission. One of the main objectives of Erasmus is to stimulate the mobility of students and lecturers in higher education between participating countries.

The European Commission granted the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education to both Hasselt University and tUL for the complete Erasmus+ programme period of 2021-2027. The Charter and the Erasmus Policy Statement can be consulted below:

All faculties of Hasselt University offer their students the possibility to go on Erasmus exchange for a study and/or internship stay abroad. This involves staying for a minimum of three months (study) and a maximum of one complete academic year in one of the participating countries (28 EU member states + Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Turkey, and North-Macedonia). For more information about the possibilities within your course, please contact the internationalisation coordinator of your faculty.

The internationalisation coordinator of your faculty is, in cooperation with your course, in charge of the selection of candidates and the drafting of a ranking of the selected candidates. This ranking determines the order in which the Erasmus scholarships are awarded.

More general information about Erasmus+ and Erasmus is available on the website of the European Commission. Still have questions? Contact dios@uhasselt.be.

Erasmus Belgica

Erasmus Belgica is a partnership between the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-speaking Community aimed at improving the mobility of students and teachers in higher education between the Communities of Belgium. The initiative was founded with assistance from the Prince Philippe foundation.

An international experience is often a fundamental requirement of employers for candidates for a job. Due to its special structure, Belgium offers students the unique advantage of being able to gain "international" experience within the borders of the country. The participating universities and university colleges are required to conclude an agreement with the partners of the other Communities.

The goal is to provide students the opportunity to spend part of their programme at a university or university college in another Community. This gives them a chance to integrate into the language and culture of another Community of Belgium and to adapt to different surroundings and a different mentality.

Generally speaking, the programme is conducted similarly to the European Erasmus programme. For more information regarding the conditions, nomination process, manuals, etc., please visit the Erasmus page.

Contact Laurien Stuvers of the international office for more information.

Priority Country Programme

The objective of the Priority Country Programme is the promotion of student exchange (bachelor/master) between Flanders and the following priority countries: Brazil, Chile, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, the United States of America, and South Africa. Scholarships are provided for mobilities (study and/or internship and/or research in the context of a bachelor’s or master’s thesis) from one month to a year.

More information:

ASEM WPP

The ASEM Work Placement Programme (ASEM WPP) promotes the exchange of talent between Europe and Asia by offering scholarships to students of Flemish higher education institutions for an internship in a number of Asian countries. Flemish students can choose between the following destinations: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam.

More information:

Generieke beurzen

The Flemish government awards grants for mobilities to countries outside of Europe to students studying at bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level. The mobility should last at least one month (minimum of 5 ECTS credits) and maximum 12 months. The scholarship amounts to 650 euros per month and there is an additional allowance for travel costs, as well as an additional amount (200 euros) for students from disadvantaged groups.

More information

The Washington Centre

The Flemish Ministry of Education and Training offers scholarships to Flemish students that want to do an internship during one semester at international organisations or companies in Washington, D.C.

More information

Travel Grants

  • VLIR-UOS awards grants of 1.000 euros for internships and research stays abroad that last at least 4 weeks. The internship or research should be part of a recognised course unit. More information can be found here. For this experience you need the support and guidance of a Hasselt University promotor. Moreover, your internship/research should be linked to credits. It is therefore important to contact your internationalisation coordinator if you are interested.

    For whom?

    Bachelor/Master/Advanced Bachelor/Advanced Master… (no postgraduate) students with the faculty’s approval. Be sure to check with your faculty which options there are for going to the South.

    Destination?

    The Global South. We give preference to countries from the VLIR-UOS country list, but there are also possibilities for going to other South countries. Therefore, do not hesitate to apply for a scholarship if you are travelling to the South, even if you are not travelling to a VLIR-UOS country.

    Do note: In exceptional cases, you can also receive this scholarship of 1.000 euros if you are travelling to other countries. The South Grant then becomes a Travel Grant. The procedure is identical.

    Duration and travel period?

    You should stay at least 4 consecutive weeks at your internship location. There is no maximum length of stay.

    More information

Have you been selected for an internship abroad and has your scholarship application been approved? Congratulations! Then step 3 follows next; the preparation of your exchange.

Step 3 - Preparation

Before you prepare your suitcase to leave, it is important to put the necessary administration in order. Follow the below checklist step by step before you leave.

Registration @ host institution

Update to follow

Academic preparation

Learning agreement

When you are doing an internship abroad, you are replacing a few of your Hasselt University course units with course units at the host institution. Therefore, it is necessary to draw up a study programme abroad (learning agreement). You should draw up this document with your faculty coordinator and upload it via your exchange file (student file). The learning agreement should be signed at least one month before departure (by yourself, your faculty coordinator, and the host institution).

Changes to learning agreement

If changes to your learning agreement are necessary after arrival at your host institution, contact your faculty coordinator at Hasselt University as soon as possible and submit a change request in your exchange file. One month after the start date of your internship abroad at the latest, your amended learning agreement should be formally approved and signed (by yourself, your faculty coordinator, and the host institution). Do note: After this, no changes to the learning agreement are allowed (unless in exceptional cases of force majeure).

Transcript of record

At the end of your stay abroad, after completing your course units, you will receive your study results. You will receive a transcript of records from the host institution. The results you receive abroad will be converted to Hasselt University’s credit system. These results may differ from the results you eventually receive. Tables are used for the conversion. These tables can be found in the faculty manual for outgoing students. Alternatively, you can contact your faculty coordinator for more information.

Scholarship administration

Before your stay abroad, you will have been awarded a scholarship. To actually receive the scholarship, you must finalise the necessary paperwork. This administration depends on the type of scholarship you receive. The International Office will inform you thereof. Make sure you follow all procedures and adhere to all deadlines, so you do not miss out on your scholarship.

Language preparation

When you go abroad, it is definitely useful if you can speak the language of the host country. The “Provinciaal Centrum Volwassenonderwijs Hasselt” (PCVO) has an extensive offer of language courses. Consult their website with the offer.

If you are going to study at a host institution with an Erasmus scholarship, you are required to take a language test before departure. Erasmus+ has set up a tool for this, the Online Linguistic Support tool. Students will be invited by mail to do the test.

In the host countries, there are often possibilities to take language courses. If you have to pay for this language course and it does not count towards credits, you can ask for a (partial) refund. To receive the refund, you should upload the proof of payment or a certificate to your student file. This document should mention your name, the type of course, the duration and the dates of the course, the name and address of the organising institution, as well as the price.

Insurance

What are you insured for?

  • Hasselt University’s accident insurance continues to cover you during your stay abroad. This insurance covers physical damage that occurs DURING your study activities (e.g. falling down the stairs in your host institution, suffering an injury during lab activities, …). Every insured accident should be reported immediately. In this case, contact your faculty’s internationalisation coordinator.
  • Liability insurance: This insurance covers you if you cause damage to third parties during activities related to your study (e.g. a fellow student sustains a small wound as a result of a mistake).

Which insurance do you take out yourself?

If you cause an accident, you can mostly fall back on your family insurance. Be sure to check with your insurer before departure.

  • Travel assistance insurance: Be sure to take out your own travel assistance insurance for additional guarantees such as luggage loss, repatriation, …
  • Family insurance: Make sure your own family insurance is up to date. You need it if you cause damage to third parties outside of your internship or study activities. Be sure to check whether you are also insured in the country where you will be staying.
  • Hospitalisation insurance: If you have a separate hospitalisation insurance, check what your coverage is like in your country of destination.
  • Health insurance: If there is no convention for medical expenses between your health insurance fund in Belgium and the country of your destination, nothing will be paid (back) by the health insurance fund in case you have medical expenses. This can differ from health fund to health fund. Check what your health fund’s coverage is like in the country of destination.

If you travel within Europe, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card through your health insurance fund. With this card, you can have (part of) your medical expenses reimbursed by a health insurance fund in the host country, a member state of the European Union, or a country in the European Economic Area.

Accommodation

Do you have a dorm room in Hasselt or Diepenbeek and do you want to rent out your room during your absence to another (foreign) student? Then report this to the Student Facilities Office, but don’t forget to ask for approval from your landlord first.

Hasselt University does not reserve rooms for your stay abroad. You are responsible for your own accommodation on site. Your can contact the international office of your host institution, their Erasmus coordinator, or your host institution’s website. Fellow students from Hasselt University who have spent a study period at your chosen destination in the past may also help you on your way.

Passport/visa

We recommend to check a few months before your departure whether or not you need a passport and a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for a sufficient period of time. It is your own responsibility to apply for these documents in time.

Extra allowance

Study Allowance from the Flemish Government

Students who are entitled to a study allowance from the Flemish Government will receive it on top of their Erasmus scholarship. Make sure you submit your application on time.

Family allowance

When you register at Hasselt University, you receive a certificate to apply for family allowances. This is the only certificate that you must submit to your family allowance fund as an Erasmus student. Do not submit certificates from your host institution to avoid unnecessary problems.

Students with a disability

Are you a student with a disability? Be aware that you can apply for education and examination facilities as an Erasmus student. How? Please contact the disability officer via faciliteiten@uhasselt.be.

Manuals

Have you been selected to go abroad for a study or internship period? On this webpage, you can find all information about the things you should arrange before, during, and after your study/internship abroad.

At the end of every manual, in the so-called “conversion tables”, you can see how the results you receive at the foreign host institution are converted to your study results at Hasselt University.

Step 4 – On site

Every partner organisation has their own procedure. The extra information with practical to do’s on arrival are best talked through beforehand with your internship place/external supervisor. These to do’s often include:

  • Registration at your internship place or with your supervisor.
  • Registration with the police or at the town hall/city hall.
  • Definitive description of your internship activities: Pass on the final composition of your internship activities to your exchange coordinator. If a substantive amendment (like data or internship content) is necessary, this must be done within one month after the start date of your internship. Report this to your exchange coordinator and put the necessary administration in order.
  • On the last day of your internship, you should download a ‘proof of registration at the host institution’ document (see exchange file) and have it filled in. This proof should then be uploaded to your exchange file.

Step 5 – Upon return

Upon return, it is important to report on your experience abroad. Depending on which scholarship you are awarded, you will have to write a report, submit your airline tickets, upload or email a certificate of stay, fill out a survey, … You will have received this information before departure from the International Office. After finalising this administration, you will receive (the remainder of) the scholarship amount.

Your faculty may ask for additional reporting.

After your studies

After your studies at Hasselt University, you can also do an internship abroad. The Flemish Government and the Rotary Foundation among others have scholarships on offer. More information can be found on the Students on the Move and Rotary websites.