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Aalto University's strong desire to encourage and enable more and more students to seize the opportunities offered by exchange studies to develop the skills needed in working life is reflected in the new principles of Aalto's international student exchange, improved in cooperation with Aalto students. Principles, terminology and guidelines have been harmonized and clarified between schools, the thresholds for applying for exchanges have been lowered and equality between applicants has been further improved.

The new principles will take effect on August 1, 2021 and will be applied for the first time in the application period for Japan in the schools of technology in November 2021 for the academic year 2022-2023 for exchange applicants. 

Here are few highlights: 

  • We made the master level exchanges easier to implement. In the future, it will be enough for all Aalto students who go on exchange studies at the master level to complete minimum of 24 ECTS that will be credited to the Aalto’s degree. Surely you are always welcome to study more too!

  • If you have been admitted directly to study for a master's degree at Aalto University, you will no longer be required to have a certain minimum number of credits at the time of application. Note, however, that some studies must have been completed, as we need to be able to calculate a study success index for you for the selections.
  • We will ease gaining international experience by giving second-time exchange applicants equal opportunities to be selected for exchange destinations by removing the priority procedure for first-time exchange applicants in all fields.

  • We harmonized the possibility for exchange in Aalto's different fields by allowing engineering students to apply for exchanges earlier in their studies. In the future, also an engineering student completing a bachelor's degree can apply for an exchange already when he or she has at least 30 credits registered in the Aalto University study register by the date specified in the exchange application schedule. The exchange can take place at the earliest in the second year of study and, the applicant must always check separately whether it is possible to apply for the destination in the second year of study and what number of credits the host university may expect from the applicants. 
  • We equalized the opportunities to apply for exchanges in the field of technology. Long-distance destinations in the field of technology are now more accessible to all applicants as we removed the minimum study index number requirement for long-distance destinations. In addition, exchanges in the field of technology will in future be equally available to applicants from different technical schools. The student's school background will not affect the order of selection, but the choices will generally be made using a study su index. At the request of partner universities, priority procedures may be maintained in some destinations (that information will be marked to Destination Database.
  • We will concretely strengthen the opportunities for all students to go on exchange studies by creating an Aalto University Accessibility Grant. Accessibility Grant is intended to enable exchanges when a special need causes additional costs for the exchange period that cannot be supported any other way. In addition, students who are the guardians of a minor child may be paid an additional allowance for a student with a family. We will inform you more about these later.

The main selection criterion in all fields will be called study success index (formerly the indicator). The calculation of the index will continue to take into account the student's credits and average in relation to the semesters of attendance, but the exact calculation method will be confirmed as soon as possible after the change of the study information system at the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022. 

These reforms apply to student exchanges for undergraduate students at Aalto University (bachelor's and / or master's degree students and, in the case of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS), also doctoral students). The principles are followed in the International Business program of the School of Economics (Mikkeli campus) and the CEMS program, where applicable. 

Aalto University's new principles for international student exchange in its entirety will be published in English in August.

You can also ask your school's exchange coordinator for more information. Contact information here.