Going abroad

There are many good reasons for doing a part of your programme abroad. Going abroad challenges you both academically and personally, it gives you the option of specialising in interesting subject areas, and employers often value stays abroad as an important qualification in job applications.

Read more about why going abroad could be a good idea

As a Biology student you have many different exchange options. Below is a selection of exchange partners offering relevant courses:

University of Aveiro

University in the north of Portugal. Offers courses within ecology and environmental biology.

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University of Bremen

University in northern Germany, a one-hour train ride from Hamburg. Offers courses within marine biology, ecology, and tropical aquatic ecology.

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University of Oldenburg

University in the north of Germany, a half-hour train ride from Bremen. Offers an exchange programme focusing on the  ecosystem of the Wadden Sea. 

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Umeå University

University in northern Sweden, on the inlet of the Gulf of Bothnia. Offers courses within ecology, environmental biology, and plant biology.

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Wageningen University

Dutch university located between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Offers courses in ecology, marine biology, and behavioural biology.

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University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway

The world's northernmost university, located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Offers courses within Arctic biology, ecology, and fish biology.

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Chalmers University of Technology

University in Gothenburg, on the west coast of Sweden. Offers courses in plant biology, ecology, and ornithology.

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University of Hamburg

University in the second-largest city of Germany, a three-hour train ride from Odense. Offers courses within marine ecosystems, molecular plant biology, and fishery studies.

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Humboldt University of Berlin

The oldest of Berlin's universities. Offers a wide range of biology courses, e.g. in neurobiology or parasite biology. 

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James Cook University

University in the northeast of Australia. Offers courses within marine biology and tropical biology.

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Frequently asked questions on going abroad

1. When can I go abroad?

A study abroad experience must be integrated into your study programme.

Going abroad on the 2nd semester of the Master's degree programme, when you have 30 elective ECTS at your disposal, grants you the greatest flexibility.

It is also possible to go abroad in other semesters; however, this requires more careful planning, as you will then have to replace mandatory courses in your SDU programme.

2. When should I start planning my stay abroad?

When pursuing a study abroad experience, you must address many academic and practical matters. Therefore, you should start planning in good time.

If you wish to go outside Europe, you should start planning at least a year in advance. However, we recommend that you start planning already 1½ years ahead of your departure.

If you wish to stay in Europe, you should start planning at least a semester ahead, though we recommend start you start planning a year in advance.

3. How much effort does it take to plan a study abroad experience?

You will have to address several academic and practical matters before your departure.

First of all, you must find relevant courses corresponding to 30 ECTS credits per semester for the study board to pre-approve. If the host university does not use the ECTS system, you must document the method of conversion into ECTS credits.

You must also apply for admission as an exchange or guest study at the host university.

Additionally, you must also find your own accommodation, take out any relevant insurance policies, make travel arrangements, apply for a residence permit etc.

It is also a good idea to check whether you are eligible for any grants or scholarships as a supplement to your travelling expenses.

4. Can I do a research project or my Master's Thesis abroad?

Yes, you can do a research project or your Master's Thesis abroad.

The easiest way to do this is to find a research group abroad who accepts  you as a guest and then sign up for the project at SDU with a main supervisor from your department. You must state in the project description that you wish to do the project or parts of it abroad.

Once your project description has been approved, you can apply SDU's Internationalization Fund for funding for a self-arranged stay abroad.

5. Can I do a company project abroad?

As an alternative to an exchange stay at a university abroad you can do a company project abroad.

A company project in a company or organisation outside Denmark is a good way to gain both practical experience and develop a more international profile.

6. How do I apply for an exchange?

1. Find out where you want to go. Feel free to ask the student counsellors or SDU International for advice.

2. Check if the potential host university offers relevant courses in a language that you master.

3. Apply for an exchange place through the application system. You can apply for as many exchange places as you wish – please remember to prioritise them according to your wishes. For each priority you must state which courses you wish to take if you are allocated a place at the university in question. This is only a preliminary plan, which is not binding.

4. Once you have been nominated for an exchange place, you must apply for pre-approval of credit transfer. Your application must state which courses you wish to take during your exchange and which SDU courses they will replace. Please include course descriptions.

5. When your courses at the host university have been pre-approved for credit transfer, you must apply for admission as an exchange student at the host university. Your application to the host university must reflect the exact courses which have been pre-approved by SDU.

7. How do I apply for scholarships?

There are many scholarships available to students wishing to go abroad. There are also many services that charge students for conducting a scholarship search on a student’s behalf. If you have the time, most of the scholarships can be found online for free.

There is no general rule of thumb on whether you are eligible for a scholarship. Some scholarships are available only to students from certain locations; some require applicants to be pursuing studies in a certain field or have a certain grade point average.

As with eligibility, there is no set rule on how to apply for scholarships. While some scholarships just require you to fill in an application form, others may require a specially written piece of work. However, most scholarships have one thing in common: You must enclose a realistic budget for your exchange.

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