It all starts with a...
Good and detailed application process! Applying as a free mover to your dream university is not that difficult, if you know what steps to take and in which order. Let’s discover them 🙂
1) Have a selection of potential destinations before starting
I would say that the first step to take is to have a clear idea on your preferred destinations. If you are unsure about which countries to choose, consult our country guides. Otherwise, try the university finder for a general overview of the available institutions. You should have on hand a shortlist of universities before moving on.
Pick a fair number of destinations, since too few of them can lower significantly your chances of going abroad, while too many could require you a significant amount of time to complete the application process. At the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences, but generally I would suggest you to stick with 3 to 8 shortlisted universities at this stage. Anyways, if you find out, later on, that you have too few choices, you can easily add few of them afterwards, while, if you have too many, you can exclude one or more of them during the process.
2) Check for specific application requirements
Ok, perfect. You have your dream destinations in mind. Now, let’s see it they are feasible as well. First and foremost, check their application requirements. I have made a list of the potential ones here, even though they should be clearly stated on the landing page of each participating university.
3) Scrutiny their educational offer
If you want the credits taken abroad to be recognized once you come back, you should have a good match between your home courses and the ones that you are going to follow as a free mover. In this way, your university won’t have many problems in converting your study abroad credits into the equivalent ones at your home institution. It could be a hassle at the beginning, but having a clear match between the two study programs beforehand will certainly pay dividends later, giving you peace of mind while being on your study abroad journey.
4) Contact the selected universities
Then, I suggest you to send an email to the contact that you find in the webpage of the selected universities. In the email you can present yourself, state that you are interested in spending a semester/full year as a free mover at that university. If needed, ask additional detail about the application requirements and the application steps and courses specific to that university. When the contact replies back, and you have a confirmation that you can apply to that university as a free mover, then it’s time to move to the next step!
5) Inform your international office
Contact your international office, and state that you want to leave for a semester/year as a free mover. They should assign you a responsible for your case, that can help you throughout the process or with the selection of the exams/courses to take abroad, just like with any other organized mobility student. If you have followed the previous steps, you should have a selection of destinations and compatible courses that you can propose to your responsible. That makes life so much easier for your responsible, who will be more efective in following your case, while you, on the other hand, can obtain quicker guidance and credit approval.
6) Apply to the selected universities
Now it’s up to you. After having discussed your list of universities with your international mobility responsible at your home university, you should have clearer ideas on which of them can be considered for an application. You can apply to them all, or just select some or even one of them. The more applications you send, the higher the chance of being admitted.
7) Wait for the results, select your destination and ask for the learning agreement
Have you been accepted to one or more universities as a free mover? Congratulations!
If not, try to repeat the application process with new destinations. In case of any problem, I am here to help you.
If you have received more than one admission offer, you should pick one of them as your final choice.
Then, contact your international mobility responsible, mentioned in the step 5 of this guide, and inform her/him that you have been succesfully admitted to …(the university that you have just chosen). Consequently, ask for the learning agreement. It is such an important document if you want your credit mobility to be recognized towards your degree once you come back.
And boom, you’re done! Enjoy your next semester abroad!