When can you go on exchange during your studies?

Students can go on an exchange in their third bachelor's year (first semester) or first master's year (first semester).

Students can do a traineeship abroad in their third bachelor’s year (second semester).

Conditions to go on exchange

For details on the entire selection procedure, read the information further below.

The students are selected by the Exchange Committee of the Faculty of Law and Criminology. This Exchange Committee consists of the Exchange Coordinator and the Exchange Assistants. Those who are not selected for their first choice will be referred within the selection to their second, and then to their third choice. 

The Exchange Committee will pay attention to the accuracy and completeness of the selection file, the exam results, the motivation letter and any language certificates. The exam results will not be decisive.

The selection will take place at the latest on 1 March of the academic year preceding that of the exchange period. Each selected student will be informed about a possible selection for an exchange by mid-March via e-mail.

Exchange Coordinators

Should some of your questions remain unanswered, feel free to get in touch with your Exchange Coordinator Lars Breuls or Exchange Assistant Jasmine De Backer.

View the general exchange information (IRMO)

View the exchange information session 2023.

How to apply for an exchange?

You must apply by completing the selection form of the Faculty of Law and Criminology (more details on the selection form further below).

Download the selection form

Before submitting your application, we advise you to inform yourself properly. After all, you are applying for a certain destination. It may therefore be useful to find out if the course units offered at a particular destination suit your study curriculum.

You apply for a maximum of three destinations. If you are not selected for the destination of your first choice, you may still be eligible for the destination of your second or third choice.

If you have chosen one of these destinations, you must submit your application to the office of the Exchange Assistant by 15 February of the academic year prior to the exchange period.

Composing your selection file

You have to put together a file that consists of a completed selection form, your transcript of records, your CV, a motivation letter, any language certificates you have taken and other possible relevant information. The transcript of records can be downloaded from Student Selfservice.

When you've been selected

As soon as you have been selected for a destination, you must compile a study programme in consultation with the Exchange Assistant. The study programme of the faculty shows which course units you will follow during your exchange period, which course units of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel you will replace with it and which course units you will follow at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As soon as the Exchange Assistant approves your study programme, you have to include it in your Learning Agreement and submit it to IRMO, together with a completed 'Student Application Form'. Finally, you also need to add English language mark sheets to your files. See below for further explanation of these documents.

Destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Students can apply for the following exchange destinations

Study programme

What is the study programme?

The study programme of the faculty shows which course units you will take during your exchange period, which course units of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel you will replace with it, and which course units you will still take at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Download the faculty study programme template

The study programme, the Learning Agreement and the faculty study programme must correspond with each other. Therefore, when you fill in your faculty study programme, the elective courses you choose there must be the same as those you have indicated in the study programme and the Learning Agreement.

ECTS credits

Every university in Europe has to grade its course units with ECTS credits. In every European university, an academic year consists of 60 ECTS credits. The ECTS credits of the course unit indicate the load of a course unit compared to the entire year programme.

Your study programme must therefore comprise at least 60 ECTS credits. Within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme, your study programme is split into two semesters: the first semester at the host university and the second semester at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Each semester represents approximately 30 ECTS credits. Within the framework of the Erasmus Belgica programme, two formulas are possible (a semester or a full academic year). It is sometimes difficult to divide the semesters into two equal halves. But we strongly advise you to do this calculation exercise as well as possible, so that the workload is evenly spread. In any case, you need to take at least 21 credits at the host university.

Course units

For the exchange period, your study programme includes a number of course units that replace the course units you would normally take at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

You can replace a course unit at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel of the second semester by a course unit at the host university. The course units to be replaced at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel do not necessarily have to be course units of the first semester. A course unit at the host university can also replace several course units, or vice versa.

The content of the course units that will be taken at the host university must, in principle, more or less correspond to the content of the course units that will be replaced at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (in this respect, the necessary flexibility will be aimed for). This rule does not apply to reflection courses and certain other course units. The Exchange Assistant will be able to provide more information about this.

Do not forget, the better prepared your file is, the more trouble-free your stay at the host university will be.

Documents to be enclosed

A copy of the available information on the chosen course units at the host university (brief content, number of credits, title holder) should be added to the study programme. This information can be found in the first place on the website of the foreign university. The Exchange Assistant also has information on this subject.

Approval

The study programmes are approved by the Exchange Committee of the Faculty of Law and Criminology. The approval takes place at the latest on the 1st of March of the year preceding that of the exchange period. If the Exchange Committee is of the opinion that adjustments are required, these must be made as soon as possible.

FAQ

What is the Student Application Form?

The Student Application Form is the official application form of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. With this form you submit your candidacy to the host university. On the basis of this form, the host university will either accept or reject your candidature. It is an online document that can be found on Mobility Online.

What is a Learning Agreement?

The Learning Agreement is a contract between the selected student(s), the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the host university. This contract contains a list of the course units the student will follow at the host university.

Once the study programme has been drawn up and approved, you can fill in the Learning Agreement. The course units that you have to fill in on the Learning Agreement are the course units that you will follow at the host university and that are mentioned in the study programme.

How and when should I hand in these documents?

The Student Application Form and the Learning Agreement can be found on Mobility Online. After first filling in an online version, IRMO will check if all necessary information has been filled in. If that is the case, you can print out the file.

You have to hand in four copies of the printed file to the Exchange Assistant, and this at the latest on 20 March of the academic year preceding that of the exchange period.

What will be the next step(s)?

Once the study programmes are approved, the Student Application Forms and the Learning Agreements will be signed by the Exchange Coordinator and sent to the host universities by the central administration.

The host universities must in turn sign the Student Application Forms and the Learning Agreements and return them to the central administration.

How can I make changes to the Learning Agreement during my mobility?

Once you have arrived at your destination university, you must immediately contact the local Exchange Coordinator or Assistant in order to complete the necessary formalities.

If the Learning Agreement cannot be followed through no fault of your own (e.g. because a subject on your Learning Agreement is not taught or because you cannot follow this subject due to overlaps), you will have to adjust your programme. Consultation with the Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is necessary. 

If the proposed adjustment of your programme has been accepted by the local Exchange Coordinator and the Exchange Coordinator of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, you must complete the form Changes to the Learning Agreement via Mobility Online. You sign this form, have it signed by the competent body of the host university and send it by post or e-mail to the Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel by 15 October of the academic year of the exchange period at the latest.

The form Changes to the Learning Agreement is then signed by the Exchange Coordinator of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and returned to the host university.

How will my (exam) results be evaluated?

The results obtained at the host university are, if necessary, converted using a conversion table of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the conversion tables of the host universities. The study results obtained at the universities of the French Community remain the same.

Where available, the student(s) shall submit the official marksheet of the host university to the Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The host university provides the official transcript of records to the Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

If your exam results do not reach the Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel before the deliberation of the first session, the deliberation will take place after the second session.

One or two semesters?

If your exchange period lasts one semester, it is possible that a number of course units, for which you have to take exams at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, are taught during that semester. It is therefore advisable to make clear arrangements with the lecturers and assistants of these course units about sitting the exams at the beginning of the academic year.

If your exchange period takes place in the first semester

It is possible that you can still take the examinations for the course units that take place in the first semester during the examination session of the first semester, that is if your exchange period ends early enough. In any case, these exams can be taken during the exam session of the second semester. 

If your exchange period takes place in the second semester

This is sometimes possible within the framework of the Erasmus Belgica programme. If you study in the second semester at a university of the French Community, you have to take the exams for the course units of the second semester that you still have to take at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel during the exam session of the second semester (or during the second sitting period). These exams cannot be transferred to the first semester.

In case an exam at the host university falls on the same day as an exam at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, it is advisable to contact the Exchange Assistant in order to find a solution.

If your exchange period is a full year

This may be possible within the framework of the Erasmus Belgica programme. If you can study for a full year at a university of the French Community, it is possible that you still have to take a course unit at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel because you would like to take this course unit at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, or because for a compulsory course unit no similar course unit is available at the host university.

If this is the case, you will have to find a solution in consultation with the Exchange Assistant. This may consist of taking the exam for this course unit in the second term. You can also commute between the two universities and follow course units at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and take the exam for them in the first session. In that case, the exams at both universities have to be coordinated; this can be done in consultation with the Exchange Assistant.

One last golden advice

To conclude this manual, we would like to give you one more piece of advice: take care of your accommodation! Sometimes students get into trouble because they did not arrange for accommodation, or did not do so in time. 

  1. Check the website of the host university if it does not offer housing. If this is the case, try to enrol as soon as possible. Do not wait for a week, but do it the day the selection is announced! 
  2. If no accommodation is offered by the host university, or if you are on a waiting list, it is advisable to contact the students who studied at your destination university last year. They can give you useful tips on where and how to look. The Exchange Assistant of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel can refer you to these students. 
  3. During your holidays, you may want to go to your destination where you can possibly reserve a room. 
  4. There are also websites where you can find information on housing: