Author:
Mart Noorkõiv

Tips for applying abroad

Every study abroad competition call includes information about required application documents, about how to submit the documents and also to whom the documents need to be submitted. Applicants should follow these instructions and requirements very precisely, otherwise the application may be rejected.
Most commonly asked application documents:

Study abroad applications are processed electronically via SoleMove system. In order to submit an application make sure the application call of your interest is open. To submit the application:

  1. Go to the website SoleMove (NB! SoleMove kicks you out of the system when you open multiple SoleMove browser windows).
  2. Select University of Tartu as your home university from the list.
  3. Log into the system by using your UT credentials.
  4. From the menu at left side bar, choose: a) "Application form for outgoing student mobility" - for regular semester studies abroad (Erasmus+ program, ISEP, UT partnerships etc.) or b) "Application form for short student mobility" - only for short-term blended mobilities. The student mobility application templates are not listed in case you have an employee status at UT. Please e-mail studyabroad@ut.ee and kindly ask to add outgoing student status to your SoleMove user.
  5. Click "new" to start creating an application.
  6. Choose mobility type ("Study" for regular exchange studies and blended mobilities).
  7. Select application period from the list- for example "Faculty of Medicine (Erasmus+ Europe 2024/2025) 01.02.2024-08.03.2024"
  8. Click "save" to save the draft and start filling out the application.

NB! Start filling the application from the second tab (exchange study information), not from the first (personal data). It is important because choosing the study abroad exchange programme under "add new institution/enterprise" defines the fields of the application template accordingly. Once the study abroad exchange programme has been selected, the application template gets changed, before that it is displayed as general template.

When applying under exchange program to any partner university adding the destinations to the application is only allowed via "add new institution/enterprise" and not via "add new institution/enterprise (as freemover)". Freemover applications are not acceptable!

Please bear in mind that your Home institution in the application must be your academic subunit at UT(institute, college, school) or the academic subunit you want to submit your application to (in case of Erasmus+ Europe exchange).

Make sure you follow the tips available under "?" in front of the data fields.

A letter of motivation should be an honest, well-reasoned and interesting to read statement on why the applicant is the best candidate from the perspective of studies and professional plans for the future. The optimal length for a motivation letter is 1-1,5 pages.

Please use the template you can find here.  

If the letter of recommendation is required, applicants must submit an academic letter of recommendation that:

  • includes an overview of how long and how the writer of the letter of recommendation has known the applicant;
  • expresses the writer’s honest, open and well-reasoned opinion on why the applicant is a suitable candidate for the particular grant;
  • is usually 1 page long and is signed by the writer;
  • is written on the letterhead of the unit or department (if possible);
  • should end with the writer’s contact data.

It is important that the person who writes the letter of recommendation knows the applicant well enough. It is essential to give the writer enough time to compose the letter; good practice suggests 2 weeks!

In many cases you only need to submit Transcript of records of your current studies, still check if the Diploma supplement of previous studies is also needed from the relevant competition call.

1. Transcript of records (of current studies)
Transcript of records is almost always mandatory in applying for any grant. Students can order transcript of records from the Dean’s office of the faculty they are admitted to, in either Estonian or English. The transcript must always be printed on the faculty letterhead and it must also show the average grade. When asking for a transcript of records, applicants should take into account that this may take a couple of days.

2. Diploma supplement of the previous study level
In the case of grants meant for the Master’s and Doctoral students, it is often required to submit a copy of their diploma from previous level of study and translation.  Please note that if this is required, as stated in a particular announcement, you need to know that for applying at UT a simple copy is accepted. In the case you get selected for study abroad and your documents need to be submitted (or you submit) to the university abroad, there may be a requirement to submit a certified copy of the diploma (diploma supplement), not just a single copy.
For a simple copy, one can print it out from the DreamApply system, if a student does not have a copy. To have a copy certified, one needs to consider that certifying takes time. One can have their copy certified by notary, for example.

Erasmus+ Programme

1) Language certificates accepted by UT for the selection round carried out by the home university:

  • all local and international test results;
  • a letter from the language instructor or an official proof of completing a language course (with the language level indicated);
  • If you have submitted your TOEFL or other tests’ scores to the UT for admission, you can download the copy from DreamApply system.

2) Language certificates as part of documentation asked by the receiving university after you have been nominated bu UT:

  • make sure you study the website of the receiving university for incoming exchange students;
  • if the receiving university does not ask for language certificate you still need to submit the language proof to UT when first applying under Erasmus+ competition - UT is committed to check the proof before making the selection.

ISEP and UT  partner universities

Most of the foreign universities require as one application document a language certificate – students need to prove that they have sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction of the foreign university. Requirements for acceptable language tests and language levels are different and more detailed information is available at the websites of foreign universities or in the scholarship offers announced by the UT.

  • Some universities don’t require language test results. In this case a letter from the language instructor or a proof of participating in the language course is usually acceptable. If the applicant has studied the language at the University of Tartu, they can ask their language teacher or the UT Language Centre to issue the certificate.
  • Please note! If it is said in the scholarship offer that the results of some language test are required, students need to take a language test and the letter from the language instructor is not sufficient.
  • Universities in the US and Canada and in some other countries may accept only the results of international tests of English: such as TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or Cambridge English Advance (CAE). Applicants can take the TOEFL test in Tallinn. Further information is available at the Education USA Advising Centre. IELTS can be taken at the Language Centre of Tallinn University. CAE test can be taken at the Cambridge English Language Assessment exam centre.
  • Those students who have submitted their TOEFL or other tests’ scores to the University of Tartu can print the copy of their test scores from DreamApply system. Please remember that TOEFL test score is valid for up to two years.

Please note! If the foreign university requires TOEFL or IELTS and student has not taken the test, we recommend registering for a test as soon as possible. It might take couple of months until you can take a test (places are limited). When registering for the test, make sure that you order the results to the University of Tartu. Students who apply to ISEP programme must also order the results to be sent to ISEP.

Tests of English, Russian and German can be taken at the Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures, for a fee.

Information about the language requirements of UT partner universities can be found from the scholarship offers and also from the websites of foreign universities.
Information about the language requirements of ISEP universities can be found from ISEP webpage (check the directory of universities).

To find a suitable foreign university, students should consult with their programme director and/or supervisor. You should also keep in mind that in order to apply, the programme director of your curriculum needs to approve your planned study abroad application (UT study abroad application must be also signed by the programme director).

Before you apply to the foreign university, make sure that you know the regulations for study abroad.

  • It is important to keep in mind that studying abroad remains part of your studies here, i.e. studies at the University of Tartu do not stop and your performance at the foreign university affects the completion of your curriculum as well as your academic achievement.
  • Students must remain enrolled at the University of Tartu during the full study abroad period - studies at UT cannot end earlier than study abroad period and there must be enough time for transferring the credits to the University of Tartu.
  • After completing the studies at foreign university, students must transfer the credits to the University of Tartu.
  • More detailed information is available at: Regulations for study abroad.

All international students who are planning to study abroad are obliged to check upon the following items before applying:

  • if you have received a grant/scholarship either by UT or the Archimedes Foundation (such as ESF DoRa), make sure  under which circumstances you can study abroad, meaning whether you can maintain your existing scholarship also for your study abroad period or you need to cancel the one which has been granted to supprt your studies at UT;
  • if you are applying for two scholarships, make sure whether you are allowed to apply for both of them (meaning to apply at the same time)  and whether these can be used simultaneously;
  • in any case, please read through all the materials which describe the terms and conditions of your current and future scholarship.
  • With questions about the organisation of studies and the completion of the curriculum, you can contact your institute or the Dean's office of your faculty or the student advisor (noustaja@ut.ee);
  • with questions about the student exchange programme and application requirements: check the contact information from the scholarship offer;
  • more information about whom to contact with different questions: Whom to contact.
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