International students can apply for an exchange period at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht with the Study Abroad Coordinator at their home university. We offer a large range of English-taught programmes, so you are sure to find one that suits you.

Exchange programmes 

First, have a look at the various exchange programmes we have on offer.

What do I do once I have found the programme of my choice?

Once you have picked your course or programme, there is a number of steps you have to take. We have outlined them for you on this page.

How do I apply?

Although the process may seem daunting, it is quite straightforward. We have described what you need to do below. Take your time to read through it before you get started.

  • Ask the coordinator at your home university to send us your online nomination through Mobility Online.
    After we have received your online nomination, we will send you our application procedure through Mobility Online. The application period opens Monday 3 April.
  • Please follow the instructions in this guide to prepare your documents and submit your online application before the deadline (see below). If you need a visa to study in the Netherlands, you will need to send us additional documents.
  • Within a few weeks after the application deadline has passed, we will review your application. If your application is complete and we have received all required documents in good order, you will receive an official acceptance letter and you can start arranging all practical matters concerning your stay in Utrecht.

Please keep an eye on your application deadline so you don't lose out.

  • Fall Semester (starting September): 1 May
  • Spring Semester (starting February): 15 October

As part of the application procedure you need to upload a Learning Agreement – outlining your course selection at HU with both the exchange programme of your choice and the courses it contains. The document needs to be signed by you and the coordinator at your home university. Below you can find our Learning Agreements. You may also use your home institution's format.

Please note: some exchange programmes have different (sub) courses you can choose from, your choices need to be outlined on the learning agreement.

Language requirements

As studying at HU (and in the Netherlands in general) requires interactive communication skills, you need to have a sufficient level of (academic) English to enrol in our English-taught programmes. Learning some Dutch isn't mandatory but it does enhance your stay in the Netherlands.

To ensure you do well, most Exchange programmes require Common European Framework (CEFR) level B2. In some cases, individual programmes deviate from this requirement; you can find this information in your programme's Admission requirements.

A number of HU exchange programmes require you to submit proof of your English proficiency, such as official TOEFL/IELTS test results or a recommendation letter from your home university’s international coordinator or English teacher.

Even if your programme does not require proof of your English proficiency, we strongly recommend you test your level before coming to Utrecht – and take initiative to improve your overall level to B2 if needed.

If you are coming to Utrecht as an Erasmus+ student, you will have the opportunity to test your level of English with the Erasmus+ Online Language Assessment. You should receive an invitation from your home university’s coordinator when you apply for the Erasmus+ grant. 

If you are not an Erasmus+ student, there are online options to test your proficiency. Please note that these are not official tests, but they will give you an indication of your level.

If you have scored B1 in one of the tests, we advise you to contact the Language Centre at your home university to take additional courses in academic English prior to your stay with us, or to take a course with HU in Utrecht prior to the start of the academic year with our Summer School. 

There are also several online opportunities to work on your English language skills through websites such as: 

Please note: Applicants scoring A2 or lower do not meet the language requirements and will therefore not be considered suitable candidates for an Exchange programme at HU.

Although many people in the Netherlands speak English and you will not need it for your studies, we recommend that you learn at least some Dutch while you are living in the Netherlands. This will surely enhance your experience and contribute to your pleasant stay in the country! Dutch people are generally open and happy to help you learn.

We offer various courses in Dutch for Beginners. The focus of these courses is on everyday communication and getting you acquainted with the Dutch and their culture. You will receive more information when you arrive at HU. 

Please note: There is a limited number of places available, and make sure to include Dutch in your learning agreement if you want to enter a Dutch for Beginners course.


What else do I need to know?

There are many things you need to know to get a successful start to your exchange period, so be sure to attend your Introduction Day! We have also listed a number of websites for you to help you prepare.

We look forward to welcoming you to Utrecht and to our university! 

Every semester, we organise an Introduction Day for newly arriving exchange students. Dates for upcoming events are as follows:

Fall semester 30 August 2024
Spring semester 31 January 2025

You are expected to attend your Introduction Day, so be sure to plan your arrival in the Netherlands accordingly. At the event, you will meet your classmates and learn how things work at HU. You will find out who to contact for which questions, and hear about important topics like immigration, housing and Utrecht student life. 

Additionally, your programme coordinator will meet with you, and provide you with your class schedule and other information you need to make a successful start at HU. 

Again, although the International Office is always willing to help, finding out all this information on your own after a late arrival will take extra time and make your start-up more difficult, so please be sure to be in Utrecht at the above date.

  • Join the HU incoming exchange students Facebook group and meet your fellow exchange students. It is nice to know some other people who are new to the city as well once you arrive.
  • Join one of our international student organisations and get a Dutch buddy/mentor. Sign up for the mentor programme of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) – linking a group of international students with two local students – or the buddy programme of Buddy Go Dutch – in which you will be matched one-on-one with a Dutch student. 
    Both organisations will also organise lots of activities during your stay in Utrecht.
  • Read the HU International Student Guide for all sorts of practical information on living in Utrecht, from how to take public transit to where to shop for groceries.
  • Read more about studying at HU and practical matters to arrange before coming to Utrecht.
  • Visit for all necessary information for international students on studying in the Netherlands and preparing your stay.
  • Learn more about the city of Utrecht and what it has to offer on

Do you want to know which weeks are part of your Spring or Fall semester at the HU? You can download the academic calendar 2024-2025 to check out the teaching weeks and when there are holidays and no classes.

Welcome Magazine: Preparing for your stay

Read our welcome magazine for exchange students and you'll be fully prepared for your stay in Utrecht!

Download now