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Frequently Asked Questions

Nomination and Application

1. I want to study at the University of Gothenburg as an exchange student. How do I do that? 
First, check with your own university’s international office to find out if there is an active political science Erasmus+ (or Nordplus) agreement with the University of Gothenburg. If so, you apply and are selected by your university to be nominated to Gothenburg. Your university must email a nomination to the Political Science International Coordinator here (see also deadlines).

2. My university doesn’t have an agreement with yours. Do you accept freemovers?
If there is no existing exchange agreement, you can apply to study individual courses offered throughout the university. The information is found at https://www.universityadmissions.se/intl/start. You apply through universityadmissions.se, too. Note that most of the University of Gothenburg’s undergraduate programmes are held in Swedish. The Department of Political Science offer three Master’s-degree programmes taught entirely in English. Information about individual courses offered in English is also available here: http://www.utbildning.gu.se/education/courses-and-programmes/courses_in_english/

3. I’ve been nominated by my home university. Now what?
You fill out an online application form, where you also upload .PDF supporting documents. See the application pages at http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/. There is no paper application. See also deadline information.

4. Is there university housing?
Yes, it is possible for exchange students to apply for university housing. Campus housing is not guaranteed and is limited; private options can be challenging to find. See the housing application instructions section of the Faculty’s ‘Application instructions’ page (http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/application-instructions/). Information about student housing, including private options, is available here http://www.gu.se/english/guestservices/studenthousing/exchangestudents/.

Academic credits

5. Are there any academic requirements about exchange studies at your department?
Most of the courses offered at the faculty are targeted to intermediate-level social science students. Therefore, we expect that students nominated to our department have successfully studied 60 ECTS in the social sciences. You will be asked to upload a transcript/grade report to your application.

6. What language are your classes taught in? What level of English is required? Do you require formal proof of English?
At the undergraduate level, there are separate courses for exchange students which are taught in English. We expect that you have at least a CEFR B2 level (or equivalent) in all areas of English. We don’t currently require proof from an official test, but we do expect that you meet this requirement. Students may be rejected from classes if it turns out that their English is not sufficient.

7. Am I restricted to taking courses offered by Political Science? Can I take other courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences?
You pick from the variety of courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences. You are not limited only to Political Science courses. In fact, given availability, you will be taking courses at other departments in our Faculty. A list of (and links to some more information about) the Faculty’s course offerings is here http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/first_cycle_courses/.

8. Can I choose classes from other faculties, too?
If there is availability, and if you meet any pre-requisites, you might be able to take one 7.5 ECTS course at another faculty. This is not guaranteed. Be sure to list your choice in the free text section of the course application. Also be sure to include back-up choices in Social Sciences in case that course is not available.

9. I’m an exchange student from another faculty. Can I take one of your classes?
If you are qualified and if there is availability in the class, it might be possible to take one 7.5 credit class. You apply via or notify the International Coordinator at your host faculty, and they will submit the request to us.

10. When I do my course application in May/November does it really matter what I pick? Won’t it all change once I’m there?
The courses we have listed are final. It is unusual that there would be major changes. Some of these classes, and some parts of the semester/year have very limited places, which means that once you’ve submitted your selections and been accepted to classes, it might not be possible to change once you are here.
Given how our semesters are divided and how our courses run, you won’t have to worry about timetable clashes (see ‘How is the semester divided…’ below).
For all these reasons, it is really important to think carefully about your course selection, and also to provide backup options each quarter in case some of your first choices aren’t available.

11. Can I take postgraduate/master’s level courses?
If the Erasmus+ agreement between Political Science and your university includes cycle two (postgraduate) level, it may be possible to take master’s programme courses. Availability is limited. You must provide proof of a cycle one/bachelor degree in a relevant social science field and meet any other pre-requisites for the course. For second semester courses, the pre-requisites are usually stricter. For more details, see also the Faculty’s incoming exchanges information here (http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/application/ ) and here (http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/second_cycle_courses/).

12. How many credits do I take? How do ECTS and the Swedish higher education credits (hec) compare? How many classes is that?
1 ECTS = 1 hec; a full-time, 100% pace semester is 30 ECTS/hec. We would normally expect you to take 100% pace each quarter for a total of 30 ECTS/semester. Classes offered in the Faculty of Social Sciences are either 7.5 ECTS or 15 ECTS each; it usually comes out to 3-4 classes per semester.
(See also ‘Can I take more than class…’ below).

13. How is the semester divided? Can I take more than one class at a time? Do I have to take 30 ECTS?
Each semester is divided into 4 quarters. Each quarter lasts about one month. Full-time, 100% pace is 7.5 credits per quarter. A 100% pace 7.5 ECTS class lasts one quarter, and a 100% pace 15 ECTS class runs for 2 quarters. Exams are tied to the class and held during the class period – there is not a separate exam period in January and/or June for all your classes.
We do not recommend that students take more than a full time courseload. Given the semester structure, you can, and are expected to, focus on one class each quarter. If you take more than one class in a single period, there is also a much stronger chance there will be timetable clashes. Given limited space during some periods, it quite simply might not be possible, either.
It is between you and your university whether you are allowed to take fewer than 30 credits; in that case, be sure to tell us on your course application how many credits you will take and that you have approval from your university to do that.
 

Academic Calendar, other important dates

14. When are nominations and applications due? What are other important dates?

Autumn or full-year studies
Nomination deadline: 1 May
Application period: 1 April - 15 May
Housing application deadline: 15 May
Course application: Opens 15 May (closes approx. 1 June)

Spring studies
Nomination deadline: 1 November
Application period: 1 October - 15 November
Housing application deadline: 15 November
Course application: Opens 15 November (anticipated)

See also ‘What is the academic calendar’ below, and http://www.utbildning.gu.se/education/new-student/exchange-students/key-dates-exchange/

15. What is the academic calendar? When is orientation? When are exams?
Academic calendar is here http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/calender/

The University offers pick-up service and a useful orientation period. See here http://www.utbildning.gu.se/education/new-student/arrival/welcomeweek/ for dates and information.

There is a Faculty welcome, too; information about that is here http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/Introduction/.

Exams are tied to the class and held during the class period – there is not a separate exam period in January and/or June for all your classes (see also ‘How is the semester divided…’ above)

Once you are here

16. Who signs my paperwork?
If you are here under an exchange agreement with the Department of Political Science, the departmental international coordinator signs paperwork for you. Typical documents from your home university that need to be signed here include Learning Agreement, Changes to the Learning Agreement, and Confirmations of Start/End/Stay/Duration. Check with your university what documents need to be signed at the start and/or at the end of your stay. Since each university has its own format, please get a template from your university. Some classes provide proof of registration; if they don’t, and you need this, ask your international coordinator or at one of the service centers.

17. Who is the departmental contact for…?
A list of the contacts at each of the departments of the Faculty of Social Sciences is available here: http://www.samfak.gu.se/english/exchange-students/contact/

18. When, where, and how do I get/replace/renew my GU card?
After you are registered and enrolled (usually the first day or two of your first class for the semester), you can get your ID card. See http://www.gu.se/english/servicecenter/services/ and http://www.utbildning.gu.se/education/academic-life/student-services/webservicesforstudents/gucard for more information.

19. When will I be enrolled in my classes?
Each department, and even each course, may do this a bit differently. In general, you are either enrolled on or right after the start date of the class; some classes may take care of enrolment a few days before the first day of the class. You might be asked to fill in a registration form on the first day of class; this is to confirm your participation. If you are approved to change or not take a class you were accepted into, be sure to drop/withdraw from the course.

20. I want to change a class. How do I do that? Can’t I just ask the teacher?
a. Before the start of the class. If the class period hasn’t started, contact courses@samfak.gu.se to request the change or be added to a waiting list.
b. At the start of the class. Contact the relevant international coordinator (example: you are PolSci, the course is Psychology – contact Psychology’s coordinator).
c. In another faculty. Contact the international coordinator in charge of your agreement (example: you are PolSci, the course is in Humanities – contact the PolSci coordinator).

Because there are often waiting lists and other matters that the lecturers often aren’t aware of, all requests need to go through the relevant channels. Given the relatively short course periods, changes usually need to happen no more than 1, maybe 2, sessions into the start.

21. When do I get my transcript/grades? Where do you send transcripts/grade reports?
A transcript will be sent by regular post to your university (usually to the same contact who nominated you) about 5-6 weeks after the end of your studies. For semester 1-only students, this is usually in late February. For semester 2 and full-year students, this is usually in mid-July (though may be delayed by summer holidays). We send two originals: one for their records, and one for them to pass along to you. Note: You should still be able to access your own record through the student portal, and can see and print grades out from there, too. While here in Gothenburg, the Servicecenter can also assist with transcripts and registration certificates

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 7/4/2014
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