Visas are only required if you are studying outside of Europe, or if you are a non-EU student (to study or work within Europe).
UK and EU citizens do not need visas to study at institutions within the EU or EEA (European Economic Area – Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein).
You are responsible for applying for a visa if you need one. It’s best to apply as soon as possible once your exchange place is confirmed. You must meet all visa requirements and in plenty of time. It may take weeks or months to go through the process and some countries, like the USA, require an interview in London which you should factor into you plans.
If you have questions about the process of applying for your visa you should contact the appropriate embassy directly. The Go Abroad team are not qualified to offer advice regarding visa applications, and they can’t apply for you. If you’re not a British passport holder you should make sure you follow visa regulations and procedures appropriate for your nationality.
A student visa or study permit is a document issued by your host country allowing you to enter the country as a student.
To obtain a student visa:
Research your host country’s visa requirements. Not all countries require a student visa and the requirements differ according to your own country of citizenship. Some countries will not allow you to apply for your visa until 3 months before your departure date.
Gain admission to your partner university. Once you receive your formal letter of acceptance, submit it with your visa application to the appropriate office and keep a copy for your records. Processing times may be several months.
For some partner universities, you have to submit your visa application with your application for admission.
If you plan to travel outside your host country during your exchange, make sure that your student visa is a multiple entry visa. Before leaving Edinburgh, find out about the visa requirements for any other countries you plan to visit.
If you plan to work in your host country during or after your exchange, check with your host country’s consulate or embassy about your eligibility to work, and any related visa requirements. Many countries don’t allow international students to work while on a student visa. It’s best not to assume that you’ll find work at your exchange destination. It’s better to assume that you won’t find work which will mean if you do find work and earn some money it will be a bonus. Working conditions and conventions in your host country may be different from those in the UK. Do some research to find out about the work culture – How many days a week can you work? How many hours per day? Do you get time off or holidays?
You can read more about visas for going on exchange here:
Find out more about going abroad here:
Information on exchanges can be found here: