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FAQ corona-related outbound Erasmus exchange & traineeships / internships

Color codes and travel advice

The UvA complies with the color codes as determined and implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for incoming and outgoing students. Additionally, for incoming students, the countries from where they are travelling could possibly have their own regulations with regards to travelling to the Netherlands. The UvA complies with the travel advice as regulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This travel advice is based on an analysis of the safety risks, health risks, and –during this exceptional period of Covid – the Corona regulations in a country or area (info in Dutch only: Nederland Wereldwijd).

Code green - Countries with code green currently have no corona measures that affect your travels.

Code yellow - Countries with code yellow currently have no corona measures that affect your travels. Please note that there are safety risks, though.   

Code orange - Countries with code orange have implemented corona measures that disrupt daily life. These countries may also be subject to an entry ban. Travelling to these countries is not recommended. Check the implemented safety measures and other information on the country's government website.

Code red - Countries or areas with code red are completely closed off. No date for lifting the entry and exit ban is known at this moment. Travelling to these countries is not recommended. Check the implemented safety measures and other information on the country's government website.

All students planning to embark on a study abroad adventure in de first semester of academic year 2021-2022 need to be aware of the fact that:

  • It is highly recommended to prepare a plan B and to try to delay making costs relating to the planned travel and stay abroad.
  • Color codes can rapidly change, and a green or yellow country or region can suddenly change to orange, with a lock down and travel and/or education restrictions as a result.
  • Travel insurances are often not valid in countries with an orange or red color code.
  • The UvA is not able to offer any (financial) assistance in case the situation deteriorates once students are abroad, and they need or wish to leave the country or region they are in.
  • Students will travel at their own risk and will be responsible for all costs related to their travel and stay abroad.

Before mobility

  • 3. I plan to go to a country with a negative travel advice. What happens next?

    In case of a negative travel advice (code orange/red) on the date of your departure, the study exchange or traineeship cannot take place. A negative travel advice means that the Dutch Government urges against traveling to that specific country. Study abroad activities such as an exchange or a traineeship do not fall under ‘necessary travels’ as interpreted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    • If you or the host institution cancel the exchange/traineeship, the costs you have made are non-refundable by neither the UvA nor the National Agency.
    • If you travel to a country with a negative travel advice (code orange or red), you additionally cannot make use of the Force Majeure procedure if you do not meet the minimum physical mobility period (60 days for a traineeship and 90 days for an exchange) your full grant will be reclaimed. Also, if you need to return to the Netherlands during your study exchange or traineeship before meeting the minimum requirement of days abroad (90 days for exchange, 60 days for traineeship), you lose your right to the Erasmus+ grant. Any disbursements will be reclaimed.
  • 4. What is the Force Majeure procedure?

    Force Majeure is a procedure of the National Agency. With this procedure, you retain your right to the Erasmus+ grant in case of an emergency. This includes Covid-related problems in countries which had a positive travel advice on the planned start date of your exchange. To be considered for the Force Majeure procedure, the travel advice of your host country needs to have been coded green or yellow at the planned start date. If on that date your host country had a negative travel advice (orange or red), you have forfeited the right to be considered for Force Majeure. The Erasmus Office will perform a check of your eligibility once you have registered. You can find more information in this FAQ on how the Force Majeure procedures works (check the separate section below called Force Majeure).

  • 7. Can I postpone my study exchange or traineeship to the next academic year (2022-2023)?

    This is possible if it fits within your study programme. If you are an exchange student, you can choose to cancel your exchange for 2021-2022. You will have to submit a new application in the coming academic year, after which you go through the selection procedure again. We cannot, in any way, guarantee that you will be selected again for an exchange in 2022-2023. You will not be given priority over students who are applying for the first time. More information can be found on the Study abroad page in due time. If you are a traineeship student, please discuss your specific situation with your study advisor to set-up a new plan for your traineeship. If you have already applied for an Erasmus traineeship grant, please contact your faculty's study abroad office to inform them of the possible change of departure date.

  • 8. Should I start booking my travel tickets?

    You could already book a ticket for your trip, but if your study exchange or traineeship gets canceled, these costs are for your own account. Before you book anything, take a good look at the cancellation policy! We recommend that you postpone these costs as long as possible, preferably until after the reference date.

  • 9. Should I apply for a visa?

    If necessary, you must start applying for a visa on time. You will often receive information about this from the host institution. Any costs for a visa are for your own account in case the study exchange or traineeship gets canceled.

  • 10. I have to make a back-up plan. How do I do this?

    Think carefully about what you would like to do in case your study exchange or traineeship gets canceled. You can discuss your plans with your study advisor, tutor, or contact person study abroad (depending on your study programme). In any case, we recommend that you register for courses at UvA during the regular registration period. In this way you will not incur any delay in your studies.

  • 11. Do I need to be vaccinated against Corona before going on exchange or do my traineeship?

    It is possible that your host institution or the country you are travelling to only admits students or trainees who have been vaccinated. Therefore, please read the application instructions of your host institution carefully and in case of doubt, e-mail your contact person at the host institution. Trainees should reach out to their contact person of their traineeship.

  • 12. What kind of insurance do I need for my study exchange or traineeship abroad?

    Students are responsible for taking out private health and travel insurance. Please note that insurance companies do not always cover costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when you are located in a code orange/red country. We strongly advise you to check this carefully. Students are responsible for and strongly advised to take out private liability insurance alongside the health and travel insurance in order to cover possible costs during their stay abroad.

  • 13. I have been arranging my study exchange or traineeship while the travel advice was positive, but it has changed. What should I do?

    If you made costs in preparation of your exchange/traineeship (booked flight tickets, accommodation etc.) when the travel advice was positive and on your travel date the travel advice switches to a negative advice, there is a possibility that your costs can be refunded by the National Agency in the form of a refund through the Force Majeure procedure. The requirements for the refund are explained in During the mobility - section 6. Please contact your faculty's Study Abroad Office and the Erasmus office for more information on Force Majeure.

  • 14. During the preparation of my mobility the travel advice of my host country is code yellow/green. What happens if it turns to code orange before departing?

    If the travel advice is negative on the departure date, you are not allowed to travel, follow physical education, or start your traineeship at the host institution. Instead, you should contact your faculty's Study Abroad Office to see if there are any virtual/hybrid possibilities. If you do not go, you do not fulfill the requirements of the Erasmus+ grant. However, you can make use of the Force Majeure procedure, which allows you to get a refund for any travel costs incurred during the positive travel advice. If you decide to start virtually, the grant will be recalculated after finishing the semester or traineeship. In this case, you will get a grant for the days you physically went to the destination and can make use of the Force Majeure procedure to cover the costs of your cancelled trip and/or cancelled accommodation.

  • 15. Can I receive a grant (or will it be reclaimed) if I travel despite a negative travel advice?

    If you travel to your host institution despite a negative travel advice, you will still receive a grant. However, there will be no Force Majeure policy because the situation in this case was foreseeable. This means that all risks are for you: you cannot recover any costs in case of a covid-outbreak; if you do not meet the minimum physical mobility period (60 days for a traineeship and 90 days for an exchange) your full grant will be reclaimed.

  • 21. My traineeship is cancelled. What should I do and which documents do I need to hand in?

    Your traineeship is cancelled if you were not able to start your planned mobility due to corona developments or travel restrictions. If you have not started your traineeship, no documents are required. You need to inform your faculty's Study Abroad Office and the Erasmus Office. In this case your Erasmus+ grant will not be awarded, please check Before the mobility - section 20. If you have already made costs, there is a possibility to acquire compensation (see Before the mobility - section 21). In this case, you need to contact the Erasmus Office to request a Force Majeure (see Force Majeure section 1.1 and 1.2).

  • 22. My traineeship is cancelled. What are my grant and reimbursement possibilities?

    Your traineeship is cancelled if you were not able to start your planned mobility due to corona developments or travel restrictions. Your Erasmus+ grant will not be awarded. Any grant instalments you might have received will be reclaimed by us. Please contact the Erasmus Office. You might have made expenses in preparation for your traineeship before you knew it was postponed. If these expenses were made when the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a green or yellow travel advice for your destination, you could be eligible for the Force Majeure procedure. If you are granted Force Majeure status, you can get your costs reimbursed. For the requirements for these reimbursements please check During the mobility - section 6. Please contact the Erasmus Office for these reimbursement possibilities. You can find the ministry’s travel advice in Dutch here.

  • 23. My traineeship is postponed to next year. What are my grant and reimbursement possibilities?

    You will not be awarded the Erasmus+ grant. Any grant instalments you might have received, will have to be reclaimed by us. Please contact the Erasmus Office. You can be awarded a new Erasmus+ grant for the traineeship you are planning to do next year. Please contact your faculty's Study Abroad Office if you are not sure about the (re)application process. You might have made expenses in preparation for your traineeship before you knew it was postponed. If these expenses were made when the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a green or yellow travel advice for your destination, they might be reimbursable through the Erasmus programme using the Force Majeure procedure. Please contact the Erasmus office for these reimbursement possibilities. You can find the ministry’s travel advice in Dutch here.

  • 24. What will be the amount of my Erasmus+ grant?

    An estimate of the Erasmus+ grant amount can be found on your Grant Agreement. The grant is determined by the length of your exchange or traineeship (or equivalently, the number of ‘grant days’). You can find this on your Grant Agreement, articles 2 and 3. If your exchange is altered by the Corona pandemic, its influence on your grant depends on your situation. Please check During the mobility - section 5 to see the effects of interrupted, postponed or cancelled traineeships on the grant. You might also receive reimbursement on top of your Erasmus+ grant. For these possibilities, please check During the mobility - section 6.

  • 25. What should I do if I get infected with the Coronavirus just before departure?

    If you show COVID symptoms, stay home and get tested. Stay at home until your test appointment and then stay at home until you receive the results. Then follow the advice of the GGD. Also contact the exchange coordinator of your host university, or your contact person at your host institution, they can guide you and give information about what you should and should not do.

During mobility

  • 4. My exchange or traineeship is interrupted due to Corona. Which documents/activities are mandatory?

    Your exchange or traineeship is interrupted if you already started your exchange or traineeship, travelled to the country of destination while the travel advice was positive, and you had to leave your destination country due to Corona developments. In this case you need to request a Force Majeure through the Erasmus Office (see Force Majeure section 1.1). You need to hand in your Learning Agreement - After Mobility and complete the Participant survey. In this case you do not need to complete the second OLS test.

  • 5. My exchange or traineeship is interrupted due to Corona. What are my grant and reimbursement possibilities?

    Your exchange or traineeship is interrupted if you already started your exchange or traineeship, travelled to the country of destination while the travel advice was positive, and you had to leave your destination country due to Corona developments.

    • If you continue your exchange or traineeship in the Netherlands through online means, you keep your right to the grant. You can receive Erasmus+ grant for the time your exchange or traineeship was done online (virtually).
    • If you are planning to continue your exchange or traineeship in your destination country at a later time, please inform your faculty's Study Abroad Office about your plans and inform erasmus-sts@uva.nl about the new timeline. You will not receive Erasmus+ grant for the time in between your physical mobility periods. You can receive Erasmus+ grant for both physical mobility periods.
    • If you cannot continue your exchange or traineeship online (virtually), you can only get Erasmus+ grant for the time you did the exchange or traineeship in the destination country physically.

    You might have made expenses in preparation for your exchange or traineeship before you knew it was postponed. If these expenses were made when the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a green or yellow travel advice for your destination, they might be reimbursable through the Erasmus+ programme. More information about the requirements for reimbursement possibilities can be found in During the mobility - section 6 or by contacting erasmus-sts@uva.nl.You can find the ministry’s travel advice in Dutch here.

    Please note: if on the date that you traveled to a country (with an orange or red travel advice from the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs, which the UvA does not facilitate), or the mobility period is shorter than two months, you lose all right to the Erasmus+ grant. Any grant instalments you might have received, will have to be reclaimed by us. No Force Majeure application is possible.

  • 6. I continue my exchange or traineeship online after I travelled back home. Which documents/activities are mandatory?

    If you have continued your exchange or traineeship online, you need to fulfil the standard requirements of the Erasmus+ programme. For exchange students, this means handing in your Transcript of Records, your statement if applicable, and you complete the participant survey. For traineeship students, this means you hand in your Learning Agreement – After Mobility after completing your traineeship, you complete the second OLS test if applicable, and you complete the participant survey.

  • 7. Can I receive compensation for costs higher than my grant amount?

    That is possible. If you made extra costs, for example when you had to buy an extra ticket due to repatriation, or continuing rent, these costs can be reimbursed through the Erasmus+ program. An application for a reimbursement of the extra costs is only possible when:

    1. The travel advice was positive when you travelled to the country of destination.
    2. The costs cannot be recovered elsewhere, e.g. through travel insurance.
    3. The awarded grant is less than the specified costs.

    In case you are not fulfilling the above-mentioned points, it is not useful to email us that you still want to apply. These are the requirements set up by the European Union from which we cannot deviate. For the Force Majeure application, you need to provide the following documents:

    1. The invoice, or other proof of the specified costs.
    2. Proof that the specified costs cannot be recovered elsewhere. For example, a confirmation e-mail from the travel insurance or landlord.

    Please send the documents in one e-mail to erasmus-sts@uva.nl, with subject ‘Travel Grant Traineeship – [Student name]’.

After mobility

  • 1. Which end date should be on my Learning Agreement – After Mobility?

    If you interrupt your traineeship or exchange and do not continue it online, the end date on the Learning Agreement – After Mobility should be the last day before the closing of the host institution. Please check During the mobility - section 5 for the influence this new end date might have on your grant amount. If you continue your traineeship or exchange online, the end date on the Learning Agreement – After Mobility should be the last day of your online activity.

Applying for Force Majeure

  • 1. When should I apply for Force Majeure?

    You have to apply for Force Majeure to retain your right to the Erasmus+ grant if your exchange or traineeship has been interrupted, that is you already started your exchange or traineeship and you had to leave your destination country due to Corona developments. This includes:

    1. continuing online from a different country,
    2. postponing the rest of the exchange/traineeship to a later date,
    3. ceasing the exchange/traineeship completely.

    If your exchange or traineeship has been cancelled, you lose your right to the Erasmus+ grant. If you already made costs, there is a possibility for compensation. In this specific case, you need to request Force Majeure.  Please note: Only costs made while the travel advice of your host country was positive can be compensated via Force Majeure. Please read During the mobility - section 5 for the effects on your grant amount. Only when you continue your traineeship assignment or exchange online from the destination country you do not have to apply for Force Majeure. However, please contact your faculty's Study Abroad Office with any changes in your situation.

    Please note: for all other cases of Force Majeure (that are not related to the Corona crisis), see the general conditions of the Grant Agreement.

  • 2. How do I apply for Force Majeure?

    You can only apply for Force Majeure if your Grant Agreement and Learning Agreement – Before Mobility are approved and you travelled to the country of destination while the travel advice was positive, and you have started your exchange or internship while the travel advice was positive. To apply for Force Majeure, you need to provide different documents. In case of an internship, please send the documents in a single e-mail to erasmus-sts@uva.nl, phrasing the subject as ‘Force Majeure Traineeship – [Student name]’. In case of an exchange, you can apply for Force Majeure via Canvas.

    If you left the destination country and you are continuing your traineeship or exchange online, the following are needed:

    1. An e-mail in which you inform us that you have left your destination country and you are continuing your traineeship or exchange online.
    2. An e-mail/letter from your host institution that work on site is no longer possible, if you received one.

    If you left the destination country and you are not continuing your traineeship or exchange in any way, the following are needed:

    1. A Learning Agreement – After Mobility. The end date in this case is the day on which you left the destination country. The Learning Agreement – After Mobility can be provided by your faculty's Study Abroad Office.
    2. An e-mail/letter from your host institution that the traineeship or exchange has been cancelled or that work on site is no longer possible, if you received one.

    Please note that if you are continuing your traineeship or exchange online, a Learning Agreement – After Mobility is still needed after completing your (online part of the) traineeship (see After the mobility - section 1).