freemover is a student who studies for a semester at a foreign educational institution outside of an exchange agreement. The term freemover is mostly used in Europe, and other terms for the same activity are e.g. Study Abroad (in AUS/NZ), non-degree student (USA /ASIA), guest student and visiting student.

Freemovers plan their own semester abroad with reduced support from the faculties' international teams/departments and the International Center. It is often possible to use an agent. Agents are private companies that are paid by foreign educational institutions to recruit students for either full-time studies or semester stays.

What should I consider as a freemover?

As a freemover, you must be prepared to invest even more of your time and energy in the preparation of your exchange stay, as you yourself are responsible for all contact with the host university.

You are responsible for obtaining all relevant information (both practical and professional). Since you will be responsible for the entire application process and the contact with the guest university yourself, you must start in good time when you want to arrange a stay yourself through the "udlandsstipendie" arrangement. It's an arrangement that ensures that freemover students who are entitled to receive financial support through the Danish students' Grants and Loans Scheme (SU) may also be eligible for a scholarship (udlandsstipendie) to cover tuition fees abroad.)

Not all universities admit freemovers.

In most cases, you will have to pay tuition fee to the host university in order to be admitted and registered for subjects. You can apply for a danish state scholarship (udlandsstipendie) to cover part of your education fees at the host university. In addition, some faculties have available funds that are set aside for students traveling as a freemover, which you can investigate further through your study portal or contact person at your faculty.

Before you decide to travel with the Udlandsstipendiet, it is a good idea to check  AU's exchange agreements in MoveON  to see if you would like to travel on one of them instead. It is both easier and often cheaper than arranging the stay yourself.

How do I get started?

Since you will be responsible for the entire application process and the contact with the host university, you must start in good time. You should start planning your freemover stay as early as possible - preferably up to a year in advance. In some cases, the application deadline for the host university will be before the application for an exchange stay via AU. You must ensure that you meet the application requirements (e.g. language requirements) and ensure that you apply on time. 

When choosing your host university, you should consider criteria such as geography, academic quality and, most importantly, which subjects you can transfer to your study program at AU.

How do I apply for a freemover stay?

Contact the host university and/or examine the host university's website to find information about deallines, application procedure, admission criteria, housing options and most importantly, course offerings. Find out how much you have to pay in tuition fees.

You must ensure that the host university is aware that you are applying as a freemover and not as either an exchange student via an AU agreement or as a full-time student.

It is a really good idea to get together with other students who also want to apply as a freemover, so that you can help each other to collect information and fill out applications.

Preapproval of courses abroad and merit

As a freemover you must apply for prior approval and credit transfer of the courses you wish to study abroad - just like other exchangestudents. Read more about preapproval and credit transfer on your studyportal. 

Danish state scholarship (Udlandsstipendium)

Through the "udlandsstipendie" agreement, students with the right to Danish SU can get a subsidy to pay tuition fees abroad if they travel as freemovers. Read more about the scholarship under the tab "Udlandsstipendiet" in the menu. 

Checklist for students traveling on their own

  • Find information on the foreign universities' websites about deadlines, course descriptions etc.
  • Research the university's application deadlines, procedures and language requirements.
  • Contact the foreign university and ask for application documents. Typically, you can contact the foreign university's international office or "student services", but it can also be a completely third entity.
  • Feel free to apply to more than one university to increase your chances. 
  • Apply for prior approval of courses by "studienævnet" at your faculty. 
  • Complete the application and send it to the foreign university.
  • Apply for the danish state scholarship (udlandsstipendiet) once you have received the pre-approval and a admission letter from the foreign university.
  • Remember to check visa requirements and get an insurance.
  • Search grants and private funds.