Frequently Asked Questions for incoming medicine students
We have carefully selected the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that exchange students in medicine have asked us in the past. Find your answer here!
Questions related to studying.
- Does the Medicine curriculum contain courses taught in English?
We do not offer an English programme. Only a few courses are offered in English. These are indicated in green in our curriculum for exchange students ('green courses'). However, exchange students can enrol in and take examinations of some course that are taught in Dutch. These courses are indicated in yellow in the curriculum (‘yellow courses’). The professors of these courses offer facilities in English (study material, handbook, slides, examination) for international students. For an updated overview of the Medicine curriculum for exchange students please visit the website for incoming exchange students.
- Where can I find the course descriptions?
The course descriptions of the courses that are available to exchange students can be found on the website of the Bachelor of Medicine (look at Model Path 3) and on the website of the Master of Medicine (Look at Model Path 1 and Model Path 2). Here you can also find the course codes for your Digital Learning Agreement.
- Can I enrol in every course of the Medicine curriculum?
As an exchange student it is not possible to enrol in all courses of the Medicine curriculum. Because of course sequence rules, you can only enrol in Medicine courses taught in the third Bachelor year onwards on the condition that you have the basic prerequisite knowledge of those courses. Also, exchange students only have access to 'green courses' and 'yellow courses' in the Medicine curriculum for exchange students. Important: once you enrol in a course, you are expected to take the examination of that particular course.
- Can I enrol in courses that are taught at the same time (‘overlapping courses’)?
Exchange students can pick courses from several years (3rd Bachelor, 1st Master, 2nd Master). However, it is not recommended to choose ‘overlapping courses’. These are courses that are taught at the same time in different years. The reason is that several professors expect students to be present in their classes and at exam schedules can overlap as well. Please have a close look at the Medicine curriculum for exchange students to see when the courses are scheduled exactly.
- How many ECTS credits should I at least obtain in Antwerp?
In principle students need to take up 30 credits per semester. We strongly advise exchange students to sign up for a minimum of 20 credits.
- How can I add more courses to my Learning Agreement in order to obtain the required 20 ECTS credits?
- You can add Elective courses 1 (3 ECTS) and/or Elective courses 2 (3 ECTS). For an overview of the elective topics please have a thorough look at our Medicine curriculum for exchange students.
- Linguapolis, the language institute related to the University of Antwerp, offers a wide range of language courses to add to your Learning Agreement.
- You can add a Summer or Winter School.
- You can add an extra-curricular course such as Debating Development (3 ECTS).
Don't forget that you are expected to take the examination of each course listed on your Digital Learning Agreement!
- I am having troubles completing my Digital Learning Agreement. Where can I find more information?
Contact your home institution to receive more information on how to create a Digital Learning Agreement. Tips and tricks to complete your Agreement are available on the website for incoming exchange students. It is important that you always discuss your study programme with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) before you create a Digital Learning Agreement.
- When should I arrive in Antwerp?
We strongly advise you to attend the Orientation Days, organised by the UAntwerp's International Relations Office at the beginning of each semester. All you need to know about the university, living and studying in Antwerp will be explained to you then. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet other international students.
- Can I take examinations in English?
When courses are taught in English, you can do the examination in English. When courses are taught in Dutch, examinations in English can only be organised for the ‘yellow courses’ in the Medicine curriculum for exchange students.
- Which examination methods can I expect?
Most of the examinations are oral examinations with written preparation. Multiple choice examinations are quite frequent too. The examination method depends on the lecturer. Exchange students should consult each individual lecturer at the beginning of each course to find out which examination method will be applied. The examination method is usually mentioned in the course descriptions which can be found on the website of the Bachelor of Medicine and on the website of the Master of Medicine.
- What happens if I fail an examination?
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has a set of rules and guidelines concerning retaking examinations. These are listed in a document which is provided to each exchange student upon arrival. Depending on the course and availability of the lecturer, you will be able to retake the exam during the official examination period in August-September. In agreement with the lecturer and if the type of exam/course allows this, it will be possible to retake the exam either in Antwerp or in your home university (under supervision of a representative of the University).
- When do I receive my final grades?
Your grades appear in SisA, the online student administration system, after each examination period. This is mid-February for the grades of the first semester and the beginning of July for the grades of the second semester. The exact dates appear in your calendar in SisA.
- Which steps do I need to take in order to end my exchange period?
- Your grades appear in SisA. They are official after deliberation of the Education Board at the end of each examination session and will then be mentioned on a ‘Transcript of Works/Records’ . This document includes your name, your University details, the course codes and titles according to your enrolment and to you Learning Agreement, your grades and the obtained ECTS credits per course.
- A ‘Certificate of Departure’ from your University can be completed and signed upon request by the internationalisation officer of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
- Do not forget to inform your landlord or the International Housing Office of the University of Antwerp about the end of your exchange period.
Questions related to clinical traineeships.
- Who can apply for a clinical traineeship?
Only medical undergraduates can apply for a clinical traineeship. Applicants are required to be at least in their 4th year at the time of the clinical traineeship. Priority is always given to students from our Erasmus+ partners and from our non-EU partners. Graduates and students who are not eligible for a clinical traineeship via the Erasmus+ programme should contact the personnel department of the University Hospital (UZA) directly via email@example.com. Mention in your communication to the hospital that the traineeship is not part of the Erasmus+ programme and therefore not organised in cooperation with the University of Antwerp.
- Who do I contact if I want to do a clinical traineeship?
Contact the internationalisation officer of the Medicine programme before the deadlines. The contact details of the internationalisation officer are available on the website for incoming exchange students. If you have missed the application deadline for traineeships via the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, you should contact the hospital directly to try to arrange a traineeship with them. The Faculty can only process applications that are submitted before the deadline.
- In which departments can I do a clinical traineeship?
Following clinical departments offer supervision in English: Internal Medicine (Endocrinology, gastro-enterology, intensive care, nephrology, oncology, pneumology), Anaesthesiology, Radiology, Gynaecology/Obstetrics, Neurology and Surgery. Other wards (e.g. Paediatrics and Psychiatry) are NOT available. Most departments accept between 1 and 2 students at a time. We first schedule our own students and then allocate the remaining placements to exchange students by giving priority to those coming from our Erasmus+ and non-EU partners.
We do our best to take your preferred department into consideration, but unfortunately cannot guarantee your first choice as this depends on number of applicants (regular + international students) and availability at the ward. The wards Internal Medicine and Surgery assign the specific discipline (e.g. Endocrinology, General Surgery, …) depending on availability.
- How many credits can I obtain for a clinical traineeship?
A traineeship of 4 weeks is equal to 3 ECTS credits.
- How can I apply for a clinical traineeship?
Have a look at the simplified illustrations of the application procedure for clinical traineeships on the website for incoming exchange students. Note that there is only one application deadline per year.
How many traineeship positions are available and until when can I apply for a clinical traineeship?
The number of placements for international students is limited and traineeship positions are filled rapidly. We first schedule our own students and allocate the remaining placements to exchange students by giving priority to those from our Erasmus+ partners and non-EU partners. The deadline for applications is always 15 May for a clinical traineeship during the following academic year.
- What is the duration of a clinical traineeship?
- If you combine a clinical traineeship with courses via Erasmus Study (SMS), the minimum duration of the traineeship is 4 weeks.
- If you do a clinical traineeship via Erasmus Placement (SMP), the minimum duration is 2 rotations of 4 weeks each. In this case you do not attend courses. Be aware that you need at least 60 days of mobility if you come via Erasmus Placement. We can only offer traineeships of 4 weeks each. It is NOT possible to add one or two days of traineeship in the hospital. It is possible to add days for administrative preparations (e.g. occupational doctor, registration in hospital, pick up badge, ...).
Traineeships cannot be split. You are expected to do the full-time (ca. 40 hours per week) traineeship during 4 consecutive weeks according to the fixed rotation schedule of the university hospital.
- When can I do a clinical traineeship?
Our hospital works with fixed rotations of 4 weeks each. This means that students start and end their traineeship on fixed dates. Most traineeship positions for international students are available in periods 9, 10, 11 and 12 (October – December), when our students choose to do a traineeship abroad. International students should always mention during which periods they would like to come and do the traineeship.
Below are the start and end dates of the rotations in academic year 2023-2024.
Period 9 2/10/2023 27/10/2023
Period 10 30/10/2023 24/11/2023
Period 11 27/11/2023 22/12/2023
Period 12 25/12/2023 19/01/2024
Period 1 19/02/2024 15/03/2024
Period 2 18/03/2024 12/04/2024
Period 3 15/04/2024 10/05/2024
Period 4 13/05/2024 7/06/2024
Period 5 10/06/2024 5/07/2024
Period 6 8/07/2024 2/08/2024
Period 7 5/08/2024 30/08/2024
Period 8 2/09/2024 27/09/2024
- Can I combine a clinical traineeship with theoretical lessons?
Yes, but not at the same time. A traineeship requires your full-time presence (ca. 40 hours/week) during 4 weeks, so it is not possible to attend courses during those weeks. Only when there is a gap in your study programme (and when this gap corresponds with the rotation system in the hospital) you are allowed to do a traineeship.
- Which documents are required in order to attend a clinical traineeship?
- Motivation letter with indication of preferred disciplines and periods (see above);
- Official Transcript of Records;
- Learning Agreement for Traineeships/Training Agreement.
These documents should be sent to the internationalisation officer of the Medicine programme before 30 April. This deadline is for students who combine a traineeship and study programme as well!
According to the vaccination rules of the Belgian government you should be able to provide following certificates to the occupational doctor TWO months prior to starting your clinical traineeship:
- 3 dates required of Hepatitis B vaccination on the vaccination certificate.
- definition of the titer Hep Bs Al >10 IU/L taken at minimum 1 month after the latest vaccination.
- proof of either recent negative Intradermo test (Mantoux or Quantiferon test - not older than 1 year) or either normal RX thorax. If you happen to be TB positive, then you will need a letter from your doctor stating that you are not infectious.
- proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
- the completed Mensura-questionnaire.
If these documents are not provided TWO months prior to starting your clinical traineeship, you will not get admission to the hospital. More information on the vaccination documents can be found on the website for incoming exchange students.
Hospital registration form
You need to complete the UZA-registration form in order to obtain an entrance badge. The registration must be completed and delivered to the international office at the Faculty of Medicine at least two weeks before the start of your traineeship. The UZA-registration form can be found on the website for incoming exchange students.
You are advised to be covered by a liability insurance from your home University/country. As a registered exchange student you are a registered student of the University of Antwerp. The UAntwerp provides you:
- an accident insurance which covers accidents on the way to and from the UAntwerp/UZA;
- a limited third party liability insurance.
- When should I arrive in Antwerp?
You should arrive in Antwerp at least one week before the start of your traineeship. You will need this week to finalise your housing administration and to visit the occupational doctor. The appointment with the doctor is mandatory in order to access the University Hospital (UZA).
- How do I obtain a badge for the University Hospital (UZA)?
You need to complete the UZA-registration form in order to obtain a badge. This badge gives you access to some areas in the University Hospital (UZA) and to the scrub clothes vending machine. The registration must be completed at least two weeks before the start of your traineeship. The UZA registration form can be found on the website for incoming exchange students. On the first day of your clinical traineeship (at the latest) you need to pick up your entrance badge in the administrative building of the University Hospital (UZA; separate building, Personnel Department, ground floor). Your official hospital ID badge must be displayed prominently at all times so that your status as a student is clear.
- Which clinical experience can I expect?
A clinical traineeship involves integration into the activities of the Unit (as deemed appropriate by the Head of each department), generally this means “shadowing” of the resident/registrar, attendance of unit activities (ward rounds, outpatient’s sessions and unit meetings) and hospital educational and administrative activities. It does NOT include individual tutorials or integration into the University of Antwerp medical student teaching programme. A timetable is not provided prior to starting your clinical traineeship. On the first day of your traineeship, you will be advised what department activities you are able to participate in. A student clinical traineeship does not correspond to that of a final year student at the University of Antwerp and as such, you will not have the "same rights and duties".
- How will my clinical internship be evaluated?
The administration of the Medicine programme will provide your supervisor with an online assessment forms to evaluate your clinical skills, medical competencies and professionalism. Your supervisor in the hospital will complete this form around the end of your traineeship. Ideally, he/she does this in your presence. Only based on these assessment forms a ‘Transcript of Works/Records’ will be provided. This document will include your name, the departments and dates of your traineeships and your global score of the assessed criteria in each department. You will not be evaluated by an examination. Please remind your supervisor about this online evaluation form at the beginning of your 4th and final week.
- Do I need to pay a tuition fee for a clinical traineeship?
As an Erasmus+ exchange student you do not need to pay tuition fees.
- What should I wear during the clinical traineeship ?
You are expected to be well groomed and professional in appearance at all times. You need to provide your own white coat and stethoscope. In several clinical departments you need to use the department’s clothing. You will be informed by the department. The scrub clothes vending machine in the University Hospital (UZA) is accessible with your badge.
- How should I behave during the clinical internship?
As a medical elective student you are expected to be polite and respectful to the hospital, university and clinical school staff as well as to patients, their relatives and hospital visitors. You should exercise great care in the material you post on social media about your private life and your hospital experiences. At no time should material be posted which could adversely affect your patients, their relatives, your teachers, the Hospital or University staff. Please note that mobile phones should be switched off or on silent whilst you are on your placement. Calls should only be answered during breaks, when approved. If you do a clinical traineeship in the UZA you are expected to have read and understand the UZA quality and safety measures as well as follow the hospital regulations.
- Which steps do I need to take in order to end my exchange period ?
- Scores of your traineeships are published in SisA. Your grades are official after deliberation of the Education Board at the end of each examination session and appear on a ‘Transcript of Works/Records’ . This document includes your name, your University details, the course codes and titles according to your enrolment and to you Learning Agreement, the departments and dates of your traineeships and your global score of the assessed criteria in each department.
- A ‘Certificate of Departure’ from your University can be completed and signed upon request by the internationalisation officer of Medicine programme.
- Do not forget to inform your landlord or the International Housing Office of the University of Antwerp about the end of your exchange period.
Questions related to the application procedure.
- Which procedure do I need to follow to apply for an exchange programme at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences?
Simplified illustrations of the application procedures for a study period or a clinical traineeship can be found on the website for incoming exchange students. These illustrations also refer to the website of our International Relations Office. You always need to complete your application procedure in the online platform Mobility Online.
- If my application is accepted what happens next?
The internationalisation officer of the Medicine programme will confirm your final approval to you and your coordinator. The officer will refer to possible additional steps or documents required in Mobility Online prior to your arrival in Antwerp. Once you have received an official acceptance letter from the International Relations Office of the University of Antwerp you are registered as an exchange student.
- Can I be accepted as free mover?
A traineeship can only be organised for an exchange student, not for free movers.