University of Groningen

Overview

Established in 1614, the University of Groningen (RUG) has over 400 years of history and is one of the best research universities in Europe.  It believes itself to be especially progressive as having many ‘firsts’ in Netherland, including the first female student, first female lecturer, first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. RUG regularly receives about 1,800 exchange students from over 95 countries around the world and therefore would be an excellent place for students seeking a global experience while experience a place that is distinctly Dutch. Undergraduate students may take courses in either Dutch or English in a variety of disciplines. The institutions has about 30,000 students and offers over 170 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels.  The institution is strong in the fields of science and engineering, with ecology, material sciences, chemistry and astronomy being the most notable.  This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate. 

Fact sheet
Learning Objectives

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
  • a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Netherlands.
Partner Information

University of Groningen Mobility & Scholarship Desk

msd@rug.nl

Location Description

Known as the “World Cycling City,” Groningen is a city located in the northern region of the Netherlands. A majority of the city residents make their daily commutes by bicycle. With a population of nearly 200,000 residents, it is beautiful and quintessential Dutch town with a history that dates back to the 3rd century AD. Despite its smaller population, Groningen is culturally known for its art and music scene. 

Housing Description

Groningen offers options for university-affiliated housing or private accommodations. Pitt students are not guaranteed spots within university-affiliated housing. Groningen will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing through its partner SSH, a non-profit housing organization to find furnished accommodations. Otherwise, students are able to find their own housing options through hostels and hotels. See Groningen’s general housing website

Academic Description

At RUG, courses are taught in Dutch and in English. Specific courses will be offered in one of the two languages. A select number of programs are offered in entirely English. 

Credits taken at RUG are evaluated on an ECTS scale and will transfer to Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 10 ECTS credits will transfer as 5 Pitt credits. All credits taken at Leiden require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours.   

 

Courses taken at RUG will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university. 

 

As a part of the cultural experience, RUG offers Dutch Language Courses specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability.  
The teaching style is quite different than in American classrooms. Most classes are taught via lecture. Grades are typically determined through one or two exams per course, which is different from American courses where multiple assignments plus exams and projects will add up to the final grades.

Grading

Like Pitt, RUG’s grading scale follows the practice of assigning letter grades, such as A, B, C, D and F. In addition, they may also use the traditional system. This grading scale assigns numerical values between 0 – 10, with 10 representing the highest grade achievable. For more information about the grading scale at Leiden, see their explanation.  

 

For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt. Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country. 

 

RUG will provide hardcopy (or electronic transcripts) to the University of Pittsburgh’s Study Abroad Office. Make sure to follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of the grades is received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “SAO Staff.”  

 

Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received. 

Program Fees
Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.  
 
Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad. 
 
 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition* $9,314 $16,328
Mandatory Fees $545 $545
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt* $10,259 $17,273
 
*The tuition rate listed is defaulted to reflect the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. For Pitt students of another Pitt school or campus, the tuition rate will reflect the home school or campus. See posted rates on the Institutional Research page.
 
How Much To Budget

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit  $2,000
Room & Board $4,827
Personal Expenses $1,367
 
The Estimated Costs reflect information provided by Groningen and are reported to OAFA to calculate financial aid packages.The listed costs are defaulted to one semester. Multiply the costs by two for two semesters. 
 
Personal expenses vary with individual students. Review the Groningen's website for more information, and visit our budgeting page for more information. 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.

Program Dates

Pitt students enroll at Groningen for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). Groningen's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Like Pitt, Groningen’s academic calendar follows a Fall-Spring progression, meaning Fall is the first semester followed by the Spring semester as the second. Because Groningen’s academic calendar varies significantly from Pitt’s, exchanging for only the fall semester is not possible. However, if a single semester at Groningen is desired, then the Spring (or second) semester is the only option. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.

Jessica Sun

Hailing from the great state of Texas, I am the exchange program manager at the Study Abroad Office at Pitt.  I am so excited to be a part of your exchange experience, be it here at Pitt or over at another institution overseas.  I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy, while I was in school and absolutely loved all the experiences that came with exploring fresh pasta, Renaissance art and new experiences.  I certainly hope that you will love your exchange experience just as much wherever you choose.  Outside of the office, I am all about cities, food, art history and tea.  Good eating and traveling!  Let me know if you should have any questions at jessicasun@pitt.edu or at +1 412-383-7165.  

 

Application Instructions

Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to Groningen. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review Groningen's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at Groningen. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to Groningen's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.  
 
The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:  

  • Application Form 
  • Copy of Valid Passport 
  • Official Pitt Transcript 
  • Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment 
  • Statement of Intent or Purpose 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Official Language Evaluation 
  • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations 
  • Up to 2 passport photos 

 

Additional Information

Language Requirements: Non-native English speakers will be required to show evidence of English proficiency either through the IELTS or the TOELF. Please check with RUG regarding these requirements.  

Insurance Requirements

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, the Netherlands advises Pitt students to purchase additional liabilities insurance coverage through their national plans. See the details here.  

Visa Requirements

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival. 

 

For those without EU/EEA nationalities, students must obtain a student visa to study in the Netherlands. For an overview regarding the visa process, please review RUG's website.  Also, check the Dutch Embassy or consulate closest to you for additional information. RUG will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website. In general visa and/or permit application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:  

  • Visa application 
  • Valid Passport 
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university) 
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.   
  • Passport photos 
  • Application fee 
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)