International Centre

Are you a PhD candidate going on a research stay abroad?

Are you going to travel? Be aware that the status you are given abroad - "researcher" or "student" - can impact on the conditions under which you travel.

Main content

In the vast majority of cases, as an outgoing PhD candidate, you will receive the status of "visiting researcher", "visiting scholar" or "researcher" at the foreign educational institution. You must then plan your stay as a research stay abroad. You will find most of what you need to know about preparation, financial support, traveling with family and safety on the pages relating to Outbound researchers | University of Bergen (uib.no)

In some cases, you will be given the status of "student" at the receiving institution even if you have the status of employee at UiB. This status will trigger different rights and obligations than if you do not get student status, e.g. that you are allowed to register for courses. Everyone who travels abroad, regardless of the status they receive at the host institution, must comply with the advice here: Planning | Outbound researchers | UiB

In what follows, we will touch on the most common topics that apply to PhD candidates traveling abroad under the status of "student".


If the country you are going to requires a visa, the type of visa will depend on the status you will have during your stay. It is common to travel on a student, visiting researcher or visitor visa. You must get information about which visa you should have from the host institution.

Tuition fee

If you have to pay school fees, you can use any scholarship you have received for the trip to cover this.

Documentation of English language proficiency

It could be that the host university requires documentation of English language proficiency. Some universities may approve a letter from the home university (UiB), perhaps also supported by the high school diploma, showing the grade in English. You may contact International Centre at international@uib.no with a request regarding this.

In some cases the host university will require an English test to prove the English language level. You will then have to inquire what tests the university approves – it could be IELTS or TOEFL. Unfortunately none of these are available on site in Bergen, however you may find them in digital versions. Remember to check if the host university approves the digital version.  

Going abroad through an agreement

Some of UiB’s Erasmus+ agreements for student exchange also include the PhD level. If you would like to apply for a stay abroad through one of these agreements, you will have to follow the application process for exchange students, as described here (in Norwegian only): Slik reiser du på utveksling | Studentsider | UiB

You may also inquire with the academic advisers at your faculty about opportunities to travel abroad on agreements administered by the faculty.  


If you are given student status at the host university, it could also be that you will have the right to apply for student accommodation. You must check this with the host university. If you do not have the right to student accommodation, most universities have the opportunity to give advice on looking for a place to stay. 

Credits when abroad

Inquire whether your faculty gives credits for conferences, seminars and training during research stays abroad. Information about this can be found at the respective faculty’s guidelines for the training component. 

Residence permit in Norway when abroad

If you are in Norway on a temporary residence permit as a skilled worker, you cannot be outside Norway for more than 50% of the time your residence permit is valid for.  

If you are going to apply for a permanent residence permit, you cannot be outside Norway for more than 15 months in a period of three years.

If you have a permanent residence permit, you cannot live abroad for more than two years. Please see udi.no for more information.