The number of the Department's students leaving to pursue foreign studies for a semester or two is rapidly increasing. The Department participates in networks in both the Erasmus and Nordplus programmes, with a rising profile in collaboration with Europe and the Nordic countries. In 1997, under the umbrella of these programmes, four study semesters were spent in Germany and Denmark. With active encouragement of students the number is anticipated to increase to six or more in 1998.

In the spring of 1997 the Department published its first ECTS Guide Book to accommodate studies in physics as part of the common European credit transfer system. In addition, the book gives information about the contents and lecturing languages of the courses provided by the Department for European student exchange coordinators and potential students. In 1997 there were two foreign students via formal exchange programmes but many more through individual initiative; this trend is increasing. With the aim of attracting more students to Helsinki in the future the ECTS Guide Book has been delivered to over a hundred universities around Europe. Also, the foreign graduate students of HIP take courses in physics or theoretical physics. Most advanced courses in the Department are given in English when necessary.

Another channel of internationalization is afforded by the CERN summer trainee positions, in which three students from the Department participated in 1997.