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Orientation

An exchange semester at WU is an educational as well as a cultural experience. The International Office at WU organizes a mandatory welcome and enrollment session, as well as optional orientation programs to help ensure you get the most out of your exchange experience both in class and in life. See below for more information about these programs.

Welcome Session

In order to ensure a successful start at WU, the International Office requires that incoming exchange students attend one of two Welcome Sessions offered at the beginning of every semester. Students attending either the Orientation and Cultural program or the pre-semester German course have to attend the first session, all other students are required to attend the second one. The Session includes welcome activities as well as an enrollment session, during which you get your WU student ID card.

At enrollment, students need to pay the mandatory students' union fee of around € 20. Please note that payment is only possible with ATM cards with Maestro function or through online money transfer; credit cards are not accepted. International Office staff will be present in case you need assistance. If you fail to pay the fee, you will lose your student status at WU. You will not be able to take exams and will not receive a transcript of records at the end of the semester.

Dates & Deadlines

Orientation & Cultural Program

The Orientation and Cultural Program offers incoming exchange students the chance to get acquainted with Vienna, Austrian culture, and each other – all before the semester begins. Our two-week program includes a variety of activities designed to not only include Vienna’s most famous sights and attractions, but also activities that are reflective of everyday life in Vienna. Tours and out-of-town field trips are led by professional guides and group leaders who are WU students themselves, providing incoming exchange students with an accessible source of first-hand information about studying at WU and university life. Schedules for upcoming programs are put online around one week before the program begins. For a general overview of Orientation and Cultural Program activities, please see our sample program:

FAQs - Orientation & Cultural Program

Who can apply?Registration is open to students from partner universities who are registered as exchange students at WU.
How can I apply?All WU incoming exchange students receive an e-mail from orientation@wu.ac.at, containing instructions on when and where to register. The Email is sent out on May 2 to students arriving for the winter semester (fall term) and on November 2 to students arriving for the summer semester (spring term).
When can I apply?
Registration generally takes place from May 2 to May 15 for the winter semester program and from November 2 to November 15 for the summer semester program. These dates are, however, subject to change.
When do the programs take place?
The winter semester program takes place in September, before the start of the semester. The summer semester program takes place in February, before the start of the semester.
Do I have to speak German to take part in the program?
No. English is spoken during all our program activities.
Can I take part in the program and take the pre-semester German language course at the same time?
Yes! Orientation and Cultural Program activities are scheduled in the afternoons and evenings, while the pre-semester German language course is held in the mornings.
How much does it cost?
The participation fee is € 260, payable either through bank transfer or credit card.

Pre-semester German language course

The pre-semester German language courses by WU's Business Language Center offer incoming exchange students an opportunity to either learn some basic German or refresh their German skills before their exchange semester at WU begins.

The courses are taught by certified German teachers, cover all skill levels, from absolute beginners to highly advanced speakers and help students with no or only very little knowledge of German to adapt more easily to life at WU and in Vienna. For students with an intermediate or advanced level of German, the courses offer the opportunity to sharpen their skills before starting the semester and to prepare for any classes taught in German they may be taking. It is also beneficial for all students wishing to test into a higher level of German, giving them time to refresh their skills.

Based on the recommendations of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, WU’s Business Language Center offers German courses at the proficiency levels A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1. A detailed table of materials taught and learning outcomes for each level can be found for A1 and A2 here and for B1, B2, and C1 here.

For the exact start and end dates each semester, please check dates & deadlines:

Dates & deadlines

FAQs - Pre-semester German language course

Who can apply?Registration is open to students from partner universities who are registered as exchange students at WU.
How can I apply?All WU incoming students will receive information on how to register with the general exchange information package once they have been accepted to WU.
When can I apply? Registration generally takes place from May 2 to May 15 for the winter semester program and from November 2 to November 15 for the summer semester program.
When do the programs take place? The winter semester program takes place in September, before the start of the winter semester. The summer semester program takes place in February, before the start of the summer semester.
Do I have to speak German to take part in the program? No. We cater to all skill levels, from absolute beginners to highly advanced speakers.
How do I know which level I should take?Before the course begins, students who already have some knowledge of German, can take a placement test in order to determine their initial class placement.
What do the different levels mean? The levels are drawn from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For further information on the CEFR (in English and French), please see the Council of Europe website.

For further information on the CEFR in German, please see the website of the Goethe Institut (German only).
Can I take part in the program and take the pre-semester German language course at the same time?Yes! Orientation and Cultural Program activities are scheduled in the afternoons, while the pre-semester German language course is held in the mornings.
How much does it cost? The administration and teaching material fee is € 40, payable either through bank transfer or credit card.

An added advantage of participating in the pre-semester German language course is that it provides preparation for the German Language Courses offered by WU’s Business Language Center during the semester. Please click here for more information on German courses during the semester.