Interested in studying abroad? WU's International Office (IO) has all the information you need about master’s-level exchange semesters in Europe and overseas.
For a successful stay abroad: The IO provides information on all the necessary steps for organizing your exchange semester, information on scholarship and grant programs, and on the required proof of academic achievement. The IO will assist you all the way until your return to WU to make sure that your exchange stay is a success.
Please carefully read the Exchange Students' Guide.
This page will inform you about the most important steps for preparing and planning your exchange semester.
Am I eligible for an exchange semester?
Students enrolled in the Master's programs:
Yes. An exchange semester should be completed by all or at least a large percentage of all students. The flexible structure of the programs allows for easy credit transfer. The IO can provide recommendations for a large number of suitable partner universities.
* For CEMS, see the International Management/CEMS website.
Students enrolled in the Master's programs:
Yes. An exchange semester is optional. Due to the different courses required in the various degree programs, some partner universities are better suited for an exchange semester than others. Recommendations are available for each master’s program.
Students enrolled in the Master programs:
Due to the specific structure of these programs, as a rule, students are required to complete the entire program at WU. Recognition of courses from a semester abroad is only possible to a limited extend.
Students should complete a full semester workload (”full workload”) during their exchange semester at a partner university. In Europe, you have to complete courses worth 30 ECTS credits. If you go overseas, you have to complete the appropriate workload requirement of the partner university. When selecting the courses you plan to attend, please keep in mind that you will need to apply for credit transfer after your return to WU.
Where can I spend my exchange semester?
On the master’s level, WU has a network of about 120 partner universities around the world.
Please see the Google Map application on our website for detailed info sheets on each university (requirements, course catalog, academic calendar, PU fact sheet, etc.). When selecting a partner university, please make sure to choose an institution that offers courses eligible for credit transfer towards your WU degree program. In the Google Map application, you can search for suitable universities for your specific degree program.
Please note that not all exchange places at partner universities are available in each academic year. Lists of available exchange places published at the beginning of each semester show how many spots are available at which partner university for a specific application period.
In addition to exchange semesters, students enrolled in the master’s programs in Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control and Marketing can also complete a double degree program organized jointly by WU and selected partner universities. Double degree students spend the first year of their master’s program at WU and the second year at a partner university abroad. After successfully completing the program, graduates are awarded two academic degrees.
Students enrolled in the Master’s Program in Business Law also have the opportunity to gain an additional qualification with the Themis program. Themis is a certificate program with a focus on business law and international law, organized by the International Legal Network of Excellence. The program includes three elements: an exchange semester, an internship, and a workshop. Students who successfully complete these three elements receive the program’s Joint Certificate in International and Business Law.
Which partner universities are suitable for my master's program?
WU’s master’s programs have issued recommendations for partner universities that, based on the courses they offer, are especially well suited for an exchange semester. Courses that have been cleared for credit transfer in advance are indicated on the credit transfer online database published by Study Regulations & Credit Transfer. Please use our Google Map application to find information about which universities are recommended for your master’s program.
These recommendations are provided for general guidance only; no guarantees for the transferability of courses can be made, as the portfolio of courses offered by our partner universities is subject to change at any time. However, we do strongly encourage you to apply to partner universities that are recommended by your master’s program. Should you be interested in going on exchange to a school that is not on the list of recommended partner institutions, you will have to study the catalog of available courses carefully and consult with the WU International Office to find out which courses are open to WU exchange students.
If the partner university of your choice is recommended for your program, you will be given priority during the selection process over students of programs for which the university in question is not explicitly recommended.
Which requirements do I have to fulfill to apply?
The only application requirement for master’s students is admission to a WU master’s degree program. Students of German-taught master’s programs can only be granted an exchange place after the positive completion of the introductory phase.
Most partner universities have additional requirements (e.g. work experience, language certificates) which you have to fulfill. You can find information about any required certificates on the info sheets of the respective partner universities.
When and where can I apply?
It is recommended to go on exchange in the third semester of the degree program. In exceptional cases, it is also possible to go on exchange in the fourth semester. Please note that the time between your application and the start of your exchange semester will be roughly one year. We therefore recommend that you apply for an exchange place in your first semester.
How does the application process work and what are the selection criteria of the master’s programs?
Applications for an exchange semester are submitted online and are only accepted during the respective application period. You can apply for up to 7 partner schools (preferences) per application period.
Your application needs to include the following documents:
One letter of motivation for all of your preferred partner schools, in English, approx. 3200 characters (incl. spaces) in length, addressed to the academic director of your master’s program (max. 2 MB, PDF format)
Résumé in English (for English-taught master’s programs) or German (for German-taught master’s programs) including the following information: Education, professional experience/internships, international experience, language and other skills, a photo is optional, max. 2 MB, PDF format
Bachelor’s and master’s program transcripts (generated automatically). Students with a (bachelor’s) degree from another university will have to upload their transcript (max. 2 MB, PDF-Format)
The academic directors or coordinators in charge of individual master’s programs may request interviews with exchange semester applicants.
How is the placement for an exchange spot decided?
Candidate placement at the master’s program level is based on a proprietary algorithm that calculates a point value for each candidate using the criteria below:
|Ranking by the academic director||Each MSC program ranks its own candidates. This ranking is assigned a value of 1 or 0 (with 1 being the best, gradated by percent)||1 – 0|
|Tercile value||Based on their position in the ranking, candidates are assigned a value corresponding to the tercile (third) they are in on the list. In case of doubt, candidates are assigned to the better tercile.||3/2/1|
|Program classification||Each MSC program is classified in one of three categories depending on the importance of international exchange in the respective curricula.||2/1/0|
|Recommendation for a specific partner school||An additional 2 points are assigned if the candidate has been given a recommendation for a particular partner university. These points are included in the calculation only if two candidates tied for the same placement at a specific school.||2/0|
Placement is a two-step process:
In the first round, candidates enrolled in MSC programs with a mandatory exchange semester and in the top tercile of their ranking are placed. In this round, the program-specific ranking, tercile values, and any recommendations the candidates may have are included in the calculations.
Candidates ranked in the second and third terciles are placed in the second round. All criteria listed in the table above are included when calculating the results of this round.
If, after all the points have been calculated, candidates are tied for a placement, the equally qualified candidates will be drawn at random. After the total points have been calculated, candidates’ indicated preferences are checked. As soon as the system detects a match, the placement is assigned.
How and when will the notification of the results take place?
The International Office informs candidates of the results by email approximately one month (one week for the DD/THEMIS application date) after expiration of the application deadline.
What are the most important things to consider?
Selection of courses held at the partner university: When selecting the courses you plan to attend, please keep in mind that you will need to apply for credit transfer after your return to WU. You have to complete a full semester workload, i.e. courses worth 30 ECTS credits if you study at a partner university in Europe. If you go overseas, you have to complete the appropriate workload requirement of the partner university.
Grants and scholarships: Grants are available to help finance your stay abroad at a WU partner university. You will get all the necessary information and documents at a mandatory Grant & Recognition Session before the start of your exchange semester.
Preparations for your stay abroad: As a general rule, you will have to send registration documents to the partner university after your nomination for an exchange semester. Please also make sure in advance to obtain any visa you may need, get any required vaccinations, and get health insurance for your stay abroad. If you want to sublet your room during your semester abroad, you can use the housing platform www.housinganywhere.com.
Where do I get more information?
You can find more detailed information on studying abroad in the Exchange Students' Guide.
The team of the International Office will be happy to answer any further questions you may have face-to-face during our opening hours.
As a special service, we offer small-group advisory meetings to inform students in depth about important topics regarding stays abroad.
Information and tips about organising a semester, studying and living at WU's partner universities can be found in the experience reports by former outgoing students and in the section "What's it actually like?".
Every year in October, the International Office organizes the GO GLOBAL Exchange Fair, where you can get exhaustive information about WU's international programs and partner universities.
What to do with my room while abroad?
Housing Anywhere is a student-to-student housing platform that allows students to offer their room or apartment for subletting while they are away on exchange. The service is free of charge.
The International Office has a cooperation with Housing Anywhere and explicitly recommends it to incoming exchange students who are interested in private accommodation. This could thus be a suitable opportunity to find subtenants for the duration of your semester abroad.