Exchange semester Bachelor
On this page, you can find all information needed for an exchange semester on bachelor's level.
- Available exchange places
- Consulting services at the International Office
- Planning your stay abroad
- Partner universities
- Application requirements
- Nomination and registration
- Cancelling an exchange semester
- Preparing for your stay abroad
- During your stay at the partner university
- After your stay abroad
- Picking up documents in your absence
Available exchange places
Below, you can find lists with currently available exchange places and application quotas from previous semesters. These quota lists tell you which and how many exchange places will be available for the next application period and how many students applied for these places in previous semesters. Note that the numbers of available places may change from semester to semester.
Consulting services at the International Office
The International Office (IO) is the main contact point for student exchange programs at WU. Apart from the information provided on the website, we offer the following information sessions and consultation services which support you planning your semester abroad.
Go Global exchange fair
Each year at Go Global, former outgoings and current incoming students present WU's partner universities. Participate and get first-hand information about student life abroad.
(Annually in October)
(At the International Office or via Microsoft Teams)
Small group advisory meetings
(Online in summer semester 2022)
Study Abroad Infosession
(Annually in March)
Planning your stay abroad
How do I choose the ideal partner university for me?
The following considerations may be helpful for answering this question:
Which language do I feel comfortable speaking?
Which language would I like to improve?
Which countries am I particularly interested in?
Which countries do I want to get to know? Do I have a special connection to certain countries? Are there any WU partner universities in these countries?
Which university matches my interests and qualifications?
Just like students, universities have very different profiles and specialize in certain fields. Size, location, and structure of the campus also play an important role for many students.
For students majoring in economics, we recommend certain universities. A list of recommendations can be found here (document in German). Please note that it is also possible to spend a semester abroad with a major in economics at other universities. Find out in advance whether there is a corresponding course offer at the partner university. You can use the sources of information listed below.
Please don’t forget to consider financial aspects when choosing your partner universities (e.g. travel expenses and costs of living). Please note that some partner universities require an additional and possibly expensive health insurance. The exchange reports by former exchange students, as explained below, provide a good source of information on these issues.
For students with disabilities, chronic illnesses, care obligations and/or socio-economic need, there is the possibility to apply for additional funding. Depending on the destination, students can apply for special support under the WU mobility grant or apply for an Erasmus+ Top Up (depending on your status, the Erasmus+ inclusion support can be added).
On the bachelor’s level, WU offers an international network comprising about 180 partner universities worldwide. The following information may help you to choose the right university for your needs:
Info sheets and fact sheets
Info sheets are compiled by WU and provide you with information on our partner universities. They include information on application requirements at the partner university, semester dates and more.
Fact sheets are provided by the respective partner universities and contain general information for exchange students. Info sheets and fact sheets can both be found on our map of partner universities.
Websites of the partner universities
On the websites of our partner universities, potential outgoings can familiarize themselves with the course catalog or housing possibilities. Corresponding links can be found in the info and fact sheets. Please note that the information provided is only meant as a kind of orientation. Partner universities can still make changes until the start of the exchange semester.
Online credit transfer database
The online credit transfer database provides you with a list of courses which were completed by WU students abroad in the past. This database is meant as a means of orientation and shows wich courses were eligible for credit transfer. The list does not guarantee that partner universities offer the same courses each semester or that courses are open to WU students (e.g. course is already full, academic requirements are not fulfilled,etc.).
Exchange reports by former exchange students
All students who complete a semester abroad through the International Office fill in an exchange report, which can be accessed by future exchange students online. These reports are a useful source of information for answering questions concerning course registration, arrival, accommodation, costs, and local tips.
International experiences at WU and abroad
Here you will find detailed reports and interviews by students about their experiences in exchange formats of WU.
Which requirements do I have to meet in order to apply?
As soon as you have completed courses worth 38 ECTS credits (excluding free elective courses), you can apply for an exchange semester at one of our partner universities. You can always check online to see if you fulfill the application requirements.
Am I allowed to complete a second semester abroad during my bachelor's degree?
If you have already completed an exchange semester or have already been nominated for an exchange semester during your bachelor’s degree, you cannot apply for another exchange semester. However, an application for an International Short Program is still open to you. It is also possible to apply for an Erasmus+ grant for a self-organized internship abroad.
I plan to apply for universities that require proof of language proficiency. Until when do I need to provide such proof?
Most partner universities have additional requirements, you need to fulfill (TOEFL, IELTS, EBC 1, EBC 2). Information on these requirements is provided in the info sheets, which you can find on our interactive map of partner universities.
It is not necessary that you fulfill additional criteria required by the partner universities within the application period at WU. It is sufficient if you meet these requirements after you have been nominated for an exchange.
Usually, proof of language proficiency must be submitted to the partner university when registering or applying. Note: If you do not submit the proof of language proficiency by the given deadline, your exchange place may be revoked under circumstances!
If you have successfully completed the course Business Communication I English ("Wirtschaftskommunikation I Englisch") at WU, you can download a corresponding certificate (= EBC certificate) in the Online Services for Students. Students in the program Business and Economics can also download a certificate, which serves as confirmation of enrollment in an English-taught degree.
You can apply for an exchange semester during the official application periods. Please note that applications must be submitted a year in advance. This means if you apply during a winter semester application period and then get nominated for a stay abroad, you will start your exchange semester in the following winter semester.
Three application periods are available per semester. One application period is for partner universities in overseas, another one for partner universities in Europe. During the third period (additional application period), students can normally reapply for overseas and European exchange places that have not been awarded to any applicant yet.
The entire application process takes place online. According to your personal preferences, you may apply for up to three universities.
Students of the IBW Chinesisch (International Business Administration and Chinese) program and all other individual study programs: Please ask our general student consultation team to unlock the online application for you.
After the application period is over, the application documents will be forwarded to your academic advisor. These academic advisors are WU faculty members who support the cooperation between WU and a specific partner university. They select students based on their written applications and invite shortlisted candidates to interviews.
Please note that interview invitations are sent out directly by the academic advisors. The academic advisors are also asked to inform students who are not invited to an interview about their exclusion from the application process. Students will also be notified if no interviews are being held at all.
Ranking and selection criteria
Students are selected for exchange places based on the following criteria:
Academic performance and progress
Your grade point average (GPA)
Grade criterion (the best 27 ECTS excluding free electives)
Language proficiency (especially in the local language and the language of instruction)
Motivation for an exchange semester and the student’s choice of partner university
The possibility of credit transfer towards the applicant’s WU degree program
Additional qualifications (internships, work experience, international experience)
Personal impression during the interview
Based on the interviews, academic advisors will rank students for places at universities that fall within their area of responsibility. In exceptional cases, students are ranked based on their written documents only. The main reasons for a ranking position/rejection are stated in the online application tool. After the application process has ended, students can view the reasons in the application tool.
The rankings will automatically be compared with the applicants’ preferences. On this basis, applicants will then be assigned to their preferred partner universities. Please note that there is a difference between ranking and allocation: The ranking is a (pre-)selection of students who have applied for a specific partner university, made by the academic advisors. The allocation is the next step, in which the best-ranked students are automatically assigned to the appropriate exchange places at a partner university.
Please note: Academic advisors only assess applications for partner universities that fall within their individual area of responsibility. Depending on the number of applications with a preference for a specific university, a selection interview may take place or not.
The International Office will send out notifications about the final selection results via email approximately one month after the application deadline. All applicants will receive an answer, either positive or negative.
If you were not assigned an exchange place during the application period, you can apply again in the following application periods.
The online application tool
Application periods begin at 2:00pm on the first day of the application period and end at 12:00 noon on the last day of the application period.
Your application must be submitted by clicking the “Agree and submit application” button before the application deadline.
You can save your application and return to edit it at any time during the application period. Applications can no longer be edited after the application period has expired.
Please make sure that you submit your application in time and check that your submitted documents are complete. Late submissions will not be accepted.
You can apply for a maximum of three partner universities (preferences).
During the application process, your personal data will be processed, which is why we would like to kindly ask you to read our disclaimer on data privacy.
As part of the online application process, the following application documents must be uploaded:
Letter of motivation for each preference (max. up to three letters of motivation)
Should be addressed to the academic advisor
Language: see info sheet on our partner universities map - 'language for motivation letter'.
Approx. 3200 characters including spaces
PDF format max. 2 MB file size
Language: English (unless the application is exclusively for universities in German-speaking countries)
Information on education, work experience, internships, international experience, language skills and other competencies
PDF format max. 2 MB file size
Photo is optional
The following documents and information will automatically be added to your application from the WU database:
Grade criterion (the best 27 ECTS excluding free electives)
Your grade point average (GPA) (updated for the day you send your application)
Nomination and registration
What happens after successful nomination for a stay abroad?
After completion of the application process, your data will be forwarded to the respective partner university (“nomination”). Subsequently, you will also have to register with the partner university. The partner university or the International Office (IO) will provide you with further details and the documents required for this process. The process may differ from university to university. The application documents including additional required documents such as language certificates and an application form must be completed and submitted to the partner university in time.
When do I receive information from the partner university?
Depending on the partner university, you will receive an email or postal mail just before or during the registration process. The mail contains detailed information regarding visa, housing, orientation programs, and course registration. If you have not been contacted by your partner university six months before the start of your stay abroad, please consult your IO regional coordinator.
Which data do I have to provide during the registration at the partner university?
The application forms often include the following questions:
Are you a full-time student? Yes
Program: Business Administration / International Business Administration / Economics and Socio-Economics / Business Law / Information Systems
Institutional/Exchange coordinator: IO regional coordinator
Departmental coordinator: academic advisor
Major: courses of study that match your specialization (e.g. Marketing, Finance, Management, etc.)
Semester dates: Please note that other countries often use different semester descriptions (e.g. "spring term" for our summer semester or "autumn/fall term" for our winter semester).
Erasmus code: WU's Erasmus code is: A WIEN05
Frequently requested documents:
Transcript: Partner universities sometimes request an English version of your WU transcript. You can print your WU transcript at one of the self-service terminals in front of the Study Service Center (Library and Learning Center building (LC), level 2), or access it online using WU’s Online Services for Students.
Bank confirmation (financial statement): All US partner schools and some other overseas partners require proof of sufficient financial means to fund your exchange semester. The required amount varies depending on the university. Click here for an example of a financial statement/bank letter.
Medical report and vaccination pass: Many overseas universities require an English health certificate issued by your physician. Click here for an example of a medical report.
Language certificate: Some partner universities require a language test such as TOEFL or IELTS, an EBC certificate, or a confirmation about the language of instruction of your program. To find out which universities require such tests and how many points are needed, please see the info sheets on our website or ask your IO regional coordinator.
OeAD International Testing Services: http://testing.oead.at/
British Council: https://www.ielts.org/
If you completed the EBC 1 (Wirtschaftskommunikation I Englisch) course at WU, you can download an EBC confirmation in the Online Services for Students. The IO can also issue a confirmation for the language of instruction of your study program.
Cancelling an exchange semester
What should I know about cancelling an exchange semester?
Once you have been nominated for an exchange semester, cancellation is only possible in exceptional cases (illness, pregnancy, important family commitments, or unavoidable, unforeseen serious events). Appropriate proof will be required. In such cases, please contact your regional coordinator at the International Office immediately. If a student cancels his or her exchange without good cause, he or she is excluded from further participation in WU exchange programs in his or her current study cycle.
Preparing for your stay abroad
What points should I inform myself about in order to be best prepared?
Course selection at the partner university: When selecting your courses, note that credits need to be transferred towards your WU program after your return to Vienna, so you will receive a mobility grant. Exchange students are expected to take a full workload at the host university. In Europe, the full workload equals courses worth 30 ECTS credits; overseas, please take into account the requirements of a full workload at the partner university in question.
Financial aid: Every exchange stay at a WU partner university is subsidized by a mobility grant – which mobility grant you are eligible for depends on the country you choose for your exchange semester. In the course of the mandatory grant and credit transfer session, which takes place in the semester before your exchange semester, you will receive all necessary information and documents. If you are looking for more detailed information before the session, please click here.
Pre-recognition notice and Learning Agreement: Before you go abroad, you must fill out the online application for the legally binding pre-recognition notice (Feststellungsbescheid). This has to be done to clarify which courses at the partner university are eligible for credit transfer after you return to WU. Detailed information regarding the pre-recognition process and the Learning Agreement for the Erasmus+ grant, which also has to be requested online, can be found here. In the semester before your exchange, you will also be invited to the mandatory grant and credit transfer session, where you will be given all the necessary information.
International Business Administration (IBW): As part of the International Business Administration major, an experience abroad is mandatory. This experience abroad must be acquired during the bachelor's program and will be noted as confirmed on the diploma supplement. General information about the IBW international experience can be found on this page. If you plan to complete the international experience through a semester abroad, please note that the requirements differ depending on the study plan (BaWiSo 2012, BaWiSo 2019).
Intercultural skills: In the semester before the exchange, all nominated students are required to complete a mandatory intercultural skills training seminar. This seminar provides students with cultural preparation which is necessary for the exchange semester. Attention: BBE students must take this class in English ("Cross Cultural Competence", short: CCC). If no English CCC class is offered for the chosen region, students must choose a CCC class which does not have a focus on a specific region.
ÖH dues: It is important that you pay your Students’ Union (ÖH) dues during your exchange semester. Otherwise, you will be disenrolled from your academic program. As long as your dues have been paid, you remain enrolled as student at WU and you can register for courses and exams if they do not conflict with your exchange period.
Tuition fees: Participation in an official WU mobility program with a duration of over 8 weeks and which extends into the teaching period of at least one semester results in a waiver of tuition fees for one semester. Tuition fees are also waived at the partner university.
Housing: Many partner universities offer services to help nominated students to find appropriate accommodation. Information on housing opportunities and services is provided by the partner universities. We also recommend that you read the info sheets and the exchange reports by former WU outgoing students.
The International Office (IO) cooperates with Housing Anywhere, a platform with housing offers by students for students. Housing Anywhere allows you to search for housing opportunities in your host country. At the same time, it helps you to sublet your room or apartment during a stay abroad. The services offered are free of charge for WU students and the IO also recommends Housing Anywhere to incoming students.
Please be cautious when looking for accomodation through inofficial channels!
Travelling to non-EU countries
If you complete your semester abroad in a non-EU country or if you are not an EU citizen, please familiarize yourself with your host country’s entry requirements in due time.
To travel to the US, Russia, Latin America, Australia, and Asia, Austrian students need a student visa. Non-Austrian students may need additional documents.
As soon as you have received the registration forms and the Letter of Acceptance from the partner university (US universities also require the DS-2019 form, and Russian universities an invitation letter), you can apply for a visa at the appropriate consular authority in Vienna. Be sure to contact the consulate in advance to find out what documents will be needed!
USA/Canada: The US consulate charges a so-called SEVIS fee when issuing a visa. In the plane, you will need to fill out the white immigration form. To travel to Canada for a stay of up to six months, students with Austrian citizenship do not need a student visa. However, upon your arrival, you have to present the Letter of Acceptance to immigration authorities on your own initiative, and you have to state to the authorities that you enter the country as a student and not as a tourist.
Some countries require special travel and/or health insurance. Please inquire about the applicable insurance requirements with the appropriate consulate.
Travelling to EU countries
If you are not an EU citizen, please be sure to inform yourself about any visa or entry requirements made by the host country (early enough to make the necessary arrangements).
Additional travel and/or health insurance is recommended. For insurance policies issued in Austria, it’s a good idea to take an English translation with you of what is covered by your policy. Some universities require students to purchase separate student insurance in the host country.
If you are a citizen of an EU member state, the health insurance provided by your home country is usually sufficient. Don’t forget to take your European insurance card (e-card) with you when you go abroad! If you are not an EU citizen, be sure to arrange for the necessary insurance coverage well in advance.
During your stay at the partner university
Before your departure, please ask your coordinator at the partner university whether your transcript will be issued automatically or whether you’ll have to specifically request it.
For recipients of an Erasmus+ grant: Please make sure to take the Learning Agreement and the Confirmation of Stay home with you. Both documents have to be signed by the partner university.
Exchange fairs and WU Alumni Hubs
Represent WU at your host university’s exchange fair: Many partner universities organize so-called “exchange fairs”, similar to WU’s Go Global, at which incoming and outgoing students introduce their host and home universities. If a fair like this takes place while you are studying abroad, we would like you to represent WU to students who might be interested in spending their exchange semester in Vienna. Information material for this purpose will be sent to the International Office of your host university in advance. You can find a PowerPoint presentation with general information on WU here.
WU Alumni Hubs: WU graduates are found all over the world, also in cities with WU partner universities. For nominated Outgoings, the so-called Alumni Hubs offer a unique additional networking opportunity for exchange students. Find out if there is an Alumni Hub close to your partner university and attend Alumni events. The local WU graduates are looking forward to hearing from you.
After your stay abroad
“Welcome Back” small group advisory meetings
The International Office (IO) offers small group advisory meetings to students returning from their semester abroad. "Welcome Back" intends to make your return easier and provide you with information on important things you need to get done once you’re back in Vienna.
Participate in the Go Global exchange fair
Share your experiences from your stay abroad with prospective outgoing students at our annual Go Global exchange fair and represent your host university!
Transcript of records and credit transfer
Transcripts of Records are usually sent directly to the International Office and your coordinator. You will be informed by email once the document is ready to be picked up at the IO Front Office. That is usually 1-2 months after the end of the semester. Some partner universities send their Transcripts of Records directly to the students via email or postal mail.
Credit transfer: Please note that credits of courses taken abroad are not automatically transferred to your WU degree. You have to apply for credit transfer via the Study Service Center (Study Regulations & Credit Transfer). You can apply for credit transfer via e-mail and find out on this website which documents have to be sent along (point "examinations taken abroad").
Confirmation of your IBW International Experience: If you major in International Business Administration and completed your semester abroad until the summer semester 2021 or are studying in the curriculum BaWiSo 2012, you can request confirmation of the IBW International Experience in the process of course of recognition. The credit transfer process needs to be finished within three months after your return/the end of your semester at the partner university. To submit the application, you will also need to bring your transcript. Click here for more information on recognition and credit transfer. As soon as the credit transfer process has been completed, a copy of your notification of credit transfer must be submitted to the International Office. For students in the curriculum BaWiSo 2019, who complete a mobility from winter semester 2021/22 onwards, the confirmation of the successfully completed IBW International Experience will be administered by the International Office.
Exchange report and grant formalities
All WU students who have completed an exchange semester organized by the International Office are required to write a report on their experiences, including an evaluation of the courses taken. The reports are reviewed by the International Office and, if complete, made available online. Please fill out the report template and upload it here.
After your return to Vienna, you have to complete several formalities related to your grant. Please click here for further information on grants.
Exchange stays organized via the International Office will show up on your Diploma Supplement at the end of your studies. In case you receive more than one degree from WU, your exchange stay will be noted only on the program’s Diploma Supplement which your exchange stay was part of.
Picking up documents in your absence
If you are not able to pick up documents at the International Office in person, you can authorize a person of your trust to do it for you. The authorized person has to bring the following documents:
Completed authorization form (see below)
Photocopy of the student's ID (photo ID/student ID)
Photo ID of the authorized person
Please note: Make sure to specify exactly the "type of task" for which you want to authorize your person of trust. If the type of task is not specified accurately or missing completely, your documents cannot be handed over.