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.
Study Abroad Infosession
(annually in March)
Small group advisory meetings
(Online in winter semester 2020/21)
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.
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.
Students with disabilities/chronic illnesses, as well as students with care responsibilities during a semester abroad, can apply for additional Erasmus+ funds when spending a semester in one of the Erasmus+ program countries. The amount of this financial support is not fixed, but based on the actual additional financial burden caused by a student’s disability, illness, or care responsibilities.
Eligible students who wish to apply must communicate their status when applying for an Erasmus+ grant at the latest. As part of the application, a detailed list of all necessary expenses must be submitted. We recommend contacting the International Office’s grant office when applying for a semester abroad, so there is enough time to prepare the application properly.
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 abroad by WU students in the past and transferred to their WU degree. This database is meant as a means for orientation, but does not guarantee that those courses are offered each semester by the partner university or that they are open to WU students (e.g. course is already full, academic requirements are not fulfilled).
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 arrival, accommodation, costs, course registration, and local tips.
Go Global exchange fair
Each year in October, Go Global offers a platform for former outgoings and current incomings to present WU’s partner universities. This is a great way for future exchange students to receive first-hand information about student life abroad.
"What's it actually like?"
Here you can find detailed accounts written by students about their semester abroad at certain partner universities.
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.
If you have already completed an exchange semester or have already been nominated for an exchange semester during your bachelor’s degree program, you cannot apply for another exchange semester. However, you can still apply for an International Summer University program in that case.
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 WU partner universities. It is not necessary that you fulfill the additional criteria required by the partner universities within the application period at WU. It is sufficient if you meet these requirements within 4 weeks after the announcement of your nomination. Students in the bachelor's program Business and Economics can obtain a proof of language proficency at the International Office which confirms enrolment in an english-taught program.
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, for example, that if you apply during a winter semester application period and are then nominated for a stay abroad, you will start your exchange semester in the following winter semester.
Three application periods are available per semester. One of these three application periods is for overseas partner universities, and 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 their personal preferences, students may apply for places at up to 3 universities.
Students of the IBW Chinesisch (International Business Administration and Chinese) program and all other individual study programs: Please ask your International Office regional coordinator 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 in a timely manner. Students will also be notified if no interviews are being held at all.
Winter semester 2020/21: Your academic advisor will inform you whether the selection interview will take place virtually or in person at Campus WU.
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 only on their written documents. The main reasons for a ranking position/rejection are given in the online application tool. Students can view these reasons in the application tool after the application process has ended.
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 during subsequent application periods.
The online application tool
Application periods 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 3 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.
During the online application process, you need to upload the following documents:
One letter of motivation (PDF) for each of your preferences (i.e. up to 3 letters of motivation)
Language: see info sheet on partner university map - 'language for motivation letter'
Ca. 3200 characters, including spaces, PDF-format, 2 MB file size. Should be addressed to the appropriate academic advisor
A CV (PDF)
Language: English (unless you are exclusively applying for universities in German speaking countries)
including your education, work experience, international experience, and language skills
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)
WU students who have been nominated for the summer semester 2021 or the winter semester 2021/22 and cannot begin their semester abroad may resign and reapply for a semester abroad at a later point. Due to the COVID-19 situation, it is possible that a semester abroad cannot be taken up, for example, if the partner university cancels the exchange or if the number of infections in the host country increases significantly. The decision of students who decide against a stay abroad because of their reservations is accepted as a withdrawal. An official withdrawal is necessary to apply for another exchange.
A postponement to another semester is not possible.
It is possible that the partner university switches from classroom teaching to distance learning before or during the exchange semester.
The following risks of a renewed later application due to COVID-19 are pointed out:
There may be a delay in your studies. If your semester abroad gets cancelled and you exceed the prescribed duration of your study program including two extra semesters, tuition fees may be due. In order to avoid this, please consider this when planning and scheduling your studies.
Possibly the requirements for a scholarship will not be met, because the proof of performance cannot be provided. This may affect students who are well advanced in their studies and have few opportunities for course recognition.
During the entire semester abroad, students must be registered at WU and can only complete their studies after the semester abroad.
Nomination and registration
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.
Depending on the partner university, you will receive an email or postal mail just before or during the registration process with 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.
The relevant 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, i.e. Marketing, Finance, Management, etc.
Semester dates: Please note that WU’s “summer semester” is often called something else in other countries, e.g. “spring term” or just “second semester”. Likewise, the “winter semester” is often called the “fall term” or “first 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 web services.
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 a template for 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 a template for 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, the International Office can issue an EBC certificate for your application. We can also issue a confirmation for the language of instruction of your study program.
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.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, it is possible that a semester abroad cannot be taken up, for example, if the partner university cancels the exchange or if the number of infections in the host country increases significantly. The decision of students who decide against a stay abroad because of their reservations is accepted as a withdrawal. A COVID-19-related withdrawal does not entail any consequences. It is possible to apply for another stay abroad.
Preparing for your stay abroad
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 of the partner university in question.
Every exchange stay at a WU partner university is subsidized by a mobility grant – what mobility grant you are eligible for depends on the country you choose for your exchange semester. In the course of the mandatory Grants and Credit Transfer Session, which takes place before your exchange semester, you will receive all the necessary information and documents. If you are looking for more detailed information before the session, please click here.
Financial aid: Please note that you can only receive a scholarship if you spend your exchange period physically at the partner university! This also applies if you participate in online courses.
Pre-recognition notice and Learning Agreement
Before youg go abroad, you must fill out the online application for the legally binding pre-recognition (Feststellungsbescheid) 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 & Recognition Session, where you will be given all the necessary information.
International Business Administration (IBW)
Students with a major in International Business Administration (IBW) must complete courses related to business/economics worth 24 ECTS credits during their stay abroad. For universities without an ECTS credits system, please consult the Credit transfer Online Database. Here, you can use the pre-recognition notice as a tool to check which courses fulfill the requirements of your International Business Administration major. To fulfill the requirement, you only need to complete the required amount of courses abroad, but you do not have to transfer them once you are back at WU. Further information is provided during the Grants and Credit Transfer Session and on our web page on the IBW international experience requirement.
All nominated students are required to complete a mandatory intercultural skills training seminar before their exchange stay. This seminar is intended to provide students with the necessary cultural preparation 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.
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 a student at WU and you can register for courses and exams if they do not conflict with your exchange period.
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.
Many partner universities offer special services to help nominated WU students 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 the 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 of 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 a description with you of what is covered by your policy (in English). 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 stay abroad, 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 (both documents have to be signed by the partner university) home with you.
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.
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 introduce the university 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, and you can find a PowerPoint presentation with general information on WU here.
Share photos of your stay on Instagtam using #WUInternational
Tag your Instagram posts during your semester abroad with #WUInternational or send us a photo directly. We will share the best pictures on our account @wuinternationaloffice.
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. These meetings are intended to make your return easier and provide you with information on important things you need to get done once you’re back in Vienna.
Obtaining your Transcript of Records from the partner university
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. 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. In case you receive your transcript directly from your partner university, you can go to the Study Regulations & Credit Transfer Office, located in the Study Service Center in the LC building, on level 2 and request the credit transfer process.
Credit transfer and confirmation of your IBW International Experience
Please note that the (ECTS) credits you have received for the courses you attended abroad will not automatically be transferred to WU. You have to submit an application for credit transfer towards your WU program to the Study Regulations & Credit Transfer Office, located in the Study Service Center in the LC building, on level 2. 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.
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.
Shortly after your stay abroad, we will email you a link to our outgoing survey. Please fill it out as comprehensively as possible.
After your return to Vienna, you have to complete several formalities related to your grant. Please click here for further information on grants.
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!
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.