Exchange semester Master
Here you can find all information needed for an exchange semester on master's level.
- Available exchange places
- Consulting services at the International Office
- Planning your stay abroad
- Partner universities
- Suitability of master’s programs for a semester abroad
- Application requirements
- Suitable partner universities according to master’s programs
- 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
Please note that the number of available places may change from semester to semester.
Apart from 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.
In addition, students of the master’s program Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control have the opportunity to apply for a special exchange semester with a focus on entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School.
Students enrolled in the master’s program Business Law have the opportunity to gain an additional qualification with the THEMIS program.
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 winter semester 2021/22)
Planning your stay abroad
How do I go about planning? How do I find the right partner university?
The following considerations may be helpful for answering these questions:
Which countries are of particular interest to me?
Which countries do I want to get to know or to which countries do I have a special connection? Are there WU partner universities in these countries?
Which university suits me?
Universities, like students, have very different profiles and subject specializations. The size, location and campus structure of the university also play an important role for many students.
Which universities offer courses related to my major field of study?
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+ support for students with disabilities/chronic illnesses can be added).
On master’s level, WU offers an international network comprising about 130 partner universities worldwide. It is recommended to take your semester abroad in the third semester; in some exceptional cases, the fourth semester is also possible (Business Law and Business Education). Please note that applications must be submitted a year in advance. We therefore recommend that you apply for a semester abroad in your first semester in order to be able to study at the partner university of your choice during your third semester.
The following sources of information may help you choose a partner university:
Info sheets and fact sheets
Info sheets are compiled by WU and provide you with information. They include, among other things, 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 incomings can familiarize themselves with the course catalog or housing possibilities. Corresponding links can be found in the info and fact sheets. Note that the information provided is only meant as support during the initial process of choosing a university. 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, in the past, completed abroad by WU students 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.
International experiences at WU and abroad
Here you will find detailed reports and interviews from students about their experiences at specific partner universities.
Not every partner university offers a course portfolio that is suitable for all students and every WU degree program. Our interactive map is a useful tool that helps you to find out which partner university has a course portfolio that fits your WU degree program. Please use the filter option to select your WU degree program. To view detailed information on the respective universities, click on the pins.
Suitability of master’s programs for a semester abroad
Master programs at WU are diverse. For most programs, it is possible to go abroad for an exchange semester without delaying your academic progress. However, some programs have to be completed entirely at WU.
Students of the master's programs:
Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control
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 International Office can provide recommendations for a large number of suitable partner universities.
Students of the master's programs:
Export and Internationalization Management
Finance and Accounting
Supply Chain Management
An exchange semester is optional. Due to the 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 of the master's programs:
Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy
Taxation and Accounting
Due to the specific structure of these programs, students are required to complete the entire program at WU. Credit transfer for courses completed during a semester abroad is only possible to a limited extent.
To be able to apply for a stay abroad, you have to be admitted to a master’s program at WU.
Most partner universities have additional requirements, you need to fulfill. This may include, for instance, professional experience or language certificates. Information on these requirements is provided on the info sheets for the individual partner universities, 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 our application period. It is sufficient if you meet these requirements after the announcement of your nomination.
Suitable partner universities according to master’s programs
Students are expected to take a full workload at the partner university during their semester abroad. In Europe, the full workload equals courses worth 30 ECTS credits. For overseas, students have to complete the appropriate workload requirement of the partner university. Upon their return, students are required to transfer the credits earned abroad toward their respective WU degree program.
The WU master’s programs have issued recommendations for partner universities which are well-suited for an exchange semester. Courses which have been cleared for credit transfer in advance are indicated in the credit transfer online database published by Study Regulations & Credit Transfer. Please use our interactive map to find out which universities are recommended for your master’s program.
These recommendations are not just for orientation purposes, but also take into account the process of allocation for the respective exchange place at the partner university. This ensures a compatible course program, pending possible changes. Due to possible changes in the course portfolio at the partner university, the recommendations are not a guarantee for credit transfer. Nevertheless, we explicitly encourage students to apply for partner universities that are recommended by their master’s program. In case you are interested in a partner university that is not recommended by your master’s program, you will have to carefully study the course portfolio and inform yourself through WU's International Office about courses that are accessible for 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.
Within the application periods and provided you meet the requirements, you can apply online via this link. You can apply for up to 7 universities per application period and rank them according to your preferences!
You can apply for an exchange semester during the official application periods. Please note that applications must be submitted a year in advance.
During winter semester, there are three periods available:
Application period Europe and overseas
Additional application period Europe and overseas
During Summer semester, there is only one period.
Documents must be uploaded in the course of the online application. The application documents consist of:
One motivational letter for all seven partner university preferences in English language (ca. 3200 characters, including spaces, max. 2 MB, PDF-file; addressed to the program director of your master’s program).
CV in English (for WU master’s programs in English) or German language (for WU programs in German). The CV should be a PDF-document, not larger than 2 MB and include information about: education, professional experience/internships, international experience, language skills and other skills. A photo is optional.
WU master’s and WU bachelor’s transcript (Sammelzeugnis, is automatically generated). Students with a bachelor’s degree from a different institution have to upload their transcript (Sammelzeugnis) as a PDF-file.
Interviews may be held by the master’s program director with the applicant for an exchange semester. If interviews are scheduled, you will be informed about the format in which they take place.
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.
Allocation of an exchange place
When ranking applicants, special selection criteria of the master's programs come into play. The allocation of an exchange place for an applicant is ensued by an algorithm particularly designed for this purpose. This algorithm calculates the overall score by taking into account the following criteria for every applicant:
|Ranking by the program director||The ranking of the applicants is done by the respective master’s programs and is included with a value between 1 and 0 into the valuation (1 is the best, percental gradation).||1 – 0|
|Tertile-points||Due to the ranking placement the applicants receive points for the respective tertile (third) in which they are ranked. In case of doubt the applicant will be ranked in the better tertile.||3/2/1|
|Categorization of your master’s program||The curricula of some master’s programs are more compatible with an exchange semester than others. Each master’s program has been categorized according to its compatibility into one of three groups. 2 points mean an exchange semester is possible for a large number of students. 0 points mean that the possibilities for an exchange semester are very restricted.||2/1/0|
|Recommendations for partner universities||If you have applied for an exchange place at one of the recommended partner universities, you receive an additional 2 points. These points are added when two applicants are eligible for the same exchange place.||2/0|
The allocation process consist of two steps:
In the first round, applicants in the first tertile from master’s programs which explicitly or optionally recommend a semester abroad are allocated. In this round, the relevant parameters are the ranking by the program, the tertile-points, and the potential recommendation of a partner university.
In the second round, applicants in the second and third tertile are allocated. In this round, all criteria from the table above are taken into account.
If two or more applicants are at draw level after the determination of the total scores, the student who will receive the exchange place is picked at random. After the determination of the total scores, the students’ preferences are reviewed one by one. As soon as a “match” occurs, the applicant will be allocated that exchange place.
Publication of results
The International Office will send out the notifications about the final selection results via email approximately one month after the application deadline. For the application period special programs one week after the application deadline. After you have received the nomination email, you have time to provide a language certificate, if this is requested by the partner university. Please contact your regional coordinator at the International Office if necessary. In case you cannot provide the necessary language certificate, you will lose your exchange place.
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 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 (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 International Office regional coordinator.
The following questions/data are frequently asked in relevant application form:
Are you a full-time student? Yes
Institutional/Exchange coordinator: IO regional coordinator
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 often 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 view and print 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. Often, vaccinations are required. Click here for a template 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, 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. Please contact your regional coordinator at the International Office immediately in such cases. If you cancel your exchange without a valid reason, you are excluded from further participation in WU exchange programs in your 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. If your study plan and master's program allow it, you can reapply for a stay abroad.
Preparing for your stay abroad
Course selection at the partner university
When selecting courses, note that the credits must be transferred towards your WU program after your return, 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. For overseas, please take into account the requirements of a full workload at the partner university in question.
Every exchange stay at a WU partner university is subsidized by a mobility grant. The kind of 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 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.
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 you go abroad, you must fill out the online application for the legally binding pre-recognition notice (Feststellungsbescheid) to clarify which courses taken at the partner university are eligible for credit transfer after you return to WU. Regarding the pre-recognition process and the Learning Agreement for the Erasmus+ grant, detailed infomration can be found here. In the semester before your exchange, you will be invited to the mandatory grant and credit transfer session, in which you will be given all necessary information.
We recommend the completion of a seminar for intercultural competence to WU master’s students prior to their exchange stay. This step is optional.
It is important that you pay your Students’ Union (ÖH) dues during your exchange semester. Otherwise, you will be disenrolled from your academic program.
Participation in an exchange 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 to find appropriate accommodation. Information on housing opportunities and services is provided by the partner universities. Concerning this topic, we advise you to read the info sheets and the exchange reports by former WU outgoing students.
The International Office 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 also helps you to sublet your room or apartment during a stay abroad. The services offered are free of charge for WU students and the International Office even 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 which 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 make sure to inform yourself about any visa or entry requirements made by the host country early enough to make 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 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 home with you. Both documents have to be signed by the partner university.
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 there to introduce our 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. 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 offers special group 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 do 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. 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. 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 process
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 a form 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 or the end of your semester at the partner university. To submit the application, you will 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 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 this link for further information on grants.
Participate at 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.