At WU, We Live and Breathe Internationality
Open-mindedness has many facets: Exchange programs, scholarships, advisory boards to set new impulses for WU’s international orientation.
It is the international experience of our graduates, their success on the (inter)national job market, as well as their excellent entry-level salaries that help WU achieve great results in international rankings.
In today’s globalized world, international experience means looking for new horizons. Going abroad allows people to get to know new perspectives, build new relationships and learn about other countries’ ideas. Exchanging thoughts and ideas across national borders is of paramount importance for universities. Therefore, WU is committed to provide its graduates with international experience. From the very beginning, the Imperial Export Academy’s curriculum focused on internationality and built on a wide range of specializations. The fact that business language courses have been obligatory over decades reflects the international approach WU’s training program has promoted since its foundation.
At WU, students can choose from a wide range of exchange programs. WU’s scholarships support students wishing to go abroad by providing financial aid. International experience is not limited to staying in a host country, but can also be gained through interaction with international exchange students from renowned universities here at Campus WU. Also, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have the possibility to participate in international online courses.
Spending one or two exchange semesters at partner universities abroad is still the most popular option to gain international experience. While in the academic year 2021/22, 902 WU students spent part of their academic training abroad, WU was the university of choice for 872 international incoming students. Within the European Union, Erasmus+ is the mobility and exchange program promoting academic education and training. WU commits itself to the core issues of the new Erasmus program generation such as inclusion and diversity, digital transformation, Green Erasmus+, common values, or social participation. Students can choose betweenstudy stays, internships, and other teaching and training activities.Erasmus+ helps participants to improve their academic, language, social, and intercultural skills.
“International Short Programs” offer students not willing to spend a whole semester abroad the possibility to attend Summer Schools at selected partner universities or to participate in international course formats (online or at Campus WU). With WU’s “Double Degree Programs”, students can spend one year at a foreign partner university, obtaining two degrees – one from WU and one from the respective partner university.
Over half of the students attending English-thought degree programs at WU are international students. In the academic year 2021/22, the scholarship program „Mondi International Scholarships“ was launched. Every year, seven scholarships are awarded to promising international master students who are socially or economically disadvantaged (at least four scholarships must be awarded to women).
Exchange programs such as Erasmus+ do not only target students, but all European academic and teaching staff. The Fulbright program is another prestigious scholarship for American scientists. The program’s objective is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. WU has two Fulbright Chairs. We observed two particularly positive trends among Fulbright scholars: American scientists often want to come to Vienna and WU for longer than just one semester and previous holders of a Fulbright Chair are applying for a repeat stay at our university.
As an internationally active university, external input is very important to WU, especially from managers and entrepreneurs with international experience. The “International Corporate Board“ will meet with the WU Rector’s Council at least once a year to discuss topics like strategy, internationalization, and WU’s academic program portfolio. In addition, WU has consulted with the “International Board”, a panel of highly respected international university experts, for years.
Furthermore, WU is committed to increase the participation of refugees in university life. Since 2015, as part of WU’s programs “Lernen macht Schule” and “MORE”, refugees showing interest in studying at WU have been offered German courses, e.g. as preparation for a WU degree. 267 students have successfully completed German courses under the MORE program, a total of 2,538 hours and 27 courses were held. Participants came from 15 different countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 32 Ukrainian students were admitted to the program in the 2022 summer semester. In addition to German courses, students could also take part in events or campus tours and had access to educational counseling. In the academic year 2022/23, WU created the “Ukraine special exchange program”, an initiative offering 80 places to Ukrainian refugee students to help them continue their studies.