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Orientation

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An exchange semester at WU is an educational and cultural experience. To support you in taking your first steps and to ensure that you get the most out of your exchange experience, the International Office at WU organizes several orientation activities. Some are optional and some are mandatory. See below for more information about the various programs.
 

Welcome days

To ensure a successful start at WU Vienna, the International Office requires incoming exchange students to attend the welcome days. Dates are offered at the beginning of every semester.

For the winter semester 2022, our welcome days will be organized in an on-campus format. During the welcome days, we will also lead you through the enrollment process. Note that there are two enrollment sessions. It is essential that you attend one of the two sessions because you will receive your WU student ID card in the enrollment process. For students who participate in the pre-semester German language course, we recommend to opt for the first enrollment date.

Further information about the enrollment and the students' union fee is available in the guide which we will send to you shortly before the start of your exchange.

Dates & Deadlines

Orientation & Cultural Program

The Orientation and Cultural Program offers incoming exchange students the chance to get acquainted with Vienna, Austrian culture, and each other – all before the semester begins. Our two-week program includes a variety of activities designed to cover Vienna’s most famous sights, attractions, and activities that are reflective of everyday life in Vienna. Tours and out-of-town field trips are led by professional guides and group leaders who are WU students themselves. These provide incoming exchange students with an accessible source of first-hand information about studying at WU and university life. Schedules for upcoming programs are put online around one week before the program begins. For a general overview of Orientation and Cultural Program activities, please see our sample program:

Sample Program
Sample Program

FAQs - Orientation & Cultural Program

Who can register?Registration is open to students from partner universities who are registered as exchange students at WU.
How can I book the program?Your registration is processed in WU's online booking platform. Detailed instructions on how to register can be found in the WU Incoming Handbook, which is sent to all WU incoming exchange students via email. The email is sent out on May 3 to students arriving for the winter semester (fall term) and on November 2 to students arriving for the summer semester (spring term).

Please note that your booking is binding. Only book the program if you plan to participate in person.
When can I apply?Generally, registration takes place from May 2 to May 20 for the winter semester program and from November 2 to November 20 for the summer semester program. These dates are, however, subject to change.
When do the programs take place?The winter semester program takes place in September before the start of the semester. The summer semester program takes place in February before the start of the semester.
Do I have to speak German to take part in the program?No. English is spoken during all our program activities.
Can I take part in the program and take the pre-semester German language course at the same time?Yes! Orientation and Cultural Program activities are scheduled in the afternoons and evenings, while the pre-semester German language course is held in the mornings.
How much does it cost?The participation fee is €260 and payable either through bank transfer or credit card.
Can I cancel my registration?The participation fee will be refunded in case of medical or family emergency, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have to cancel your participation due to mandatory quarantine after being in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Quarantine due to travel restrictions cannot be considered. Please check information on travel restrictions regularly and plan your arrival in Vienna accordingly! Please be aware that a partial refund is not possible once the program has started.In the unlikely event that the Orientation and Cultural Program cannot take place, the participation fee will be refunded.
What are the COVID-19 restrictions?To ensure the safety of everyone, and to abide by possible preventative COVID-19 measures in Austria, we expect participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have valid proof of recovery. Please check our News and Updates regularly for current information on the COVID-19 situation in Austria and Vienna.

Pre-semester German language course

The pre-semester German language courses by WU's Business Language Center offer incoming exchange students an opportunity to either learn some basic German or refresh their German skills before their exchange semester at WU begins.

The courses are taught by certified German teachers, cover all skill levels, from absolute beginners to highly advanced speakers and help students with no or only very little knowledge of German to adapt more easily to life in Vienna. For students with an intermediate or advanced level of German, the courses present an opportunity to sharpen their skills before starting the semester.  Further, these courses are beneficial for all students wishing to test into a higher level of German, giving them time to refresh their skills.

Based on the recommendations of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, WU’s Business Language Center offers German courses at the proficiency levels A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1. A detailed table of materials taught and learning outcomes for each level can be found for A1 and A2 here and for B1, B2, and C1 here.

For the application deadline as well as for the exact start and end dates each semester, please check our dates & deadlines:

Dates & deadlines

FAQs - Pre-semester German language course

Who can register?Registration is open to students from partner universities who are registered as exchange students at WU.
How can I book the course?Your registration is processed in WU's online booking platform. Detailed instructions on how to register can be found in the guide, which is sent to all WU incoming exchange students via email. The email is sent out on May 2 to students arriving for the winter semester (fall term) and on November 2 to students arriving for the summer semester (spring term).
Please note that your booking is binding and the registration fee is non-refundable.

Cancellation is only possible in exceptional cases (withdrawal from your exchange semester due to severe illness or unforseen serious events).
When can I apply? For the winter semester 2022, registration takes place between May 3 and May 20, 2022.

Generally, registration takes place from May 2 to May 20 for the winter semester program and from November 2 to November 20 for the summer semester program. These dates are, however, subject to change.
Will I get credits for participating in the course?Yes, you will get 3 ECTS-Credits and the course will show up on your transcript of records at the end of your stay.
When do the programs take place? The winter semester program takes place in September before the start of the winter semester. The summer semester program takes place in February before the start of the summer semester.
Do I have to speak German to take part in the program? No. We cater to all skill levels, from absolute beginners to highly advanced speakers.
How do I know which level I should take?Before the course begins, students who already have some knowledge of German, can take a placement test in order to determine their initial class placement.
What do the different levels mean? The levels are drawn from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For further information on the CEFR (in English and French), please see the Council of Europe website.

For further information on the CEFR in German, please see the website of the Goethe Institut (German only).
Can I take part in the program and take the pre-semester German language course at the same time?Yes! Activities of the Orientation and Cultural Program are scheduled in the afternoons, while the pre-semester German language course is held in the mornings.
How much does it cost? The administration and teaching material fee is €40 and payable either through bank transfer or credit card.

An added advantage of participating in the pre-semester German language course is that it provides preparation for the German language courses offered by WU’s Business Language Center during the semester. For more information on German language courses during the semester, please click here.