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International Office

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FAQs incoming students summer semester 22

Please note that this page is being continuously updated as the situation develops. For the most up-​to-date information, please refresh the page regularly by pressing Ctrl+F5 (on Windows) or deleting your cache before refreshing (on Mac).

Last update: January 11, 2022, 12:20pm

I am planning to spend my exchange semester at WU. Where can I obtain first information?

  • On January 27, 2022, we will send out an e-mail including our pre-arrival guide. This guide gives you basic information to prepare for the upcoming exchange semester in summer 2022. You may also find information to read upon on our website.

Which risks should I be aware of if I decide to pursue my exchange semester?

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are several points that you should consider when you plan your exchange in summer semester 2022. If you wish to pursue your exchange, you are welcome to do so and WU’s International Office will happily support you, but you should be aware of the risks involved.

The list below is not exhaustive but can give you assistance:

  • Keep in mind that travel restrictions can affect your plans. Further, it is possible that mandatory quarantines and/or airline route cancelations may be implemented.

  • Make yourself familiar with cancelation terms when booking flights and accommodation. Some policies may not cover cancelations due to COVID-19.

  • Visa: if you need a visa for travelling to your host university, note that delays can occur in handling visa applications. Please monitor the travel/entry information published by your home and host country (typically by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

  • In case of a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, be prepared that appropriate measures will be taken in your host country / at your host university (reduction of social/cultural activities, transition of lectures to online/distance learning formats, and similar).

  • Discuss your exchange plans with your family and friends. If you feel unsafe, talk with the exchange coordinator at your home university to find alternative solutions.

Where can I find information on the visa application process?

  • You can find general information on the visa and residence permit application process on our website. For information and updates concerning the current situation with visa applications, please consult the website of Austria's Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Note that residents from selected countries can enter and stay in Austria for a limited time without a visa.

Which documents and vaccinations are accepted for entry?

Upon entry, everyone who wants to enter Austria needs to present either proof of past infection or proof of vaccination. In some cases, you may also need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test in addition (for details, please see this FAQ).

When entering Austria, make sure to have your documents ready. Please note that a negative PCR COVID-19 test, vaccination certificates or proof of past infection(s) must be digital or hard copy certificates (either in German or in English language). If your official document is not in English or German, please use this official health certificate in German or English and have it signed by a medical professional.

PCR COVID-19 test:
Antigen tests are not sufficient for entry. PCR tests are valid if they are not older than 48 hours and have been issued by a medical authority. Please note: In instances in which the 2G+ rule applies, you need to present proof of past infection or proof of vaccination in combination with a negative PCR COVID-19 test.

Proof of past infection:
To enter Austria, you can use a medical certificate stating your recovery from COVID-19. Said medical certificate is valid for 180 days after recovery from COVID-19. For entry, proof of neutralizing antibodies is not valid for entering into Austria.

Proof of vaccination:
The following vaccines (including mix-and-match vaccines) are recognized for entry:

  • BioNtech/Pfizer

  • Moderna

  • AstraZeneca

  • Johnson & Johnson
    (Valid for entering Austria, but no longer accepted within the G-rules)

  • Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covishield
    (Only valid for entering Austria, not accepted within the G-rules)

A vaccination is only valid for entry if the immunization is complete. This is either the day of your second/third vaccination or 22 days after your vaccination with a vaccine that only requires one dose (e.g. Johnson & Johnson). A vaccination certificate is valid for 270 days from the vaccination date onwards. An additional third vaccination (booster) is valid for 270 days from the third vaccination onwards. Between the second vaccination and the booster, a period of at least 120 days should be maintained.

Important: You may enter Austria with one vaccination dose of Johnson & Johnson; however, a single vaccination of Johnson and Johnson is not accepted within the G-rules. In order to have valid proof according to the G-rules, you need an additional booster vaccination or a medical statement of recovery!

Proof of past infection combined with one dose of any recognized vaccine is valid for 270 days from the vaccination date onwards.

Which entry regulations are in place at the moment? Do I need a pre-travel clearance?

In principle, the 2G+ rule applies for entry into Austria. You must therefore present a vaccination or recovery certificate and additionally a molecular biological test (e.g. negative PCR test valid 48 hours). If you come from a non-virus variant area and you have already received a third dose ("booster"), you are exempt from presenting a test (see table below).

Depending on your country of departure, in which you have spent the last ten days before travelling, different regulations apply (please see table below).

 Entry from a non-virus variant  area*Entry from a virus variant area
Pre-travel clearanceUpon entry, you must present proof of full vaccination (2 doses) or proof of past infection in combination with a negative PCR test OR a booster vaccination (or equivalent thereof). If you come from a virus variant area, you have to fill out the pre-travel clearance form.
Mandatory quarantineIf you fail to present a negative PCR test OR a booster vaccination (or equivalent thereof), you have to self-isolate immediately. You have to quarantine until a negative test result is available.If you fail to present a negative PCR test AND a booster vaccination (or equivalent thereof), you have to quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine can be ended early by obtaining a negative PCR test on the fifth day after entry (entry date counts as “day zero”).
PCR testRequired for people who did not receive a booster vaccination or cannot present a valid equivalent.Required for entry into Austria. In addition to the negative PCR test, you have to show proof of a booster vaccination (or an equivalent thereof).  

* Individuals who cannot provide valid 2G proof must register via pre-travel clearance and enter quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine can be terminated early on the fifth day after entry (day of entry = day "zero") with a negative molecular biological test result (e.g. PCR test).

Further information is available on austria.info and on this website by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.

Via this link, you can access the pre-travel clearance. 

Please note: The above information has been researched with the outmost care. WU’s International Office is not an authority and cannot provide any legally binding information.

I have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not recognized by EMA (European Medicines Agency). What should I know about entry regulations and my stay in Austria?

  • In case you have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not recognized by EMA (for example Covishield, Sinopharm, or Sinovac), you can only enter Austria if you have received two doses. Please note: You may be able to enter Austria with theses vaccines, but they are not recognized and accepted within the 2G rule (vaccinated and/or recovered). In order to get access to restaurants, and the like, you need to present proof of recovery or proof that you have been vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by EMA.

  • If you have received a vaccine that is not recognized by EMA, you should test for neutralizing antibodies and receive one dose of an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine (BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna). The minimum interval from the previous vaccination series should be at least one month.

    Your proof of neutralizing antibodies is only valid in combination with an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine. This combination is recognized as proof within the 2G rule and valid for 270 days from the vaccination date onwards.

    Alternatively, you may also follow the common EMA vaccination pattern and opt for two doses of an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine. Between both doses, you must keep a pause of 14 days. After your second dose, your vaccination status is accepted within the 2G rule and valid for 270 days.

Where can I get vaccinated? Where can I receive proof of neutralizing antibodies?

How does the current COVID-19 situation affect my exchange semester? What should I know before traveling to Vienna?

  • Currently, Austria is in a tense pandemic situation. It is not possible to predict how the situation will develop until February/March 2022. The current entry ban does not apply to students and researchers and entry into Austria has been possible for students in the past, therefore we are confident that entry regulations for students will not change. We will inform all incoming exchange students on this FAQ page and via our News and Updates: COVID-19. Please make sure to check these webpages on a regular basis. 

  • Fortunately, a high percentage of the WU community (including staff and students) is vaccinated. It is the ambition of our university to ensure as much teaching on campus as possible. For this purpose, a contact tracing system was established and appropriate hygiene concepts were implemented.

  • Please understand that at the moment we cannot tell whether the summer semester will start on campus or in distance mode. We will inform you as soon as there are new developments. Since a switch from distance mode to on campus teaching and vice versa is possible, we strongly advise incoming exchange students to travel to Vienna before the start of the semester.

Where can I obtain information about the current COVID-19 situation?

  • For general information about the COVID-19 situation in Austria and Vienna, we recommend the webpages austria.info and wien.info. These pages frequently provide updates in English language.

Which COVID-19 regulations are in place at WU Vienna?

  • To inform yourself about current COVID-19 regulations at WU Vienna, please have a look at our Learn Safely website. Furthermore, we advise you to visit our webpage for News and Updates and to check the FAQ section.

  • As of February 28, 2022: In order to get access to buildings on campus WU, you will need to present proof according to the 2G rule (proof of past infection and/or vaccination). Until end of February, you may also enter buildings with a negative PCR test. Further details are available on WU's Learn Safely website.

I have heard about the "G" rules in Austria. What do they mean exactly?

The so-called G rules (short for German “geimpft, getestet, genesen – vaccinated, tested, recovered”) are used to define low-risk groups in epidemiological terms.

  • In all instances in which the 2,5G rule applies, antigen tests are not valid and will not be accepted.

  • The 2G rule means that only a recovery from COVID-19 and/or full immunization through recognized vaccines is accepted.

  • Within the so called 2G+ rule, individuals must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test in addition to their proof of vaccination and/or recovery.

For almost every indoor or outdoor activity, you need to present proof that you are either vaccinated, recovered and/or tested. For instance, proof is necessary when you visit a restaurant, check in at a hotel, see the hairdresser or for other similar occasions (click here for more examples).

Where can I get a COVID-19 test free of cost?

  • The city of Vienna compiled a helpful FAQ section on their website, which also gives information on “how” and “where” to get tested free of cost.

Is COVID-19 covered by medical insurance? Will I be able to receive medical treatment even though I’m a foreigner?

  • You can either purchase the Austrian National Health Insurance (ÖGK) or private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Austria. ÖGK covers medical treatments including COVID-​19. If you purchase a private health insurance, please get in touch with the insurance provider to make sure it also covers COVID-​19 related treatments.

Does WU offer the pre-semester Orientation and Cultural Program in the summer semester?

  • We regret to inform you that due to the current Covid situation, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the Orientation and Cultural program that was to take place from February 7 to February 18, 2022.
    Our main goal with the pre-semester program has always been to offer you 2 weeks of fun and inspiring activities to discover Vienna and Austrian culture, and we feel that given the circumstances, we won’t be able to offer you the full experience while also ensuring everyone’s safety.

  • Please note that the cancellation does not concern the pre-semester German course, which we still plan to host on campus. The placement tests for the language course will take place between January 10 and January 15, 2022. An email with general updates, the pre-arrival guide, and the web link for the Welcome Days will be sent to you on January 27, 2022.