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FAQs incoming students winter semester 21/22

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Last update: July 06, 2021, 3:32pm

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 winter semester 2021/2022. 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. If possible, we advise to complete such bookings on a short notice and not in advance.

  • Visa: if you need a visa for travelling to your host university, kindly note that currently many consulates do not handle visa applications and/or delays might 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 (temporary lockdowns and 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.

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

  • On May 4, 2021, we will send out our Welcome E-mail containing the Welcome Guide with information for your upcoming exchange semester. In the meantime, you may also find information to read upon on our website.

My home university canceled physical exchange. Does WU offer online courses?

  • For the winter semester 2021/22, WU plans to offer the majority of courses in a hybrid mode. This means that students should be prepared for courses with attendance units and therefore should be on site in Vienna. For those who cannot travel to Vienna, there will be a small offering of distance-learning courses.

Does WU offer the pre-semester German language course in winter semester?

  • Yes, WU will offer the pre-semester German language courses. For the winter semester 2021/22, the courses will take place between September 13 and September 24, 2021.

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

  • The current COVID-situation and its uncertainties does not allow for reliable planning. Therefore, we cannot offer the pre-semester Orientation and Cultural Program in winter semester 2021/22.

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 Covid-19 entry regulations should I be aware of when traveling to Austria?

The current Covid-19 entry regulations are in place until August 31, 2021 and will be updated according to the pandemic situation. Currently, there are 3 categories which are relevant for entry. For travelers, the area/state in which they have stayed the last 10 days before entering Austria is of significance.

  • If you come from a country with a low incidence rate (see austria.info a)) and have spent the last ten days before entry in said country, you can enter Austria without the need to self-quarantine; however, you must present a negative Covid-19 test, proof of vaccination or proof of past infection. If you cannot present proof, you are obliged to take a PCR test within 24 hours and must register via pre-travel clearance.

  • If you come from a country categorized as a region of virus variants (see austria.info b)), you need to obtain a pre-travel clearance before traveling to Austria. Further, you are required to present a negative PCR test upon entry. This also applies to you if you are vaccinated and/or fully recovered. Please not that antigen tests are not accepted. After entry, a mandatory quarantine of 10 days is necessary. To shorten the quarantine, you can take a PCR test after the fifth day of entry.

  • If you come from a country with a high incidence rate (see austria.info c)), you need to obtain a pre-travel clearance before traveling to Austria. People who are fully vaccinated (see below) need to present proof thereof and do not need to self-quarantine. Tested as well as recovered people are required to start a mandatory quarantine of 10 days, which can be shortened with a negative PCR test after the fifth day of entry.

Which documents and vaccinations are accepted for entry?

Negative Covid-19 test – Depending on your area/state of departure, you may need to present a PCR test or an antigen test upon entry. For travelers from certain countries, only PCR tests are valid (see above). PCR tests are valid if they are no older than 72 hours, antigen if they are no older than 48 hours.  

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

  • BioNtech/Pfizer

  • AstraZeneca

  • Johnson & Johnson

  • Moderna

  • Sinopharm (only valid for entering Austria, not for entering Campus WU, hotels, restaurants, etc.)

You are considered "vaccinated" starting on the 22nd day after your first dose, lasting for 90 days from the vaccination date. After the second dose, the validity extends for another 270 days. Vaccines that only require one dose are valid from the 22nd day after that dose and valid for 270 days from the vaccination date. This also applies if you had Covid-19 before and received only one dose of any vaccine!

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 antibodies is also valid but only for 90 days from the test date onwards.

When entering Austria, make sure to have your documents ready. Please note that a negative Covid-19 test, vaccination certificates or proof of past infections 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.

If possible, we recommend to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before traveling to Vienna. By doing so, you help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and contribute to a safe learning environment on Campus WU. Compared to getting tested on a regular basis, getting vaccinated takes less effort.  

I have heard about the “3-G” rule in Austria. What does it mean exactly?

  • The measures to contain the coronavirus in Austria have been eased, but a number of special safety measures still apply. The „3-G” rule (short for German “geimpft, getestet, genesen – vaccinated, tested, recovered”) is used to define low-risk groups in epidemiological terms.

  • For almost every indoor or outdoor activity, you need to present proof that you are either vaccinated, tested or recovered. 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).

  • Please note: You will need to fulfil at least one of the 3-Gs (vaccinated, tested, recovered) when visiting Campus WU. Further details are available on our Learn Safely website.

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. More information is available on their website and in our Pre-arrival Guide, which we will send out shortly before our Online Welcome Day in September 2021.

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

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 webpage austria.info. It frequently provides updates in English language.

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.