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FAQs outgoing students summer semester 21

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Last update: September 14, 2020, 14:14 pm

Will my exchange program take place during summer semester 2021?

In many countries and regions, the Corona-related uncertainties continue to exist. It is therefore almost impossible to make any reliable predictions about whether or not the exchange program at a given university will take place. It is also not possible to predict whether the courses will be conducted in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid form.

Furthermore, some countries currently have travel restrictions in place. These restrictions would prevent exchange students from entering their host countries. Students may also have difficulties in obtaining visas due to consulate closures or in finding suitable flights.

For these reasons, students should not purchase any flights, book housing or make non-refundable arrangements for their exchange semester. Given the fact that the situation has been evolving beyond our control, we and our partner universities cannot take any responsibility or liability for losses (monetary or otherwise) arising in the course of planning your exchange semester.

However, we are still hopeful that the exchange programs will take place as planned at many of our partner universities, even if with some restrictions. We are following up the situation with our partner universities, and will inform you promptly as soon as we receive new updates to help you navigate through these uncertain times.

My partner university has cancelled the exchange program for the summer semester 2021. What should I do next?

If your partner university has cancelled the exchange for the summer semester 2021, please get in contact with your WU exchange coordinator at the International Office and inform him or her about the situation. Unfortunately, we do not have the possibility to arrange an exchange semester at another partner university of ours, no matter in which region. Further, we cannot postpone your exchange to the winter semester 2021/22 or a later semester. That is due to the limited number of exchange places available at our partner universities and the uncertainties caused by the COVID-​19 pandemic. This makes reliable planning for the future impossible.

In case you still like to pursue an exchange semester in the academic year 2021/22 (winter semester or summer semester) you will have the option to apply again for an exchange program in Europe or Overseas during the upcoming winter semester 2020 (for winter semester 2021) or summer semester 2021 (for summer semester 2022). For those who do not want to (re)apply but need the “IBW International Experience”, WU will work out a solution which will nevertheless make it possible for you to finish your studies!

We know that an exchange semester is a valuable experience and certainly you have been looking forward to it. Unfortunately, matters have been developing beyond our control. In this situation of force majeur, it is not possible nor responsible for us to offer alternatives. We understand and share your disappointment.

What if I choose to withdraw from the exchange program during Summer Semester 2021 due to current uncertainties?

You can withdraw from the exchange program anytime without any consequences. In case you still like to pursue an exchange semester in the academic year 2021/22 (winter semester or summer semester) you will have the option to apply again for an exchange program in Europe or Overseas during the upcoming winter semester 2020 (for winter semester 2021) or summer semester 2021 (for summer semester 2022). For those students who do not want to apply again but need the “IBW International Experience”, WU will work out a solution which will nevertheless make it possible to finish your studies.

  • Note: You can only reapply for an exchange after you have officially withdrawn from the exchange place you were nominated for. Please get in touch with your WU coordinator and let him or her know about your decision!

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If my semester abroad gets cancelled and I exceed the prescribed duration of my degree program including two extra semesters, do I have to pay tuition fees?

  • Yes, we cannot prevent tuition fee claims. If your semester abroad gets cancelled and you exceed the prescribed duration of your study program including two extra semesters, tuition fees may be due. In order to avoid this, please consider this when planning and scheduling your studies.

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I am a nominated outgoing student in the summer semester 2021: What should I know about the Joint Study grant?

  • Please note that you are only eligible for a Joint Study grant if you spend your exchange physically at the partner university.

  • If you spend your exchange in the host country, you can attend distance-learning courses and/or classes on campus. For both, you will receive financial support.

  • You need a Confirmation of Arrival signed by the partner university stating that you are physically present in the host country. Please send this document to our grant coordinator (Ms. Martina Stalitzer). After we have received this document, you will get the first installment of your Joint Study grant.

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I need my exchange semester for the IBW international experience (IBW-Auslandserfahrung). What happens if my partner university cancels the exchange or if I decide not to go abroad? Can I still finish my IBW studies?

  • Yes, WU has passed a special COVID-19 regulation in the curriculum for the WU Bachelor’s program Business, Economics and Social Science (major International Business Administration). This regulation only applies to students who have been nominated for an exchange in the winter semester 2020/21 or in the summer semester 2021.

  • If you cannot take up your studies abroad due to COVID-19, you can complete the bachelor's program without proof of experience abroad. The same applies to you if you do not want to go abroad for personal reasons associated with COVID-19. Please inform your WU regional coordinator if you decide to opt for this regulation.

  • Under this special regulation, students can complete their studies any time - even in a few years from now. In any case, students are subject to this regulation if they meet the requirement that they were originally nominated for a semester abroad in winter semester 2020/21 or summer semester 2021.

  • This special regulation also applies to students of International Business Administration and Chinese as well as to students of all other individual study programs.

    For students originally nominated for the summer semester 2021 and whose semester abroad was cancelled by the partner university:

  • Unfortunately, we can not provide alternative places. If you wish, you can reapply during the winter semester 2020/21 for an exchange semester in the winter semester 2020/21. If you do not get a place, you can still accept the special regulation for the IBW international experience.

  • If the partner university offers an alternative distance-learning program, it is possible to confirm the credits earned as IBW international experience.

  • If you get selected for an exchange program taking place during winter semester 2021/22, you become subject to the rules that are valid for winter semester 2021/22. This means that you have to complete the “IBW international experience” (IBW-Auslandserfahrung). Keep this in mind, in case you later decide to withdraw from the exchange program. The exception defined in the first bullet point above is currently available only for those outgoing students who are selected for an exchange program during the winter semester 2020/21 or the summer semester 2021.

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Please make sure to inform your WU regional coordinator if you should change plans.

What do I need to be aware of if I choose to reapply for an exchange stay in the academic year 2021/22?

If you reapply for an exchange semester after yours was cancelled by the host university or after you have withdrawn you should keep the following in mind:

  • A later exchange semester might prolong the duration of your studies.

  • You may not be able to fulfil the requirements for financial aid, since the number of ECTS credits you will be able to transfer might be lower at the end of your studies.

  • You have to be enrolled at WU for the duration of the entire exchange semester and can only complete your studies after your return.

  • Please see this FAQ last point.


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Why can I not postpone my exchange semester to a later semester or switch to another partner university?

WU’s partner university network builds on bilateral exchange agreements, where we send out a specific number of students, and, in return, host the same number of students here at WU within a given period of time. Under the rapidly evolving uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this system can currently no longer be maintained, despite all the efforts made by WU and its partner universities.

This means, if your host university cancels your exchange program during summer semester 2021, we will not be able to postpone your exchange period to winter semester 2021 or offer an alternative spot at another partner university of ours, no matter in which region. Due to the reasons mentioned, it is unfortunately not possible to manage such a process in a transparent, fair, and effective manner for currently selected students, as well as for those who will be applying in future semesters. We call on your understanding that we cannot offer solutions which might have a negative long-term impact on our exchange programs and therefore be at the expense of future exchange students.

What 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 2021. 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 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

  • In case of a sudden increase in COVID19 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.

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