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FAQs outgoing students winter semester 21/22

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Last update: April 7, 2021, 10:11am

Which risks should I be aware of if I plan to spend 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.

Will my exchange program take place during winter semester 2021/22? Why can I not postpone my exchange semester to a later semester or switch to another partner university?

  • Status March 2021: We are moderately optimistic that physical exchange will be possible in winter semester 2021/22. It should be noted, however, that physical exchange with some destinations/regions might be difficult or not possible at all. Our partner universities in Australia and New Zealand, for example, canceled in person exchange and switched to a virtual course offer.

  • Please understand that it is not possible to postpone the exchange semester to a later semester. If you are not comfortable with the COVID-situation in the host country of your partner university or you have other related concerns, you can withdraw from the exchange and reapply during one of our application periods.

My partner university has canceled the physical exchange program for the winter semester 2021/22. Which options do I have?

  • If your partner university canceled/cancels physical exchange for the winter semester 2021/22, 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 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, which make reliable planning not feasible.

  • In case your exchange semester has been canceled but you still like to pursue an exchange semester, you will have the option to apply again for an exchange program during summer semester 2021 (for summer semester 2022) or the winter semester 2021/22 (for winter semester 2022/23).

My partner university only offers online courses. Can I participate in these and apply again for another exchange?

  • If you only attend courses online and cannot travel to your host country physically, you can additionally reapply for a physical semester abroad at one of the upcoming application periods. Please keep in mind the consequences associated with reapplying for an exchange semester and inform your regional coordinator if you want to pursue this option.

If my semester abroad gets canceled 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 canceled 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.

What should I know about financial aid for an exchange semester/ year abroad?

  • Note that you are only eligible for a mobility 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.

  • In May 2021, our mandatory grant and credit transfer session will take place on Microsoft Teams. For this online event, you will receive an invitation via email.

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 canceled 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.

  • For the IBW international experience, please see the FAQ below.

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?

  • 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. This information is subject to the confirmation of modification of the curriculum by the WU Senate.

  • You also have the option to withdraw from the exchange program and apply for a new spot during one of the coming application periods (for an exchange semester and/or short program). For further information on application periods, please refer to our dates and deadlines for bachelor students.