What is Erasmus?

Erasmus is a series of programmes developed by the European Community. The main aim of Erasmus programmes is to encourage the expansion of European co-operation in the field of education, as well as to make already existing study possibilities in the European Union accessible. Erasmus programmes include Erasmus and Comenius.

What is Erasmus?

Erasmus is a programme that belongs to Socrates and is funded by the EU. It covers all types of university co-operation such as student mobility and teaching staff mobility. The exchange programme supports full-time study, the preparation and writing of dissertations, periods of training and language courses. The participants are chosen by the home institute. Erasmus enables a student to spend between three and twelve months at a European University. The following countries participate in the Erasmus programme: all the EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.


What are the Benefits of Participating in an Erasmus Exchange?

  • Erasmus exchange students receive a grant which amounts to between €155 and €252 monthly depending on the country of exchange and serves as a contribution to help cover the higher costs of living.
  • Erasmus exchange students do not pay tuition fees at either their home university or the exchange university.
  • All the courses passed during an Erasmus exchange are recognised at the home university.
  • Erasmus exchange students can participate in language courses that are offered in the exchange country.

Prerequisites for an Erasmus Exchange

  • You should be a student at the University of Innsbruck.
  • You should be an Austrian citizen or be a citizen of one of the countries participating in the Erasmus exchange.
  • You should have studied for at least two semesters before you apply for an Erasmus exchange.
  • You have not participated in an Erasmus exchange before.
  • You can prove that the exams you will take in the course of your exchange (6 weekly hours for an exchange of up to 5 months = a minimum of 3 courses, or 12 weekly hours for an exchange of more than 5 months = a minimum of 6 courses) count towards your studies in Innsbruck or your thesis.
  • You have not exceeded the minimum study time plus one semester per study period at the time of application.

Erasmus: The Application Process at the English Department


Other Exchange Possibilities

If you wish to visit a university not offered by the English department or would like to visit another country in the form of a traineeship there are many other options available. More information can be found on the following homepages:


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stay at the exchange university for one semester even if the exchange is supposed to be two semesters long?

Yes, normally this is possible. However, please check with your co-ordinator before you are nominated for an exchange.

How often can I participate in an Erasmus exchange?

A student can only do an Erasmus exchange once. Nevertheless, there are several other possibilities if you wish to go abroad again. For more information on all the options check the International Office’s homepage (http://www2.uibk.ac.at/international-relations/) or the Student Union’s International Office (http://oehinfo.uibk.ac.at/international).

How many courses do I have to take whilst I am on exchange?

For an exchange of up to 5 months you should complete 6 weekly hours which is a minimum of 3 courses at the exchange university. If you are staying longer than 5 months you are expected to complete 12 weekly hours in total, which is a minimum of 6 courses.

Can I do courses in my second subject?

Yes, normally it is possible to do courses in your second subject. There are however a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, you are expected to complete a certain number of courses in the subject the exchange was organised for to receive a grant from the Austrian Academic Exchange Service (ÖAD). If you fail to complete the set number of courses for this subject you will have to refund some or all of the grant money. Secondly, you should check if the exchange university offers appropriate courses that will be acknowledged in Innsbruck. Furthermore, you should talk to the “Studienbeauftragter” (Dr. Gerhard Pisek for the Department of English and American Studies) of your second course before you leave.

Which courses can I do at the exchange university?

Most courses completed at the exchange university will be acknowledged. However, it is not possible to take any reading list exams or language awareness courses at the exchange university. You should speak to Mag. Dr. Werner Marxgut (the “Studienbeauftragter” for the Department of English and American Studies) about the specific courses you intend to do before you go abroad.

Will I continue to get my study grant (Studienbeihilfe) whilst I am abroad?

Yes, you do continue to get your grant. In addition, you can apply for additional funding at the study grant office (Studienbeihilfenbehörde). Please check their homepage for details (www.stipendium.at).

When is the application deadline for an Erasmus exchange at the English Department?

The application deadline varies form year to year. However, it is usually around mid-January. The exact date can be found on the Socrates board which is situated at the beginning of the eastern hallway on the third floor.

When do I have to hand in my application forms at the International Office?

After you have been nominated for an Erasmus exchange (end of February) you will need to print out the official application forms for Erasmus from the International Office homepage. These forms should be completed and returned to the International Office either until the 30th of April if you intend to start at the exchange university in the winter semester, or the 15th of October if you wish to begin in the summer term. However, it is always better to hand in all application forms a while before the deadlines, seeing as the International Office is always exceptionally busy around these dates.

When should I arrive at the exchange university?

Usually it is sufficient to arrive at the exchange university 1-2 weeks before the courses begin. However, you may need more time. In addition, some universities offer orientation weeks for exchange students the week before the semester commences. These are very helpful and should be attended even if they are not obligatory. For specific term dates check the exchange universities homepage.

Can I extend my stay at the exchange university?

If you have participated in an exchange for one semester and wish to extend your stay to a full academic year it is advisable to contact Fr. Heller at the International Office Innsbruck straight away. If you were granted an exchange for only one semester it is possible that by extending your stay you will not continue to receive a grant from the Austrian Academic Exchange Service (ÖAD). It is also wise to contact the international exchange officer at the exchange university before making any final decisions.

Does the exchange university organise a place to stay?

Most universities do have student housing for which you can apply. Bear in mind though that there are specific application deadlines which are usually either in April or May. For more information and the application forms consult the exchange university’s homepage.