Organisation of your stay abroad
Once you have decided on a mobility programme and a specific host institution, it is best to start planning your stay abroad as soon as possible.
In the info box below you will find general information that may be useful for planning your stay abroad. To ensure that you do not overlook or miss anything important, the items are arranged according to when you should do each thing.
Please note, however, that many of the requirements are programme-specific and you should continue reading independently on the respective sub-pages for the individual mobility programmes. The info box is primarily a general checklist so that you do not forget anything.
Some points only apply to students who want to spend a classic exchange semester abroad. If the purpose of your stay abroad is research or an internship, other requirements may apply to you.
Students with special needs can find additional information on the website of the Disability Officer of the University of Innsbruck, the ÖH-unit for studying with disabilities and the online portal Inclusive Mobility.
This step is at the very beginning of your planning for a study-relevant stay abroad. If you are doing a traditional exchange semester, i.e. studying abroad for a whole semester and would like to have the ECTS-Credits you have earned credited to your university, first take a look at the overwiew of our partner universities .
Please note that some exchange agreements only apply to specific study programmes, whereas many of our non-European partnerships are all-university in nature.
Once you have found a partner university that appeals to you, first find out independently on the website of the respective university whether any creditable courses are offered at all in a language you are proficient in. If this is the case, please contact the relevant departmental coordinator or partnership officer at the University of Innsbruck to clarify any further questions and to apply for an exchange place.
For the Erasmus+ programme you have to prepare a so-called “Online Learning Agreement” as part of the application, for the Joint-Study-Programme an advance[iw1] notification. You will receive further information in good time from the respective programme managers in the International Relations Office:
Depending on the host university, different language skills are required, including corresponding proof. You can usually find relevant information about this on the website of your chosen host university. Whether you need a language certificate for the application for a study abroad place at the University of Innsbruck and whether there are certain requirements and what they are, can be found in the description of the respective mobility programme.
Please inform yourself early on which guidelines apply to your programme! In some cases, the school-leaving certificate or the passing of relevant language courses at the University of Innsbruck is sufficient, but some host universities require additional standardised proof (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.), which you will only need for your application to the host university once you have been awarded a place. If you do not provide the required proof, the host university may refuse your admission as an exchange student!
Language proficiency exam for your semester abroad
If the partner university does not require standardised proof of your foreign language skills (IELTS, TOEFL etc.), you can acquire a language competence certificate for your semesters abroad at the Language Centre of the University of Innsbruck at low cost and without much organisational effort. The exams (combination of oral and written assessment) are offered four times a year for English (B2), French (B1) and Spanish (B1). Registration takes place online or in the course office of the Language Centre.
The costs for regular degree students at the University of Innsbruck amount to EUR 65. If the semester abroad is actually started, EUR 30 of it will be refunded by the International Relations Office (after presentation of the proof of language competence). Please contact the respective programme managers in the International Relations Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Online Linguistic Support (OLS)
This offer is exclusively for Erasmus+ students:
The Online Language Support (OLS) offers you the opportunity to assess your language skills and take a language course. The OLS system is available in 22 languages.
OLS assessment (compulsory):
The OLS assessment is compulsory in the language of instruction or working language before the start of the Erasmus+ stay. At the end of the Erasmus+ stay, you can voluntarily take a second assessment to measure your progress. Erasmus+ nominees will receive a request for the first assessment by e-mail. Before the test starts, you can choose whether you want to take a language course in the language of instruction or in the national language.
OLS courses (optional):
After passing the OLS language test, you can take an OLS language course. This course can be taken in the language of instruction and/or in the national language.
- all levels (A1-C1): German, English, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish
- up to and including level B2: Portuguese
- up to and including level A2: Czech
- level A1: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Hungarian, Finnish, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian and Swedish
Please note that the local language only refers to the language courses, not the language test. Therefore, the final language test will be in the same language as your first one.
Some host institutions will provide you with accommodation or support you in finding suitable accommodation, or at least give you useful tips on their website. Please do not underestimate the search for accommodation and enquire independently and as early as possible about housing options in the host country so that you do not have to cancel your stay abroad at short notice.
If you wish to travel outside Europe, you may need proof of booked accommodation to apply for a visa. However, there is also a housing shortage in some European cities, so some host universities advise against starting the exchange semester if you have not found accommodation by the start of the semester.
After we have nominated you at the respective host university, you must now apply independently at the host institution. Most host institutions will contact you by e-mail and provide you with all the important information on how to apply (submission deadlines, required documents, etc.). If this is not the case, please check the website of the host university.
If possible, do not submit your application shortly before the deadline so that you still have time to obtain missing documents if necessary.
In principle, Austrian citizens do not need a visa for stays in other EU countries or within the Schengen area. However, if you want to travel outside Europe, you may need a visa or residence permit to enter your host country. As an exchange student, you are responsible for finding out about the relevant deadlines, costs and documents should you need to apply for a visa. You can obtain important information on your host country from the Austrian representation authorities abroad or the foreign representation authorities in Austria.
Please note the different visa requirements for German or Italian citizens (South Tyroleans). You can find up-to-date information on the websites of the respective foreign ministries and embassies.
Visas for tourism and business trips must be applied for and printed out online via the Electronic Visa Application System before the start of the trip. A tourist visa is valid for a stay of 90 days and can be extended. Further information on the e-visa can be found on the website of the Turkish Consulate General in Vienna. As a transitional measure until revoked, the Turkish authorities have granted the possibility to obtain the visa on entry at the airports and border stations at electronic visa desks, but this may lead to delays in entry. Payment of the visa fee is only possible in euros, US dollars or English pounds (according to the current notice) in cash. Travellers not entering for tourism or business purposes (e.g. lorry drivers, journalists, students, assembly workers, etc.) must apply for their visa at the relevant Turkish representation authority before travelling. To do so, an online appointment must be arranged (compare BMEIA, status: August 2018).
German and Italian citizens do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
United Kingdom (UK):
Due to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, a changed residence status applies to all EU citizens and thus also to exchange students as of 1 January 2021, which will have an impact on the planning of mobility. Since 2021, depending on your length of stay and citizenship, a student visa may be required in some cases and your European health insurance via e-card is no longer valid in the UK. Students must therefore arrange suitable health insurance on their own. You can find more information about this on the following websites: Government UK Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Austrian Embassy London British Embassy Vienna
Furthermore, it is advisable to read the information on the websites of the host universities well, which have usually already compiled some information for international students.
Students who need a visa (either because of their citizenship or because of the duration of their stay) must also prove that they have the appropriate language skills .
The host institution submits the form required for the visa application (DS-2019) to the Programme Officer of the International Relations Office ( Christina Plattner). You will be informed by e-mail when your DS-2019 form has arrived.
Additional information for trainees:
If you are planning an Erasmus+ traineeship outside the EU or the EEA/Schengen area (this includes e.g. Turkey and since 01.01.2021 also the United Kingdom incl. overseas territories), a visa might be required depending on the duration of the stay, the type of employment and your citizenship. You must inform yourself independently about the visa procedure for the respective country. Check with your employer for further requirements and get the latest information on the websites of the respective representation authorities. If costs are incurred for the visa application, these can be partially covered by the International Relations Office under certain conditions within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme.
Notes for internships in the United Kingdom (UK):
As mentioned above, the Brexit also has an impact on the planning of your internship abroad and you now have to apply for a work permit on your own responsibility before the start of your traineeship.
If your entire placement is funded through Erasmus+, the British Council can sponsor you. You will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship. You will need to independently prepare all the documents (see list of documents), some of which will need to be issued/signed by the International Relations Office and some by your placement provider(s). These documents will then all be sent collectively to the British Council via the International Relations Office. Please note that you are responsible for the timing and completeness of the documents. We therefore recommend that you apply for the Erasmus+ grant as early as possible and get involved with the Certificate of Sponsorship application process early enough.
You are responsible for obtaining appropriate insurance cover abroad. It is best to contact your current insurance company directly if you have any questions - the award of a grant does not include insurance cover!
Students who have compulsory insurance in Austria are in principle also insured in other European countries via the e-card. However, please check that you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) , i.e. that all the data fields on the back of your e-Card are completed. If the data fields are only filled with asterisks, the e-card is not valid as proof of entitlement abroad. The EHIC is recognised in the EU countries, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Switzerland, Serbia and the United Kingdom. For travel to some countries, however, you must also obtain a valid certificate of entitlement from your social security institution before starting your stay abroad. Please contact your insurance provider directly to find out which medical benefits are included abroad.
Some partner institutions require you to take out a specific insurance policy for international students. If not, you will have to find a suitable insurance policy on your own.
All students who have paid the ÖH fee are also covered by accident and liability insurance during their study-related stay abroad. In principle, all accidents and damages are covered that may occur on campus or on the way there or that may occur in the course of studies, but not in private surroundings. You can find more detailed information on the ÖH website.
In any case, it is advisable to find out about other options that offer comprehensive protection abroad, such as:
- co-insurance with parents: Participation in a mobility programme may be a reason for extension if you are already over the maximum age. Please contact your insurance company for more information.
- private supplementary insurance
- insurance cover via credit card (caution: often a maximum travel duration of 90 days may not be exceeded), ÖAMTC, Alpine Club etc.
- self-insurance for students via ÖGK
The award of a mobility grant by the International Relations Office does not include insurance cover. Students are obliged to take care of their own insurance cover and to inform themselves about this in good time.
Additional information for trainees/interns:
There are many different options regarding accident and liability insurance. In any case, clarify in advance whether you will be insured by your internship institution for the duration of the internship. In principle, all students who have paid the ÖH fee are also covered by accident and liability insurance during their study-related stay abroad. Please note that the ÖH insurance only covers accidents and damages within working hours or the journey to and from work, but not accidents during leisure time. You can find more detailed information on the ÖH website.
The ÖH insurance does not apply if you are doing a graduate traineeship!
Mobility under Erasmus+ does not include automatic insurance cover. Nevertheless, this is obligatory. According to the European programme rules, insurance cover means accident insurance at the reception centre on the one hand and liability insurance on the other. The insurance cover is therefore not to be confused with an Austrian social insurance or health insurance, for which the mobile persons are always responsible themselves. Please obtain information about the conditions of the existing insurance for ÖH members. In addition, it is recommended that you take out supplementary insurance for the duration of your stay abroad.
If you receive an Austrian study grant, you can also apply for an international grant without having your mobility grant reduced. For more information, please contact the Innsbruck Scholarship Office directly.
Many of our incoming students are looking for a flat or a room in Innsbruck for a limited period of time. If you are interested in subletting your room to an international student during your own stay abroad, please send the following form to OeAD Housing or fill in our survey, the link to which you will receive from the International Relations Office some time before the start of your exchange semester. Questions regarding our survey should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can return to your flat or room after your stay abroad.
- You can leave your furniture in the flat or room.
- Your flatmates can communicate in a foreign language and get to know a new culture.
- You make it much easier for an international student to find a place to live and get started in Innsbruck.
- You do not have to pay double rent.
You are exempt from tuition fees during the study stay within the framework of a classic Erasmus+ or Joint-Study exchange semester at your host institution. However, this does not apply to freemovers who have to organise their study-related stay abroad independently.
In addition, you do not have to pay tuition fees at the University of Innsbruck during your stay abroad if you have already exceeded the standard period of study including tolerance, or if you do not fall under the Austrian Regulation on Eligible Groups of Persons.
However, the ÖH fee must be paid every semester so that you are still registered for your studies!
Während des Auslandsaufenthalts
Je nach Mobilitätsprogramm kann es sein, dass Sie bereits kurz nach Beginn Ihres Austauchsemesters eine Ankunftsbestätigung ans International Relations Office retournieren müssen (z. B. Certificate of Arrival).
Nähere Informationen finden Sie in der Beschreibung der einzelnen Mobilitätsprogramme oder erhalten Sie direkt von den jeweiligen Programmverantwortlichen: email@example.com bzw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Die Praxis hat gezeigt, dass es am Studienort häufig zu kurzfristigen Änderungen hinsichtlich Ihrer geplanten Kurse kommt, da Lehrveranstaltungen entweder gar nicht angeboten werden, schon voll sind oder Sie Ihren Plan aufgrund von Terminkollisionen nicht einhalten können.
Nähere Informationen, was in einem solchen Fall zu tun ist, finden Sie in der Beschreibung der einzelnen Mobilitätsprogramme bzw. erhalten Sie direkt von den jeweiligen Programmverantwortlichen: email@example.com bzw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wenn Sie Ihren Aufenthalt verlängern möchten, unterstützen wir Sie gerne dabei. Nehmen Sie bitte frühzeitig mit den Programmbeauftragten ( email@example.com bzw. firstname.lastname@example.org), sowie auch Ihrer Gastinstitution Kontakt auf, um herauszufinden, unter welchen Umständen eine Verlängerung möglich ist.
Für die meisten Mobilitätsprogramme benötigen Sie eine von Ihrer Gastinstitution unterschriebene Aufenthaltsbestätigung am Ende Ihres Auslandsaufenthalts. Nähere Informationen, ob es dafür ein spezielles Formular gibt oder eine formlose Bestätigung ausreichend ist, finden Sie in der Beschreibung der einzelnen Mobilitätsprogramme oder erhalten Sie direkt von den jeweiligen Programmverantwortlichen: email@example.com bzw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nach der Rückkehr
Sobald Sie Ihr Transcript von der Gastuniversität erhalten haben, lassen Sie bitte die Anerkennung der im Ausland erbrachten Prüfungsleistungen möglichst zeitnah vom zuständigen Organ bestätigen: Studiendekan*innen/Studienbeauftragte
Je nach Programm müssen Sie dem International Relations Office verschiedene Unterlagen zukommen lassen bzw. diese hochladen (z. B. Aufenthaltsbestätigungen, Erfahrungsberichte, Transcript, Anrechnungsbescheid), Umfragen ausfüllen (z. B. Erasmus+ Participant Report) oder Belege zukommen lassen (gilt v. a. für Studierende, die sich derzeit in einem Anstellungsverhältnis mit der Universität Innsbruck befinden).
Nähere Informationen, was auf Ihre Situation zutrifft, finden Sie in der Beschreibung der einzelnen Mobilitätsprogramme bzw. erhalten Sie direkt von den jeweiligen Programmverantwortlichen: email@example.com bzw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wir hoffen, dass Sie einen angenehmen Auslandsaufenthalt hatten!