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Semester or Year Abroad
A unique feature of the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol (FH Kufstein Tirol) is that students in all full-time bachelor’s degree programs spend one or two semesters abroad. This academic stay abroad not only serves the acquisition of knowledge and its applications, but also intensifies intercultural exchange. However, it is not only the professional benefits that are important but, above all, the effect that this experience has on personal development.
Process and procedure
This page provides detailed information on the study abroad process and gives an overview of additional sources of information:
- Information on the partner universities of FH Kufstein Tirol
- Selection of partner universities and notification of students
- Preparing for the stay and studies abroad
- The Learning Agreement
- Funding opportunities and scholarships
- Examinations and transcripts
- Further sources of information
Information on the partner universities of FH Kufstein Tirol
Students can find out more about partner universities through the following sources.
- Information sessions by the International Relations Office:
In preparation for the study abroad period, the International Relations Office holds information sessions for students (of each degree program) on the topic of studying abroad. Here, students receive information on the procedure, degree programs offered by partner universities, and the current number of places available at particular partner institutions. The information session also contains information on the Procedure for the Allocation of Study Abroad Places. In addition, the International Relations Office has created a dedicated course on the Moodle platform for the semester abroad in which all relevant information and processes are summarized for students. Students receive access to this course after participating in the information event.
- Weblearn (E-learning platform Moodle, internal domain):
The IRO has created a dedicated Study Abroad course for prospective outgoing students on Moodle. There, students can find information about partner countries and partner universities, fact sheets on all partner universities, and testimonials by former outgoing students. All relevant information and documents necessary for the time before, during, and after the stay abroad are contained in this course.
- FH Kufstein Tirol website:
List of partner universities
Through links to the websites of all partner universities, students get a first impression of the geographical location, programs and courses offered, as well as the application procedures at these institutions.
- Exchange Fair:
This fair takes place annually in the central atrium of FH Kufstein Tirol. In this event, incoming students from all over the world spending their stay abroad at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein present their home universities. Outgoing students have the opportunity to network and gather information for their stay abroad.
- Fireside chats organized by the degree programs:
In these fireside chats, former outgoing students talk about their experiences during their stay abroad.
Selection of partner universities and notification of students
The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol has its own dedicated process for the allocation of study abroad places. This process regulates the distribution of available study abroad places. The degree programs receive a listing of study abroad places from the IRO. This list is then distributed via the degree programs to the students, who in turn report their desired destinations. The subsequent allocation process determining which student receives which study abroad place is managed exclusively by the degree programs. The degree programs take all final decisions and communicate their decisions to their respective students.
Upon completion of this allocation process, the degree programs send the IRO a final list containing the names of students and the partner universities they have been allocated to.
On this basis, the IRO centrally nominates students with the partner universities at the beginning of the summer semester of each year. The partner universities receive the names and e-mail addresses of the students as well as the planned duration of their stay abroad. Students receive an automatically generated e-mail confirming their nomination.
Please note: Personal contact with the partner university is only possible after the nomination has been made.
Once they have received the e-mail confirming their nomination, students have to contact their assigned partner universities for information about the application procedure, the academic calendar for their semester abroad, course offerings, housing options, etc. Students are responsible for independently applying to and enrolling with their partner universities. They need to ensure they meet any applicable deadlines and use the forms and procedures required by their respective partner university.
In most cases, the partner university will issue a Letter of Acceptance once these steps (nomination by the International Relations Office; application/enrolment by the student with their partner university) have been completed and will send the newly accepted exchange student further information material for their studies and stay abroad.
Preparing for the stay and studies abroad
Proof of language competence
Some partner universities require proof of language competence, for instance a language certificate issued by FH Kufstein Tirol itself or an external test/certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS. (Information on whether and which exact proof of language competence is necessary can be found in the fact sheet of the respective partner university.) FH Kufstein Tirol’s own language certificates can be downloaded via the fh.checkin portal. Should this not be possible for some reason, please get in touch with the Language Center.
Embassies and consulates can provide further information on entry, immigration, and residency rules and formalities in the destination country. Further information:
- For Austrian citizens (information in German)
- For German citizens (information in German)
- Information on Brexit and visa requirements by the UK government
The Letter of Acceptance allows students to apply for a visa for the respective country of destination. The application should be made as early as possible, since the application process often involves lengthy administrative procedures.
Health insurance, liability insurance, and accident insurance
Students are responsible for organizing their own insurance coverage (health insurance, liability insurance, and accident insurance). Inquire about this with your insurance company, health insurance provider, and partner university in good time before departure.
For information on how to find accommodation or housing, please get in touch with the partner university. For more information on how this process works in particular cases, see the partner universities’ fact sheets and student reports. Feel free to contact students from previous cohorts, too.
Travel Registration Service
Please avail yourself of the Travel Registration Service offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that you can be easily contacted in case of emergencies.
The Learning Agreement is the study contract between the student, the Sending Institution, and the Receiving Institution.
Before starting their stay abroad, students must enter the courses they have chosen into the Learning Agreement and have it approved and signed by their respective Director of Studies. The partner university, as well as the students themselves, must also sign the document. The document will be reviewed by the IRO.
If a student discovers on-site that some of their selected courses have been canceled or if they wish to change some of their courses, the second sheet of the Learning Agreement (Changes to the Learning Agreement) can be used for this purpose.
In case of any such changes, the form Changes to the Learning Agreement has to be signed by the student as well as the partner university and has to be sent immediately to the Director of Studies of the respective degree program at FH Kufstein Tirol for recognition. The Director of Studies will check the changes and contact the student in question.
For all students who spend their stay abroad at a foreign partner university, the following applies: The minimum number of verifiable courses taken must correspond to 30 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System).
Please note: Starting with the winter semester 2022/23, all students who spend their stay abroad in an Erasmus+ program country and receive an Erasmus+ grant must complete the Learning Agreement via the platform OLA (Online Learning Agreement). Students will receive detailed information from the International Relations Office when applying for an Erasmus+ grant.
Funding opportunities and scholarships
The International Relations Office provides information about possible funding options, grants, and scholarships during its information sessions. In addition, all relevant information is shared with students on Moodle in the Study Abroad course.
Once the International Relations Office has nominated you with the partner university, you can apply for an Erasmus+ grant if your stay takes place in one of the Erasmus+ Program Countries. E+ Program Countries are the 27 EU Member States including their Overseas Countries and Territories, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. More information can be found here as well as in the Study Abroad Moodle course.
SEMP – Swiss European Mobility Programme
The funding of incoming students by means of SEMP is handled by the Swiss universities. After you have applied to the partner university, they will inform you about further steps. SEMP funding is paid out in two installments – the first at the beginning, as soon as a student has verifiably started their exchange, and the second towards the end, after the student has submitted their final SEMP documentation.
Grants by the Austrian Study Grant Authority for semesters abroad
The Study Grant Authority office in Innsbruck (information in German) can provide guidance on whether you are eligible to apply for a grant for your studies abroad (information in German).
Austrian Study Grant Authority, Innsbruck office
Andreas-Hofer-Straße 46/3rd floor
Website of the Study Grant Authority office in Innsbruck (information in German)
Tel.: 0512/57 33 70
Erasmus+ Worldwide Scholarship – KA171
The Erasmus+ program KA 171 supports stays abroad at universities in Partner Countries. Under a KA171 scholarship, funding for travel and living expenses is provided in the form of a lump sum paid on the basis of the ERASMUS+ worldwide (KA 171) program.
Parallel funding through other EU programs is expressly excluded.
A leaflet with further information about the program and the application procedure can be found on Moodle in the Study Abroad course.
Marshall Plan Scholarship
The Marshall Plan Scholarship Program supports academic exchanges of students from Austria and the USA and grants scholarships ranging between EUR 4,000 and 10,000 for stays of at least three months at a receiving university or university of applied sciences (FH) in the respective other country. The scholarship assumes that a specific research question is addressed as part of the stay, so this program is best suited for stays in connection with work on a bachelor’s thesis. The program is limited to students in technical fields (WING or WEB) and addresses students with outstanding academic achievement. Further information about the program and the application procedure can be found in a leaflet in the Study Abroad Moodle course.
Further information on additional scholarship opportunities:
Examinations and transcripts
In most cases, partner universities send exchange students’ transcripts of records directly to the International Relations Office. However, a few partner universities send the transcripts to the students themselves.
After the end of the exam period, but before they leave the host country, students should clarify the following points with the International Office of their partner university:
- Whether they have passed all necessary exams.
- If yes, will the transcript be sent directly to FH Kufstein Tirol or to the student him/herself?
- In case of failed examinations: Will there be an opportunity to re-take the failed exam(s) within the scope of the stay abroad? Or will the exam papers be sent to Kufstein so that FH Kufstein can administer the repeat exam(s)?
Important note: All credits earned abroad that are completed within the framework of the Mobility Window (as anchored in the curriculum of every full-time bachelor’s degree program) are recognized in advance by the signature of the Director of Studies on the Learning Agreement. After all examinations at the partner university have been passed and the transcript of records has been received, Study Support will issue a Certificate of Recognition.
Further sources of information
- International Relations Office (IRO):
The IRO of FH Kufstein Tirol is your first port of call for any queries and is always ready to provide counseling.
- Weblearn Platform:
Students enrolled at FH Kufstein Tirol can access additional information on the university’s Weblearn Platform.