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Study Year Abroad BSc International Management

The year abroad is one of the most important elements of the Bachelor of International Management program and offers students a unique experience.

Study Year Abroad

A year abroad at another university is one of the key elements of the International Management program and is a unique learning experience. It exposes you to a different culture, academic structure, and working methods, which in turn will broaden your horizon and open new possibilities. You need to keep in mind that you will spend a whole academic year at the partner university you have chosen. During the application process, it is important that you consider not just the university itself and its reputation, but also the wider cultural environment, language of instruction and the structure of the academic year. We hope that the information below will help you to better understand the study abroad year.

At a glance

Academic Requirements


Selecting partner universities for a study year abroad

You may choose a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 partner universities, in the order of your preference. When making your study year abroad selections, consider the language of instruction, the local language, module availabilities, semester dates, etc.  

Specific language requirements

At our ZHAW SML partner universities, you can usually follow your course of study in English. However, for some of our exchange destinations we require an additional language (e.g. French, Spanish or Portuguese).  In such instances, you will be required to present a language certificate (B2) with your application. You yourself are responsible for checking if there is a language requirement (Mobility Online) for a partner university of your choice.

Selection Procedure

Transfer of credits towards the IM degree

Modules completed at the host university may be credited towards the International Management degree. You are responsible for having the Learning Agreement approved in advance by the Program Director of International. You need to obtain the relevant module descriptions from the host university. A maximum of 60 ECTS can be credited for the study year abroad.

Assessments at the host university

All coursework from a year abroad must be completed at the host university. For legal reasons, unattended or failed exams or other assessments may not be re-taken at the ZHAW SML. Students who fail one or more modules during the study year abroad are required to register for additional modules and complete these at the ZHAW SML.

Experience report

At the end of the study year abroad, all students are required to write an Experience Report. These reports are a helpful source of information for future students. More information is available from the International Office.


The total cost of a study year abroad can vary considerably depending on a destination’s cost of living and the student’s lifestyle. It is therefore not possible to provide definite figures. In the past, however, students spent between CHF 6,000 and 20,000 for one semester abroad. The following is a list of the approximate cost according to continent:

Region Min. Max.
Europe 6'000 9'000
US 10'000 20'000
Canada 6'000 12'000
Asia Pacific 7'500 17'000
Latin America 7'500 17'000

These estimated figures include traveling expenses, food and accommodation, leisure activities, insurance, and tuition.