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Studying abroad

Discovering new ways of living, thinking and studying, getting to know a foreign culture, gaining experience and broadening your horizons – studying abroad is an exciting option and an investment in your professional future.

More and more students at the ZHAW are taking advantage of the mobility window in their degree programmes to spend a semester abroad. We offer a wide range of international mobility options.

Swiss-European Mobility Programme: Switzerland participates actively in the European exchange programme as a partner institution of Erasmus+. Student exchanges are organised and funded according to the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) set up by the Swiss federal government. Every year, more than 200 ZHAW students spend a semester at a European partner university and a similar number of students from European universities come to the ZHAW. SEMP offers support not only for students going abroad for study purposes but also for students on internships and work placements.

Work placements abroad: Completing a work placement abroad gives you the opportunity to acquire professional and international experience as well as developing your intercultural competence. During your placement, you gain an insight into the activities of a foreign employer, have direct contact with the 'locals' and benefit from the experience of working in a multinational team.

Further options: By taking part in a summer school, a project or a study trip, or by attending a language course abroad, you can bring diversity to your studies and develop your international and social competencies – as well as your language skills.

“I decided to study at the ZHAW because of its connections with a large number of partner universities worldwide where students can spend a semester abroad.”

Kevin Steiner, BSc student in Business Administration

“Studying a dual programme allows me to apply what I've learned to my everyday work, which is ideal. And I also have the chance to spend a semester abroad. That really appeals to me.”

Céline Graber, BSc student in Business Administration

“As a professional in the financial sector, I worked in Asia for 3 years and gained a better understanding of the different business dealings in international markets. Interested in pursuing a formal education to expand my horizons beyond my past experiences across cultures, I found the International Management program the most suitable for me.”

Alexander Locher, BSc student in International Management

Planning a semester abroad

It is important to prepare your period of study or work placement abroad carefully. The ZHAW offers the following options:

Type of mobility Incoming students Outgoing students
Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) Exchange students coming to the ZHAW from other countries in Europe can apply for a grant (SEMP). They pay their tuition fees at their home universities, remain enrolled at their home universities and do not pay any tuition fees at the ZHAW. ZHAW students planning to go for an exchange in an European country can apply for a grant (SEMP). They pay their tuition fees at the ZHAW, remain enrolled at the ZHAW and do not pay any tuition fees at their host universities.
Bilateral agreement Exchange students from partner universities outside Europe pay their tuition fees at their home universities, remain matriculated at their home universities and do not pay any tuition fees at the ZHAW. ZHAW students who go to a non-European country on a bilateral agreement basis pay their tuition fees at the ZHAW, remain matriculated at the ZHAW and do not pay any tuition fees at their host universities.
Fee-paying Visiting students from a partner university who pay ZHAW tuition fees because the number of exchange places available under the SEMP programme or a bilateral agreement is limited. ZHAW students who study abroad under the SEMP programme or a bilateral agreement but who are required to pay tuition fees at their host university because the number of places available there is limited. These students are exempt from paying ZHAW tuition fees for the period of their study abroad.
Free movers Visiting students from universities outside the ZHAW partner network who pay tuition fees for the period of their studies at the ZHAW. ZHAW students who study abroad at a university outside the ZHAW partner network are largely responsible for organising this themselves. Since they pay tuition fees at their host university, they are exempt from paying ZHAW tuition fees for the period of their study abroad.

Exchange opportunities and application procedures

Exchange opportunities under the SEMP, bilateral and fee-paying programmes - for further information about application procedures, please contact the International Relations Office in your School.

If you are interested in studying abroad as a free mover or in completing a work placement abroad, please contact the International Relations Office in your School for further details and for information about application procedures.