On your own initiative
On your own initiative, you can spend one or two semesters at a university of your own choice, even if there is no exchange agreement.
When selecting the university, you must take these points into consideration:
- If the quality of teaching or research at the host university is to be the crucial factor, you should definitely talk to the academic student advice service.
- Tuition fees can be considerably higher than at the University of Bern depending on the country and your chosen university.
- Swissuniversities can help you find a suitable university.
- Information on degree programs abroad can be found on the website of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, the Swiss embassies or the foreign representatives in Switzerland.
- Check whether there are grants for the selected host country.
Start organizing at least one year before your planned period of study abroad so you don't miss any registration dates and have sufficient time to put all the necessary documents together that will be required by your preferred university. These may include references and language certificates that can only be obtained with plenty of advance notice.
You will find out more about which documents you need for your applications and which deadlines have to be adhered to from the International Office at your chosen university.
Find out whether the university accepts visiting students and what admission requirements have to be complied with, or whether you have to register as a regular student.
If you want your academic attainments abroad to be recognized in your study program in Bern, please talk about your plans in detail with the academic student advice service. We would strongly recommend that you detail your plan of studies and any agreements made in a learning agreement.
During your period of study at a university that does not have an exchange agreement with the University of Bern, you have to decide about how you want to register. There are three possibilities:
- You can have yourself removed from the student registry and then pay another registration fee on your return. In this case, the interruption is only limited by the fact that credit points gained expire after a certain time. These deadlines vary according to the faculty. It is absolutely essential that you discuss this in advance with the Admissions Office before you decide on this variant.
- You can apply for a leave of absence (leave of absence fee incl. SUB fee per semester CHF 121). This application is only approved if you have to be fully registered at the university you intend going to; otherwise a leave of absence is not possible. A leave of absence is only possible for a maximum of two semesters.
Please note that students on a leave of absence cannot conclude their studies at the University of Bern. On your return you must be registered for at least another semester. It is not possible to conclude your studies directly with the credit points attained abroad.
- You can remain registered regularly with a full tuition fee of CHF 805.
Internships abroad for students
When you are planning an internship abroad, you can find out more using the following links:
When doing an internship in Europe, you may be able to apply for an internship grant as part of the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (Erasmus).