Practicalities for the USI community

USI students mobility: programmes and types of mobility

Depending on individual expectations, objectives and other personal reasons, you may choose from different types of stay abroad opportunities:

  • Swiss mobility
  • Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP), former Erasmus+
  • International exchange programme
  • Other programmes

Detailed information on all exchange programs below.

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  • Swiss mobility

    Students have the possibility to spend one or two semesters at another Swiss university.

    A framework agreement signed by all Swiss universities guarantees full mutual recognition of study semesters, curricula and related validation of credits obtained from course assessment work and examinations passed in the hosting institution. There are no administrative barriers: while attending one or two semesters at another Swiss university, students remain matriculated in their home university, where they continue to pay tuition fees. Cantonal government-funded study grants or studentships allocated by the home university continue to be paid during the 'away' period.

    Partner universities

    The list of partner universities for Swiss mobility is available here.

    Financial aspects: USI tuition fee

    The USI tuition fee is reduces by 50% but there is no scholarship available. No tuition fees have to be paid to the host institution.


    The application procedure is described here.

  • SEMP Programme

    Following the suspension of negotiations on Switzerland's association to Erasmus+, to continue to allow European mobility, the Federal Council has drawn up a temporary solution by providing 22.7 million Swiss Francs to finance both incoming and outgoing exchanges. Exchange grants for a period of study in one of the European partner universities will be assured. For more information please visit the SEMP programme section of the Swiss National Agency.

    Partner universities

    The list of partner universities for SEMP mobility is available here.

    The number of places available for each university is limited, therefore students will be selected based on merit.

    Financial aspects: USI tuition fee

    The USI tuition fee is reduces by 50%. No tuition fees have to be paid to the host institution.

    Financial aspects: SEMP Studies Scholarship

    The SEMP programme entitles you to receive a bursary if the following conditions are met:

    • You are enrolled at USI;
    • You are not holding another bursary of the European Union for an international student exchange programme;
    • You are not living in the country where you are planning to go on exchange.

    The monthly amount of the grant likely to be similar to the one paid in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. Scholarships do not provide total coverage of the expenses but they nonetheless contribute towards travel expenses and part of the living costs. The amount and the eligibility for the SEMP scholarship depend on the provisions issued by the Swiss National Agency Movetia. Students will be informed as soon as the information is available. 


    The application procedure is described here.

  • International exchange programme

    USI has bilateral agreements with important universities outside Europe, namely:

    • University of Technology Sydney (Australia)
    • Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil, only Faculty of Informatics)
    • Peking University - HSBC Business School (China)
    • Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (China)
    • Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan)
    • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perù (Perù)
    • Nanyang Technological University (Singapore, only Faculty of Communication Science)
    • Higher School of Economics, Mosca (Russia)
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA).

    The number of places available for each university is limited, therefore students will go through a selection process based on merit.

    Financial aspects

    The USI tuition fee is reduces by 50% but there is no scholarship available. No tuition fees have to be paid to the host institution.

    Application procedure

    The internal application procedure is the same as the one for the SEMP programme.

    Please refer to the following sheet for the conversion of credits outside the ECTS system.

  • Other programmes

    In this section you will find relevant information concerning other exchange programmes for students.

    1. Eurocampus

    EMICC (European Masters in Intercultural Communication) is a teaching and research network of ten European universities specializing in intercultural communication and proposing an interdisciplinary study programme for one semester, called Eurocampus. This intensive study semester is designed to provide academic knowledge and to enhance the professional as well as social competencies of participants preparing for careers with significant intercultural contact.

    The following universities are presently part of EMICC:

    Bayreuth, Germany: Universität Bayreuth
    Cambridge, United Kingdom: Anglia Ruskin University
    Jyväskylä, Finland: University of Jyväskylä (Eurocampus 2021)
    Lisbon & Coimbra, Portugal: Universidade Aberta
    Louvain, Belgium: Louvain School of Management
    Lugano, Switzerland: Università della Svizzera italiana
    Paris, France: Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO)
    Tallinn, Estonia: Tallinn University
    Urbino, Italy: Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
    Utrecht, The Netherlands: Utrecht University

    During Eurocampus, students study together for one semester at one of the partner universities. Since 2002, well over 200 students have attended Eurocampus.


    2. Intercultural Communication and Sustainable Economics (ICSE)

    This specialisation for Bachelor’s students in USI’s faculties Communication and the Management track of Economics includes a semester of mobility. Students apply during the third semester of their bachelor’s programme for funding as an exchange student. Then, during the fifth semester (Fall of the 3rd year), students study abroad in Helsinki Finland, at Hanken School of Economics. For the sixth and final semester, students return to Lugano and continue taking English language courses.

    ICSE students will develop analytical focus, hone their judgement skills, their intercultural awareness, and empathy, relative to the great challenges and risks society faces today.

    More information are available at:

    3. Freemover programme

    USI students interested in studying in countries where USI does not have an exchange agreement make all the preparations themselves and pay the required tuition fee. Freemovers organise their Study Abroad semester individually and with limited help from the International Relations and Study Abroad Service.

    The student must be prepared to invest even more time and energy into the preparation as all contact with the host institution must be made by him/herself. The student remains matriculated in the home university (a discount is possible), but a fee has to be paid to the host university.


    4. Swiss European Mobility for Placement Programme

    The Swiss European Mobility for Placement Programme allows students enrolled at institutes of higher education in Switzerland and newly graduates to receive funding for a full-time internship lasting from 2 to 12 months at companies and organizations in one of the countries participating in the Programme. At USI, the Career Service is responsible for managing those scholarships.


    5. Training period abroad

    For information about an internship period abroad please contact the Servizio Lingue e Stage all'estero (LSE) (in Italian) of the Professional Education Unit of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport of Canton Ticino.


    6. Summer Schools

    Summer Schools or special programmes organized by partner universities are regularly promoted on the International Relations and Study Abroad Service Billboard. It is the student's responsibility to verify if the chosen programme is recognized and the accreditation of the results is guaranteed with his/her director of studies (bachelor level) or the appropriate master programme director. Please bear in mind that only a maximum of ECTS points can be transferred. In particular:

    • students enrolled at the Faculty of Economics (both levels) can earn up to 6 ECTS points;
    • students enrolled at the Faculty of Communication, culture and society can earn up to 9 ECTS points, with a maximum of 30 ECTS points obtainable through mobility programmes.

    These points are to be earned through course attendance and examination (or other assessment forms).

    Once the application has been approved by USI, the student will complete the application at the host university individually. Remember to inform USI's International Relations office about your period of study abroad.




Updated on: 26/08/2019