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
  • Structured agreements
  • Joint degree/Double degree programmes
  • Freemover programme
  • Summer Schools
  • Professional mobility

Detailed information on all exchange programmes 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 (United States).

    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.

  • Structured agreeements

    Some study programmes have established structured agreeement. A structured agreeement is a "packaged" exchange where the student follows a pre-established study plan or has the possibility to access a selection of pre-approved courses and does not have to deal with the equivalences between the courses provided in USI and those of the host university. These are exchanges with some renowned universities with the aim of developing "dialogue" training programmes, i.e. designed to have a complete pedagogical integration between the courses provided by the two universities.

    Bachelor in Communication

    Bachelor in Economics

    Master in Marketing and Transformative Economy

    • Southern Denmark University. This exchange allows students to follow courses in three specialization areas: Brand Management and Marketing Communication, Global Marketing and Consumer Culture and Marketing Anthropology. Additional information including the course selection will be soon available on the study programme page. Additional information may be found on the page of the Master dedicated to exchanges


  • Double degree/Joint degree programmes

    These are agreements that allow students selected within the framework of specific programmes, developed in collaboration with certain partner universities, to obtain a degree awarded jointly by USI and the partner university (joint degree) or, together with the USI degree, a degree from a foreign university (double degree).

    The agreements currently active at USI are as follows:

    Faculty of Biomedical Sciences:

    Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society:

    Faculty of Economics:

    Faculty of Informatics

    • Double degree at master level in Computational Science with Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg/Lappeenranta-Lathi University / Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese / Università degli Studi di Bologna/Luxembourg University/Politecnico di Milano/Sorbonne University
    • Double degree at master level in Informatics with Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
    • Double degree at master's level in Software and Data Engineering with Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca/Università degli Studi del Molise, Campobasso


  • 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 but the tuition fee has to be paid to the host university. While on exchange, USI's tuition fee is reduced by 50% and an additional discount can be requested by presenting a fiscal statement and the confirmation of the tuition fee at the host university.

    This programme is not open to the students at the Academy of Architecture.

    This website allow a thorough research of universities offering a Freemover programme: the website is not managed by Università della Svizzera italiana and the information herein contained may not be exhaustive. It is yet a good starting point to gather information about universiries and it is possible to set selection criteria such as country or area of study.

  • 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.

  • Professional Mobility

    The Swiss Confederation and the Career Service have made scholarships available for an internship in Europe, or worldwide, in order to encourage professional mobility. Through the SEMP programme (Swiss European Mobility Programme), you can benefit from financial support for the duration of your work placement in a country different from your home country.

    For more information, please visit the page on Scolarships for internships abroad.





Updated on: 09 April 2024