The University of Innsbruck was founded in 1669 and is the biggest and most important research and education institution in western Austria. Located in the heart of the Alps, the University of Innsbruck offers the best conditions for successful research and teaching, and international rankings confirm the University’s leading role in basic research. The student population of the University of Innsbruck is approximately 28,000. Approximately 11,000 students at the University of Innsbruck are international students. In order to promote international exchange in research and teaching, the University collaborates with numerous international research and education institutions. The University of Innsbruck has over 500 exchange agreements! With so many exchange agreements, the University of Innsbruck has an active Erasmus Student Network (ESN) which offers various support services and regularly organizes trips and activities for international students in Innsbruck. Past participants say "about 1/3 of all students at the University of Innsbruck are international or exchange students. In business classes it was nearly all exchange students. It was very easy to meet people whether it be through classes or through ESN."
Freeman students take classes in the University of Innsbruck's Faculty of Business and Management. Founded in 2004 as one of the successors of the former Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, the Faculty is now an aspiring, regionally based and internationally oriented institution for management education and research. The Faculty offers programs in Banking and Finance; Accounting, Auditing and Taxation; Information Systems, Production and Logistics Management; Organization and Learning; and Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism.
Innsbruck is the capital of the western Austrian state of Tyrol and a sight to behold. The jagged rock spires of the Nordkette range are so close that within minutes it’s possible to travel from the city's heart to over 2000m above sea level and alpine pastures where cowbells chime. Summer and winter activities abound, and it’s understandable why some visitors only take a peek at Innsbruck proper before heading for the hills. But to do so is a shame, for Innsbruck is in many ways Austria in microcosm: its late-medieval Altstadt is picture-book stuff, presided over by a grand Habsburg palace and baroque cathedral, while its Olympic ski jump with big mountain views make a spectacular leap between the urban and the outdoors.
Depending on snow conditions, the glaciers near Innsbruck open in October/November for skiing/snowboarding. The season ends about one or two weeks after Easter. The slopes are some of the best in Europe. They are so popular that some people will drive from areas of Germany that are over eight hours away to ski in Innsbruck. In warmer months, students can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and many other outdoor activities. The city of Innsbruck offers an abundance of attractions, including churches, museums, castles, shops and restaurants.
The University's Faculty of Business and Management is a single building in the center of the city with a library and mensa (student dining facility). The Faculty is located approximately 15-20 minutes by foot from the University's main administration building, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Sciences, and Arts & Letters.
The University of Innsbruck offers a full calendar of events, a wide selection of student organizations, a variety of sport programs, and more. There is something to satisfy every taste and interest. Members of the University – students and professors alike – are welcome to participate in the University Orchestra, University Choir or the Uni-Big-Band with regular concerts being held for the general public. The University maintains a number of museums, showrooms and green spaces on the campus itself, including the Archaeological Museum Innsbruck, Archive of Architecture, a showroom of Art History and a botanical garden. The University Sports Institute Innsbruck (USI) offers a wide variety of sports programs. Academic associations and student groups are committed to promoting different activities and interests. For more information on Campus Life visit https://www.uibk.ac.at/universitaet/profil/universitaetsleben.html.en.
Past participants recommend joining the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) as a way to connect with other students and get involved in a variety of activities. ESN is an international organization by students for students. ESN Innsbruck offers various services and regularly organizes trips and activities for international students in Innsbruck (parties, city trips, international dinners, cultural events, etc). To find out more, visit ESN Innsbruck’s website and their Facebook page.
The city of Innsbruck and the surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. The Nordkette, part of Austria's largest nature park, the Karwendel Nature Park, and can be reached directly from Innsbruck city center in just a few minutes!
The Fall semester at the University of Innsbruck is referred to as Winter Semester and takes place October – February. Some Business courses offered during the Winter semester end early or can otherwise accommodate a student that will depart early. However, students that study at the University of Innsbruck in the Winter run the risk that there might be difficulties.
The Spring semester is referred to as Summer Semester and takes place March – July.
Ranking and Rigor
Past participants report that level of academic challenge at the University of Innsbruck is generally similar to Tulane.
On this exchange program, students can take courses in German with local Austrian students or courses in English with a mix of Austrian and international students. For a list of courses commonly offered and their Tulane equivalents, please see Sample Courses Listed.
Actual courses offered will vary from semester to semester and year to year. For a an up-to-date list of course offerings, please see the University of Innsbruck module catalogs. The University puts bachelor level exchange students in the IWW diploma program at the University, as the range of courses is bigger.
The most suitable courses for the Fall semester (finishing before Christmas) are:
Corporate Governance & Sustainability
Business in Asia
If the student chooses courses taught in German, they must have at least advanced intermediate command of the language. From experience the University of Innsbruck recommends students brush up their German prior to their study abroad program.
The University of Innsbruck offers German language courses for incoming exchange students. The German language courses are credit-bearing.
Course enrollment will be done online in the introduction week. The deadline for course registration will be around the official semester start. If students miss this date, they will not be able to register for courses.
Courses at the University are called "modules". Each course is made up of lecture courses plus interactive seminars/tutorials. In general there are 200 students in each lecture and 30 – 39 students in each seminar/tutorial. No places can especially reserved for exchange students. Full time enrollment is 4 modules. Some courses meet regularly through the entire semester. Others are "block courses" which meet every day from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM for a month, and then the class is complete. Past participants say block courses are "very rigorous but [it is] nice to finish an entire course in the first month." The University of Innsbruck also offers a number of blended learning (online) courses.
One of the first things that students notice about the academic system in Austria are the differences in teaching and learning styles. Classes in Austria tend to be presented in one of two major formats: they may be large lectures, with relatively little interaction between students and professors, or they may be very small, active discuss groups in which students debate readings or one of the course's major themes. Participation in these sessions is heavily emphasized and may count for a significant portion of a student's grade.
One major difference you will notice is that there is little daily homework in Austria, but this does not mean that you will not have to work! Instead, you should plan on motivating yourself to keep up with suggested and required readings throughout the semester, as your final grade may be determined by a final project or exam which will cover the material discussed both in class and in the readings!
In order to be successful academically during your time in Austria, we recommend you do two things: first, take advantage of any and all services the International Office provides for foreign students. Second, follow the example of your Austrian classmates! Don't be afraid to ask them, or your lecturers, what you can and should be doing to keep up with the work being done. This includes asking for help with language issues and adjusting to the Austrian style of classroom writing. Help is out there if you are willing to take the first step and ask for it!
In Austria, just as in the U.S., teaching style varies greatly as do quality of the courses. Attendance is generally mandatory. The final exam (oral or written) usually makes up a large portion of your final grade. To do well on your finals and get good grades in your classes, past participants recommend students "study everything!" Even when a professor gives you a study guide, (s)he might ask questions on the final exam that are not on the guide.
Final course grades are based primarily on one final exam. Final exams take place after the end of the semester (final exam week). Students register for the final (modular) exam after they receive a passing grade in the seminar/tutorial. Exam mode: written exam 90 minutes. Advanced modules: written 60 minutes + oral exam after completion of the written exam. The oral exam will take place 1 – 2 weeks after the written exam. The University of Innsbruck tries to organize oral exams 1 – 2 days after the written exam for those students who need to go home right after the exam week.
Past students recommend studying everything (not just what is on the study guide) in order to do well on the final examination.
Some courses have final papers or case studies instead of exams.
Grading Scale and Conversion Guide
The University of Innsbruck uses a grading system from 1.0 to 5.0 with 1.0 being the best grade and 5.0 being the lowest possible grade. Below please find the U.S. equivalents for grades earned at the University of Innsbruck. Tulane works with World Education Services (WES) for credit evaluation and grade conversion.
For Freeman semester abroad programs, students must:
complete their lower division business core requirements prior to their semester abroad;
earn a 2.5 GPA in the lower division business core courses;
be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing.
Students who are on disciplinary probation, academic probation and/or honor board probation during the semester or term in which they intend to study abroad are not eligible to participate in a Tulane study abroad program. Approvals are revoked for students who are placed on probation after being approved to study abroad.
Students on disciplinary, academic and/or honor board probation during time of application are considered only if the probation period ends prior to departure for study abroad. Such applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Study Abroad & Exchange in consultation with Tulane's Division of Student Affairs and/or Academic Affairs. If the application is approved, the host institution will be notified of the probationary status. It is within the discretion of the host institution and/or Tulane to place additional restrictions on a recently-disciplined student's participation in a study abroad program.
Requirements for Courses Taught in German
If you wish to take courses taught in German with local students, you must have an advanced intermediate command of the language.
Freeman Semester Abroad Application
To access the Freeman semester abroad application, please attend a Semester Abroad Info Session and make an appointment for follow-up advising with a Study Abroad & Exchange advisor.
Some exchange programs are more competitive than others. Students can list up to 10 schools on the semester abroad application, in order of preference. All qualified applications are reviewed on a competitive basis based on GPA; completion of 3010s; academic, personal and professional relevance of study abroad programs; and academic, linguistic, personal and cultural preparation.
Upon nomination, exchange participants are required to submit secondary application materials to the host university. Please see the University of Innsbruck Factsheet for more information. The secondary application is due by the host university's deadline.
Exchange program participants pay their regular Tulane tuition plus a $1200 study abroad fee but do not pay Reily Center, Health Center or Student Activities fees. Housing is not charged by Tulane University but rather paid directly to the housing provider abroad. Students are responsible for additional expenses, including international airfare, passport, visa, meals, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. See the budget sheet for more information.
OeAD Residence Halls
OeAD (Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research) Housing Office is the main housing provider for international students in Austria.
Due to the extremely difficult housing situation in the first semester, the University of Innsbruck highly recommends you consider studying at the University for the second semester. Ski and winter sport enthusiasts know that snow conditions will be good and most ski resorts will be open until mid- to end of April.
OeAD will do its best to organize a room for you although only a limited number of rooms (especially single rooms) are available. ERASMUS and other official exchange program students have priority; other students can only be accommodated as long as rooms are available.
Housing is allocated on a first come first served basis. You should apply as soon as possible! The online application is available at http://housing.oead.at/en/applyhere. A non-refundable application fee is charged, you will then get a room-offer from the OeAD. You can accept that offer by paying the deposit.
Past participants recommend living in Studentenheim Dr. Karl Kunst, which houses a mix of local and international students.
Please apply as soon as possible! The rooms are allocated “first come first served”! Rooms are especially limited in the Fall semester!
There are double and single study-rooms; kitchen and bathroom are usually shared. Rooms are rented by complete semesters only. There are no exceptions made for late arrivals or early departures. If you arrive later or leave earlier, you must pay for the whole semester, even if the University of Innsbruck allows you to leave early. This means if you study at the University of Innsbruck in the Fall and choose OeAD housing, you will need to pay through the end of the semester (January/February). This is an OeAD policy.
Independent housing is limited in Innsbruck and difficult to apply for without signing a year lease. Airbnb is not an option for most students because of visa requirements. The University of Innsbruck recommends students apply for housing through OeAD.
Note: Students need proof of accommodation to apply for a student visa for Austria. It is important that you secure your housing as soon as possible after you are accepted to the program at the University of Innsbruck.