For many HSG graduates, an exchange semester at another university was one of the defining experiences during their university years. It brought them into contact with other cultures, new degree course structures and working methods. With more than 190 partner universities worldwide, the University provides an extensive exchange network. The range of exchange options is a voluntary service provided by the University of St.Gallen. Accordingly, there is no right to an exchange place.
Students at the Bachelor's and Master's Levels can apply for an exchange place once a year. An exchange semester at a partner university is possible at each degree course level. In order to be able to apply for an exchange semester at a partner university, students have to satisfy the following requirements, inter alia:
- They must be enrolled at the HSG at the time of their application.
- They are able to provide evidence of proficiency in English which is not older than two years at the time of application. Individual partner universities demand additional evidence of linguistic proficiency.
- Undergraduates must provide evidence of a minimum average grade of 4.50 for the Assessment Year, students at the Master's Level must provide evidence of a minimum average grade of 4.50 for their Bachelor's degree.
At the Bachelor's Level, an exchange is possible from the fourth semester onwards at the earliest, at the Master's Level from the second semester. Students can have the work done and examinations passed in the exchange semester credited to their HSG degrees. To do so, they must be able to provide evidence of at least 16 creditable credits. The maximum number of credits to be credited per exchange semester is limited: at the Bachelor's Level to 32 credits and at the Master's Level to 30 credits.
All the exchange students have to present the University of St.Gallen at an information event for students at their host university. In addition, they have to draw up a report about the host university, the courses they attended, as well as the country and the people. Such reports will help future students select suitable exchange destinations.
Besides the "Partner Universities" exchange programme, students can also go in for free mover or Swiss Mobility exchanges. Free mover exchanges are exchanges at a university outside the HSG partner network organised by the students themselves. The conditions at which students can complete an exchange semester at these universities are defined by the host universities themselves. A Swiss Mobility exchange is an exchange within the Swiss university network.
During an exchange semester, students remain regularly enrolled at the HSG and therefore also pay the HSG tuition fees. In the case of a free mover exchange, they additionally have to pay the tuition fees of the host university.
Every year more than 900 HSG students spend a semester at a host university. 47 per cent of undergraduates and 41 per cent of students at the Master's Level spend at least one semester abroad.