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Department of Political Science

International Student Exchange

International Student Exchange

Find updates on our study programs, current information, and details about informational events on the Study Program News section of our webpage.

Studying Abroad – Outgoing Mobility

Your studies of political science can be complemented in various ways through an international component. In addition to the opportunity to complete an internship abroad, common options include taking modules or entire minor programs at other Swiss universities (module mobility) and studying abroad at European partner universities (SEMP program), or at selected partner institutions worldwide. Many IPZ students plan a stay abroad experience as an integral part of their studies.

You can find introductory information in our current information presentation (PDF, 12 MB).

Testimonials and Experience Reports

Exchange students share their experiences: from unforgettable moments to overcoming obstacles and personal growth during their studies abroad. A snapshot.

Planning Your Exchange – Step by Step

If you are studying at BA level… 

For BA students, the 2nd year of your bachelor’s program is particularly suitable for an exchange. The 1st year of your studies must be completed at the IPZ. However, in some cases, you may be able to do a student exchange in the 3rd year of studies. Please consult with the IPZ Mobility Coordinator well in advance if you are considering studying abroad in your 3rd year. 

If you are studying at MA level…

For MA students, the 3rd and 4th semesters are ideal for a semester abroad. Early planning and coordination with your Master’s thesis advisor is crucial. All mandatory courses in the “Methods” area must be completed at the IPZ. Since these are offered only once a year, careful planning is essential. Therefore, most MA students choose their 3rd semester for their study abroad experience. At the host university, they typically take elective courses. However, it is also possible to go abroad at another time – feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to advise you!

Where Can You Go?

The Department of Political Science offers the largest exchange program at UZH, with numerous partner institutions across Europe and worldwide. An exchange can be organized through department agreements, faculty agreements, university agreements, or through your own organization. Depending on the destination, various programs are available for an exchange. You can find a comprehensive overview of the UZH's exchange options on the Global Student Experience (GSE) department's website.

Please note that the number of exchange spots is limited, and we may not be able to fulfill all requests. Therefore, it is advisable to also select alternative universities as this increases your opportunity to study abroad if your desired university does not work out.

Application Process

  1. Registration of the Application: Submit your application on time (the application deadline for the fall semester is January 15th before the start of your stay and the application deadline for the spring semester is July 15th before the start of your stay) on Mobility Online (link) and indicate which host university you are choosing. It is recommended to provide three priorities. 
  2. Completion of the Application: Upload all required documents to Mobility Online. This includes writing a motivation letter. If you have more than one priority, you only need to write a motivation letter for your first priority. The motivation letter should clearly express how the study abroad experience would enrich your studies from an academic perspective. Discuss your course selection at the host university with our mobility office at the department. To prepare for this conversation, please enter suggestions of courses to be taken abroad as well as all modules completed at IPZ into your study planning table and bring it to the preparation meeting.
  3. Everything Ready? Complete and submit the application on Mobility Online before the deadline.
  4. Application Review and Nomination to Partner University: Your application will now be reviewed. The results will be communicated to you via UZH email. If the application is successful, we will automatically nominate you for the assigned partner university.
  5. Application to the Host University: The host university will inform your about further formalities – typically, you will need to apply independently, following the host university's specified deadlines and document requirements. Please note that deadlines may vary significantly among universities.
  6. Application Confirmation: You will be accepted by the host university.
  7. Exchange Preparation (Module Planning): The host university will now inform you about course registration and deadlines, and you will plan your module selection with the mobility office at IPZ.
  8. Learning Agreement: Complete your Learning Agreement (LA) based on the agreement with the mobility office, obtain the necessary signatures, and upload the LA to Mobility Online. This must be done no later than two weeks after the start of classes at your host university.
  9. Credit Transfer: After your study abroad, please bring or send your Transcript of Records (TOR) to the IPZ Mobility Office. They will review it and arrange for the transfer of the credits earned abroad with the Dean’s office.

Selection Criteria

We see the mobility program as an opportunity for or students to broaden their horizon, deepen their knowledge in specific subjects or explore new areas of study, gain international experiences, and enhance their CV. We are not a travel agency… Therefore, it is essential to us that the choice of your university or program aligns with your profile and your plans. This should be evident in your motivation letter and should convince us during a personal conversation.

Additionally, as an IPZ student going abroad, you represent your university and your country. You are perceived as ambassador and this impression tends to be long-lasting. Consequently, grades are not the sole determining factors in the selection process. We want to get to know you as a whole person – grades convey some information, but by far not everything that defines you. With that in mind – we look forward to your application.

Planning Your Study Abroad

Studying abroad always influences your academic journey. Therefore, it is essential to plan it carefully and assess how the modules you intend to take abroad fit into your overall study plan. By doing so, you can largely avoid the possibility of extending your studies. To assist you with this, we have provided study planning tables where you can enter completed, enrolled, and planned modules for your time abroad. This will give you an optimal overview of your academic progress.

Contact Information

Further questions?

Please contact for individual appointment arrangements. Prior to your exchange consultation, please fill out the relevant study planning table as much as possible (including name, student ID, completed & planned modules at IPZ), and ensure that you have already researched your desired universities. Due to capacity constraints, we cannot provide consultation without adequate preparation.

International Exchange Coordination

Sarah Krenz

Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
CH-8050 Zürich

Phone: +41 44 634 38 44

Studying at IPZ – Incoming Mobility

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich! Exchange students nominated by one of our partner universities, can apply for a one- or two-semester exchange placement at UZH.

Have you been selected for an exchange by your home university? If so, please follow the step-by-step application guide provided by the Global Student Experience (GSE) department at UZH.

Next Steps and Important Information

Offered modules – Political Science at UZH

The specific content of the courses offered in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs may slightly vary between semesters. The final course offerings for each semester are published in the UZH course catalogue a few months before the start of lectures.

To get an idea of which courses are offered in the respective modules or to complete your Learning Agreement for your Erasmus+ exchange, you can review the UZH course catalogue of the previous semesters.

Some courses (usually lectures) are offered annually and only undergo minimal content changes. Seminar topics at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level change more frequently and are adjusted to the current research developments and the interest of the department’s researchers. However, you can generally rely on the availability of a course with a similar theme if a specific course is not offered. You can access the course catalogues for the Bachelor's and Master’s programs in Political Science through this link.

Learning Agreement

The final course offering may still undergo minor changes until the start of module booking period. This is not a reason to worry. We kindly ask you to complete the Learning Agreement based on the information available in the course catalogue currently online. If you need to complete your Learning Agreement very early, even before the publishment of the new semester’s course catalogue, simply refer to the course offerings from past semesters. Once you are in Zurich and know which courses you will actually be taking, you can adjust your Learning Agreement accordingly.

To simplify the planning of your stay, we pre-book module registrations after consulting with you! We will contact you in advance after your successful admission. This way, we can ensure that we can accommodate your booking preferences to a great extent. We can ONLY do this for IPZ modules.

Additionally, you can also register for modules from the entire UZH course catalogue, provided there are no technical booking restrictions. You must make these registrations independently during the booking periods. The recognition of these “interdisciplinary” modules is solely the responsibility of your home university.

Current Course Offerings Bachelor

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue.

Current Course Offerings Master

The current course offerings can be found in the UZH course catalogue.

Teaching formats: What Are They and What Do They Mean?

The teaching format, the course language, the number of ECTS and the examination details can be found in the course description of each module in the course catalogue. Lectures typically end with an exam, while seminars involve writing a seminar paper and delivering an oral presentation during the semester. Exams usually take place at the end of the semester. More detailed information regarding dates, etc., can be found in the course syllabi. 

Course Offerings – interdisciplinary

Registration Process Incoming IPZ

Within Europe (SEMP/formerly Erasmus)

If you wish to apply for an exchange at IPZ under the Swiss-European Mobility Programs, follow these three steps:

  1. In an initial step, your home university must nominate you for an exchange placement at UZH. This is the requirement for an exchange at UZH under the Swiss-European Mobility Program.
  2. Once you are nominated for an exchange, we will send you an e-mail with a link to the online application tool Mobility Online (MobOn).
  3. Complete the application form and upload the requested application documents to the database. Access will be provided to you in a timely manner. Further information regarding the application documents will be provided by the Global Student Experience department at UZH.

Outside Europe (worldwide)

If you wish to apply for an exchange at IPZ within the framework of a departmental agreement, please follow these three steps:

  1. In an initial step, your home university must nominate you for an exchange spot at UZH. This is the requirement for an exchange at UZH within the context of a departmental agreement.
  2. Subsequent to your nomination for an exchange, we will email you a link to the online application tool.
  3. Complete the application form and upload the required application documents to the database Mobility Online. Access will be provided to you in a timely manner.

Application Documents

The following application documents need to be uploaded:

  • Current Transcript of Records: The Transcript of Records can be in the official language of your home university. If you do not have a Transcript of Records yet, please upload a copy of your high school diploma.
  • Copy of ID Card/Passport
  • Passport Photo (max. 500x500 pixels)
  • UZH recommends students to have a minimum language proficiency of B2 in the course language. A language certificate is not mandatory. It is the students’ responsibility to meet the expected language level to successfully complete the modules.
  • Bachelor’s Degree Certificate: Mandatory for students intending to pursue a Master's program at UZH. If you have not yet received your Bachelor's degree at the time of application, please submit your application regardless and upload a copy of your Bachelor's degree certificate once you obtain it.

Selection process

Your home university nominates you for the exchange at IPZ and sends your dossier directly to us. Upon acceptance, you will receive a confirmation as well as further information on studying at IPZ at the University of Zurich.

For general information regarding organization and the structure of the program, please visit the websites of the bachelor’s program or master’s program in political science.

If you have any questions, please directly contact us:

Important dates and deadlines

How to survive in Switzerland...

We understand that many foreign students perceive Switzerland as one of the most expensive countries in the world, making them hesitant about studying in Zurich. While the cost of living certainly is not low, with good planning, a stay can be much more manageable than anticipated. For instance, one can consider a part-time job during the semester, a position as a student assistant at the department, or a well-paid internship during the semester break.

To ease the transition to Switzerland and at IPZ, we offer a Buddy Program, where IPZ students provide guidance and support, making it easier for incoming students to settle in with us. Often, these buddies are former exchange students who have personally experienced the value of being supported in a new place during the initial weeks and months.

The Global Student Experience (GSE) department at UZH provides valuable tips and information on visas, cost of living, housing, jobs, scholarships, and more. 

Contact Information

International Exchange Coordination

Sarah Krenz

Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
CH-8050 Zürich

Phone: +41 44 634 38 44