Information for Applicants and Admitted Graduate Students

Last updated on September 8, 2020

1. Launch of academic year 2020-2021

Q: When will teaching begin in fall 2020?
A: From September 28, CEU will begin on-site instruction for all our students both in Vienna and in Budapest. For those who are unable to attend in person, whether due to temporary border closures, air travel or visa restrictions, we will be offering your classes online until you are able to join us on-site. We will provide all our students, regardless of their mode of study, with a high-quality learning experience.

Q: When am I expected to arrive on campus?
A: We advise you to arrive in Vienna or Budapest by September 7 so that you have time to settle in before teaching starts. We will keep you informed about any relevant governmental regulations – Austrian or Hungarian – related to travel, epidemiological and sanitary requirements prior to your arrival. The first couple of weeks will allow you to get to know your colleagues and professors and attend orientation sessions. If required by the authorities, some students may have to quarantine for the first two weeks – and if so, we'll make it possible for you to attend all orientation sessions online.

2. Enrollment process

Q: How will I receive my official admissions decision?
A: Your official admissions decision and acceptance offer will be published on the Applicant Portal as planned. Students who need to apply for a visa or a residence permit will receive a separate ‘confirmation of acceptance for visa purposes’ from the Admissions Office.

Q: I have been admitted to the university, but I am worried that travel bans could prevent me from enrolling for fall 2020. Are classes going to start at CEU in fall 2020? What contingency plans does CEU have in place?
A: We are committed to ensuring that all our incoming students can enroll for the academic year 2020-2021. CEU is going to offer classes in person on campus to students who are able to join us in person. For those who are unable to attend in person, whether due to temporary border closures, air travel or visa restrictions, we will be offering your classes online until you are able to join us on-site. Check the academic calendar for more information regarding teaching schedules. If you have further questions about the teaching schedules, please email your department. We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to update you regularly as more information becomes available. Subject to applicable legal regulations, all courses may be moved online if necessary.

Q: I have been accepted to CEU and I read on your website that accepted candidates must submit their academic documents to the CEU Admissions Office by August 31. Can I get an extension so I can collect all necessary documents from my school?
A: If possible, we would prefer to receive your academic records by the end of August so that we have time to process them. If this is not possible due to the pandemic, you will be allowed to bring them with you and submit them on arrival. Either way, please make sure your academic records are as complete and in line with our requirements as possible.

Q: I have been accepted to CEU. However, my current studies are delayed by the pandemic, and I am worried I will not graduate as planned.
A: If you have not received your diploma by the time you enroll at CEU, you will need to submit official evidence from your institution certifying that you have completed your studies. If possible, the document should also include the expected date of receiving your diploma.

Q: Can I extend my registration fee payment deadline?
A: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are allowing extension requests. Please write to admissions@ceu.edu to request an extension should you require one.

Q: If I am unable to start my studies, will my registration fee and/or tuition fee be refunded?
A: If you are unable to start your studies as a direct result of the pandemic (visa delay, consulate closure, travel bans, etc.), your registration fee, enrollment fee and, if applicable, tuition fee will be fully refunded.

Q: I am from a country deeply affected by the pandemic. Will you reject my enrollment based on my country of residence?
A: We are carefully following updates and recommendations provided by the Austrian authorities. You should also monitor the situation in your home country and check with the local Austrian embassy or consulate. We are committed to ensuring that all our incoming students can enroll for academic year 2020-2021. CEU is going to offer classes on campus to students who are able to join us in person. For students who are unable to travel to Austria, CEU will offer blended synchronous teaching with online courses during the first term. Check the academic calendar for further information regarding teaching schedules. If you have further questions, email your academic department. 

Q: When will I receive my insurance information? 
A: You will need to register for your insurance on your own. Please follow the guidelines in the Visa and Residence Permit Troubleshooter. Scroll to the bottom for the health insurance registration guidelines.

3. Visa-related issues

For students who are required to hold a visa to enter Austria

Q: I have concerns about how student visa applications will be affected. I tried calling my local consulate to make an appointment for my residence permit/visa but the embassy is closed. What should I do? 
A: We understand that visa application timelines may be affected, and we are following updates and recommendations from the Austrian authorities. In addition, we suggest that you check with the Austrian embassy or consulate in your home country. Even in case their website states that they are currently closed, make sure to call or email them as many embassies and consulates offer help with document questions and other concerns via phone or email. 

Q: Can I make an appointment at the embassy before I have collected all required documents?
A: No, please make sure to have all required documents in place before you make an appointment. If any document is missing at your official appointment, it could result in significant delays to your visa and residence application.

For students who have a 90-day visa-free entry into Austria or a Schengen Visa

Normally, you may enter the country and apply for the residence permit in person. However, due to the pandemic, some consulates currently require students to apply for a D type visa. Contact the local Austrian consulate/embassy for updates.
If the authorities confirm that you can apply for your residence permit in person, make sure to have ALL required documents and supplemental documents for a complete application in order to avoid delays.

Q: I have a Schengen Visa. Can I travel to Vienna and apply for an Austrian visa there?
A: You do not need an Austrian visa if you already have a Schengen Visa. You may travel to Austria with your Schengen Visa and apply for a residence permit there. A Schengen Visa allows a 90-day stay in the Schengen area.

Q: I have a residence permit from an EU country. Do I still need to apply for an Austrian visa?
A: You may travel to Austria with your residence permit from another EU country, and apply for the Austrian residence permit there. You will need a residence permit in Austria if you plan on staying longer than 90 days.

4. Financial aid 

Q: I am a master’s student with a stipend award but unfortunately, I cannot make it to CEU by September 7. Will I be receiving my stipend while I am studying from my home country? 
A: As per CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff's email of September 5, all students who were awarded financial aid in their admissions offer will receive their stipend regardless of their mode of study (online or on-campus).

Q: I am a doctoral student with a stipend award but unfortunately, I cannot make it to CEU by September 7. Will I be receiving my stipend while I am studying from my home country? 
A: As per CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff's email of September 5, all students who were awarded financial aid in their admissions offer will receive their stipend regardless of their mode of study (online or on-campus).

Q: expect that I will have to study online for some time due to visa delays and/or travel bans. Will my tuition fee be reduced? 
A: No, you will need to cover the tuition fee as specified in your Study Agreement/ Acceptance Offer. 

Q: I have received in-dorm housing but unfortunately, I cannot make it to CEU by September 7. Will I receive a housing allowance while I am studying from my home country? 
A: No. In-dorm housing at CEU cannot be converted into housing allowance. 

5. Staying in touch 

Q: I was planning to visit the CEU campus. Is this still possible?
A: Unfortunately, no. As of June 15, Vienna-Quellenstrasse 51 remains shut; Budapest-Nador complex has a phased reopening. We can offer you online alternatives to face-to-face meetings and physical tours, such as webinars and one-on-one sessions.

Q: Who can I contact with further questions?
A: Please feel free to contact admissions@ceu.edu – we are online every day during normal office hours.