Vienna: Central European University Exchange Program

A student sits on the grass of an urban park on a sunny day and looks up from a book, smiling.

Program Term:

Autumn Academic Year

Language Requirement:



 Eric Benjaminson

Application Deadline:


The College’s program at the Central European University in the lovely city of Vienna, Austria, affords qualified Chicago students an opportunity to study at an innovative institution created by Czech President Vaclav Havel in 1991.

    Central European University (“CEU”) was founded in 1991 to support the democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The University is deeply international: based in Vienna and Budapest, it is home to students from more than 100 countries and faculty from over 50. Our exchange program is with the Vienna location.

    The mission of the University is to promote open societies and democracy through advanced research, and research-based teaching, primarily in the social sciences and humanities. The language of instruction is English. There are three broad undergraduate tracks:

    • The Philosophy, Politics and Economics Track
    • The Culture, Politics and Society Track
    • The Quantitative Social Sciences Track

    Detailed information about these programs can be found at:

    Course descriptions are here:

    Further information can be seen here:

    CEU operates on a quarter-system calendar with the autumn term running from September to the end of December. Students have the option to study at CEU for either the autumn quarter or the entire academic year. Students will normally be enrolled in the standard course load at CEU.

    Participants will have a selection of near-campus housing of various types, organized by CEU. Options for visiting international students are laid out at The vast majority of UChicago students will live in one of the housing options provided by CEU. It is possible to live off campus, but the prices and lease conditions will be very different. All of the university housing features modern equipment and facilities such as a communal kitchen, music room, fitness center, coin-operated laundry, computer room, lounge areas, study rooms, food court, etc.

    Study abroad students remain registered as full-time students in the College. They receive full credit for their work. Course titles, units of credit, and grades are placed on the College transcript. Since the use of these credits in a specific degree program is variable, students should consult with their academic adviser and program chair to determine the exact distribution of credits. Please also refer to the Direct Enrollment Credit Guide.

    Participants in the CEU program pay regular College tuition and a nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee. The nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Students pay accommodation costs while in Vienna, either directly to the host university or, if the student is not living in university housing, to a landlord. Estimated figures for the CEU program for the 2024–2025 year are listed below:

    Academic year tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

    Study abroad administrative fee: $675

    Out-of-pocket expenses include:

    • round-trip airfare to and from the program site
    • passport/visa fees
    • transportation on site
    • accommodation
    • meals
    • course materials
    • personal entertainment and travel
    • communications (most students bring or buy a cell phone)
    • health insurance and upfront payments for care
    • other miscellaneous expenses

    Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.

    The CEU exchange program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

    This program is designed for undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing who are beyond their second year in the College. Because there is a limit on the number of students who can participate in the CEU exchange, admission is highly competitive. Applicants should present a solid academic transcript as well as sound academic reasons for wishing to study at CEU and in Austria. Students are expected to have conscientiously pursued general education requirements, and to have begun coursework in their major subject by the end of their second year. It is especially desirable that their transcript, which will show coursework through autumn quarter of the application year, presents at least one course in their major.

    If their initial application is approved, students then complete forms specific to CEU. The College forwards this second application to the host university, which reserves the right of final decision.

    Students wishing to apply to CEU Vienna must meet with Eric Benjaminson as a requirement of the application process.

    To discuss the Central European University Exchange Program and the possibility of participating, please contact Eric Benjaminson.