What will my time in the U.S. look like?
If you’re accepted to the 3DS Foundations Exchange Program, you will embark on a high-energy, boot camp-intense, international entrepreneurial journey with 20 other standout Austrian university students. You’ll spend two weeks in Austin where you will start early-stage companies, attend the 3DS Global Roundup Conference (our annual conference where you’ll meet the world’s great doers, thinkers, and makers at universities around the world), gain exposure to one of the most innovative cities in America, grow through mentorship, and learn how to transform your community back home! Alongside building your entrepreneurial capabilities, you’ll enjoy traditional Texan pastimes and excursions. Get ready for some fun in the sun. Want to know more about what to expect? Take a look at a sample schedule here
If I participate, what do I get out of the program?
Exchange participants gain familiarity with American culture, access over two-hundred 3DS alumni, mentors, investors, and community members at the 3DS Global Roundup Conference, validate the early-stage businesses they create in every facet of the Austin and San Antonio entrepreneurship ecosystems, and learn how to build robust communities of innovation and creativity through curated site visits and program activities. The skills you learn will enable you to found an international or domestic startup, launch new social impact initiatives, reshape Vienna’s corporate landscape as intrapreneurs, and become community leaders by expanding your home country’s entrepreneurial perspective.
What does the selection process look like?
The selection process consists of two rounds of screening and a final in-person interview in Innsbruck or Vienna. In the first screening phase, applicants who completed the entire application according to the application requirements and best fit our evaluation criteria will be invited to the second screening stage. It is your responsibility to watch your Inbox and Spam folder for this notification and complete the second application by the given deadline. Selected applicants from round two will receive an invitation to schedule an in-person interview, which take place in late February and early March in Innsbruck and Vienna. After in person interviews, 3DS will notify selected participants, when they will officially accept their spot.
I have a previous commitment and I can’t attend the entirety of the exchange program. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, no, you must be able to attend the entirety of the exchange program to apply or participate. However, we’d still love to work with you! We encourage you to meet us during the Austria to Austin Roadshow
in April, attend our annual Global Roundup Conference
, organize a 3DS program at your university
, or apply to our flagship 3DS UT Austin
program. Click here
to contact us!
Do I need to live in Austria to apply?
Austrian citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, and individuals with a strong connection to Austria are encouraged to apply. If you have a special circumstance, please list your current country of citizenship and describe the details of your situation in the “What else do we need to know about you?” section. We understand that those with a strong connection to Austria and an intention to develop the Austrian entrepreneurship ecosystem may not be citizens, and will consider circumstances on an individual basis. Note: students must be in good academic standing to be considered.
How old do I need to be to participate?
We welcome applications from those who are between 21 and 28 years old on July 1, 2020. To best meet program goals, the selection committee will strongly consider years of experience, education, and future aspirations.
I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying?
Yes! Participants will be selected in order to represent diverse educational and personal backgrounds from all areas of academic study. If you’re interested in founding an international or domestic startup, launching a new social impact initiative, reshaping Vienna’s corporate landscape as an intrapreneur, becoming a community leader, or expanding Austria’s entrepreneurial perspective, it is likely that you would be a valuable participant. Our programs are inclusive of all fields of study.
I’m not a current student. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, no. All applicants must be current students enrolled at an Austrian university or Fachhochschule OR at a university outside of Austria, and planning to return to Austria after graduation.
If selected, how do I get to America?
This program is fully funded by the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. 3DS will plan the international travel from Vienna, Austria to Austin, Texas. Selected participants will not be permitted to modify their flights from Vienna to Austin, though they will have a one-time opportunity to request modifications to their return flight in order to extend their time in the U.S. Applicants must hold a valid passport issued by the country from which the applicant is applying. However, as a reminder, If you are not an Austrian citizen, you must be a permanent resident of Austria.
How much does this cost?
All expenses will be covered by the US Embassy in Vienna including: international travel from Vienna to Austin, domestic travel for in-country program activities, lodging, required health benefits plans, and most meals. Participants will also receive a stipend (issued during the program) to help cover meals that are not provided or any extra expenses participants choose to incur. Note: If exchange participants require changes to travel, or choose to travel around the US after the program, they will be financially responsible for those modifications. Additionally, participants will be financially responsible for any medical expenses incurred during their time in Austin.
Where would I sleep?
3DS will make all housing arrangements for participants. Housing in past years has been at the coolest hostel and hotels in downtown Austin, within walking distance to Capital Factory and most program activities. You will reside with same-gender participants in a shared accommodation.
What would I eat?
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided daily during the program, and snacks will also be provided. A stipend will help cover any snacks or meals not included in the program. We’ll be sure to quickly expose you to Austin’s culture through its unique food scene!
What if I get hurt?
All applicants will be covered by a travel health insurance policy that meets the requirements and standards for a J-1 visa. These include:
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the J1 visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
We understand insurance is a complex and important matter. As such, applicants selected to participate in the exchange program should communicate any concerns directly to exchange program staff.
Which email address should I use to apply?
We strongly encourage applicants to use a personal email account whenever possible, as several university or Fachhochschule accounts have presented international communication issues in the past. Please also be sure that whichever email address you use to apply is an account that you monitor regularly. There will be no extensions or exceptions made for missed deadlines or correspondence.
How do I know you received my application?
You will receive an automated confirmation email after submitting your application (which will also include a copy of your application for your reference – please be sure to check it for accuracy!). If you received the confirmation email, you should be all set, assuming you completed the entire application and met all requirements. If you have not received the confirmation email, please check your Spam folder. If you are invited to the second screening stage, you will be notified via the email provided.
I forgot something/made a mistake on my application! What should I do? Can I email you with additional information?
Unfortunately, the only way to add something to your application is to resubmit your entire application. Please note that we cannot make any changes to your submission and will not accept any information sent via email. (This includes any corrections to birthdates)
I’ve been invited to continue in the second screening phase. Anything I should know?
First off, congratulations! As you may have read, the second screening phase requires applicants to respond to essay prompts by video. In order to have your videos reviewed, please be sure that you submit your videos by the deadline, that your videos do not exceed the maximum time limit (even by just one second!), and that your videos are not set to private. (Note: Unlisted videos are allowed). Sorry, but any submissions that fail to meet any of these requirements will not be reviewed.
What type of consent will I need to give if I’m selected to participate?
Those selected will be required to sign and return a participant contract detailing expectations, consequences, and an assumption of risks associated with participation. You will need to review, sign, and return this agreement within 48 hours of your invitation to participate.