Guide to Study in Austria

Guide to Study in Austria

Making a decision to Study in Europe can be difficult but choosing the right country to study in Europe that meets all your needs and would also make your experience while studying can be daunting. There are approximately 50 countries in Europe to choose from. Have you considered Austria?!

Austria – Brief Introduction

Austria known officially as the Republic of Austria is a landlocked country of approximately 8.5 million people located in Central Europe. Austria’s capital and largest city is Vienna and has a population of over 1.7 million individuals. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world and has a high standard of living.  The country has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
 
Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995 and started using the Euro currency in 1999. Austria’s capital Vienna is also the capital of the musical world having produced great musical legends including Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, and of great minds such as Freud. Owing to its rich cultural past and present, Austria is appreciated by people across the world. The varied surroundings is of wonderful importance for travel and leisure, there are quite a few skiing resorts, and in the summer there are lots of opportunities for camping and climbing, or for water sports on the numerous lakes.
 
Other reasons to study in Austria are the good social security, the economic stability along with the great hospitality of the Austrians. Apart from its musical and architectural history it has something to offer for all international students in Austria.

Why Study in Austria?

The first criteria many students look for when choosing a country and university is the tuition fees. Austria’s remarkably low tuition fees combined with high quality universities makes it a top destination for thousands of students each year. Also:

  • Austria has 23 publicly funded Universities and 11 private universities
  • There are three Austrian universities in the QS World University Rankings 2013-14 Top 300.
  • The University of Vienna established in 1365 is Austria’s oldest and largest university.
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught in English and German is available.

Education System

The university system in Austria falls under the Bologna Process within the European Higher Education Area. This cooperation represents a movement which fosters ease of mobility and employability within its 47 member countries. The universities in Austria allows for residents and international students in Austria to study under a curriculum that focuses on professional-orientated education by providing the following:

  • 3 year program towards a Bachelor’s degree
  • 1-2 year programs towards a Master’s degree
  • Compulsory units for career-training
  • Mandatory  work based internships
  • A Bachelor degree in relation with a teaching qualification

 Entry and Visa Requirements

EU students do not require a visa to study in Austria, but should apply for a residence permit from the local resident registration office.

  • Applicants for undergraduate or even graduate courses ought to submit their applications thus to their chosen university or college. Application forms can be obtained from the selected university's Student Admission Office (in some cases, the form is available online).
  • Since the language of training at Austrian universities is German, applicants are required to prove their amount of command of the German language possibly by school exam results, if studies at school, as well as by presenting German language course diplomas, such as this Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache für ausländische Studienbewerber – TestDaF. Most institutions demand a minimum level regarding command corresponding towards B1/B2 level using the European language passport. Masters and research programes might not require any knowledge about German considering they are usually designed with regard to international students.
  • If the language of instruction of the chosen course is English, a minimum-level command corresponding to the B1/B2 level according to the European language passport is required.

Tuition fees & Living costs

The tuition fees for students with EU/EEA citizenship is totally fee but solely a contribution to the student union and student insurance of €18 per semester. The tuition fee only applies for long term students, who study longer than the minimum amount of semesters plus two semesters for their studies (Bachelor: 6 + 2 semesters, Master: 4+2 semesters). From the 9th or 7th semester onwards, the tuition fee comes to €363.36 a semester.
International students from non-EU countries pay a very low tuition fee of as little as €726.72 from their 1st semester onwards. This is very affordable compared to other European countries.

Living costs

Living in Austria as a student can be surprisingly cheaper than in other European countries. Accommodation can be arranged with students’ dormitories, communities where two people share a room, shared or single flats. All of these options are available in the biggest cities in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Innsbruck), with costs between €200 for shared rooms in student’s dormitories to €600 for a one-room flat a month. In smaller cities with only on university or university of applied sciences, student’s dormitories are a common option and available from €200. With a student identity card a lot of cheaper options are available for public transport, entry fees to museums and youth events. Especially in Vienna a student identity card will allow you to buy a “semester ticket” for all public transport for 150€ or 75€ if registered in Vienna.
 
When it comes to food, different supermarkets can be found in all towns across Austria and they are the cheapest option for buying food. Even though eating out in Austria can be affordable in restaurants targeted at students or university cafeterias (lunches from €5), a student’s budget can be quite constraint and frozen pizzas (from €1) or pasta (from €0.39 a
kilo) are still a lot cheaper in supermarkets. The same applies for alcoholic drinks (beer from €3 in a bar and €0.50 in the supermarket).

Scholarships

A wide range of scholarships is available for people wanting to study in Austria or that are already enrolled at an Austrian institution. Scholarships are offered for instance with regard to the financial background of a student, academic performance, studying abroad, research interest or graduation.
Visit our scholarship section to find available scholarships and instructions on how to apply.

Working

Most students in Austria finance their student life through part-time jobs in the service sector. Especially common are hospitality, retail, sales and telemarketing, administration or clerical roles and tutoring from 8 to 30 hours a week. As summer vacation for university students can be quite lengthy in Austria (July – early September/October), thus, many students take advantage of that time by taking up full time employment for one to three months to fill up their budget.
 
Now that you have detailed information about studying in Austria, you may decide that you want to study in Austria. The next question is ‘How do I Apply?’ To make this easy to answer the next article: Entry Requirements to Study in Austria explain everything about the admission requirements, required documents, visa process and more in details.