Schonbrunn palace in Vienna, Austria

Studying and living in Austria

Beautiful landscapes, a multitude of monuments and charming mountain towns – these are the most significant advantages of Austria. When we add to these renowned universities from the world top of all ranks, a wide range of faculties and modern infrastructure, we will get a full picture of studying in Austria.

A tradition of generations, convenient location, global recognition, excellent infrastructure, and high level. Austrian universities are a severe proposition for those who like hard work because they believe in their excellent results. And when you can still have everything for free.

The System of Studying and Higher Education in Austria

In Austria, there are currently 16 universities with academic, technical and economic profiles, six art-oriented colleges and dozens of private universities, teacher training colleges, and vocational schools. The oldest university in Austria and, in all German-speaking countries, is the University of Vienna, founded on March 12th, 1365 by Rudolf IV.

The offer of education at Austrian universities includes two types of studies:

  • regular courses,
  • university courses.

The Bachelor’s degree is obtained after three or four years of first-cycle studies, whereas the Master’s degree can be obtained on one-year or two-year second-cycle studies. Doctoral studies or third-degree studies last between two and four years.

Recruitment Process and Formal Requirements

In the beginning, a piece of important information: each university conducts recruitment of candidates for courses separately. Forms and all necessary information can be found on university websites.

The condition of applying for admission to one of the Austrian universities is passing a secondary school-leaving examination. All documents must be translated into German! The papers must also include a certificate confirming your competence in the German language – preferably Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch (ÖSD). 

When, however, you do not possess this document, you can take advantage of the offer of preparatory courses, which are organized in many places. Moreover, there is a chance of learning German in Austria, within University Preparation Programs.

A foreshortened recruitment schedule:

  • for first-cycle studies (summer semester) – until February 5th,
  • for first-cycle studies (winter semester) – until September 5th.

Admission to university usually takes place based on certificate contests. Entrance examinations are organized very rarely, and this applies mainly to vocational schools and universities with a technical profile

How much does it cost and how it is like to live here?

Useful information: studying is free, so you do not have to pay any tuition fees. You are only required to pay a fee to the Austrian Student Union, which is 17.5 euros, and you can take out insurance.

A bad piece of news: life in Austria is quite expensive – you will spend more or less 500 euro per month on accommodation and food. If you also want to take advantage of student life, you will have to pay another 300-350 euro monthly for that purpose.

The cheapest solution for accommodation is certainly dorms. The rooms are usually modern, well-equipped, and the price includes breakfast. However, you must pay for a deposit (450/500 euros). The deposit is also required on the private property market, but it amounts to a minimum of 1000 euro, and tenants usually demand payment of rent for three months in advance. Students, however, can benefit from many discounts and rebates, including cinemas, theatres, public transport, and even bookstores, which allow you to reduce certain expenses.

Austria is probably the best place for the advocates of skiing, hiking, history, and fans of classical music. Beautiful landscapes, a multitude of monuments and charming mountain towns – these are the most significant advantages of Austria. Lovers of noisy beer parties may, however, feel a bit unsatisfied – there are generally few pubs and clubs only, but going there, on the other hand, can ruin student’s budget.

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