Studying in Austria

  • Population: 8,700,000
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • University Students: 372,000
  • International Students: 87,000
  • English-taught Programs: 260

Very few countries are as riveting for studying abroad as Austria. Located in Central Europe, the easy access to its neighbouring cities by road, air or rail makes it a favourable destination for students pursuing their undergraduate, masters and even PhD degrees. With a population of 8.7 million Austria is seen as a small country that captures the vibrancy of cities merging with spectacular Alpine views.

Austria is well known for its magnificent winter sports in the Arlberg region—the birthplace of modern Alpine skiing. The general hilly structures of most of the areas makes stunning scenery and endless adventure possibilities throughout the year. If you are a lover of the arts, major cities like Vienna and Graz are home to many ornate castles, gardens, and palaces even museums showing off the part Austria played in both musical history and psychology.

For a small country, the brilliance of Austria’s universities is recognized worldwide. In the 2014/2015 academic year, there were 372,247 higher education students learning in Austria. International students made up 86,862 of this number. These numbers seem to increase as the years go by and Austrian higher education institutions focus more on internationalization.

Universities in Austria

Austria combines a long tradition in higher education with state-of-the-art research. Many of the Universities here rank highly in international university rankings. This ensures that you will get a good quality education should you decide to study here. If you have already decided to further your studies in Austria, there are 82 higher learning institutions for your picking. They include:

  • University of Vienna
  • TU Wien
  • Medical University of Vienna
  • Vienna University of Economics and Business (“Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration” prior to 2008)
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna

There are also good private universities including the following:

  • Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna
  • PEF Private University of Management Vienna
  • Sigmund Freud University Vienna
  • MODUL University Vienna

Business Schools in Austria

There is also a wide selection of public and private business schools to choose from, such as:

  • Lauder Business School
  • Vienna Business School
  • PEF Private University of Management Vienna
  • MCI Management Center Innsbruck
  • Apsley Business School

Study in Austria in English

Although higher-level education study programs in Austria are mostly taught in German, there are many courses taught in English too. A dozen or so undergraduate and many postgraduate courses are taught in English. More taught in both German and English. Therefore, it may not be a bad idea to learn some German while you are at it. You can find English taught courses at studyinaustria.at and studientwahl.at.

Tuition fees in Austria

Tuition fees in Austria are dependent on two factors. One being where you are from in the world and the other whether you choose a public or a private institution. As is in most cases, public universities charge far less compared to their private counterparts.

If you are from an EU/EEA country, you can study for free as you are not required to pay any tuition fee as long as you complete the course within the two semesters allowed. If you do not, then you are required to pay a small tuition fee totalling to around 363.36 Euros per semester.

If you come from any other country, you are required to pay your tuition fee per semester. The price is around 726.72 Euros at a public institution. However, an additional charge for both international and EU/EEA students of 18 Euros per semester is required from each student to pay for student union membership.

Health insurance is also a primary concern for international students who are not from the EU/EEA countries. You will need to purchase health insurance for your stay in Austria or ensure your current policy will be valid throughout your studies.

Scholarships to Study in Austria

Although Austria has one of the best tuition fee rates in the world, you might also require financial aid as you undertake your studies in the form of scholarships. There are different financial support options depending on your country of origin and academic level.

However, various scholarships offered by Austrian organizations will help you in your education. OEAD provides a variety of scholarships for bachelors, masters and even doctorates.

Grants.at is also a reliable platform that provides you with a database with a list of funding opportunities for your study in Austria.

Institutional scholarships are granted by specific universities. To find out more you can contact the university you have chosen to pursue your education.

Cost of Living in Austria

The cost of living also varies depending on where you want to study, the amenities that the rent covers and any arrangements by the institution like free transport for students. If you are studying in Vienna, the cost is higher than in smaller towns. The average monthly expenses for students in Austria are approximately 950 Euros, with accommodation taking around 400 Euros with food taking about 250 Euros. The rest of the cash going into transport and personal effects.

However, the amount of money strongly depends on how economically you live. Therefore, it might be hard to put a specific price on exactly how much money a student in Austria really needs.

Internships & Company Placements in Austria

Taking an internship is a smart way to start a long promising career. Internships and company placements give you relevant practical knowledge and are an excellent way to land a permanent job. If you are looking for an internship, you are lucky since many companies in Austria offer such.

From small and mid-sized companies to large global multinationals located in Austria, you are surely going to get a chance. However, some of the internships are not paid, so you must do your research before you decide. Some Universities and Business Schools can also offer internships as part of their program.

Working in Austria

All international students can work while studying in Austria. However, the number of hours you can work depend on the nationality and visa status. Students from the EU excluding Croatia can work freely in Austria without a permit. Other students are required to apply for a work permit, subject to holding a valid residence permit.

Please note that your university may prefer you to limit the hours you work so that you can finish the academic programs on time. Bachelor/Masters/Ph.D. students can generally get a work permit for 20 hours per week.

Non-EU students who have finished their degree in Austria can continue working here after applying for a “Red-White-Red” card” issued by the Austrian Authorities for one year. The card is linked to one employer.

Applying for a Student Visa to Study in Austria

Nationals of EU and EEA member countries do not require visas or residence permits for Austria. However, if they stay in Austria for longer than three months, they are required to apply for a “Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger/innen” which is a confirmation of registration at the immigration’s office.

Non-EU nationals who plan to stay for longer than six months are required to apply for a residence permit for study. This application will be submitted to the Austrian representatives in your country. Later the form is sent to Austria where you wait for the final decision before moving to Austria. It is therefore advisable to submit it three months before your intended arrival in Austria.

To apply for the student visa, you are required to have a valid proof of acceptance by an educational institution in Austria, have proof of funds to cover your stay and adequate health insurance. Some counties may also require a certificate of good conduct. Please contact the competent Austrian representatives in your country of residence for further information.