Universities in Austria are highly international in nature, with more than 15% of the total student population coming from overseas.
How can you study a degree in Austria?
Austria’s education system is complex and convoluted, with many different types of institutions offering undergraduate degrees. Many courses are taught in German, but some are moving towards English language courses as a way of attracting international students.
You can study a degree in Austria at the following types of higher education institution:
- Universities – Offer all types of education degrees
- Universities of the arts – Focused at students who want to study arts, music and drama
- Universities of applied sciences – Focused on vocational courses leading to practical jobs
- University colleges of teacher education – Teacher training providers
Private universities – Private courses offered by individual institutions
Tuition fees in Austria are extremely low compared with other European countries. EU students are exempted from paying tuition fees, while non-EU students have to pay around €700 per semester.
Immigration and visas
If you are from an EU country, you will be able to study a degree in Austria without needing a visa providing you can fulfil the following criteria:
- You have a valid passport
- You are studying for more than three months at the institution
- You have sufficient income to support themselves during their studies
You have comprehensive health insurance
Non-EU students will need to check the relevant details for studying in Austria with their own country, but will almost certainly need to get a study visa.
Accommodation and living costs
There are two main options for students looking for accommodation in Austria:
- University accommodation such as halls of residence
Private accommodation such as flat rentals
Most universities in Austria will provide undergraduate international students with places to stay on arrival. You will normally end up having your own room but sharing washing and cooking facilities, although some university accommodation will require you to share a room with a fellow student.
As a guide, you should expect to pay between €220-290 for a single room in a student hostel, and €180-250 for a shared room.
Living costs: Austria has a high standard of living, but that comes at a cost to international students. Food, accommodation and bills are all more expensive relative to other EU countries, with students also paying more their accommodation than in other countries. However, lower tuition fees offset this.
How safe is Austria?
Austria is an extremely popular destination with international students, with a quarter of its student population coming from abroad. Consequently, the country is used to welcoming visitors and as such safety is a priority on many Austrian campuses.
Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:
- Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
- Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
- Not making valuables obvious
- Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
- Being wary of strangers
- Being careful of traffic
Staying in touch
Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:
- Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
- Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill
What to do next?
If you wish to study abroad but are not sure about where, you can check our country guide. On the other hand, If you would like more information about studying in Austria, you can fill in our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with your promptly with more information, great courses and application help.