Austria is a wonderful country, with a typically European focus on providing quality higher education and study. This means that studying here will be productive, institutions are well-equipped and, most importantly, your education will be well-respected. Austria is also a beautiful, advanced, and cultured country.
Austria’s focus on higher education is reflected in its tuition fees, which are incredibly low for the standard of education received, even for international students. Even better, the opportunity to learn one of the most important languages in the modern world – German – is a large attraction for prospective international students, and is another CV-enhancing bonus of studying here. And when we say “low tuition fees”, we mean really low. See the section on the Cost of Studying and Living in Austria, below.
Austria has long had a history of outstanding higher education, with some of Europe’s finest philosophers, scientists and writers having worked and lived here. Vienna in particular has a long tradition of academic achievement. This is where the Vienna Circle, probably the most significant movement in Philosophy since the Ancient Greeks, was born; and this is where new advances in the sciences and the arts are still occurring every year. Austria is a wonderfully traditional place to study, and a lovely, beautiful and exciting place to live.
Austria has been the seat of culture for most of Europe since its inception in the late 900’s, and has a long and impressive history, with a list of firsts and accolades longer than The Ringstrasse. Vienna is the capital city, and is a stunning city to look at and to visit, with culture and history seeping out of the walls of every building for miles around the old town. The city of music, as it’s known, is full of enviable tourist attractions such as the Palais Liechtenstein, where the Liechtenstein Royal Family lived right up until 1938. It says a lot about a city when even the Royal Family from a different country chose to live there.
Austria is a very mountainous country, and it’s difficult to go anywhere here without being awed by the horizon in every direction. The mountains provide excellent entertainment for the more adventurous and outdoorsy Austrians, who ski and hike their way through their stunning country regularly. The younger generations of Austrians, however, have chosen to stay in the cities and have in a very short space of time managed to carve a modern edge into Austrian culture; which for many years has been seen as overly highbrow in some respects.
The cities of Austria have become popular hosts for hedonistic nights out. Although this is no Berlin as far as clubs and bars go, Vienna is not far behind, whilst other cities such as Graz and Salzburg enjoy large student populations.
Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of $50,546 in 2013.
Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, and as such, is pretty expensive to live in. However, the low tuition fees can often offset the enormous living costs, so with careful budgeting, studying in Austria isn’t as unrealistic as it seems.
The rent for a student here sits at a very rough €500 a month for a one bedroom apartment. A (healthy) weekly shop would cost less than expected for an expensive city, as the market culture is still very much alive in Austria, and so locally grown produce is still available and much cheaper than supermarket prices in general. If a student is careful with their budgeting it is entirely possible to live comfortably in Austria whilst they study.
The costs of actually studying here is what make Austria so attractive for students, particularly if they’re from the EU. EU students often don’t have to pay more than a purely symbolic admin fee to the university student union to study here. The Austrian government are determined to subsidise international students, as they bring with them a helpful boost to the Austrian economy.
This focus on affordable higher education doesn’t stop here, either. Students from the 50 least developed countries in the world are also entitled to a free education here, which is an incredibly impressive and charitable move by the Austrian people and government. Finally, students from outside the European Union who aren’t from the poorest of countries still won’t have to pay much in the way of tuition fees; only €726 per semester (and there’s only two semesters in a year). A low-wage job in Austria can earn a respectable portion of that during term-time, so paying for your tuition fees should not be a deterrent.It is not hard to see why over 59,000 international students flock here every year to study.
With the accessible nature of higher education for international students, the Austrian government are understandably strict on visas and a lot of documentation is required to ensure a place of study here and to secure a visa. These include normal checklist items like a passport and proof of health insurance, along with university-specific documents such as a proof of acceptance letter, proof of finance letter, and proof of lodging. Finally, a certificate of proof of command of the language of tuition for your course is also required; whether that be German or English.
Generally the Austrian embassy in your country will be able to give you a comprehensive and reliable list of all the correct documentation required, and will help you through the process of acquiring a visa. In addition, the university you’re applying to should be able to help you with the correct details of your application.
Courses at Austrian universities are taught in either German or in English. It depends on personal preference what language you should choose, but make sure to check what courses are available in what language before you apply for anything. Both English and the German courses will be of high quality and will eventually give very well-respected degrees.
The locals of Austria speak varied dialects of standard German, and almost everyone will also speak English to a very good standard. It’s worth trying to improve your German whilst you’re here, though – German is spoken by up to 95 million people around the world, and it may well end up being enormously advantageous to your career to learn the language.
Graz is Austria’s second largest city and home to to over 300,000 people. The capital of Styria, the heavily forested southern state of Austria, Graz sits on the Mur River and boast in it’s Old Town, a city centre so well preserved that is has been declared as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Well known for its tradition of education and its student population, there are six Universities in Graz including the University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz, the University of Music and Performing Arts and Graz University of Technology.
With a student body upward of 40,000, there is plenty of culture for students to enjoy and in which to participate, with many bars located in the city centre and the university quarter.
Some may know Salzburg as the setting for the musical film The Sound of Music, and while the city proves very popular for tourists, it is also a thriving center of education, home to three Universities – University of Salzburg, Paracelsus Private Medical University of Salzburg and the Mozarteum University of Salzburg.
Salzburg is situated on the Southeastern border of Germany to the north of the alps, and as such provides plenty of opportunity to take part in winter sports. As a smaller city, it is a comfortable location for a student to learn the German language whilst they study, whilst the well preserved baroque city-centre is both beautiful to take in and also home to many bustling bars at night.
Austrias largest city and capital, Vienna is home to nearly one third of Austria’s population and is home to 21 of the country’s Universities including the University of Vienna, TU Wien and the Medical University of Vienna.
Vienna has a strong tradition of music and culture, with prominent musicians including Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Vienna boasts numerous museums in its Museumsquartier, whilst the city boasts a varied range of impressive architecture.
Students in Vienna can enjoy trendy cafes and bars in Neubau, Vienna’s seventh district. Nightlife in Vienna is abundant and varied, from the Flex nightclub with its dark and loud disco floor to the pricey and more mainstream Babenberger Passage, there is plenty to keep students occupied.
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