Study in Austria

Softamo Education Group

About Austria

It may be relatively small, but there are many reasons to study in Austria, including a number of universities which rank among the world's best. In terms of area, Austria is no bigger than the US state of Maine, and in terms of population, it is home to roughly the same number of people as the UK capital, London. But this beautiful Central European country, full of stunning landscapes and exuberant cities, should certainly not be judged on size.

This is the land which brought the world great composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and innovative thinkers such as Sigmund Freud and Ludwig Wittgenstein – not to forget the iconic musical, The Sound of Music, and the equally memorable one-liners of actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Austria at a Glance
Bordered entirely by other countries, Austria is located in the heart of Europe and is a member of the European Union. Home to over 8.8 million people, the country is consistently named as one of the richest countries in the world in GDP terms. Austria has developed a high standard of living, and declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. The country lies within the Alps, making it highly mountainous.
With a long and impressive history, Austria has many tourist attractions, and something for every person. The cities are modern and developed, with a high-income economy; perfect for international students looking for a metropolitan experience. The countryside is littered with amazing scenery and provides entertainment for the most adventurous of people, with skiing and hiking being popular past-times.
Why Study in Austria?
Austria’s commitment to international students is reflected in the fair tuition fees and rise in enrolling students since reforms. As well as the chance to study at world ranked higher education institutions, you will also be able to pick up the German language. German is the first language of 100 million people worldwide, and joining those people would open up some great further study and employment opportunities!
Austria has a long 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, one of the most significant movements in Philosophy since the Ancient Greeks, was born. You will find 5 Austrian universities in the 2019 QS World University ranking top 500. The highest ranked of these 5 is the University of Vienna, which is ranked in 175th place.
Education Cost in Austria
The currency used in Austria is the Euro (€).
Tuition fees in Austria will depend on more than one variable. One of these is where in the world you are from, and the other is whether you choose a public or private university. Public universities will charge considerably less than private universities. You should also expect to pay a higher tuition fee at a university of applied sciences as well.
If you are from an EU/EEA country, you are not required to pay tuition fees so long as you complete your course in its given timeframe, or within the additional two semesters allowed. If you do not finish your course in this time, you will need to pay a small tuition fee each semester you remain enrolled. This is usually around €363.36 per semester.
If you are from any other country, you are required to pay a tuition fee per semester. This is usually around €726.72 at a public institution. Both international and EU/EEA students will need to pay a student union membership fee, which is normally around €18 per semester.
Another cost that international students need to be aware of is health insurance. If you are from an EU/EEA country and hold an EHIC card, you will be able to access the same healthcare as Austrian citizens without taking out health insurance. If you are from certain other countries, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, you will also not need health insurance. You will however need to acquire an A3 form from your national health insurance provider, which can then be exchanged for an Austrian healthcare form. If you are from any other country, you will need to either purchase health insurance for your stay in Austria, or ensure that your current policy is valid throughout your studies.
In order to help to fund your studies, you might be able to apply for a scholarship, or get a part-time job. If you are from an EU/EEA country (excluding Croatia) and Switzerland, you will be able to work part-time with limited restrictions. Your institution may require you to only work a certain amount of hours per week however, to ensure that studies are your priority. If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a work permit, which is subject to you holding a valid residence permit. If you are from Croatia, you will also need to apply for a work permit. This condition is part of the transition to EU membership, and will remain this way until 2020.
1. University tuition fees in Austrian universities
Within Austria, you can enrol in public or private universities, colleges and universities of applied sciences. Tuition fees in public universities
• For EU-students: free of charge. Just have to pay student union and student insurance of 18 EUR/semester.
• For non-EU students: 1450 EUR/year
• The University of Vienna charges tuition fees for certain study programmes at postgraduate level (Master and PhD courses), such as law or international relations, to all foreign students, regardless of their nationality.
Universities of Applied Sciences independently decide if they charge tuition fees. Currently, 17 of the 20 UAS require EU students to pay a tuition fee of around 363 EUR per semester. The fee for the student union and insurance applies as well.
Tuition fees in private universities
Private universities have their own tuition fees, which start from 1,000 EUR per year and can lead up to around 40,000 EUR/year


  • What options do I have for studying in Austria?

    The Austrian educational system offers a broad spectrum of educational opportunities. Prospective students can choose between study programmes offered by universities, universities of applied sciences, university training courses/university level courses or university colleges of teacher education.

  • What is the difference between universities, universities of applied sciences (UAS) and university colleges of teacher education?

    The Austrian education system has three main types of higher education institutions: universities(comprehensive universities, universities of the arts and private universities), universities of applied sciences and university colleges of teacher education.

    Apart from the traditional comprehensive universities, which offer a wide variety of disciplines, there are a number of technical and medical specialist universities as well as a university centre for postgraduate education. Austria’s six universities of the arts offer programmes in music, applied arts and performing and fine arts as well as in visual arts and design.

    Universities of Applied Sciences offer their students professional-oriented higher education. This is reflected in their curricula, which include mandatory career-oriented practical training units or job-based internships. The number of students per year and programme is limited, and for this reason most of the programmes have an entrance procedure which has to be successfully completed. UASs offer full-time and extra occupational studies. Extra occupational studies are designed for working students and take their specific situation into account. The Austrian University Colleges of Teacher Education offer a three-year (six semester) Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree in combination with a teaching qualification for primary, secondary or special needs schools. Some of them also offer BEd degrees for polytechnic schools and for teaching religious education.

  • Can I apply to OeAD for a study placement in Austria?

    No, you can not. Please bear in mind that the OeAD is not an institution of higher education. We do not offer any degree programmes of our own and we do not handle any study applications. We can only offer you general advice on how to get started if you wish to study in Austria. Study applications should be made to the institutions themselves.

  • Which closing dates apply?

    In general, students in a bachelor or diploma programme have to register by September 5th (for the winter semester) or February 5th (for the summer semester). The registration period starts on April 15, please note that different deadlines apply for specific study programmes.

  • Which documents are usually required for admission?

    The best way to submit a complete application is to contact the university of your choice before you submit your application. The university staff will inform you about all formal and academic requirements. Some institutions offer a "registration of data" via Internet and will then send specific information to you via e-mail.

    Usually the following documents are required for admission :

    For bachelor’s programmes:

    Students with EU/EEA school leaving certificate :
    • Proof of nationality (photocopy of your passport)
    • A secondary school leaving certificate that entitles you to admission to university studies in your home country
    • German language proficiency (secondary school leaving certificate confirming German lessons of at least 4 years or a German language diploma or similar documents)

    Students with non-EU/EEA school leaving certificate :
    • Proof of nationality (photocopy of your passport)
    • An equivalent secondary school leaving certificate
    • Your certificate of special qualification for university studies (orig. Germ.: "Nachweis der besonderen Universitätsreife"): you have to prove that you would be entitled to admission within your chosen degree programme in the country which issued your secondary education diploma.
    • German language proficiency (secondary school leaving certificate confirming German lessons of at least 4 years or a German language diploma or similar documents)

    For master's programmes : Successful completion of at least a 6 semester specialised relevant Bachelor’s degree (min 180 ECTS)

    For PhD programmes : Master’s degree in the same field of study as your research proposal or equivalent

    Programmes with entrance examinations (e.g. medical universities, universities of the arts, UAS degree programmes) : Please enquire in good time about application deadlines, special requirements and dates for the entrance examinations (closing date for application for entrance examinations can be up to 6 months before the beginning of the semester)!

  • I want to study in a degree programme in Austria, but I do not know the German language. Can I learn it in Austria before enrolling in the university?

    The main language of instruction at Austrian universities and UAS is German; some programmes are taught in English,
    In order to be admitted to a degree programme, you have to prove sufficient knowledge of German. At some universities you need proficiency in German corresponding to level B2, at others corresponding to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are different diplomas that are accepted, e.g. the "Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch", Austria’s officially recognised examination system for German as a foreign language with licensed examination centres all over the world:
    Please enquire directly at the university or UAS of your choice to find out whether or not the certificate/diploma you hold is also accepted as sufficient proof.
    the OeAD located in Vienna, Graz and Leoben. By attending these programmes, students can prepare for supplementary examinations (e.g. in mathematics or German, etc.), which must be passed, to be admitted to a degree programme. It is necessary to prove a German level of at least A2 if you want to be admitted to a University Preparation Programme German course before starting your regular study programme.

  • I want to study in Austria, but I do not speak sufficient German. Are there any programmes taught in English?

    The main language of instruction at Austrian universities and UASs is German; however, there are a few programmes taught in English.

  • Is it only the OeAD that funds foreign students in Austria? If not, what are some of the other donors?

    The OeAD is the most important provider of scholarships, but there are also other institutions offering support.

  • Is there an age limit for an OeAD scholarship?

    It depends on the scholarship programme. Please bear in mind that there are different scholarship programmes offered by the OeAD and other institutions. You should always check the requirements of the specific programme you are applying for.

  • What is included in the scholarship? Are accommodation and health insurance included?

    Most OeAD scholarships include a monthly scholarship (depends on the target group). If necessary, accident and health insurance will be taken out on behalf of the grant recipient. The costs for insurance and accommodation have to be paid out of the grant by the recipient of the grant. The OeAD also tries to provide accommodation (student hall of residence or flat) for recipients of grants who wish to have accommodation arranged by the OeAD. Monthly costs: 220 to 470 EUR (depending on how much comfort the recipients of grants want). An administration fee of 18 EUR per month is payable to the OeAD for arranging accommodation.

  • I want to do a master's in Austria. Are there any scholarships I can apply for?

    We – the OeAD – do not offer any scholarships for a whole degree programme (bachelor’s, master’s or PhD) here in Austria. You can search our database for other funding possibilities. However, there are hardly any scholarships for a whole degree programme here in Austria. there is no geographical restriction. es gibt keine geographischen Einschränkungen.

  • When should I start applying for a scholarship? After I receive admission notification or after I come to the university and register?

    The deadline for applying depends on the individual scholarship programme. In some cases, you can apply without yet having formal admission to the Austrian university. In other cases, admission is one of the requirements. Please always check the scholarship announcements. You should inform yourself as soon as possible about the different scholarship opportunities in your country to make sure that you will have enough time to complete your application successfully before the deadline.

  • I am already studying in Austria, but without a scholarship. I want to know if l can still apply for a scholarship once l have started with my studies in Austria?

    After you have started with your studies in Austria, you cannot apply for an OeAD scholarship.

  • I want to study for a PhD in Austria, is there a scholarship I can apply for?

    We – the OeAD – do not offer any scholarships for a whole doctoral/PhD programme in Austria. You can search our database for other funding possibilities. However, there are hardly any scholarships for a whole degree programme here in Austria. Postgraduates pursuing a doctoral/PhD programme anywhere outside Austria wishing to perform research in Austria are eligible for the Ernst Mach Grant – worldwide. You can find further funding options for research stays in Austria on

  • I'm looking for a PhD position in Austria. Where can I find out more about open job vacancies for researchers?

    Euraxess – Researchers in Motion is a European initiative providing access to a wide range of information and support services for researchers wishing to pursue research careers in Europe. Euraxess Service Centres help you and your family to plan and organise your move to Austria and provide assistance in all matters related to mobility. All services of the Euraxess Network are free of charge.

  • What is the procedure for Non-EU-students before entering Austria?

    All those interested in studying in Austria for less than 6 months need to apply for a visa at an Austrian consulate or embassy before coming to Austria.
    • A travel visa C ("Schengenvisa"): entitles you to stay in Austria and in all other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days; it is not necessary if you are allowed to enter Austria without a visa
    • A residence visa D (Aufenthaltsvisum D): for stays of at least 91 days up to a maximum of 6 months; not necessary if you are a Japanese national

    If you are intending to stay for more than 6 months it is possible to apply for a residence permit for students within Austria (after lawful entry). Please contact the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate) for further information.
    • A residence permit for students ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Student") entitles you to stays for more than 6 months (and up to 12 months). It may be extended within Austria.

    Within 3 working days of arrival in Austria, you have to register with the registration office (Meldeamt) at you place of residence.

  • What is the situation if I am an EU citizen?

    If you are a national of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you need no visa to come to Austria. If you have sufficient financial means to finance your stay in Austria and valid health insurance covering all the necessary costs, you only need a valid travel document (passport or identity card) for entry to and residence in Austria. If you are going to stay in Austria for more than 3 months you have to register with the competent municipal authority (Magistrat, Bezirkshauptmannschaft) within 4 months of your stay.

  • Where can I apply for a visa/student residence permit?

    • Visas can only be applied for at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate-general) before travelling to Austria; this authority will also issue the visa. A visa (for example, the residence visa D) cannot be renewed in Austria!

    • You can either apply for a residence permit for students at the competent Austrian representative authority in your country of residence or at the competent residence authority within Austria after lawful entry and during lawful residence. For further details please enquire directly at the competent Austrian representative authority.

  • When should I start the application process for a residence permit for students? How long does it take to receive confirmation?

    The general processing period for a Residence Permit for students is 90 days. Please note that you may have to start preparations early due to possible required legalization and translation of your documents.

  • What are the financial requirements for a visa?

    You have to prove sufficient financial means to finance your stay: students up to 24 years of age have to prove that they have at least 515,30 Euros per month ; students of 24 years of age or older have to prove that they have at least 933,06 Euros per month [as of 2018] – these amounts have to be proved for a maximum of 12 months – e.g. by means of a savings account or a bank account (the account has to be accessible from Austria); a Declaration of Guarantee from a person living in Austria; proof of purchase of traveller’s cheques for the necessary amount; or a confirmation of the award of a scholarship/grant. If the costs for accommodation exceed 294,65 euros/month, you will have to prove additional funds.

  • What is valid proof of personal income to finance my stay in Austria that I can show the embassy?

    This proof of financial means can be provided in different ways, for example, a savings book or deposits in a bank (the account has to be accessible from Austria), proof of purchase of traveller’s cheques, or a letter of guarantee from a person living in Austria or an institution domiciled in Austria. You may have to provide proof of the origin of your funding’s.

  • Can I renew my residence permit?

    Only residence titles (residence permits – Aufenthaltsbewilligung) and settlement permits (Niederlassungsbewilligung) can be renewed in Austria. You have to apply for a renewal before expiry of the original permit. Until a decision about the renewal has been taken you may – even after expiry of your original permit – stay in Austria.

  • Does the OeAD help in processing applications?

    Please note that the OeAD cannot help you in processing your visa application. We cannot enquire or intervene on your behalf. We only inform about entry requirements and procedures.

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