The 12th wealthiest country in the world according to GDP, Austria is also home to about 87,000 international students who choose to do an undergraduate or graduate programme abroad. If you’re hoping to be one of them, then you probably want to know what you have to do to start studying in Austria. This guide will shed some light on a how to apply to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Austria.
Decide on right degree subject and university
Austria has 7 ranked universities in global tops, and many others that provide great student satisfaction and quality programmes. For example, you could check out institutions like:
- University of Vienna;
- FH Kufstein Tirol - University of Applied Sciences;
- International Business School.
When it comes to degree programmes, it’s good to know that some of the most popular study options in Austria are:
- Masters in Business Administration in Austria;
- Masters in Management in Austria;
- Masters in Engineering in Austria;
- Masters in Computer Science in Austria.
Know the application requirements
Now comes the tricky part. Because Austria has different types of universities there are also different application requirements and criteria. Here are a few ‘musts’ you should keep in mind:
- Most Austrian universities require that you know German, as many study programmes (especially Bachelors) are – at least partially— taught in German;
- For English-taught degrees you must be a proficient English speaker;
- You have to prove that you would be entitled to apply for your chosen degree programme in the country where you earned your last diploma (high school or Bachelor’s diploma);
- Non-EU/EEA students with a degree from a non-EU/EEA country may only study the same discipline or something closely-related to it (if you did your Bachelor’s in Humanities you cannot go for a Master’s in Business, for example);
- Relevant professional experience, if you apply for a graduate degree with a university of applied sciences.
These are some very common requirements you’ll need to meet to be eligible to apply for a university degree in Austria. However, it is always a wise thing to contact the institution that offers the study programme you are aiming for and inquire about the exact admission requirements.
Get your papers ready and start applying
If you fit the admission requirements, it’s time to gather all the required documents which – of course – vary according to degree level, programme or universities. So, lets’ break it down to pieces:Students from the EU/EEA:
- photocopy of your passport or ID Card;
- your last diploma: high school diploma for Bachelor’s studies, Bachelor’s diploma fore Master’s studies;
- German language proficiency: high school leaving certificate confirming German lessons of at least 4 years or a German language diploma;
- English language proficiency: IELTS. TOEFL, Cambridge certificates.
- photocopy of your passport or ID Card;
- your last diploma: high school diploma for Bachelor’s studies, Bachelor’s diploma for Master’s studies;
- German language proficiency: high school certificate confirming German lessons for at least 4 years or a German language diploma;
- English language proficiency: IELTS, TOEFL;
- A certificate of special qualification for university studies (Nachweis der besonderen Universitätsreife): you must prove that your entitled to follow university studies in your chosen field.
Important aspects about the application process
Note that some universities also have an entrance examination (especially at a Bachelor’s level). The examination typically take place 6 months before the programme starts.
Most of the Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria also require a relevant professional experience related to the programme as well as passing written or oral test and an admission interview.
Check deadlines for applying
In Austria, there are two typical application deadlines according to where you come from. Make sure all your documents arrive before these dates, as no extensions are accepted (Everything has to be on time in Austria).
If you are from outside EU/EEA the application deadlines are:
- For the Winter semester: September 1st
- For the Summer semester: February 1st
If you are an Austrian resident, from EU/EEA, or Switzerland:
- For the Winter semester: mid-October
- For the Summer semester: mid-March
An additional application period is available only in case not all spots have been claimed/ filled:
- For the Summer semester: November 30th
- For the Summer semester: April 30th
Know the steps you have to take after applyingWait for the acceptance letter
You’ll receive it by e-mail or post and it will also include in a few guidelines about the next steps you have to take to enrol at your university.Follow the enrolment procedure
Typically includes submitting the application documents in original to confirm your spot, paying the tuition and getting your student ID.Pay the tuition fees/ students’ union fees
If you are from the EU/ EEA you won’t have to pay any tuition fees at public universities, provided you finish your degree in the scheduled time + 1-2 semesters of grace. If you’re studies take longer than scheduled, you will have to pay for the extra semesters it takes you to complete them.
If you go to a private university or you are from outside the EU/EEA, you will have to pay for your studies. The average tuition fees at Austrian universities are:
- 700 EUR/ year at public universities
- 6,000 – 11,000 EUR/ year at private universities
- Student union fees: 36 EUR/ year
If you need a visa to study in Austria. you should start gathering the visa application documents which typically include:
- proof of enrolment
- proof of necessary funds to support yourself
- police clearance
- proof of accommodation
- proof of health insurance
- receipt of fee for residence permit (120 EUR)
Note that if your chosen programme requires an entry examination or an admission interview you’ll have to travel to Austria during the admission process. If you need a visa to enter Austria, you have to apply for a residence permit in person at the Austrian embassy or consulate in your country with the provisional confirmation of admission of the university.
What is studying in Austria like?
So you got in the Bachelor’s or Master’s from Austria that’s at the top of your wishlist, you got your student visa and you are now ready to fly high. But what can you expect from studying in Austria?
First, consider that Austria is situated close to many interesting countries. A short train, plane or car ride and you can be in Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Lichtenstein, or Switzerland.
Secondly, you will find the art, music, literature and architectural style simply captivating. Just imagine this: you might actually have classes in a palace if you study in Vienna.
Thirdly, you might become a student on a scholarship as the country offers a considerable number of grants for international students.
Last but not least, you’ll be able to live a comfy student life with moderate living costs of about 800-1,000 EUR/month. Plus, a student you are allowed to work part-time, which will allow to both gain experience and some pocket money.
Before we leave you, if you are interested in studying in Austria it might help you to read some student experiences from other international students: