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Study in Austria: primary, secondary, higher education for foreign students


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The opportunity to study on a budget with a lower level of German are the main reasons to consider Austria as an educational route. Is it really possible to study for free and how to enter Austrian universities? 

Language of instruction

Most undergraduate programs are held in German, and universities put forward high language requirements for applicants - the German C1 level. Those who have not reached the advanced level can enter the university for a preparatory course - here the requirements are sparing: the level of training must be at least A2. Master's students are more fortunate - most master's courses in Austria are held in English.

The quality of education

The level of education in Austria is at a high level, but it is worth considering the nuances:

  • The quality can vary depending on the type of educational institution and its prestige
  • Austrian education system differs from British and American
  • Theoretical knowledge is at the heart of education in universities
  • In private institutions, education is more expensive, but the level of training is higher.

Conditions of admission

  • Copy of the passport
  • High School / Bachelor's / Master's Diploma
  • Certificate of knowledge of German or English
  • Motivation letter
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Research proposal or project (for doctoral studies).

Tuition fees in Austria

Austria is one of the few European countries with an excellent value for money. Relatively comfortable prices have been formed here thanks to the state policy and a large number of state educational institutions where even foreigners can study for free. The cost in public universities and schools is set by the state.

Study at a school in Austria

The average cost of studying in a private school in Austria with a day attendance ranges from 300 euros to 1000 euros per semester, some elite private boarding schools offer programs, the average cost of which is from 12,000 euros to 15,000 euros per semester.

The Austrian school provides the follwing types of secondary schools:

  • Hauptschule = training is built according to the state program, career guidance and specialized classes begin from grade 5
  • Allgemeinbildende höhere Schulen = Schools with advanced study of several specialized disciplines. Here they prepare qualitatively for admission to universities, and the success of admission directly depends on academic performance in primary school
  • Gymnasiums = 3 profile streams are formed, which differ in the set of subjects
  • Neue Mittelschule = experimental educational institutions of the Austrian government, which are distinguished by deep specialization.

Austrian school system:

  • Initial (Grundschule) = 6-10 years
  • Middle (Hauptschule) = 10-14 years
  • Seniors (Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen) = 14-18 years old.

Austrian public schools with boarding and budget places for foreign students

  • State Economic College Ecole Güssing
  • BAfEP OBERWART
  • HAK Oberwart
  • GYM Oberschützen
  • HBLA-Obewart
  • HTL Pinkalfeld
  • Gumnasium Güssing
  • HLW Pinkalfeld
  • BSSM Oberschützen
  • FH Burgenland
  • Das Institut Obershützen
  • Zweisprachiges Bundesgymnasuim Oberwart
  • Wimmer Gymnasium
  • NMS Obershützen.

How to get higher education in Austria for free

International students can indeed apply for budget places and study in Austria for free, but with some clarifications:

  1. Only in universities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and Sports and public universities, that is, in 23 universities of the country
  2. With a grant or scholarship from numerous foundations / participating in an exchange program
  3. The student contribution paid by students on a budget in Austria is 764 euros.

You can get higher education in educational institutions of three types:

  • Pedagogical colleges
  • Art Universities
  • Higher Schools
  • Private universities.

Austria is known for strong training programs in the areas of:

  • Exact sciences
  • Natural science
  • Linguistics
  • Financial Services Management
  • Marketing and communication
  • Tourism management technical sciences
  • Jurisprudence
  • Economy
  • Sports and physical education
  • Medicine
  • Technical science
  • Jurisprudence
  • Economy
  • Sports and physical education
  • Medicine.

TOP Universities in Austria

  1. University of Vienna
  2. Vienna University of Economics and Business
  3. Medical University of Vienna
  4. Vienna Technical University
  5. Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
  6. Innsbruck Medical University
  7. Salzburg University
  8. Webster University
  9. Modul University

Medical education in Austria

Medical schools in Austria are very popular among students. Because of the high competition, universities have decided to tighten the conditions for admission - stricter entrance exams and the admission of students from third countries should not exceed 5% of the total places at the university.

TOP-3 medical universities in Austria:

  • Medical University Graz
  • Vienna Medical University
  • Medical University in Innsbruck.

Undergraduate: General Information

  1. Language of instruction: German
  2. Deadlines: September 1, February 1
  3. Success rate: 87%
  4. Course duration: 3-4 years
  5. Academic year: October to June
  6. Average tuition fee: 700 €
  7. Withdrawal statistics: 59% (usually due to low attendance)
  8. Language requirements: TestDaF 4 (German), IELTS 6.5 (English)
  9. Employability: 82%

International Student Scholarships - A Few Examples

  • Ernst Mach = monthly student allowance of 940 euros. PhDs receive € 1,040 and are exempt from tuition fees
  • Franz Werfel = issued for a period of 4 to 18 months
  • Bertha von Suttner = issued for up to 27 months
  • CAG = 940 euros for a period from 1 to 9 months, issued by a higher school in St. Pötlen
  • Mondi = 1000 euros per month for 48 months.

Additional costs while studying in Austria

In addition to the expenses for academic purposes, other expenses should be considered that are mandatory while studying abroad:

  • Translation of documents
  • Visa, consular fees
  • Flights
  • Registration fees
  • Transfers
  • Fare
  • Medical insurance
  • Deposit
  • Entry fees
  • Individual lessons
  • Additional educational books, textbooks.

Working conditions while studying at the university

  • No more than 20 hours a week
  • The amount of earnings can be no more than 350 euros
  • The employer will need to issue a permit to hire a foreign student
  • Jobs for foreigners are limited by a quota
  • Students can take a paid internship (then a work permit is not required).

Pre-university preparation programs

OeAD University Preparatory Courses prepare students to study in German in Vienna, Graz and Leoben. Requirements - language proficiency not lower than A2 level + confirmation of admission to the university. Training lasts one year, and after that foreigners receive the status of students. One of the advantages of the program is affordability: the cost of courses will range from 400 to 1500 euros per semester. Where can you take the program:

  • University of Vienna
  • Vienna University of Economics and Management
  • Vienna University of Technology
  • Vienna Medical University
  • University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna
  • Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine
  • Graz University
  • University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule / FH) Joanneum
  • Mining University of Leoben.

Programs for foreign students in Austria with prices

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