Greetings! And welcome to the latest edition of the city-based guide, and to Austria! I am your host, the handsome MASTER AND MORE editor, and I would like to introduce you to one of the unique capitals in the very heart of Europe. In fact, you would be surprised to know about some quite intriguing figures that have their roots leading them to Vienna – the Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, the F1 legend Niki Lauda, and the royal Marie Antoinette. Quite the introduction, right?
Officially, Vienna, or Wien in German, is both the capital and one of the federal states of Austria. From a historical point of view, the city has witnessed many controversial periods of time – especially between 1938 and 1945 and the presence of Adolf Hitler. Furthermore, Vienna was also capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a period marked by the establishment of the city as a center of classical music and world politics. As of today, Vienna shares a spirit best sensed when walking by the beautiful architecture, visiting one of the countless cafés for a Vienna Coffee, or simply walking down Innere Stadt – the old town.
Popular landmarks include the Hofburg, the Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens and the Vienna Zoo. Interestingly, Vienna is also second in the list of the biggest German-speaking cities right behind Berlin. Jaa!
And in terms of higher education, the capital of Austria is home to one of the oldest universities in the world – established back in 1365, the University of Vienna. And if you think that this is merely a symbol of traditions, then check out the table below:
|Universities in Vienna||Times Higher Education's World University Rankings for 2020||QS Top Universities for 2020|
|University of Vienna||134||154|
|Medical University of Vienna||Top 201-250||-|
|Vienna University of Technology||Top 351-400||192|
Indeed, it also means prestige. In fact, the Medical University of Vienna was initially the faculty of medicine part of the University of Vienna, while Vienna University of Technology – or also known as TU Wien – was established two centuries ago, in 1815. Additionally, when moving away from the spotlight of top-ranked institutions, we can also include several other strong representatives of the higher education system in Vienna, and Austria as a whole:
Depending on the type of university, Masters degree programmes typically last two study years, equaling 120 ECTS credits. What is more, right next to German, English is the main language of instruction of hundreds of postgraduate Masters courses. You can easily have a look at some with the trusty help of the Masters Search and, if you are interested in going more in-depth with Austrian higher education, spend a few minutes on our dedicated Masters in Austria guide!
In order to present accurate information, it is important to set aside the different types of higher education institutions that can be found in Vienna. Generally, for the delivery of Masters programmes, these can be brought down to:
For our first type , Austrian, EU and EEA students are not obliged to pay any tuition fees. However, if a student exceeds the normal study duration of their chosen degree programme by more than two semesters, then a fee of EUR 363.36per semester is applied.
Internationals, who are also holders of a residence permit, are required to pay EUR 726.72 each semester. Regardless of student nationality, there is also the ÖH-Beitrag semester fee of EUR 20.20, which awards membership status for the Austrian Student Union and includes specific insurance.
As for the other two types, there is a wide range of tuition fee levels applied for the offered Masters degree opportunities. For exact data, it is recommended to check out the official university website of the institution you are interested in.
Furthermore, the Austrian government is also responsible for providing online platforms such as grants.at, allowing students to filter and find the best funding opportunity according to their needs.
Then you also have Erasmus+ exchange opportunities, that can result in a free Masters study period at a university in Vienna, with loads of examples on the highlighted webpage of the OeAD – an initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.
Finally, some higher education institutions around the country, including the capital, run their very own institutional scholarship programmes. For instance, the Vienna University of Economics and Business offers a very good example in this direction, with a wide variety of possibilities based on academic success, talents and needs.
Much like elsewhere, on-site public accommodation is not provided by most Austrian universities. What is more, housing is not automatically guaranteed upon enrolment at a chosen higher education institution.
This leaves one with two options; either searching for accommodation options provided by the OeAD Housing office, mostly in the form of student halls of residence, or switching to the private market.
Now, we previously pointed out that the OeAD is a governmental organisation – and as such, you can expect more affordable housing options, especially for the capital of Vienna. And although pricing varies greatly, it is possible to secure a place for as much as EUR 500 or below per month, with included Internet and TV access and furniture. Even better, the locations allow easy access to the available public transport network and are within walking distance of some universities. Depending on your budget, you can also afford more room and a better location – starting from around EUR 600 - 700. Within this price category, it is needless to say, that the private market could also be an alternative, with a wide range of offerings exceeding EUR 1000.
When it comes to costs for your everyday life, you can expect pricing in the higher end dictated by a high living standard. Even a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost you EUR 10.00, while a quick visit to the local café could total more than EUR 5.00 for a regular cappuccino with a bottle of water. Therefore, our recommendation is that you calculate a budget of approximately EUR 300 - 350 per month for food, free time and sports.
Last but not least, we have transportation costs. In Vienna, the public transport network consists of buses, trams, metro and trains. As a regular student under 26 years of age, you are allowed to buy a semester ticket valid for a whopping 5 months – for the price of EUR 75.00.
To sum up, for these 3 major components of student life in Vienna, you would have to prepare no more than EUR 1,000 provided that you can secure cheap public accommodation.