ABOUT STUDYING IN AUSTRIA
General Information on Studying in Austria
The following resources provide information on Austrian education, in particular higher education, in addition to giving an overview on general aspects of living in this country for anyone who is planning on studying, teaching, or conducting research in Austria. Most of the information is directed at students who hope to enroll directly at Austrian institutions, with the exception of the "Study Abroad" section, which is aimed at students currently enrolled in US institutions planning complete a portion of their studies in Austria through a study abroad or exchange program.
Study in Austria
Information leaflet prepared by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD).
Study Programs in Austria
Detailed information brochure for international students who are interested in studying in Austria, published by the OeAD.
Higher Education Institutions in Austria
Overview of study options as well as important addresses of all Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences, university colleges of teacher education and private universities.
The Austrian Educational System
OeAD gives a basic overview of the Austrian Educational System and is linked to bildungssytem.at (also in English), which provides an interactive, in-depth look at the Austrian educational system.
EURAXESS: Moving to Austria
EURAXESS is a European researchers' mobility initiative. Its guides to living and researching support you and your family in getting a good start in Austria. They provide information about Austria in general but also give you a general idea of the legal basis of entry and residence regulations, taxation and social security.
Grants.at is Austria’s biggest online database for scholarships and research grants for all academic areas. Financial support options for students, graduates and researchers range from classical grants and scholarships, allowances and prizes to extensive national, European and international research support programs. Grants.at is an initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) and OeAD with additional support from EURAXESS.
The IIE Passport study abroad directory enables students to search for opportunities in Austria and around the world based on a variety of criteria, including cost, level and subject.
USA Study Abroad is a new initiative of the US State Department to increase and diversify US study abroad and prepare students for 21st century jobs and global challenges. Its website provides general information about studying abroad in addition to US and foreign scholarships and more.
The Ministry of Science, Research and Economy is the federal government agency responsible for higher education in Austria. This website serves as a good starting point if you are looking for in-depth information (e.g. full texts of federal laws establishing university programs).
The Austrian Exchange Service - Österreichischer Austauschdienst (OEAD) is the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research and a major clearinghouse for study-abroad information in Austria, both for incoming and outgoing students.
"Uni-Wegweiser" (Study Guide) another guide to Austrian universities, again in English; links to fields of study and respective curricula.
Austrian Institutions of post-secondary education: A list of post-secondary institutions compiled by Margit Geyer (National Agency Lifelong Learning Austria, OEAD) and Heinz Kasparovsky (Federal Ministry for Science and Research, ENIC NARIC Austria). The brochure (66 pp.), published in May 2010, is also available for download at the OEAD-website.
Austrian Summer Schools+
Campus Austria (German language courses in Austria)
Vienna Summer University – A co-operation of the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle
The University of Vienna Sommerhochschule (SHS) offers an International Summer Program
Graz University Summer School (GUSS) – targeted at students following Master-Studies within Joint Degree programs
Management Center Innsbruck Summer Session offers a variety of management-focused courses in Innsbruck
Vienna International Summer University - at the Vienna University of Technology.
The Bologna Process is an instrument for the implementation of the European Higher Education Area.
The Federal Ministry of Science and Research and Economy describes the development of the Bologna process in detail: http://wissenschaft.bmwfw.gv.at/bmwfw/studium/studieren-im-europaeischen-hochschulraum/bologna-prozess/
Another useful link about the Bologna process by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs: http://www.kmk.org/wissenschaft-hochschule/internationale-hochschulangelegenheiten/bologna-prozess.html
The website of the European Commission offers detailed material on Higher Education in Europe including in depth information on the Bologna Process and other related topics: http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/higher-education/bologna-process_en.htm
The Bologna Declaration on the European space of higher education – An Explanation
Document (10 pp.) prepared by the Confederation of EU Rectors’ Conferences and the Association of European Universities (CRE).
Austrian Degrees and School Leaving Certificates+
A short explanation on the Austrian grading system is available under:http://www.studyineurope.eu/study-in-austria/grades/grading-system
For more information on Austrian secondary school leaving certificates and Europass certificate supplements please consult the website of Europass: http://www.europass-info.at/article/articleview/162/1/5//?swlang=en.
The Austrian Ministry for Education and Women's Affairs gives an overview on education and schools (curriculum, principles of learning etc.) in German: https://www.bmbf.gv.at/schulen/index.html.
There is also information provided by the Austrian Exchange Service (OEAD) on Schools and Vocational Training, e.g. the Secondary Level II: www.oead.at/welcome_to_austria/education_research/the_austrian_education_system/EN/
Credential Evaluation: Evaluation of Austrian Certificates+
The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)
is an association of private foreign educational credential evaluation services committed to formulating and maintaining ethical standards in the field of foreign educational evaluation. NACES members serve foreign-educated persons who are seeking further education in the United States. Evaluation reports prepared by NACES members are judgments based on appropriate reference material, including current research and are generally accepted by employees and universities. For more information and a list of member agencies, see: http://www.naces.org/
Direct Application and Enrollment at Austrian Universities+
The following information does not apply to Fulbright student grantees as participants in an exchange program, such as the Fulbright program, are exempt from many of the application conditions outlined below. However, this information does apply to English language teaching assistants participating in the program the Austrian Fulbright Commission coordinates with the Ministry of Education. USTAs are technically not Fulbright grantees, which is why they have to go through the regular application procedure, should they wish to enroll at a university.
Please note that an American high school diploma will not be considered equivalent to the Austrian Matura ('maturity exam'). To be considered for admission to an Austrian university, graduates of U.S. highschools either need two years of college education or pass at least 4 Advanced Placement exams in addition to their high school diploma. Please refer to the official recommendations of the National Academic Recognition Information Centre - ENIC NARIC Austria of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research: (http://wissenschaft.bmwfw.gv.at/bmwfw/studium/academic-mobility/enic-naric-austria/)
Empfehlung: USA, Advanced Placement Program (APP), allgemeine Universitätsreife – Advanced Placement Recommendation (in German only)(http://wissenschaft.bmwfw.gv.at/bmwfw/studium/academic-mobility/enic-naric-austria/
Applying to an Austrian university as an international student outside an exchange program is a complex and time consuming process that involves a great deal of bureaucracy and therefore necessitates some planning and patience on the part of applicants. The following is intended as a rough guide:
Familiarize yourself with the process, read through the information provided by the Austrian Exchange Service: https://www.oead.at/willkommen_in_oesterreich/bildung_forschung/studieren_in_oesterreich/
Contact the admission office (Studienabteilung) of the university where you wish to study well in advance, keeping in mind the application deadlines for US students: September 1, for the following winter semester, and February 1, for the following summer semester. Note that the general application deadline for Austrians, EU-Citizens and EEA-Citizens is different at each university (if you have a dual or EU-Citizenship please contact the admission office).
Check out the website of the university in question and familiarize yourself with their requirements (application form, online pre-registration). As a rule the following documents will be required:
High School Diploma
German Language requirement
Diplom Niveau B 2 des Gemeinsamen Europäischen Referenzrahmens für Sprachen: http://www.goethe.de/Z/50/commeuro/i3.htm
or following diplomas and certificates
- Österreichisches Sprachdiplom - B 2 Mittelstufe Deutsch (MD)
- Goethe Institut - Goethe Zertifikat B 2
- Innovationszentrum Universität Wien GmbH - Mittelstufe 3
- Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer StudienwerberInnen (DSH)
- Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Stufe II (DSD II)
- Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF), mindestens Niveau 4 in allen Teilen
German language courses in Austria: http://www.campus-austria.at/
University diploma and transcript
For further information you can consult the following website: http://www.studyineurope.eu/study-in-austria/admission/requirements
Be sure to complete the steps necessary for the Apostille in time for the deadline. In the context of applying to an Austrian university, the Hague Convention means that diplomas of U.S. colleges and universities have to be authenticated by Apostille, before they can be accepted by an Austrian institution.
Follow the instructions given by the university and make sure your application is complete and reaches the university admission office in time for the deadline.
Document Certification: Apostille+
The Apostille is a validation stamp ensuring that a certain document is recognized in certain foreign countries (countries that signed the Hague Convention treaty).
Basically, a document is only valid in the country in which it was issued. Validation for recognition in another country used to be a very complicated and time-consuming matter. In order to facilitate recognition of a document abroad, an international treaty regarding mutual recognition of documents was signed by many countries, including the U.S. and Austria.
This treaty is called the Hague Convention on Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. For more information on the Convention, please see the link collection provided by the U.S. Department of State http://travel.state.gov/law/legal/treaty/treaty_785.html or directly consult the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Lawhttp://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=41.
According to that treaty a document originating in one Convention country is recognized in all other Convention countries if it bears the so-called Apostille stamp, which is a validation performed by the superior office in the country and state (province) where it was issued. In the United States the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State of the individual U.S. states provides the Apostille.
In the context of applying to an Austrian university, the Hague Convention means that diplomas of U.S. colleges and universities have to be authenticated by Apostille, before they can be accepted by an Austrian institution. In order to receive an Apostille for your diploma, you need to contact the responsible state authority that has been designated to issue these certifications.
Note: You need to contact the authority in the state in which your diploma was issued, not in your home state (unless, of course, you attended college/university in your home state).
Living and Travelling in Austria+
Important Offices in Austria and the United States
- Austrian Offices in the U.S.: http://www.austria.org/content/view/127/146/
- Austria is famous for its bureaucracy, which is hard to understand even for Austrians. But: if you are nice and polite, you can get almost anything you need. If you need help (especially on matters related to your legal stay in Austria) go to: http://www.help.gv.at/
- U.S. Embassy in Austria: http://www.usembassy.at/en/index.html
- The Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, DC, is a strategic interface for science, research and science policy between Austria and North America. bridges is the free online magazine published by the OST. bridges features a wide range of articles relating to science, technology and education policy in the US, Canada and Europe. Audio versions of selected articles are also available on the OST's website or by subscription to the bridges podcast.
Official Information Sites about Austria
- Austrian Press and Information Service: http://www.austria.org/
- Austrian National Tourist Office: http://www.austria-tourism.at/
- General Info about Austria: http://www.oesterreich.com/
- Austrian Tourist Office: http://www.austria.info/us
- Tourist Information, Vienna: http://www.wien.info/en?set_language=en
- Tourist Info Salzburg: http://www.salzburg.info/en/
- Tourist Info Innsbruck:http://www.innsbruck.info/xxl/_lang/en/_site/innsbruck/index.html
- Tourist Info Graz: http://www.graztourismus.at/cms/ziel/2865539/EN
- Tourist Info Klagenfurt: http://www.klagenfurt-tourismus.at/english/default.asp
- Linz: http://www.linz.at/english/tourism/