Study Cost In Austria
The Austrian system of higher education can be divided into three different kinds of institutions: universities (public and private), universities of applied sciences (in German: Fachhochschule) and colleges of education. Depending on the institution different tuition fees apply. For public universities students of EU and EEC countries do not pay a tuition fee, but solely a contribution to the student union
Certain non-EU nationals have to pay a tuition fee of €726.72 from their 1st semester onwards. For colleges of education the same applies. Private universities have their own tuition fees, which start from €1.000 per semester. It is also important to note that the Postgraduate Center of the University of Vienna offers a range of competitive programs from educational studies over international relations to law that are much more expensive than regular Master or PhD programs (from €1.800 per semester up to €22.300 for a 4 semester program). Universities of Applied Sciences have a different legal background and thus, can independently decide whether they levy tuition fees. Currently 17 of the 20 UAS require their students to pay a tuition fee of €363.36 per semester. The fee for the student union and insurance applies as well.
Living in Austria
Living in Austria as a student can be surprisingly cheaper than in other European countries. Accommodation can be arranged with students’ dormitories, communities where two people share a room, shared or single flats. All of these options are available in the biggest cities in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Innsbruck), with costs between €200 for shared rooms in student’s dormitories to €600 for a one-room flat a month. In smaller cities with only on university or university of applied sciences, student’s dormitories are a common option and available from €200.
With a student identity card a lot of cheaper options are available for public transport, entry fees to museums and youth events. Especially in Vienna a student identity card will allow you to buy a “semester ticket” for all public transport for 150€ or 75€ if registered in Vienna. Similarly, the Austrian public train service OEBB offers a membership card for 19,90€ a year with which the ticket fair is reduced by 50%. However, some of these options have an age limit of 24 or 27 years, regardless of your student status.
When it comes to food, different supermarkets can be found in all towns across Austria and they are the cheapest option for buying food. Even though eating out in Austria can be affordable in restaurants targeted at students or university cafeterias (lunches from €5), a student’s budget can be quite constraint and frozen pizzas (from €1) or pasta (from €0.39 a
kilo) are still a lot cheaper in supermarkets. The same applies for alcoholic drinks (beer from €3 in a bar and €0.50 in the supermarket).
Most students in Austria finance their student life through part-time jobs in the service sector. Especially common are hospitality, retail, sales and telemarketing, administration or clerical roles and tutoring from 8 to 30 hours a week. As summer vacation for university students can be quite lengthy in Austria (July – early September/October), thus, many students take advantage of that time by taking up full time employment for one to three months to fill up their budget. Depending on the financial aid received through scholarships as well as the type of residence permit, a maximum of monthly salary or working hours might apply by law.