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Study in Vienna, Austria

Population: 1,750,000

City overview

Grand, historical and beautiful – Vienna is one of the great European cities, with its opera houses, crazy balls and Alpine beauty. However, it’s not all about the past here. Vienna has contemporary culture too, from lively bars and pubs to a growing rock and club scene. All this leads to a remarkably high quality of life for residents.

Throw in some high class universities and the chance to head out to the Alps for winter sports almost all year round, and studying a graduate program in Vienna quickly becomes top of most international students’ wish list.

Education profile

Austria has a relatively complex higher education system compared with other European countries, with several different types of university where you can study as a graduate. Vienna is the centre of education in Austria, so many of the country’s best universities are based here.

You could study a graduate program in Vienna at some of the following institutions:

You can study both research and taught Masters programs in Vienna, with courses taking between 1-3 years to complete, depending on the subject and institution. A PhD program will normally last for four years.

The majority of graduate programs in Vienna will be taught in German, so it may be necessary to prove your language skills before being accepted onto a course. However, the increasing desire of the Austrian government to attract international students means that more and more courses are being taught in English.

Immigration and visas

If you are from an EU country, you will be able to study in Vienna without needing a visa providing you can fulfil the following criteria:

  • You have a valid passport
  • You are studying for more than three months at the institution
  • You have sufficient income to support themselves during their studies
  • You have comprehensive health insurance

Non-EU students will need to check the relevant details for studying in Austria with their own country, but will almost certainly need to get a study visa.

Life in Vienna

Vienna is one of Europe’s most cultural cities, with numerous theatres, operas and music halls. This is the city that gave the world musical prodigies like Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler and music and the fine arts still plays a big part in Viennese life. The Burgtheater is considered one of the world’s premier theatres, while there are also several smaller venues dotted around the city that attract students, tourists and locals.

However, Vienna isn’t all about posh balls and classical music. Vienna is also a modern, upbeat city with plenty of diversity to offer international students on graduate programs. There are numerous shopping centres, nightclubs, bars and top quality restaurants.
One thing not to miss in Vienna is the annual Christmas market, when the city fills with tourists, treats and warming winter wine.

Working in Vienna

Austria is one of the 13 richest countries in the world and Vienna is its economic heart, being home to most of its major businesses, banks and corporations. Vienna is also a tourist destination, with plenty of restaurants, bars and hotels which take on students for part-time work.

EU students are allowed to work in Vienna under the terms of the European Union. However, non-EU students may be subject to work restrictions depending on their nationality and visa status. Check with your university and visa before applying for jobs in Vienna.


Most international students coming to take a graduate program in Vienna will choose to live in housing providing by their university. This allows you to settle into university life more easily, meet fellow students and get the support you’ll need when moving country.

However, other options do exist. You could live in a homestay with an Austrian family, which will improve your German language and knowledge of the local culture.

You could also opt for private accommodation and live by yourself or with friends. However, this is much harder to organise from outside of Austria and may cost you more. Some of the popular areas students opt to live in include:

  • Josefstadt (8th district)
  • Mariahilf (6th district)
  • Leopoldstadt (2nd district)

Weather and climate

Located in northeastern Austria, Vienna has the Danube running through it and the Alps nearby. Contrary to the idea of Vienna being cold and snowy year round, summer time temperatures can actually exceed 30C and average out at around 24C.

Winters are cold and snowy, with the coldest months being between December and February.

What to do next

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