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Starting this week, we begin a small overview of universities in Europe.
Let's start today by discussing Austria if you have considered studying in this country.
What are the services offered and the best universities?
What are the services offered and the best universities?
Few countries are as compelling for studying abroad as Austria. Austria lies in the centre of Europe with easy access to its neighbouring countries by air, road, or rail. With a population of 8.7 million, Austria is a relatively small country. Still, whether you enjoy the spectacular Alpine views or prefer the vibrancy of its cities, there is something to suit everyone.
Universities and higher education facilities are well respected throughout the world. With a thriving industry base and high employment ratio, the opportunities for graduates are many and varied. Vienna is the oldest and most well-known of Austria's university cities, but you can also choose to study in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz or Salzburg; all of which benefit from the beautiful architecture and rich culture that Austria is famous for.
Austria is not only located at the centre of Europe - but the country has also played an essential role in European history, being an integral part in shaping Europe we know today.
Austria is well-known for its magnificent winter sports scene in the Arlberg region, the birthplace of modern Alpine skiing, and Innsbruck in the foothills of the Alps. However, the whole of Austria is primarily mountainous, which makes for stunning scenery and endless walking possibilities throughout the year.
The main cities like Vienna and Graz are home to many baroque castles, palaces and gardens, and museums charting the part Austria had to play in musical history and psychology. Famous Austrian musicians and composers include Haydn, Mahler, Liszt, and of course, Mozart, while Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was also born here.
STUDYING AT A UNIVERSITY IN AUSTRIA
For such a small country, the excellence of Austria's universities is recognised worldwide. Many of them rank highly in international university rankings, ensuring a good quality education should you decide to study here. As well as that, the bonus for students originating elsewhere in the European Union is that tuition at any of the public universities is free. Even if you come from a country outside the EU, the fees are very reasonable and lower than many in the rest of Europe - with around 1,500 EUR per year. Private universities can set their rates considerably higher. Still, there are so many choices for international students you are sure to find one that suits your budget and your educational aspiration.
The University of Vienna is the oldest in the German-speaking world, as it was founded in 1365 and is ideally placed in a town famous for its culture and nightlife. Associated with 15 Nobel Prize winners, and has nearly 200 different degree programmes to choose from, many of them taught in English.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to attend a course of study in Austria. For German speakers, a language proficiency certificate of at least level B2 is also needed (but it goes up to C1, depending on faculty and university). The certificate is issued by institutions such as Österreich Institut, Goethe Institut and universities.
Generally, the application for the winter semester must be submitted by September 5 each year. As for the summer semester, the deadline is generally February 5. It is worthwhile to log on to the website of the chosen university or institution for firm dates. An overview can be found on Studiversum, however.
As anticipated, admission is free as far as most universities are concerned (there are no restricted courses). Exceptions are the faculties of:
In these cases, entrance exams are usually held once a year (before the start of the winter semester). However, it is advisable to inquire about the deadlines directly on the universities' websites.
Apart from the admission tests, some universities have introduced a Studieneingangs- und Orientierungsphase (StEOP), i.e., a preparatory orientation phase. Therefore, in the first year of study, learners must attend compulsory basic classes, at the end of which students must be able to pass the exams they need to continue their studies.
LIVING IN AUSTRIA
Many international students have chosen to study in Austria for a Bachelors's or Masters's degree; on average, around 15% of the student body comes from abroad, ensuring a diverse and multicultural study environment. Although the cost of living is moderate throughout Austria, the standard of living is among the highest in Europe. And students often also receive discounts for travel, entrance fees, and even sports activities.
There are many museums, musical venues, and theatres where you can soak up the culture, or if you prefer the outdoors, the Alps are right on your doorstep. There are abundant hiking trails in the beautiful countryside and skiing and snowboarding in the wintertime. A bustling nightlife is more to your taste, and Austria can accommodate this too. From coffee shops to chic and underground nightclubs, it has all a budding student could wish for. Take a look at some of the courses you could study at the many universities, and see why Austria could be your next stop.
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.