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Study in Austria

For prospective students looking to travel internationally to receive degrees and experience, a top location for study is Austria. Located in the heart of Europe, Austria offers extensive experiences in culture immersion and many different fields of study. First and foremost, one of the largest requirements to studying in Austria is the ability to comprehend the local language: German. Majority of the courses and instruction provided through universities are offered only in German; a very select few are offered in English or other languages. As the language of the country is mainly German, students looking to study should have some ability with fluency, so that language barriers do not impede studying or residential quality.

Higher Education system

Higher levels of education are broken down into three categories: private universities, universities of applied science and federal universities. The schools are divided into the categories based on regulations for funding. Some of the top universities include the University of Vienna, Vienna University of Technology, Univeristat Innsbruck and Karl-Franzens- Univeristat Graz. The University of Vienna is the largest university of study in Austria and the oldest in the German-speaking world (650 years old). Universities in Austria offer a variety of over 2,000 degree programs. One of the largest degree programs at all levels and at all universities is within the arts. Austria is well known throughout the world for its culture: from theater to art to entertainment at all levels. The Humanities and Tourism/Hospitality are also very common programs to study within Austrian higher education; the culture aspects of the nation provide ample opportunities to expand and gain extensive experience in international exploration for these fields. Austria is also known for its programs in biological sciences, business, law and regulations and marketing.

Degree Programs

Within Austria's education system, higher education programs offer various types of degrees and certificates. Most universities offer bachelors programs, masters programs and PhD programs. A bachelor degree can typically be attained within six to eight total semesters; a masters program generally takes two to four semesters, while a doctoral program is about six overall. Unlike the United States, the academic year is very different. In Austria, the academic year begins on October 1st and carries through until September 30th of the following year. Again, unlike schools in the United States, semester lengths are very different. There are only two semesters per academic year: winter semester and summer semester. Winter semester lasts from October 1st through to January 30th; summer semester begins on March 1st and ends on September 30th. There are various breaks built into the schedule for mid-semester and holidays.

Eligibility

As previously stated, to be eligible for higher education programs in Austria, prospective students must be able to speak German, as it is the main language of the country. Students looking to study for long term must pass an entrance examination prior to application; students looking to transfer for short-term study are not required to complete the exam. Students must gain a student visa for long term study by submitting proper documentation, including passport, transcripts and diplomas.

Tuition and Fees

Typical fees for students studying in Austria average around $400 per semester for residents, no matter the amount of courses or degrees pursued (in Austria, the average semester fee is €363); this is the same fee for transfer students looking to take a single course or attend lecture. International students typically pay between $800 to $900 per semester (an average of €762 each semester). Students are required to have some form of insurance; universities offer student insurance if their overall household income is under €10,000 (about $11,000) per year.

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