Austria is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Europe. It is a scenic country with culture-rich towns and a breathtaking view of the Alps. Austria has developed a high standard of living and is generally a safe and clean country.
Universities in Austria provide rich learning experiences for international students. They are high-quality institutions, general as well as specialized. The technical and medical universities are among the finest in the world. In addition, progressive interdisciplinary research is a common goal of most institutions. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Austria for international students.
Is Austria Good for International Students to Study In?
Austria has over 70 high-quality universities in all its federal provinces. Most places are considered student-cities like Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Linz. The landscape in every one of them is conducive to learning. Overall, it is a safe and culturally rich country.
Austria is among the top 10 countries that have generous fees for international students. Universities, various institutions, and Austrian agencies offer a lot of scholarships and grants. And for students coming from developing countries, free education is provided.
Many universities offer their programs in English. For other German courses, international students usually need a level “B2” German knowledge. That’s why most institutions have supportive language programs.
To study in Austria, nationals of EU/EEA countries need a Confirmation of Registration. Nationals of third countries need a “Residence Permit – Student.” Students arrive in Austria in September and February for the winter and summer semesters respectively.
Can International Students Work in Austria While Studying?
International students can work as long as it does not compromise their studies.
EU/EEA nationals are allowed to work without permits. Holders of a “Residence Permit – Student” can get a work permit that allows 20 hours/week. This also includes students in doctoral or Ph.D. programs.
A work permit is not needed for academic internships and reciprocal exchange programs. Activities within the scope of educational and research programs of the EU, like Erasmus+, need no permit too.
Can International Students Stay in Austria After Graduation?
EU/EEA students have free movement of labor and may take any job after graduation.
Students holding “Residence Permit – Student” that have graduated can renew their permit for up to 12 months. They can look for a job or set up a business during this period. Once hired, they can renew it to a “Red-White-Red Card” (RWR Card) which allows residence and employment with a specific employer for 24 months.
Upon expiry of the RWR Card, they can apply for a “Red-White-Red Card Plus.” RWR Card Plus allows fixed-term residence and unlimited labor market access.
Best Universities in Austria for International Students
1. University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is a time-honored institution with nearly 800 years of academic excellence. It is the home of 20th-century philosophy and The Vienna Circle. Presently, there are more than 175 programs in science, humanities, and engineering. The institution focuses on doctoral training, teacher education, and the advancement of women’s careers. The University of Vienna is the best university in Austria for international students due to its awesome academic programs.
The university has a big role in the internationalization of Austria’s tertiary education especially since it belongs to the top Austrian university in T.H.E. World University Rankings 2021. One-quarter of the student body are foreigners. 33% of professors come from abroad too. With a diverse community, their language center has programs to learn a language for free.
2. University of Innsbruck (Universität Innsbruck)
The University of Innsbruck is one of the top universities in Austria for international students. It is renowned internationally in research with almost 4000 publications in 2016. It is a proud home to award-winning alumni and scientists. The major areas of research focus are physics, cultural encounters, and molecular biosciences. Moreover, its 16 faculties have a broad range of programs from Geography to Mechatronics to Sports Science.
40% of the University of Innsbruck community are from abroad. It is the top Austrian university in “International Outlook” in the Times Higher Education ranking. Its scenic location at the heart of the Alps contributes to its conducive learning environment. Also, Innsbruck is a regular venue for international sports events. This culture is popular with local and international students alike.
3. University of Klagenfurt (AAU)
The University of Klagenfurt is an innovative university known for its progressive programs and sense of liveliness. It offers 56-degree programs in disciplines like technical science, humanities, and management & economics.
AAU is in the Austrian state of Carinthia, a meeting point of three cultures. That’s why it is no stranger to the diversity of international students, which is 20% of its student body. It also boasts a 100,000 square meter campus with half of it being pristine green space that students will surely enjoy. Furthermore, Austria’s most modern University Sports Institute is located on its campus.
4. Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)
Technology for people is the slogan of the Vienna University of Technology. A leading university when it comes to sci-tech research, it encourages open collaboration between an interdisciplinary team of experts. This vision can be seen through the eight faculties specializing in natural sciences, engineering, and technology.
TU Wien is a consistent top placer among Austrian universities in the International Student Satisfaction Awards. It also belongs to the top 200 of the QS World University Rankings 2021. Quality education is supported by its efficient student services in IT, communication, and building technology. Their multi-awarded Plus-Energy Building is a testament to this.
5. Medical University of Innsbruck (Med-Uni)
The Medical University of Innsbruck provides world-class research in medicine. This top university in Austria offers excellent teaching and training focused on medical theory, clinical practice, and service. Its research institutes are centered on university clinics, which in turn, are closely integrated with the provincial hospital. Therefore, practical applications inspire theoretical discussions and vice versa.
Med-Uni offers training to international students and graduates. These “observerships” allow medical students immersion to a particular department. Moreover, its location in the Alps provides the best learning environment.
6. Graz University of Technology (TU Graz)
The Graz University of Technology brings a contemporary knowledge-sharing culture to the historical town of Graz. Among its 7 faculties, the top programs are Computer Science, Engineering & Technology, and Material Science. The university’s research focus is also worth staying for.
TU Graz boasts state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. Students also have free access to licensed study software and programs. It also has a dedicated platform and international student ambassadors for more personal support. Graz is known as a student city and TU Graz has programs to help students with accommodations.
7. Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU)
Next on our list of best Austrian universities for international students is the Johaness Kepler University, which is famous for pioneering programs plus state-of-the-art teaching facilities. Its top programs are Business, Law, Sociology, and Social Economy. JKU is strategically located in Linz in Upper Austria, one of the strongest economies in the country. Thus, the university is active with research projects partnered with local industries. This provides the students with the authentic application of their learnings.
JKU is a top choice for international students because it offers several programs in English. They have dual-language programs wherein customary German programs can be held in English.
8. University of Graz (Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz)
When it comes to sustainability, the University of Graz is the leading institution in Austria. It is known for research, joint programs, and degrees in natural science, sustainable development, and anything about the environment. Other top programs include Psychology, Chemistry, and Business.
The second oldest university, it is also one of the largest in Austria. Its location encourages a cultural exchange with South-Eastern Europe and this has been a main interdisciplinary focus of the university. This interest in diversity carries on to international students which more than 4000 enroll in a year.
9. University of Salzburg (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg)
The Paris Lodron University of Salzburg has time-honored faculties in humanities and natural sciences. It is also advancing in technical disciplines. In 2017, the university opened its Science and Technology Hub. It is presently involved in social endeavors such as women’s inclusion, health promotion, and environmental protection.
The University of Salzburg, a top university in Austria, has most of its buildings around Salzburg’s historic center – a quiet town, and a conducive learning environment. It is one of the 10 most popular institutions for the Erasmus Program. 38% of students and 50% of the staff are international.
10. Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Wien / MUW)
The Medical University of Vienna is Austria’s largest medical institution, and one of the best in Europe. It firmly believes in research, teaching, and patient care. The institution has made breakthroughs in transplantation medicine. Presently, its five programs are Medicine, Dentistry, Medical informatics, Applied medical science, and Ph.D. program. The Vienna General Hospital, Europe’s largest hospital, has most of its medical staff from this university.
MedUni Vienna supports student and staff exchange, graduate training, and cooperation with other international universities. Overall, it’s a progressive community that is supportive of student parents and encourages a barrier-free environment.
I hope that this article on the best universities in Austria for international students was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!