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International Students' Top Reasons to Study in Austria

By Tiina Niemi

Updated February 18, 2021 Updated February 18, 2021

Austria offers one of the best study experiences in Europe, according to analysis of student testimonials on the world’s largest database of international student experiences, STeXX.eu. The results were part of the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014, and were based on more than 7,000 students’ opinions, including more than 220 students who commented on their experience of what it’s like to study in Austria.

Overall, Austria received a total score of 9 out of 10, and placed in fourth position in terms of international student satisfaction – the same place as in the 2013 survey. Students’ impressions offer interesting insights into universities in Austria, and confirm the country as a top international student destination.

Out of 10 universities in Austria to be awarded, Vienna University of Technology was the only one to receive the distinction of Outstanding International Student Satisfaction (scoring more than 9.5 out of 10). The University of Salzburg and the University of Graz received “excellent” scores, placing second and third. Runner-ups include the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, and the University of Vienna, also considered excellent by students. A further five universities in Austria received a “very good” rating.

Vienna
What makes Austria a top international student destination?

Almost all students reviewing their experience of studying in Austria agree that the country provides great cultural richness and diversity, as well as an unforgettable social experience for foreign students. The impression students had about Austrian city life, activities and cultural experience are above average compared to other countries in Europe. Many of them also said they enjoyed the various opportunities to develop their German language skills, either through social interaction or in academic settings.

Vienna is a perfect city to live in. It's big, but not too big. It's in the center of Europe, and very close to other wonderful capitals (like Prague, Budapest, Bratislava). The cultural life is very active (museums, open-air cinemas, opera, theatres, concerts) and during the weekend you've got plenty of different choices (parties, clubs, shopping, sports, swimming in the Danube, hiking on the mountains, or visiting the countryside). Transports are crazily efficient and the city is very secure.” – student from Italy

The city is a great experience in many ways, historically and culturally, especially. The local language is strong, so if you're motivated, you'll have a good chance to improve your language skills.” – student from Finland

The overall academic quality and the diversity of the programs provided is appreciated, as well as the university services. Most students consider that their time in Austria has benefited their personal and professional development and share positive impressions about the modern study environment.

They offer great courses, well-trained professors; all in a relaxed and nice atmosphere. The professors, university staff or older students are always willing to help you and you can easily make friends, communicate and learn interesting things about many cultures.” – student from Denmark

I would recommend it because I believe it has a great program for exchange students, especially in the science field. Their facilities are amazing and I see some real opportunity for self-improvement there.” – student from Romania

What to consider before applying to universities in Austria

Those who study in Austria sometimes complain about the costs of accommodation. However, they tend to agree that, in general, studying in Austria is cheaper than in some other parts of Europe. Future students should also be prepared for a relatively complicated bureaucratic system, which may result in frustration when taking care of administrative matters. Although Austria offers many German language-learning opportunities, beginners may face difficulties, especially due to the relatively low number of English-taught courses and the local dialect.

Universities in Austria have many opportunities to offer to international students. For more information about the International Student Satisfaction Awards and universities in Austria, visit the StudyPortals’ country overview. Students who plan to study in Austria can also compare over 550 master’s programs taught in English and/or German, and English-taught bachelor’s programs.

This article was originally published in December 2014 . It was last updated in February 2021

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Written by

Tiina comes from Finland and currently lives in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She works in research and PR at StudyPortals. Before moving to the Netherlands, Tiina lived in Germany and in Italy. In her free time she enjoys baking cakes and doing all kind of sports. 

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