Study abroad for a semester in


Austria, located in the heart of Europe, is a country where history, culture, and natural beauty converge. As an international student, you will find a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment in Austria’s vibrant cities and serene countryside. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Vienna, skiing in the Austrian Alps, or enjoying the musical legacy of Salzburg, studying in Austria promises a unique and enriching experience. The country’s universities are renowned for their academic rigor and innovative research, providing an ideal setting for students to pursue their educational goals.

Austria is best known for

Historical and Cultural Richness 🏰: Austria is steeped in history, from the imperial grandeur of Vienna to the medieval charm of Salzburg and Innsbruck, offering a rich tapestry of culture and heritage.

Breathtaking Landscapes 🌄: Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria boasts stunning alpine scenery, picturesque lakes, and lush green valleys, making it a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

High Quality of Life 🌟: Known for its excellent public services, safety, and overall standard of living, Austria is one of the best places to live and study in Europe.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Starting your educational journey in Austria involves obtaining the appropriate visa and health insurance. These essential steps ensure compliance with legal requirements and access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are crucial for a smooth and secure study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Residence Permit – Student (Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Student): Required for non-EU/EEA students enrolling in programs longer than six months.
  • Visa D: For non-EU/EEA students attending courses or programs lasting between three to six months.
  • Short-Term Visa (Visa C): For students from non-EU/EEA countries attending courses or programs lasting less than three months.
  • No Visa Required: EU/EEA students do not require a visa but must register with the local authorities upon arrival.

Application Process

  1. Apply to Austrian Institutions: Gain acceptance to an accredited institution in Austria.
  2. Receive Letter of Acceptance: Your institution will provide you with a Letter of Acceptance, which is required for your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents including your passport, Letter of Acceptance, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Visa Application: Fill out the visa application form at the Austrian consulate or embassy in your home country.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee for the student visa.
  6. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  7. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Letter of Acceptance from an Austrian university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (approximately EUR 1,000 per month).
  • Passport: Valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Austria.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and submitted at the consulate or embassy.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Austria. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • Public Health Insurance (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse – ÖGK): Offered by the Austrian government, providing comprehensive coverage for all residents, including students.
    • Cost: Approximately EUR 60 per month for students.
    • Advantages: Extensive coverage for medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Services are often limited to public healthcare facilities, which may have longer waiting times.
  • University-Sponsored Health Insurance: Many universities offer additional health insurance plans for their students.
    • Cost: Varies by university, typically between EUR 100 and EUR 300 per year.
    • Advantages: Convenient enrollment and comprehensive coverage.
    • Limitations: Coverage may be limited to university-affiliated hospitals and clinics.
  • Private Health Insurance: Some students opt for private health insurance to supplement public coverage.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. Mondassur offers competitive and comprehensive plans.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than relying solely on public or university insurance.

Country-Specific Requirements

ÖGK Registration: Upon arrival in Austria, students must register for public health insurance at their local ÖGK office. This registration is crucial for receiving comprehensive healthcare coverage.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Austrian authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with Mondassur with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Austria.

Choose Mondassur

Mondassur is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Austria

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Austria?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Austria. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Provides comprehensive information for foreigners looking to study in Austria, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in Austria.
Study in Austria: Offers detailed information on studying in Austria, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Understanding the cost of living in Austria is essential for budgeting and financial planning. Austria offers a high standard of living, with expenses varying depending on the city and lifestyle. While cities like Vienna may be more expensive, smaller towns offer a more affordable option without compromising on quality of life.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies based on location and type of housing.
EUR 450 – EUR 1,200/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
EUR 250 – EUR 500/month
Transportation: Getting around Austria is convenient and affordable.
EUR 30 – EUR 100/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
EUR 50 – EUR 100/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying Austria’s vibrant culture and social life.
EUR 50 – EUR 250/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
EUR 50 – EUR 150/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. Austria offers diverse housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from student dormitories to shared apartments and homestays.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Studentenheime): Typically provided by universities, offering convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: EUR 200 – EUR 400/month
Shared Apartments (Wohngemeinschaften – WGs): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: EUR 300 – EUR 600/month
Private Apartments (Einzelwohnungen): Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: EUR 500 – EUR 1,200/month
Homestays (Gastfamilien): Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: EUR 300 – EUR 700/month
Guesthouses (Pensionen): These are similar to hostels but often cater to a more international crowd.
Price: EUR 200 – EUR 500/month

Find accommodation in Austria

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Initiate your search well ahead of time to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: When planning for accommodation costs, remember to include utilities and internet.
Consider Location: Choose accommodations close to your university, public transportation, and local amenities.
Use Reliable Platforms: Book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The options on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, offering you greater peace of mind.

4. University Information 🎓

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. Austria is home to a diverse range of universities, providing a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Find universities in Austria

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


Austria’s transportation network is extensive and efficient, making it easy to explore the country.

Public Transportation 🚆: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses, trams, and metro lines. Monthly passes range from EUR 30 to EUR 60, with student discounts often available. Vienna’s Wiener Linien offers extensive coverage of the city.

Bicycles 🚴: Many Austrian cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Biking is a cost-effective and healthy way to navigate urban areas.

Long-Distance Travel 🚐: Austria’s intercity train system, operated by ÖBB, connects major cities and towns. For longer distances, domestic flights are available and relatively affordable.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes. For intercity travel, booking train or flight tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Austria offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include Erste Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, and Bank Austria.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, and a local address.

Currency 💶: The currency in Austria is the Euro (EUR). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Austrian society.

Punctuality ⏰: Punctuality is highly valued in Austria. Arriving on time for classes, meetings, and social events is expected.

Greetings 🤝: A common greeting in Austria includes a firm handshake, often accompanied by a smile. In more casual settings, a friendly “Grüß Gott” or “Servus” is appropriate.

Mealtimes 🍽️: Austrian mealtimes are usually social events, with lunch around 12-1 PM and dinner around 6-8 PM. Sharing food and hospitality is common, and tipping (usually 10%) is appreciated in restaurants.

Public Behavior 🤫: Austrians value politeness and respect in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially on public transportation and in residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

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We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.