Discover the Heart of Europe: 11 Reasons to Study in Austria

If you’re looking for a study abroad destination that will challenge and inspire you, this mountainous country landlocked in central Europe should be on your radar. Austria is a country that provides a unique blend of cultural, educational, and career opportunities that few other nations can match.

Here are 10 great reasons to pursue higher education in Austria.

1) Rich Cultural Heritage 

Austria is known for its cultural and artistic contributions to the world, including classical music, opera, and architecture. As the birthplace of some of the most famous classical composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn, Austria is a hub of musical excellence. The country has a long art tradition, and it’s capital city of Vienna is home to numerous museums, galleries and art collections.

2) Central Significance in Europe

Austria has played a significant role in European historical and political movements throughout its rich history. The Habsburg dynasty, dating back to the 11th Century, was one of the most influential European dynasties, ruling over much of Central Europe, including Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, for over six centuries. The Habsburg dynasty officially came to an end in 1918, following the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, but it has left a lasting impact on European history, culture and politics. Moreover, Austria’s central location in Europe makes it a great base for traveling to other European countries such as Slovenia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, where students can experience different flavors of cultural traditions.

St. Michael Wing of Hofburg. The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty.

3) Art & Music Immersion   

Studying in Austria offers you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant art and music scene, which can inspire and motivate your studies. Not only is it an excellent choice for pursuing fields such as composition, art history, and the visual arts, but it’s also a great place to study high-tech fields such as biomedicine and robotics. Exposure to world-class music and art can broaden one’s horizons, enhance creativity and improve collaborative skills. Performing and visual arts provide opportunities for experimentation, exploration, and self-expression, performing and visual arts, making them beneficial areas for thinking out of the box and building something new and innovative. 

“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt, one of the many influential artists from Austria.

4) Multicultural Environment

Austria is a multilingual country where you will hear several languages being spoken, including German, Croatian, Hungarian, and Slovenian. Its long history of immigration, particularly from neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Italy, has contributed to the country’s diversity from cuisine to fashion. In recent years, Austria has experienced a significant increase in immigration from countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria. Additionally, the influx of Asian immigrants from India and China has left a substantial cultural impact on Austrian society, bringing new opportunities for Austria to foster multiculturalism.  

5) Inclusive Accessibility in Education 

Austria’s emphasis on teaching art and music in its schools makes it an ideal destination for students who wish to develop their skills in these areas. Furthermore, Austria has a high commitment to social justice and equity, and it strives to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to higher education. This inclusive education model provides extensive support for students with disabilities and those from minority backgrounds, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

6) Strong Emphasis on Critical Thinking

Austria has a rich and longstanding tradition of intellectual history, from the Vienna Circle to Freudian psychoanalysis, characterized by its commitment to intellectual rigor, innovation and creativity. Universities in Austria prioritize the development of critical thinking, transferable skills, and independent learning. Professors in Austria prefer to use small seminars that emphasize open discussions, individual presentations, debates, and case studies. The typical class is relatively small in size, which enables professors to pay close attention to each student. First-year curriculums are designed to be comprehensive and well-rounded, providing students with a strong basis in their chosen field of study. Additionally, students are encouraged to explore subjects beyond their major, fostering interdisciplinary learning exposes them to diverse perspectives and life-worlds. 

7) Exceptional Academic and Research Standards 

Austria’s is home to several well-known universities, such as the University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck, Vienna University of Technology, The Technical University of Graz, and the University of Salzburg, which are widely recognized for their academic and research excellence. These universities offer a wide range of degree programs, many of which are taught in English as well as in German, including courses in engineering, science, business, humanities, and the arts. The research is often funded by the government and private organizations, providing students with the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers and contribute to important discoveries.   

Photo: University of Vienna

8) Strong Economy 

Austria is known for having a stable and thriving economy, making it an attractive destination for pursuing university education. The country’s economy is robust and diversified, with a strong focus on innovation, technology and research. As a result, graduates from Austrian universities have a competitive advantage and excellent job prospects in the well-developed labor market. In fact, Austria’s has maintained relatively low unemployment rates throughout the years, a further testament to the country’s strong economy. 

9) High Standards of Living 

Austria has one of the highest standards of living in the world, boasting a strong welfare system, solid public transportation, and a comprehensive healthcare system. Pursuing your studies in Austria exposes you to a high quality of life, as well as work-life balance.

10) Affordable Tuition Fees 

Austria has affordable tuition fees for higher education, particularly compared to other Western or Nordic European countries. Austria has 22 public universities and 17 private universities, some with a history spanning centuries. The University of Vienna, founded in 1365, is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. Tuition fees vary depending on the course of study, with some courses even offering free tuition for students. Foreign students can expect to pay anywhere between 1,500 to 23,000 euros per year. Tuition fees for private universities are on a relatively higher scale, but can expect more responsive staff to meet your needs. Here is a partial list of international universities offering courses that range from psychology to music. 

Sigmund Freud University Vienna

Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg

Katholisch Privatuniversität Linz

Danube Private University

Anton Bruckner Private University for Music, Drama and Dance – Upper Austria

Get in touch with us if you would like more information or assistance in applying to these universities.

Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria - Photo of campus facilities
Photo: Sigmund Freud University Vienna

11) Outdoor Activities

Austria is an appealing destination for outdoor enthusiasts, being home to some of the most stunning skiing resorts tucked away in the mountains. Skiing resorts such as Alpbach, Zell am See, and Lech look like something out of a fairytale, and are certainly worth experiencing. Besides skiing, students can also enjoy ice-skating in front of the City Hall or jogging around the Stadtpark. In between classes, students can breathe in the fresh mountainous air all day long. 

Bad Gastein Ski Resort, Hohe Tauern National Park
Bad Gastein Ski Resort, Hohe Tauern National Park

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