Basic Information about Austria
Located in southern Central Europe, Austria is a naturally beautiful country with pastoral landscapes, stunning mountain vistas and timeless cities steeped in history and culture.
Austria is home to over 8 million people and shares its borders with both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The official language of Austria is German.
Austria's past as a European power and its cultural environment has spawned world class artists in various art forms but most notably music. Austria has been the birthplace of many famous composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss, and their works continue to inspire.
Austria's capital city of Vienna, also described as Europe’s cultural capital, ranks as one of the most attractive cities in the world and was recently ranked as the top city in Mercer’s Quality of Living survey rankings. This metropolitan city has a charm, vibrancy and flair that is unique and found no where else.
The Higher Education System
There is a wide variety of higher educational institutions in Austria. Sixteen Austrian universities offer a broad range of study options for students. If you would like to study music, theatre, film, fine arts or applied arts, the six Austrian Universities of the Arts offer their students a creative education. Since 1993, Austria also has 246 Fachhochschul-Studiengänge (degree programmes) in addition to the universities. www.fachhochschulen.at
There are also Private Universities. The post-secondary sector also includes Teacher Training Colleges and Institutes, Colleges and Institutes for Training Religious Teachers, etc.
University level first stage (Bachelor's degree):
Bakkalaureus, Bakkalaureus (FH)
University level second stage (Master's degree):
Magister, Magister (FH), Diplom-Ingenieur, Diplom-Ingenieur (FH)
University level third stage (PhD):
You can find more information on the Austrian education system (e.g. Universities’ and Fachhochschulen’ websites, and Austria’s participation in European and International Exchange Programmes) on the websites of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research www.bmwf.gv.at (the information is only available in German).
The Austrian government, private institutions and Universities offer a number of scholarships for students. Just as in some other countries, a special agency – the Austrian Exchange Service [Österreichischer Austauschdienst (ÖAD)] – was established to manage all grants for foreign students. If you are interested in studying in Austria and if you are looking for financial support, we strongly recommend that you visit this organisation’s website www.oead.ac.at where you will find all the information on available scholarships (section Study & Research in Austria – Grants Database www.oead.at). The aim of this database is to make it easier for those interested in studying in Austria as well as those providing advice in information centres to find details of existing grant programmes and to guarantee that the information about these programmes is always up to date.