Top 11 Austrian Universities for International Students [2022]

Austria is a popular destination not only for tourists but also for international students. Besides 40 million visitors each year, who come to see Austria’s natural beauty and heritage, thousands of foreigners arrive to study at Austrian universities. You are lucky to have a chance to live and study in a place where other people come to spend their holidays.

Austria has 22 traditional universities, which are divided into general colleges, and technical, business and art schools. There are also 21 Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) and 17 private universities.

In this article, we have selected the top 11 Austrian universities for international students regarding location, university facility, internationality, offered courses, and more.

Also read our article about the best cities for studies and work in Austria.

1. University of Vienna

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The University of Vienna is the best and well known Austrian university. It also appears first in international rankings among other institutions in Austria (currently in position 154).

The University of Vienna can be considered a museum since it was founded in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world, as well as one of the oldest and largest institutions in Europe.

With 9,600 employees, the University of Vienna is Austria’s largest research and education institution. If research is your goal, this is the best place.

The number of students is also the highest in the country. Approximately 94,000 Austrian and international students are currently enrolled at Vienna University, which is almost four times more than at Oxford.

With more than 178 courses, this university offers the most diverse and largest range of degree programs in Austria. You can study some of the most unique courses.

Located just in the heart of the historical city of Vienna, you will be right in the epicenter of action and surrounded by beautiful architectural masterpieces.

To study at the University of Vienna, you must speak German at least on level B2. It applies to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Faculties

Here are the main areas of study the University of Vienna offers:

  • Business, Economics, and Statistics
  • Catholic Theology
  • Protestant Theology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Earth Sciences, Geography, and Astronomy
  • Historical and Cultural Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Law
  • LifeSciences
  • Philological and Cultural Studies
  • Philosophy and Education
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Molecular Biology
  • Sports Science and University Sports
  • Teacher Education

Highlights

The main advantage of studying at the University of Vienna is indeed the city. Vienna is a fantastic place to live and was recognized as the best liveable city in the world 10 times in a row.

Other key factors are the availability of various courses, the cost of education, and research opportunities. The education is free for EU/EEA nationals and costs 726.72 EUR per semester for citizens of other countries.

You probably won’t find a more international university than the University of Vienna in entire Austria. Currently, almost 22,000 non-Austrian students are enrolled at the University of Vienna. Moreover, around 2,700 students come to Vienna every year for an Erasmus semester.

Finally, Vienna is located in the heart of Europe and serves as a hub to visit other cities, including Prague, Rome, Venice, Paris, Zurich, and many more!

2. University of Graz

The University of Graz is the largest and oldest university in the region Styria, as well as the second-largest and second-oldest university in Austria. This university was founded in 1585. Today around 30,000 students, including 4,000 international, are studying there.

The university offers more than 120 programs across 8 faculties. Courses at Graz are taught mainly in German, and students are expected to have a level of proficiency in this language.

The city of Graz, with a population of 400,000, is known as a student city and is located in the south of Austria, close to borders with Hungary and Slovenia. Therefore, students can enjoy weekend trips in neighboring Eastern European countries.

Faculties

The University of Graz also has various faculties, including:

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Physical sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Business & Economics
  • Law

Some of the most popular courses are:

  1. History, Philosophy & Theology
  2. Psychology
  3. Chemistry
  4. Languages, Literature & Linguistics
  5. Business & Management

Highlights

The degree program at the University of Graz is free for EU/EEA students; citizens of Non-EU/EEA countries have to pay 726,72 EUR per semester.

Graz is a very well-sized bicycle-friendly city, so you don’t need a car or public transportation; you can either walk or ride a bike to your destination. The old town of Graz is the UNESCO heritage; you will feel as in a fairytale while walking there.

3. University of Innsbruck

Image to study architecture, mathematics, or sports science and be surrounded by stunning mountains? Moreover, many humanities, medicine, and teaching subjects are available at the University of Innsbruck.

City Innsbruck is situated in the Tyrol region, a beautiful federal state with plenty of mountains. It’s known as the capital of winter sports. Due to the fantastic location and attractive nature, more and more students prefer Innsbruck to large cities like Vienna or Graz.

Nevertheless, it is a student city with over 30,000 students only at the University of Innsbruck. The total population is 150,000 inhabitants.

Although Innsbruck is not exactly what one imagines at first moment under a metropolis, it is certainly not a cheap place. It’s considered one of the most expensive cities in Austria due to its popularity among tourists.

Faculties

  • Architecture
  • Biology
  • Business and Management 
  • Catholic Theology
  • Chemistry and Pharmacy
  • Economics and Statistics
  • Educational Sciences
  • Engineering Sciences 
  • Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Language, Literature, and Culture
  • Law
  • Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics
  • Philosophy and History
  • Psychology and Sport Science
  • Social and Political Sciences
  • Teacher Education 

The most popular courses are:

  1. Law
  2. Mathematics
  3. Computer Science
  4. Physics
  5. Language Science
  6. Psychology
  7. Sports Science

Highlights

The University of Innsbruck is one of the largest in Austria, with more than 30,000 students and 5,000 employees.

Innsbruck is also very popular with international students; currently, there are 11,410 international students enrolled at the University of Innsbruck. In terms of costs, the University of Innsbruck has tuition fees. Students from EU/EEA countries pay 363.36 EUR per semester, while non-Europeans contribute 726.72 EUR per semester.

Innsbruck is very popular for winter sports; winters and summers are bustling with tourists. That said, you can enjoy some of the best ski resorts in the country. If you like any outdoors, even hiking, this is a place to be.

4. University of Linz

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Founded in 1966, The University of Linz, also known as Johannes Kepler University Linz, is the biggest higher education institution in Linz and the entire Upper Austria region. The city is famous for its baroque buildings and a medieval old town.

Linz is a city in Upper Austria, straddling the Danube River midway between Salzburg and Vienna. Located only 30 km from the Czech border, traveling to the eastern European counties never had been so easy.

Therefore, you can do your shopping (for a more affordable price) or drink an amazing Czech beer just after half an hour’s drive.

Faculties

  • Engineering and Natural Sciences
  • Business and Social Studies
  • Law
  • Medicine

The most popular courses are:

  1. Business
  2. Law
  3. Social Economy
  4. Sociology

The Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics, and Business is the oldest and largest faculty in terms of students and graduates. These are the best courses to take if you decide to study there.

Initially, the University of Linz was established as the “College of Social Sciences, Economics and Business.”

This university has much fewer faculties than the institutions mentioned previously; nevertheless, it offers high-quality education for 20,000 local and international students.

Highlights

With a population of 200,000 people, Linz is the third largest city in Austria.

The city is strong economically, so you won’t have problems finding a job. Moreover, it offers rich cultural programs and everything you need for leisure, including sports, museums, galleries, theatres, and music events.

The nightlife in Linz is also attractive for many students; most clubs are bars are located in the old town.

Studying at the University of Linz is free for European students, while citizens of non-EU/EEA countries must contribute 726.72 EUR per semester.

5. University of Salzburg

The University of Salzburg was founded in 1962 and named after the Prince Paris Lodron University of Salzburg.

Students can choose between 4 faculties and 115 study programs. The university also has a very central location. Therefore, while studying in Salzburg, you will be in the heart of the beautiful Salzburg’s Old Town.

Due to its natural scenery and historical importance (the Old Town is a Unesco Heritage Site), Salzburg is one of the most stunning cities in the world and, for this reason, is frequently visited by tourists.

Nonetheless, with a population of 150,000 people, Salzburg is a quiet place to live. The city is situated very close to Germany, and a trip to Munich takes less than 1,5 hours.

Faculties

  • Catholic Theology
  • Law
  • Cultural and Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences

Despite a few faculties, the University of Salzburg has around 18,000 students and 2,800 employees.

Highlights

In 2013, the University of Salzburg was recognized as the most popular and attractive university in Austria for Erasmus students. In fact, it is one of the 10 most popular universities for an Erasmus exchange in Europe.

The old town of Salzburg is filled with bars and cafes so you can relax with one of the best (and tastiest) beers in Austria.

All students must pay tuition fees to study at the University of Salzburg. A tuition fee for European citizens is 363.36 EUR and 726.72 EUR for students from non-EU countries.

6. University of Economics and Business Vienna – WU

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The University of Economics and Business Vienna – WU Vienna was founded in 1898 and is the largest University of Economics in Europe, with more than 22,000 students and 2,000 employees.

Today, it’s an innovative university with cutting-edge teaching methods. Even the architecture of all 5 campuses is saying all for itself, exterior and interior were designed accordingly to the latest trends and with the best technologies.

Faculties

WU focuses strongly on economies and so its faculties. If the economy and business are your areas of interest, WU University is the best place in Europe to study and do research in the following subjects:

  • Economics
  • Finance, Accounting and Statistics
  • Foreign Language Business Communication
  • Global Business and Trade
  • Information Systems and Operations
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Private Law
  • Public Law and Tax Law
  • Socioeconomics
  • Strategy and Innovation

Compared to other universities, WU offers English Master’s programs in the following areas:

  1. Economics
  2. Information Systems
  3. International Management/CEMS
  4. Marketing
  5. Quantitative Finance
  6. Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy
  7. Supply Chain Management

Highlights

Many graduates of the University of Economics and Business in Vienna reach high goals in life, especially in terms of business. Here are some well-known graduates of WU and their achievements:

  1. Hikmet Ersek: CEO Western Union
  2. Martin Huber: Former general Director of ÖBB Holding
  3. Dietrich Mateschitz: CEO Red Bull
  4. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe: Chairman/CEO of Nestlé
  5. Walter Rothensteiner: CEO Raiffeisen Bank 
  6. Peter Löscher former: CEO Siemens
  7. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer: CEO GoAir – Indian airline
  8. Wolfgang Porsche: Chairman of Porsche AG, Porsche SE, and Volkswagen AG

Don’t forget all the benefits of studying in Vienna, such as the high quality of life (the highest in the world), modern and young city vibe, gorgeous architecture, and perfect location.

Students of European nationalities must pay tuition fees of 363.36 EUR per semester. Non-EU nationals pay 726.72 EUR/semester.

7. MCI Management Center Innsbruck

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MCI is the first private university or business school on our list; founded in 1995/96; it’s a relatively new institution. Therefore, you can expect the latest methods and technologies that 1,250 staff members use to teach their 3,400 students.

MCI stands for:

  • internationalism
  • academic quality
  • practice orientation
  • innovation
  • close relations with industries
  • solution-oriented research and development
  • first-class infrastructure
  • high level of customer service for students

MCI offers popular business-related degrees with high practice relevance. 11 out of 25 programs can be studied entirely in English. Students can complete one or more semesters at one of the 276 partner universities worldwide.

Faculties

Although MCI is a business school, its faculties are very diverse and cover almost all areas of today’s economy; among others are:

  • Biotechnology
  • Business Administration
  • Online Business Management
  • Digital Business & Software Engineering
  • Environmental, Prozess & Energy Engineering
  • Food Technology & Nutrition Industrial
  • Engineering & Management
  • Management & Communication & IT
  • Management & Law
  • Mechatronics & Medical Technologies
  • Nonprofit, Social % Health Care Management
  • Social Work
  • Tourism & Leisure Business

Highlights

Apart from the top-notch education, you will get a chance to live in the stunning city of Innsbruck.

When it comes to prices, European students at MCI pay tuition fees of 363.36 EUR per semester, and none-European contribute 726.72 EUR/per semester.

8. MODUL University Vienna

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MODUL University Vienna is a private university that mainly focuses on international students. Therefore, you can take various courses taught in English for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Currently, 510 students from 70 countries are studying at the Modul University in Vienna.

It’s even considered Austria’s leading international private university and ranked among the world’s 25 top-performing universities.

Faculties

Founded in 1908 as a tourism school with the time it transformed into a business school. Nowadays, the university offers degrees in the areas of international management, new media technology, public governance, sustainable development, and tourism and hospitality management.

Tuition fees are a must at MODUL University Vienna and don’t depend on students’ nationality. For a bachelor’s degree, you will need to pay 6,166 EUR, and for a master’s, it’s 4,750 EUR per semester.

Highlights

Studying in Vienna, Austria it’s a highlight already, and additionally, pursuing a degree in one of the best schools in Europe will give you the student life you want.

There are nearly 190,000 students in Vienna – even more than in major German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. You will be surrounded by like-minded people in a town full of activities, events, parties, concerts, and art galleries.

9. Webster Vienna Private University

Webster Vienna Private University was established in 1981 and is located in the beautiful Palais Wenkheim. Webster is also known for international diversity, with students from over 70 countries.

It allows pursuing a world-renowned American education in Austria accredited both in the US and in Austria. 

The main campus in St. Louis, USA, was founded in 1915, and it promotes critical thinking while encouraging intercultural understanding.

Faculties

Webster University is an American branch. Therefore, teaching happens in English. The main faculties are:

  • Business and Management
  • International Relations
  • Media Communications
  • Psychology
  • Center for Liberal Arts

And here you can see all undergraduate and postgraduate courses Webster has to offer:

  1. Business Administration
  2. Management
  3. International Business
  4. International Relations
  5. Psychology
  6. Media Communications
  7. International Relations (MA)
  8. Counseling Psychology (MA)
  9. Finance (MSc)
  10. Marketing (MSc) or MBA

Currently, around 500 students are completing their bachelor’s and master’s programs at Webster. Only about 20% of them are from Austria.

Since Webster is a private university and also an American institution, students have to pay high tuition fees.

It includes an annual fee of 20,900 EUR for the Fall and Spring semesters, a graduation fee of 100 EUR, a late registration fee of 100 EUR per semester/term, an ID card replacement fee of 30 EUR, and a locker key of 35 EUR. Total cost for a start: 21,165 EUR.

Highlights

Webster University provides individual education for each student with small class sizes giving each student a personalized experience. It is one of the few places in Austria where you can pursue an MBA degree.

The most unique feature of this university is that admission to one campus means admission to the Webster Worldwide network. So students can travel and study abroad or do an exchange program. Webster University has campuses in Shanghai, Geneva, Bangkok, the Netherlands, Greece, London, Ghana, and the US.

Webster is a unique place allowing you to pursue a high-quality American degree outside the US.

10. University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg

University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg shortly FH Vorarlberg is the first University of Applied Sciences in our list. Founded in 1989, it is one of the leading Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences.

About 1,300 students (including me) are currently enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the areas of Business, Engineering, Design, and Social Work.

FH Vorarlberg is a relatively small university (1,500 students) and has a very familiar atmosphere. Due to its young age, the university has a modern campus, multimedia-equipped seminar rooms, high-quality laboratories, computer pools, and photo and recording studios.

Faculties

University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg has four faculties:

  • Business
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Design
  • Social Work and Health

A comprehensive list of degree courses at FH Vorarlberg includes:

  1. Business Administration
    • International Business (BA)
      • Accounting, Controlling & Finance (MA)
      • Business Process Management (MA)
      • Human Resources & Organisation (MA)
      • International Marketing & Sales (MA)
      • International Management and Leadership (MA)
  2. Engineering & Technology
    • Engineering and Management (BSc)
    • Electrical Engineering Dual (BSc)
    • Computer Science (BSc)
    • Informatik – Digital Innovation (BSc)
    • Mechatronics (BSc)
    • Mechanical Engineering (BSc)
      • Energy Technology & Energy Economics (MSc)
      • Computer Science (MSc)
      • Mechatronics (MSc)
  3. Design
    • InterMedia (BA)
      • InterMedia (MA)
  4. Social Work & Health
    • Social Work (BA)
      • Social Work (MA)

Highlights

FH Vorarlberg prepares future employees for local Austrian businesses, which are among world leaders in their areas.

The region of Vorarlberg is home to many very successful companies since the economy is thriving here. This is because of its strategic location – on the border with three prosperous countries: Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Germany.

Consequently, graduates of the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg can choose in which country they would like to work. Many prefer Switzerland and Lichtenstein, with the average salary almost two times higher than in Austria, and reasonably low income taxes.

The best thing about studying at FH Voralberg is courses are free of charge. Both national and international students can pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for free.

11. University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt

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University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, founded in 1994, is the youngest university on our list. The main campus is in Wiener Neustadt (Vienna Newcity), which is under a half an hour train ride from Vienna central train station.

Today 37 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs are offered in German or English at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt. Three hundred eighty professors teach a total of 4,000 students in the following fields: technology, economy, health, sports, and safety.

Over 80 nationalities are currently studying at University in Wiener Neustadt; it also has more than 100 partners abroad so that you can do an exchange semester during your studies.

Faculties

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Health
  • Sports
  • Safety

Here are some English degree programs:

  • Business Consultancy International BA
  • Business Consultancy International MA
  • Aerospace Engineering MSc
  • MedTech MSc
  • Industrial Engineering MSc

Tuition fees of 363.36 EUR per semester are obligatory for national and international students.

Highlights

The University of Wiener Neustadt is still a comparatively new university that doesn’t get enough attention from international students. It might be because of its location or the courses they offer.

However, the university has it all – modern building and equipment, the latest technologies, and the engagement of the staff. The university is easily accessible from Vienna, so that you can live in a large city and study in a small one.

However, you can benefit from affordable housing when living in Wiener Neustadt. There, you will pay around 300 EUR for the room, while renting in Vienna will cost you between 500-600 EUR.

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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