Top 11 Austrian Universities for International Students in 2021

Feb 23, 2020Get Started, Study Abroad, Study in Austria

Austria is a popular destination not only for tourists but also for students. Apart from 40 million visitors each year, who come to see the natural beauty and heritage of Austria, thousands of foreigners arrive to pursue their degree. You are lucky to have a chance to live and study in the place where other people come to spend their holidays.

All 67 Austrian universities undoubtedly deserve your attention, but which will suit an international student the best? Whatever it’s a half a year Erasmus exchange or full degree program you don’t want to regret your choice.

Read in this article about the top 11 Austrian Universities for international students regarding location, university facility, internationality, offered courses and more.

For more information on the best cities to live in Austria read my GUIDE here.

1. University of Vienna

Of course, it can not be different, the University of Vienna is by war the best and well known Austrian university. It also appears first in international rankings among other institutions from the same country (currently place 154).

It can be considered to be 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 in Europe.

With 9,600 employees University of Vienna Austria’s largest research and education institution. If you are aiming for research work, this place will fulfill your needs completely.

Student numbers are impressive, about 94,000 national and international students are currently enrolled at Vienna’s University, which is almost 4 times more than in Oxford.

With more than 178 courses University offers the most diverse and largest range of degree programs in Austria. You can study almost everything you can think of. Some of the most unique courses are offered by this institution.

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

To be able to study at University of Vienna you will need to speak German at least on level B2, unfortunately, it relates to Bachelor and Master degree.

Faculties

Just have a look have many faculties it has, I won’t even mention the whole list of majors they have because it’s insane.

  • 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 biggest advantage you get if studying at the University of Vienna is, of course, the city! Vienna is an amazing place to live and was recognized as the best liveable city in the world 10 times in the row and for the six-time for quality of living. 

Another key factor is the availability of various courses, the cost of education and research opportunities. By the way, the costs of education are equivalent zero for EU/EEA nationalities and 726.72 EUR per semester for citizens of other countries.

In the whole of Austria, you won’t probably find a more international university than this. Currently, almost 22,000 non-Austrian students enrolled at the University of Vienna. Moreover, every year, around 2,700 students complete an Erasmus semester abroad and University welcomes just as many incomings every year.

Vienna located in the heart of Europe and provides a favorable hub to visit other world cities for interesting weekend trips: 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 after this one above. The university was founded in 1585, nowadays has around 30,000 students including 4,000 international.

More than 120 programs across 8 faculties are offered today. Courses at Graz are taught mainly in German and students are expected to have a level of proficiency in the language.

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

Faculties

The University of Graz also has various faculties which must be enough for the overall applicant.

  • Arts & humanities
  • Physical sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Business & economics
  • Law

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 absolutely 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 even 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 yourself an in a fairytale while walking there.

3. University of Innsbruck

Do you dream of studying architecture, mathematics or sports science and be surrounded by stunning mountains? Also to study humanities, medicine, teaching is possible at University of Innsbruck.

City Innsbruck situated in the region of Tyrol which is the wonderfully mountainous federal state, it’s known as the capital of winter sports. Due to the fantastic location and attractive nature, more and more students prefer Innsbruck to a big city like Vienna or Graz for their studies.

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 the first moment under a metropolis, it is certainly not a cheap place. It considered to be one of the most expensive places in Austria, due to its popularity for sightseeing and sports tourism.

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 

Most popular courses are:

  1. Law
  2. Mathematics
  3. Computer Science
  4. Physics
  5. Languages Science: English / American, German and Literature
  6. Psychology
  7. Sports Science

Highlights

The University of Innsbruck is one of the biggest in Austria and a well-qualified one. With more than 30,000 students it has 5,000 employees. There are almost the same amount of female and male students, so you won’t feel unequal.

Innsbruck is also very popular for international students, currently, there are 11.410 foreign students enrolled at the University of Innsbruck. In terms of costs, the University of Innsbruck has tuition fees, students from EU/EEA countries will need to pay 363.36 EUR per semester, non-European – 726.72 EUR per semester.

As you already know Innsbruck is popular for winter sports, but also in summer city and mountains bustling with tourists. With that said while studying in Innsbruck, you have the best opportunities to explore mountains, enjoy skiing or snowboarding.

I visited this city many times and absolutely loved it, especially in the summer. There is nothing better than hiking in the nearest mountains and finish the day with the glass of beer in one of the alpine restaurants with the gorgeous view.

4. University of Linz

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

Linz itself 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

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 definitely the best courses to take if you decide to study there. By the way, originally the University of Linz was established as the “College of Social Sciences, Economics and Business”. So you got the point.

This University has much fewer faculties than mentioned previously nevertheless, it offers courses for 20,000 local and international students.

Highlights

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

The city has of the strongest economy in Europe (no problem with funding the job) and offers its residents a rich cultural, leisure – and sports offer, with many museums, galleries, theatres and music events.

The nightlife in Linz is also attractive for many students, the old town is the right location for every occasion.

The University of Linz doesn’t require European students to pay tuition fees, Non-EU/EEA students will need to contribute 726.72 EUR each semester.

5. University of Salzburg

The University of Salzburg was founded in 1962 and named after the Prince Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (sounds very elegant btw).

It is the smallest University so far on our list but still, students can choose between 4 faculties and 115 study programs. Luckily, it has a very good location, therefore while studying in Salzburg you will be the heart of the beautiful Old Town.

Due to its wonderful scenery and historical importance (the old town is a Unesco Heritage Site), Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and for this reason, frequently visited by tourists from all over the world.

With a population of 150,000 people, it is a quiet and relaxed place to live. City situated very close to Germany and a trip to Munich takes under 1,5 hours. You can enjoy the peaceful life of a small student city under the week and visit cosmopolitan Munich on the weekends.

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 Program in Europe. This can’t say more for its internationality and appealing.

Outdoors and going out for a beer are the favorite things of locals and internationals. No matter in which direction you go you will be just in a few minutes by bike or bus in nature. From the beautiful parks, forests, rivers to neighboring mountains Salzburg has it all.

An old town filled with bars and cafes so you can relax with one of the best (and tastiest) beer in Austria. Do you know actually why beer in Salzburg tastes better as anywhere else in the country? I think that the reason for this might be the proximity of Munich.

All students have to pay tuition fees at University of Salzburg, the amount for European nationalities is 363.36 EUR and 726.72 EUR for third countries students.

6. University of Economics and Business Vienna – WU

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

Nowadays it is a very 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 last trends and with the best technologies.

Faculties

WU focusses 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 on these 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

In comparison to the other universities, WU offers English master programs:

  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 have achieved big goals in their life, especially in terms of business. This can tell us about the quality of courses and their relevance to the real world. Here are some graduated and their success:

  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 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 beauty of study in Vienna: high quality of life (highest in the world!), modern and hip city vibe, gorgeous architecture and perfect location.

Students have to pay tuition fees at WU, 363.36 EUR for European nationalities and 726.72 EUR for third countries students.

7. MCI Management Center Innsbruck

First private university or business school exactly on our list, founded in 1995/96 its a relatively new place to get your business degree. Hence you can expect the latest methods and technologies which 1,250 staff members are using to teach their 3,400 students.

MCI stands for internationality, academic quality, practice orientation, innovation, close cooperation with industry, solution-oriented research and development, first-class infrastructure, a high level of customer and service orientation, and international renown.

MCI – Management Center Innsbruck

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

Faculties

Although MCI is a business school, faculties are very diverse and cover almost all areas of today’s economy.

  • 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 Innsbruck. I already mentioned all the beauty of studying in this city above in this post.

Students have to pay tuition fees at WU, 363.36 EUR for European nationalities and 726.72 EUR for third countries students.

8. MODUL University Vienna

MODUL University Vienna is a private university which focuses on internationality, therefore you can take various English courses either for bachelor and master degree. Currently, 510 students from 70 countries pursuing their education at the Modul University in the Austrian capital.

It even considered as Austria’s leading international private university and is ranked in the world’s 25 top-performing universities in top-cited publications. 

Faculties

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

Tuition fees is a must at MODUL University Vienna and they don’t depend on the nationality of students which is normally the case. For a Bachelor degree you will need to pay 6,166 EUR and for Master is 4,750 EUR per semester.

Highlights

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

There are close to 190,000 students in Vienna – even more than major German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. You will be surrounded by likeminded people in the city full of actions, events, parties, concerts, art galleries. Doesn’t it sound good?

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 gives an opportunity to pursue a world-renowned American education in Austria that is accredited both in the U.S. 

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 completing their Bachelor and Master programs. Only around 20% of them come from Austria.

Since Webster is a private university and also an American institution students have to pay serious tuition fees. It includes Annual fee EUR 20,900 EUR for Fall and Spring semesters, Graduation fee 100 EUR, late registration fee 100 EUR per semester/term, ID card replacement fee 30 EUR, locker key 35 EUR. Total cost for start: 21,165 EUR.

Highlights

Webster University wants to provide individual education for each student, so small class sizes give each student a personalized experience. It is one of the few places in Austria where can be pursued 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 be a transfer student. Webster University has campuses in Shanghai, Geneva, Bangkok, the Netherlands, Greece, London, Ghana and of course the USA.

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

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 University 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 so has a very familiar atmosphere. Due to its young age, University has a modern campus, multimedia-equipped seminar rooms, high – quality laboratories, computer pools, 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:

  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 the future employees for local Austrian businesses which are btw are world leaders or among world leaders in their areas.

The region Vorarlberg is the home for many very successful companies since the economy is thriving here. Reason for this its strategic location – on the border with 3 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, the average salary is almost 2 times higher than in Austria and income taxes are reasonably low.

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

11. University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt

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 offered in German or English at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt. 380 professors teaching in total 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 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 both 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 specialty of the courses they offer.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend you to look after this college. I had been there for admission examination when a few years ago I applied for Sport Management.

And I could observe its modernity, last technologies, and engagement of the staff. The University is easily accessible from Vienna, so you can live in the big city and study in small.

However, if you are ok to live in a small town, Wiener Neustadt will surprise you with affordable housing. You will pay around 200-300 EUR for the room when in meanwhile rent in student city will cost you between 400-600 EUR.

Also, I want to mention small tutorial fees, when usually international students have to pay two times more for the semester.

For more information on the best cities to live in Austria read my GUIDE here.

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