Study in Vienna: a guide for international students
Which university to choose, where to study, and what things to do as a student — this guide covers everything you need to know before moving to Vienna.
Vienna conjures up images of elegant coffee houses, imperial architecture, classical music, and fancy balls. As a student, all that sophisticated culture might feel a little daunting. But, one of the best things about living in Vienna, Austria is its affordability for students and the fact that it has been named one of the cities with the highest quality of life.
Home to a staggering 21 universities, almost 10% of Vienna’s population are students, meaning you’ll automatically feel at home. However, what many students really love about Vienna is that you get all the perks of a big city with the charm and feel of a smaller one. And with easy access to nature and the rest of Europe, there are so many adventures to be had.
Reasons to study in Vienna
Whether you’re an EU citizen looking to explore a new city, or a student looking to go abroad, Vienna is one of the best cities in the world to continue your studies and expand your horizons. With affordable tuition, top universities and cool places to stay, this city is full of opportunities and exciting experiences.
Cheap or free tuition
Because Austria is part of the European Union, students from other countries (generally) won’t have to pay tuition fees at public universities. And unlike tuition fees in some other countries, for students outside the EU, your cost will only be around €700. All students are required to pay a €20 fee to join the student union and cover accident insurance, too. But that’s quite a small price to pay to study in this amazing city, isn’t it?
Vienna is largest university city in German-speaking world
Yep, you read that right. With 190,000 students — more than both Berlin and Munich — Vienna is the biggest university city in the German-speaking countries. On top of that, about a quarter of the city’s students come to Vienna from abroad. Vienna is also home to the oldest university in the German-speaking world, the University of Vienna that was founded in 1365.
World class universities
Home to 21 different universities, with a majority of them ranked at least once, Vienna has a rich history of providing world-class programs for students across Austria, Europe and the world. On top of that, Vienna is home to Austria's two highest-ranked universities, the University of Vienna— which is 151st in the world — and the Vienna University of Technology.
Top 5 universities in Vienna
While travellers flock to Vienna for art, music and culture, students come here to study a much wider range of subjects. From Journalism to Agriculture and Forestry, Ancient History and Mathematics, students come from all over to learn from some of the world’s leading professors in these subjects. But when it comes to where to exactly study, there are five universities that stand out amongst the rest.
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- University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is one of the largest universities in Europe. With a rich history, it’s one of the world’s most renowned universities, especially for those studying the humanities. Did you know the University of Vienna is even associated with Nobel prize winners?
- Vienna University of Technology
TU Wien is one of the major universities in Vienna, Austria, attracting students from across the country and the world for its research and innovation-oriented collaborations with enterprises.
- Medical University of Vienna
There’s a lot of prestige around the Medical University of Vienna. Not only is it one of the oldest medical universities in the world, but only the second medical faculty in the Holy Roman Empire. Talk about historic!
- University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
Combining studies in the natural sciences, engineering and biotechnology, as well as social and economic sciences, BOKU is an education and research centre for renewable resources.
- University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
When it was founded in 1767, The University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna was only the world's third school for veterinary medicine. Today, they lead the country in animal medicine.
Great student accommodation
Unlike other universities that assign you student accommodations, in Vienna it’s largely up to you. While that might feel daunting at first, you’ll be happy to learn it’s actually quite cheap and there are tons of great options across the city. Usually, rooms start around €900 a month, and most options are comfortable, well-equipped and located close to the universities.
At The Social Hub Vienna you get a fully furnished room, private bathroom, spaces to work and relax, gym use, free bike-sharing, laundry and 24-hour security in one great package. Just saying!
Things to do in Vienna as a student
This city has no shortage of storied streets and cultural institutions to explore. But as students, there are particular things you just won’t want to miss during your time studying in Vienna.
- Explore the hiking trails
Well-connected to the Vienna public transport network, getting out of the city and into the great outdoors is easier than ever. With quite a few hiking paths spread across the city, you’ll often find students out here because it’s a cheap, fun and healthy way to see some of the best this city has to offer. The Kahlenberg trail is great for its view of Vienna’s famous hill, but Urbane-Gemandebau Wandeweg is much more low-key and even takes you past the largest affordable social housing concept in Europe
- Spend a day in Prater
Prater is Vienna’s world-famous amusement park — a high-energy, all-out-fun place to forget about exams or work and pretend you’re a kid again. From roller coasters to the 5D cinema, carnival games go-karting and more, this place is designed for innocent fun and letting lose. But, the best part is that entry into the park is totally free and you only pay for the rides and activities you actually want to partake in, which is totally budget friendly.
If you stay at The Social Hub Vienna, Prater amusement park, as well as the famous sprawling lawn, is practically down the street. Dangerous? Yes. Worth it? Totally.
- Visit museums
By flashing your student card, the museums in Vienna can be accessed for free or at a pretty good discount. Hot tip: if a museum does have a fee and you don’t want to pay, check out its website to see if the museum offers free admission on the 1st Sunday of the month. There are some totally free museums, though, like the District museums, Money Museum, Kunsthalle and Snow Globe Museum.
- Explore Viennese nightlife scene
Of course, part of the student experience is going out on the town. In Vienna, there are a ton of options for students who want to explore the nightlife scene, from electric beats at clubs like O der Klub to the underground scene at Grelle Forelle that features new techno, house, and hip-hop acts to the Viennese public every week. And when the weather is good, don’t miss Pratersauna with its sauna-turned-club theme that even features an outdoor pool.
Where to study in Vienna
Café culture in Vienna is huge, but sipping coffee in a crowded café isn’t always optimal for intense work or big study sessions. Although, you are guaranteed a great cup and a beautiful atmosphere. However, your university will always have at least one library for you to work into your study routine. But when you want to switch it up, we suggest heading to the gorgeous, Baroque, Austrian National Library.
Not only is this space big and inspiring, but your €25 membership gets you a ton of perks. Besides internet, database and electronic magazine access, you also get free entrance to the museums and theatres associated with the National Library as well as the Vienna State Opera.
Where to stay in Vienna
Okay, we’re biased, but there’s a reason we think The Social Hub is the best place to stay as a student in Vienna. Centrally located by Universität Wien, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, TU Wien, Central European University and Webster University, The Social Hub Vienna offers a secure hassle-free stay that stretches far beyond any regular student accommodation.
More than just a simple room, you get access to a hub to call home with everything you need to study and make an impact. In comfortable spaces to work or play, you'll mix with an international group of students plus a passionate community, forming lasting friendships.
Our student room options
At The Social Hub, we offer a few different room types so you can choose the space that fits you and your needs. But, all of our rooms always have a private bathroom, climate control, bed linen and towels, cleaning and maintenance, desk, TV, Wi-Fi and access to a shared kitchen (fully equipped with cutlery, plates and utensils).
This student room is around 17m2 and has its own bathroom, king sized bed, desk and closet space.
Also with a king-sized bed, private bathroom, desk and closet space, the Executive Studio takes it up a notch with a bigger room (around 28m2) and its very own kitchenette. Don’t worry, you always have access to the Community kitchen, too.
The Deluxe Studio is outfitted with everything the Executive Studio has, but it’s bigger. At 31m2, there’s tons of room in here to spread out, jump on the oversized king bed and study in peace.
The price of your room includes all utilities, access to an on-site gym, monthly linen and cleaning service and even a free night's stay for you or your parents. Plus all the things we mentioned before like spaces to work and relax, free bike-sharing, on-site laundry and 24-hour security so you have peace of mind.
A built-in community
But, one of the biggest perks of living at The Social Hub Vienna is access to our events and community. Perfect for international students who want to meet as many like-minded people as possible, The Social Hub’s events and well-being activities give you the opportunity to meet other students as well as an inspiring group of Viennese community members. One of the students living at The Social Hub Vienna says: 'I met people that I consider my family now. We made beautiful memories together, definitely one of the best decisions!’’
Designed to inspire you to discover what drives you, our events also push you to grow as a student in the best way possible. The Social Hub even offers free membership to OpenUp for therapy, and opportunities for leadership roles. Plus, our on-site Community Hosts keep you supported, whenever you need. As one of the student community members said: ‘’The Social Hub is the place where we all feel like home. We feel comfortable, supported, inspired, and motivated. It’s a happy place!” When you’re here, you’re part of the group.
Come study abroad in Vienna
Head to our The Social Hub Vienna page to learn more about our rooms and to find your ideal dates and rates. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you can stay in the loop on all things student life, too!
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