Austria Higher Education

Many universities in Austria have special education programs for foreign students. If you go to a vocational education, you can get an internship in Austria. There are also good opportunities to work in Austria, including in the tourism industry.

Austria is located in Central Europe with borders to Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

With the end of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and Austria was transformed into a republic. In 1938, Austria was incorporated into the German Empire. In 1945, the country was occupied by Allied troops and divided into four occupation zones. The occupation ended in 1955, and Austria has been neutral ever since. In 1995, Austria joined the EU.

Austria has several renowned music schools, including the world’s largest music and art school, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst. The capital Vienna has named the style period the Viennese classic, whose main character was the composer WA Mozart.

German is spoken in Austria, a German that, however, has its very own tone and tone and therefore differs significantly from the High German language.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in Austria

The Austrian vocational education is divided into 3 different types:

  • An exchange education (das duale System), which is somewhat reminiscent of the Danish vocational education with both theory and practice. In Austria, you can start a vocational education after 8 years of primary school. In that case, you must complete a 1-year preschool for a vocational education. After this preschool year, you can choose a vocational education that lasts between 3 and 4 years.
  • A 3-4-year full-time education at either social and health, agricultural, trade or technical school (Berufsbildende Mittlere Schule, BMS). The education is based on 8 years of schooling.
  • A 5-year more theoretical vocational education at a vocational school (Berufsbildende Höhere Schule, BHS), which provides both vocational competence and access to higher education at university level, e.g. technical universities and business schools. BHS is based on 8 years of schooling.

All vocational training is publicly recognized. The Austrian Ministry of Education has set up a website where you can find an overview of the various vocational educations.


If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Higher education in Austria

Austrian universities receive a number of guest students (Gasthörs) from abroad, and many universities have special education programs for foreign students, International Study Programs. You can get more information about the programs at the universities’ guidance offices for foreign applicants.

You can get more information about higher education in Austria at the Österreichischer Austauschdienst(ÖAD).


In Austria, you can take a higher education at Universitäten and Fachhochschulen:


At the University you can study roughly the same subjects as at the universities in Denmark. There are 13 universities and 6 universities / academies that offer artistic subjects. There are 4 private universities.

The special universities (academies) for music and art are some of the most recognized in the world, e.g. University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna og University Mozarteum Salzburg.

Austria is home to the European University Research Center for Peace Studies (EPU).

Vocational colleges

There are about 20 universities of applied sciences. Fachhochschulen are vocational schools where you can study to become an engineer and pharmacist.

Degrees at university level

Higher education in Austria is divided into the following degrees:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, obtained after 3 years of study
  • Bachelor’s Degree (FH), obtained after 3 years of study
  • Master (master’s degree)
  • Master (FH) (Master’s degree), awarded after a further 1-2 years of study
  • Diploma, which lasts between 4 and 6 years
  • Doctorate (PhD degree) obtained after 2-4 years of study and research

Application for higher education

You must send your application directly to the study office (Studienabteilung) at the institution where you are applying for admission.

At Study in Austria you can find a list of all higher education institutions in Austria.

There is no restriction on admission to higher education.

Admission requirements

A Danish upper secondary education provides access. However, there may be certain educations that have special entrance exams.

Language proficiency

To gain access to studies in Austria, one must document a good knowledge of German, often in the form of a language test. At the Goethe-Institut in Copenhagen, you can take various recognized language tests.

Application deadlines

There are admissions twice a year.

Recognition of foreign education in Denmark

If you have completed a publicly recognized education abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Research and Education

Work in Austria

Danes have good opportunities to get a job in Austria. The employment opportunities are best in tourism, social work, hospital work, horticulture, agriculture as well as hotel and restaurant (mostly seasonal work).

The working week in Austria is 40 hours, in private companies 42.5 hours, and everyone is entitled to 28 days’ holiday a year.

You can get more information about the Austrian labor market at Arbeitsmarktservice Österreich (AMS) (German).

Job search

You can sign up for the job portal e-Job-Room Konto (German) at the Austrian employment service Arbeitsmarktservice Österreich (AMS). You can also try the online job database careerjet.

You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while you apply for a job in Austria. See more about this in the article Job search abroad in the folder Paid work.

You can get information about work in Austria from the EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers.

Work-and residence permit

As an EU citizen, you do not have to have a residence permit in Austria, but you must register with the population register no later than three days after arrival and fill in a “Meldezettel”, which you receive and have to hand in again at the local municipal office.

According to Austrian law, you must present identification (passport) if requested. It is therefore a good idea to always carry your passport with you if you are staying in Austria. Read more about rules for staying in Austria on the Danish Embassy’s website.

You can read more about work permits in the section Visas, work and residence permits.

Practical conditions

There are good opportunities to attend a language course in Austria. You can find more information about language courses at the EURES Guides at AF.

Austria is known for having many educational offerings in creative subjects, especially music. Some of the most famous schools are the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the University of Mozarteum Salzburg.


It can be difficult to find a home in Austria. In the local newspapers, however, there are housing ads, where you can also advertise for a home yourself.

In most cities, you can find quite cheap youth hostels and hotels as a temporary solution. Most universities also have housing permits for foreign students.

Facts about Austria

Population: 8.1 million

Language: German.

Employment: Unemployment in January 2014 was 4.9% (Eurostat).

Residence permit: EU citizens do not need a residence permit but are registered within three days in the population register.

Austria Higher Education

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