Austria is an excellent choice for an academic year abroad. The country is filled with cultural monuments, excellent museums, outstanding libraries, and a population who cares about all things intellectual and artistic. Vienna, Austria's world famous capital, is a music maven's mecca and a budding art historian's wonderland. Art nouveau while not born here certainly gave the world some of its greatest stars such as Gustav Klimt and who could forget to mention that this is the birthplace of music's greatest magician – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
What and where to study in Austria
Austria does not lack in fine institutions for higher learning. One of the best is named appropriately enough the University of Vienna. It is one of the oldest Universities in Europe and still offers a fine education in almost all fields of intellectual endeavour. For those interested in Slavic languages, its proximity to and historical ties with the lands of the East (many of which were ruled for centuries from Vienna) makes this a great choice. The University of Economics is yet another outstanding academic option. As its name suggests, the social sciences are well represented here with a legion of Europe's best minds working on cutting edge research. It's a great place to start a career.
Foreign students in Austria
Time was when the majority of foreign students came from Western Europe and the US. That's completely changed now since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Since then a wave of eager, well educated Central Europeans and Eastern Europeans, all formerly under Soviet sway, have washed over Austria's institutes of higher learning adding a cosmopolitan flair in some ways reminiscent of a century ago when Austria herself was known as “Mother of nations” (but like all mother's she wasn't always happy about it). Almost needless to say then, Austria welcomes its foreign students who thrive within its hothouses of the mind and spirit. Take your library books to the local cafes, sip the great coffee and explore. It's simply a great and unique time to be a student in Austria, so take advantage!
Internships in Austria
Austria is a member of the EU so citizens of same should have no problem finding an internship. There is much to choose from. Every imaginable career option is available, but be sure to brush up on your German! Opportunities for those who are not from the EU also exist, but these are usually with non-for-profit institutions like the UN and its many branches such as the International Atomic Agency. Openings in business exist too of course. You just have to get in contact with HR departments either directly in Austria or indirectly in your home country; if they're looking for people they'll be sure to let you know.
Grants for students in Austria
Austria is fully connected to every imaginable source of scholarship, grant, funding, and aid you can imagine. Amounts and availability however can prove a bit more difficult. With that said though, you might first google EU programs such as ERASMUS and/or LEONARDO to help you get started. Oftentimes the best universities offer stipends to attract the most promising foreign students. Contact the Foreign Student Office at the various universities where they'll be glad to help.
There are a variety of jobs to choose from in Austria many of which centre around the tourist industry which is certainly not all bad news since Austria is a year round destination! The potential downside however is that you will face a lot of stiff competition. Many young people from Slovakia and Poland and other ex-communist block countries are highly educated and eager and willing to work for less than the locals. If you're from these countries you'll find that with a lot of effort and perseverance doors will open—though just not magically of course. But even if you're not from these countries cheer up; Austria abounds with interesting career choices most of which you will find through making friends and contacts at your university or other preferred type of school. English language teaching is yet another perennial favorite.
University life in Austria
Student life in Austria can be sweet. Traditional festivals, events, magical holiday seasons, tremendous alpine skiing, and great cuisine are just some of the wonderful things that await you. If lucky enough to live in cosmopolitan Vienna you'll be dazzled by the music scene, particularly if you're a classical music fan. The opera is amazing and the other concert venues equally so. Winter time is ballroom gala time where young people dress in their finest to show off their skills and perhaps meet that special someone while dancing a waltz or even a mazurka. If you don't dance this IS the time to learn; don't be a wallflower you're sure to regret it later
Aside from the music, cuisine, and antique bookshops; Austria has a lot more to offer. First up is the Alps. These beautiful mountains are not to be missed and are a short trip away from just about any point inside the country. The fall scenery is wonderful; spring a delight and winter is time for some high-powered skiing action. Get on those ski lifts, grab your snow board and tackle some of the most challenging ski slopes the world has to offer! During the warmer months you'll find plenty of open-air swimming pools to cool your toes and for the more daring there's always the blue Danube (though the exact color today is open to debate).
Like most Europeans, Austrians love their football. It is arguably the nation's second religion after Roman Catholicism of course. Get into the stands and root for the local or national team; you'll have a good time and meet lots of people too. Ice hockey, basketball, equestrian tournaments, and competitive swimming are some of the other team sports that you might want to take a look at. And did we mention the skiing? Yes skiing!!