As one of the most livable countries in the world, Austria is heralded as one of the best locations for education. This claim is strengthened by so many things, most notably the nation’s intellectual history. After all, its universities have produced the likes of Sigmund Freud and Erwin Schroedinger, to name a few.

If you want to join the ranks of these bright minds, then you should try to apply to Austrian universities. More than just being world-renowned, some of them are quite affordable too. Listed below are some of the cheapest universities in Austria for international students.

Are There Tuition-Free Universities in Austria for International Students?

The short answer is yes and no. The answer really depends on the nationality that you are from.

If you are from the EU or Switzerland, then many public universities in Austria are free for you.

Also, if you are from developing countries, which are listed in the following: Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Yemen, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Kiribati, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic), Laos (Democratic People’s Republic), Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, the Maldives, Mali, Mauretania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Zambia, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania (United Republic), Timor-Leste, Togo, Chad, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Central African Republic, then many public universities in Austria are free.

Students that are not either from the EU, Switzerland, or developing countries that are listed above, need to pay a small amount of tuition, which is around $1,600 USD per year for public universities and more for private universities.

These free public universities in Austria include the University of Vienna, Johannes Kepler University Linz, University of Graz, Medical University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck, and the University of Leoben.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Can International Students Study in Austria for Free?

Yes, international students can study in Austria for free. As mentioned above, if you fit into the free tuition category for international students, then you have free tuition. Also, if you are not, you have to pay around $1,600 USD per year, but that can be easily paid by working part-time during the academic semester and full-time during the break. So, anyone can study in Austria for free if they wanted to.

What Are the Requirements of Studying in Austria?

Undergraduate students need a high school certificate equivalent to the Austrian Matura Exam Certification. As for graduate applicants, a bachelor’s degree in a related field is necessary. Sufficient German knowledge is required as well.

Other vital application documents include the following:

  • Transcript of Records with Grades
  • Accomplished Application Forms
  • Passport or Identity Card
  • ID Photos

Can You Study in Austrian Universities in English?

Yes. At the FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, one semester of undergraduate education is taught in English. Some of its Master’s degree courses are delivered in English as well.

At the University of Vienna, students can take hold of Master’s degrees that are fully taught in English. Some other courses are taught in English as well.

Can I Open a Bank Account as an International Student in Austria?

Of course! International students are able to get bank accounts in Austria. The process may be from one bank to another, but it often involves providing a photo ID (passport, driver’s license, or national ID), proof of residence, and proof of enrollment in an Austrian University. International students may not have immediate access to their rental or lease agreement and would have to wait until they get the necessary documents to open an account. There are financial services that you can use to open multi-currency accounts without having to provide any other documents than your photo ID like Wise, Revolut, and N26. Out of the bunch, Wise is by far the most established worldwide. Students from most countries can make an account before leaving their own countries. You can use your Wise account to pay for your tuition, accommodation, and visa fees. Bank transfers are quite expensive and traditional banks charge exorbitant hidden fees to make these transfers; on top of that, they more often than not offer bad currency conversion rates. Wise provide a free multi-currency account and offer currency conversion at the mid-market rate. They are very transparent about their rates and fees. We recommend Wise to all international students who want to save money that they can allocate toward their education, living expenses, or other essential needs. Make your Wise account now!

Learn more about: The Best Way To Send Money Internationally – Wise

Cheap Universities in Austria

1. FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

Founded in 1989 as the Technical School of Vorarlberg, the university has progressed into an institution that provides practice-linked degrees. To date, its 1,300 students major in bachelor and master’s programs that focus on Business, Design, Engineering, and Social Work.

FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences is a free tuition university in Austria, which attracts many international students. In addition, the university continues to attract international students with its long list of scholarships and financial grants.

2. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

The university, which is also known as BOKU, was founded in 1872 as a research center for renewable resources. Currently, it specializes in the fields of Engineering, Natural Science, Biotechnology, Economics, and Social Science.

The 11,200+ strong BOKU student population are immersed in the school’s 8 bachelors and 28 MSc programs. A good percentage comes from foreign backgrounds, who have taken hold of the school’s cheap tuition and many grant offerings.

3. University of Vienna

Known in German as the Universität Wien, this Vienna-based institution is the oldest in the German-speaking world. The University of Vienna is one of the cheapest universities in Austria for international students with a tuition fee of up to $815 per semester.

Founded in the year 1365 by Duke Rudolph, it is modeled after the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris. Given its long and illustrious history, it is considered one of the most reputable European universities – especially in the field of Humanities.

To date, the university offers 55 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, and 13 doctoral programs through its 15 faculties. While most lessons are taught in German, some of them are offered in English to attract students from all around the world. This technique has been more than effective, with 28% of the university’s 32,000+ strong students coming from various parts of the globe.

4. Medical University of Vienna

The Medizinische Universität Wien, a free university in Austria, was established in 2004 as the successor of the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Medicine. Despite its year of founding, its roots make it the second-oldest medical faculty after the Charles University of Prague.

As one of the best medical schools in Europe, it is known for its competitive admission – accepting only about 9% of its 8,000 applicants to its programs. These are Medicine, Dentistry, MA in Medical Informatics, and a Ph.D. in Applied Medical Science.

Despite having only about 7,500 students, the Medical University of Vienna is home to a lot of foreigners. In fact, 30% of its population comes from various countries all around the world.

5. University of Salzburg

The University of Salzburg, which is based in the fourth-largest city in Austria, was founded in the year 1622. It is named after its founder, the Prince-Archbishop Paris Lodron.

Closed in 1810 and re-established in the year 1962, the university is home to around 18,000 students – 38% of which come from different countries across the globe. These international students are educated in the four faculties of the university, namely Law, Cultural & Social Science, Natural Science, and Catholic Theology.

6. TU Wien

Technische Universität Wien, formerly the Vienna University of Technology, is a major institution founded in the year 1815. True to its’ name, the school is best known for its computer science, engineering, and natural science courses.

As with most Austrian universities, TU Wien is known for its conducive environment for international students. To date, 30% of the school’s 10,400+ students come from various foreign backgrounds.

7. University of Applied Arts Vienna

We end our list of free universities in Austria with the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Known colloquially as the Die Angewandte, the University of Applied Arts Vienna is an institution that specializes in the arts. Founded in 1867 and granted university status in 1970, the predecessor of the Vienna School of Arts & Crafts has produced many influential artists throughout the years.

Although the University of Applied Arts Vienna only has 1,800 students, 15% of them come from 70+ countries all around the world. These students are given the opportunity to major in Bachelor’s degrees such as Art Education, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies, Language Arts, and TransArts. Available Master’s degrees include that of Architecture, Social Design, and Arts & Culture Studies.


I hope that this article on the free universities in Austria was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!

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  1. Iyayi Atekha - Reply

    I wish to apply and how can I?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, to apply to universities in Austria, you need to look at their university website for more information. Since different universities have different requirements, please take a look at the university websites that you are interested in, for information about the admission requirements and apply.

  2. Badejo Alaba - Reply

    I’m interested in studying in any of these universities provided they admit student with HND (Nigeria) for either postgraduate or masters. I had Higer National diploma in Business Administration.
    Thanks for your favourable response.

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, Higher National Diploma is not considered as equivalent to bachelor’s in most places. I don’t think that you will be eligible for Master’s with HND in most places.

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