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Arrival in Vienna / Orientation

As there are plenty of things to do after your arrival and at the beginning of the semester, you should plan to arrive in Vienna early enough to have some time to settle in.

On this page you find information on:

Arrival in Vienna

If you stay in Vienna for the winter semester, we recommend arriving during the second half of September (beginning of the semester: 1 October) or during the second half of February if you stay here for the summer semester (beginning of the semester: 1 March) to have enough time to find your way around and do all things which are required in due course.

Attending a preparatory German course before the beginning of the semester may be a good opportunity to prepare yourself linguistically and to have enough time to settle in Vienna. 

Should you plan to arrive here after the beginning of the semester, you nevertheless have to make sure to do all the things required in due course (do use our checklists!).

Please keep in mind, however, that you will miss the important introductory course sessions where the course instructors provide significant information on the course such as compulsory presentations, seminar papers or exams. Should you miss the first session of courses where you had to register for, you must inform the respective course instructors about your absence IN ADVANCE; otherwise, you will lose your spot in the course!

One of the first things to do in Vienna will be to register your residence within three days of your arrival at a Municipal District Office.

Journey to the city

1. Arrival at Vienna Airport (Flughafen Wien-Schwechat)

There are a couple of possibilities to get from the airport to the city centre.

Suburbian Railway (Schnellbahn)
A cheap way to get to the city centre is using the city train S7. The journey takes about 25 minutes. The city train serves the railway stations Wien Mitte, Wien Praterstern or Wien Floridsdorf, amongst others.
Costs: € 4,10 (tickets are also valid for continuing your journey via public transport in Vienna), Timetable

Long-Distance trains
Both, Intercity and Railjet travel to Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof) or Wien Meidling in about 20 minutes.
Costs: € 4,10 (tickets are also valid for continuing your journey via public transport in Vienna), Timetable

City Airport Train CAT
The CAT takes about 16 minutes to Wien Mitte station.
€ 11 (tickets are not valid for continuing your journey via for public transport in Vienna), Timetable

Using the Vienna Airport Lines you can get to Wien Schwedenplatz, Wien Westbahnhof or Wien Kaisermühlen VIC.
: € 8 (tickets are not valid for continuing your journey via public transport in Vienna), Timetables
With Flixbus you can reach Wien Erdberg as well in about 15 minutes.
Costs: ~ € 5 (tickets are not valid for continuing your journey via public transport in Vienna), Timetables

2. Arrival by train

Long-distance trains usually serve Vienna Central Station. The underground U1 (to Reumannplatz or Leopoldau) departs from there as well as the tram 18 (to Burggasse-Stadthalle or Schlachthausgasse) and tram O (to Praterstern or Migerkastraße). 

Further information on public transport in Vienna.


At the beginning of each semester, the International Office organises information meetings ("Orientations") in German and English for Erasmus+ Incoming students in order to help them find their way around at the university. This information meeting lasts approx. between 60 and 90 minutes.

Orientations for students of the winter semester are held from the beginning of September to the beginning of October, those for students of the summer semester from the beginning of February to the beginning of March. As you will get important information for your start at the University of Vienna during the Orientation, we do not recommend planning your participation shortly before the beginning of the semester, but in due course; otherwise, you will have to complete a lot of tasks in a very short time. 

Content of the orientation session:

  • Important information concerning the start of your semester at the University of Vienna
    Information on the university's institutions, public transport, etc.

  • Registration at the University of Vienna
    In order to confirm your registration, personal participation in the orientation session is compulsory.
    You will also receive a Certificate of Arrival which confirms your registration. If required, it is possible to confirm a date of arrival up to five days prior to the orientation. We therefore ask you to choose an orientation session as close as possible to your date of arrival.

  • Issuing your student ID card
    Please note that student ID cards cannot be issued before the Orientation.

Dates and registration - winter semester 2018/19

Orientations for the winter semester will take place between the beginning of September and the beginning of October.

The online registration is now closed.

There will be at least one session offered in English each week. The actual dates will be published here in due course.  Due to organisational reasons, it is compulsory to register online for one of the offered orientation sessions. Registration will be open between 15 June and 15 July.

The beginning of the semester

At the University of Vienna, the winter semester starts on 1 October, the summer semester on 1 March. By the beginning of the semester you should already have

  • activated your u:account

  • registered for courses
    Course registration is done via your u:space account and it often takes place before the beginning of the semester (beginning of / mid-September for the winter semester, beginning of / mid-February for the summer semester). Students who have not registered within the stipulated registration period will not be able to participate in courses with compulsory registration. Information about the registration period can be found in the link mentioned above.

  • participated in an orientation session

  • contacted your mobility coordinator (if necessary) in case you have any questions regarding your Learning Agreement, subject-related questions (f.i. details of courses within your field of study, etc.) or need any subject-related confirmations.

Payment of the fee for the Austrian Students' Union

Please pay the compulsory semester fee for the Austrian Students' Union shortly after the beginning of the semester (or earlier) so that your enrolment at the University of Vienna can be completed and to get your valid student ID card. Your student ID card is only valid for the current semester once your payment is registered in the system of the University of Vienna. 

If you want to validate your student ID card immediately after the Orientation, you have to pay the fee for the Austrian Students' Union in good time in advance (please keep in mind that it will take between 2 - 10 working days for your payment to be registered in the university's system). You can pay the fee as soon as you have received your student ID number (Matrikelnummer) via email. Alternatively, you can use the payment form you will receive during your orientation session. 

The payment must be registered by 30 November (winter semester) or 30 April (summer semester); otherwise your enrolment will not be completed.

Beginning of courses and attendance during the first course session

Usually courses start in the first or second week of the semester. The exact dates are indicated in the course details in the course catalogue u:find. Please be aware of the fact that presence during the first course session at the beginning of the semester is mandatory for all registration-based courses. Students who miss the first session without an excuse communicated to the course instructor in advance, will be de-registered and their place will be given to a student from the waiting list. 

University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0