FAQ - Before your stay in Vienna
1.1) How do I register as an exchange student at the University of Vienna?
You can only participate in the Non-EU Student Exchange Program, if your home university has a bilateral agreement with the University of Vienna. If that is the case, please contact your home university's international office to apply for the exchange program.
Your home university needs to nominate you to the University of Vienna. We also need a current transcript of records and a "Nomination Certificate". These documents need to be sent to email@example.com.
Deadline: 1 May for the winter semester, 1 October for the summer semester
Additionally, you need to complete the preregistration online:
A guide to the online preregistration can be found here.
After completing your online registration, you will be mailed a letter of admission ("Zulassungsbescheid") which you will need to apply for a visa. The Letters of Admission for the winter semester are usually sent in May, the Letters of Admission for the summer semester will be sent in November.After your arrival in Vienna, you will have to pay the fee for the Austrian National Union of Students ("ÖH-Beitrag"), currently € 17,50 per semester.
1.2) What do I need to bear in mind when applying for a visa?
Please contact an Austrian embassy as early as possible to find out about entry requirements and about the documents you will need when applying for a visa. Try to obtain these documents as quickly as possible, so that you can submit them as soon as you have received the letter of admission from the University of Vienna. Please submit the application for a visa or residence permit to an Austrian embassy while you are still in your home country.
Stays of up to 6 months: residence visa D
Stays of more than 6 months: residence permit for students
More information on the application documents can be found here.
PLEASE NOTE: the processing of a visa application may take several weeks or even months; you are therefore advised to file your application at the earliest possible date.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen you do not need to apply for a visa or residence permit for your stay in Austria. After your arrival in Vienna, you will need to register at the local immigration office (Magistratsabteilung 35) within 4 months to receive a confirmation of registration - you will receive further information at the International Office.
1.3) What are the start and end dates of the semesters at the University of Vienna?
Winter semester 2013/2014:
Start of semester: October 1, 2013
Start of lectures: October 1, 2013
No lectures on: November 1 and 2, 2013
Christmas holidays: December 19, 2013 to January 6, 2014
End of semester: January 31, 2014
Semester break: February 1, 2014 to February 28, 2014
Please be aware of the final deadline for the payment of the fee for the Austrian National Union of Students: November 30, 2013
Summer semester 2014:
Start of semester: March 1, 2014
No lectures on: March 12, 2014
Easter holidays: April 12, 2014 to April 27, 2014
Whitsun holidays: June 7, 2014 to June 10, 2014
End of semester: June 30, 2014
Summer holidays (no lectures): July 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014
Please be aware of the final deadline for the payment of the fee for the Austrian National Union of Students: April 30, 2014
1.4) Which language skills do I need?
Please note that you will need to be able to understand, speak and write German at an adequate level if you want to study at the University of Vienna.
Most of the courses are held in German. The following departments usually also offer some courses in English: Business, Law, English and American Studies, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Philosophy etc.
Exchange students who wish to study at the University of Vienna generally do not need an official language test.
Exception: If you would like to take courses in English and American Studies, you need to submit a proof of your English language skills (Bachelor: IELTS 6,0/6,5; TOEFL 100 - Master: IELTS 7,5; TOEFL 110).
1.5) How do I create my study plan? Where can I find courses in English?
Austrian students are given a relatively high amount of freedom in planning their studies. They create their own timetables for each semester and are accustomed to working independently.
The course catalogue (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) can be found online:
In the course catalogue, you will find details for each course (time and place, number of hours/semester, ECTS, language of instruction – if the language of instruction is any other than German).
You "browse" a specific department or field of study or search the course catalogue by for example key words or language of instruction. The course catalogue for the coming semester will be available online approximately in August and January, respectively. If the current course catalogue is not yet available, please use the course catalogue of the previous winter or summer semester for your guidance.
If you want to find a course in a language other than German, you can search by "language of instruction" in the course catalogue.
You will also find lectures held in English under the following links:
Courses held in English (last semester)
Courses held in English (current semester)
1.6) My home university demands exact descriptions of the subjects covered in my courses. Where can I get these?
If the online Lecture Programme (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) provides no exact description, please contact the department in question directly. The International Office (Büro für Studierendenmobilität) cannot provide course descriptions.
1.7) How can I activate my u:net or UNIVISonline account?
You will receive a separate e-mail with your activation data by the beginning of August (for the winter semester) or by the beginning of February (for the summer semester).
In case you haven't received it, please send a message to:
1.8) What is the password for my u:net activation?
Your u:net activation password is the one you have chosen during the online
pre-registration (Erstanmeldung online).
(During your u:net activation process you will also be asked to choose a new password which will then also be your UNIVISonline password).
1.9) How and when do I enrol for my courses?
The course catalogue ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis") for the winter semester will usually be published online sometime in August; the course catalogue for the summer semester will be made available in January. However, the page will be continuously updated until the start of the semester and new courses added; you are therefore advised to check it regularly at:
You can search the course catalogue ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis") by keywords or language of instruction.
The deadlines for course registration depend on your field of study. The course registration period for the winter semester usually opens at the beginning of September, course registration for the summer semester starts at the beginning of February. You will find an overview of the registration deadlines at: studentpoint.univie.ac.at/durchs-studium/anmeldesystem/anmeldefristen/
In order to be able to register for a course, you will need a valid UNIVIS account. You will get more information on how to activate your UNIVIS account, when you receive your student ID number by e-mail in August/January.
In most cases, you will be able to register online via the UNIVIS system. In some cases, course registration must take place via e-mail or in person. You will find the relevant information in the course catalogue ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis").
Additional information on how to register for courses via the UNIVIS system can be found here.
Ways of enrolling for courses will also be discussed during the Orientation Session.
PLEASE NOTE: it is advisable to register for courses at the earliest possible date, in order to make sure that you get a place in the courses of your choice.
1.10) How many ECTS per semester must I obtain?
At the University of Vienna, the workload of an individual course is measured in ECTS credits. The use of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) at European universities should ensure the possibility to transfer credits from one university to another (also across borders) and enhance the level of transparency.
Austrian full-time students usually enrol for courses that will yield a maximum of 30 ECTS per semester.
The University of Vienna sets no minimum requirements as to the number of ECTS credits that exchange students must obtain per semester. How many ECTS credits you are able to obtain will also depend on whether you take your courses in English or in German. Most exchange students average 20 to 25 ECTS credits per semester.
1.11) Can I take a preparatory German language course in Vienna?
If you wish to improve your German language skills in preparation of your stay or during the semester, you can register for a German language course at Innovationszentrum Universität Wien:
Innovationszentrum Universität Wien GmbH
A-1090 Vienna, Alserstraße 4, Campus of the University of Vienna, courtyard 1, entry 1.16
Fees for textbooks (according to level and type of course):
approx. between 15 and 40 Euro
Exchange students for the summer semester 2014 will be informed how to register by the Innovationszentrum via e-mail in November/December.
Exchange students will be granted a reduction of 20 % on all trimester courses, February courses and summer courses, if they present a registration confirmation of the University of Vienna (which you receive from the International Office).
PLEASE NOTE: There is no reduction on the semester intensive courses (section 5)!
If you pay the course in advance, please keep in mind that the fees listed on the website of the Innovationszentrum are different from the ones indicated below as they do not include any discounts. Please pay the reduced price and include "Non-EU Exchange Universität Wien" under comments during your registration on the website deutschkurse.univie.ac.at.
Here you can find a list of currently offered courses (please note that the 20 % reduction is already included in the price):
1) Preparatory Intensive German Language Courses (4 ECTS)
56 teaching units
September 2 - 20, 2013: € 340
February 3 - 21, 2014: € 284
Additionally the International Office of the University of Vienna will refund most of the course costs for this preparatory intensive German course (September or February) if you attend the course regularly and pass the exam at the end of the course. That means that you will just have to pay € 100 for this course.
Please note that this refund is only possible if you attend the course before you begin your studies at the University of Vienna. If you study at the University of Vienna for an entire academic year (October to June), you can only get this refund for the September course.
Furthermore please keep in mind that you have to contact the Innovationszentrum within the following deadlines in order to get the refund:
15 October 2013 for the course in September 2013 and 15 March 2014 for the course in February 2014.
PLEASE NOTE: Incoming exchange students within the Campus Europae program do not get a full refund, but a discount of 20 % should they decide to take a preparatory language course.
2) Special semester course for exchange students (from a level of A2, 3 ECTS)
Once a week, 13 weeks, 3 teaching units per teaching day, altogether 39 teaching units (one teaching unit=45 minutes), min. 10 to max. 14 participants, only exchange students, the content focuses on the topic „Studying in Austria“
October 2013 – January 2014: € 208
March – June 2013: € 208
3) Trimester courses (4 ECTS)
Twice or three times per week, 9 weeks, altogether 54 teaching units (one teaching unit=45 minutes), max. 16 participants, mixed with other participants: € 256
4) Daily trimester courses (8 ECTS)
They will take place daily, 9 weeks, altogether 110 teaching units (one teaching unit=45 minutes), max. 16 participants, mixed with other participants: € 440
5) Semester intensive courses
Semester intensive courses are taking place from 8 October 2013 to 22 January 2014 (winter semester) or 3 March 2014 to 18 June 2014 (summer semester).
195 teaching units à 45 Minuten, corresponds to 3 phases according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Taking place daily with 15 teaching units per week, i.e. 3 teaching units per day. Different course hours are being offered, mornings and afternoons are possible.
Price: € 810 (no reduction possible)
max. 18 participants
Registration open for the winter semester from 26 September 2013
Registration open for the summer semester from 27 January 2014
6) In addition, a „Language Swap Shop“ (Tandem) is provided free of charge to students wishing to improve their language skills by exchanging languages with a tandem partner.
The "Sprachenzentrum" (Language Centre) of the University of Vienna offers fee-paying courses in many further languages at university level, see: www.univie.ac.at/sprachenzentrum
For all further questions regarding those courses we kindly ask you to contact the Innovationszentrum Universität Wien directly.
1.12) As a student with special needs, to whom do I turn for support?
Please contact us as well as the Disability Officer from Student Point
already after your nomination to enable us to offer the best assistance
possible. Student Point offers detailed information on how to access
individual buildings, exam accommodations and other support services:
Referat Student Point barrierefrei
Team Accessible Studying (Team Barrierefrei Studieren)
barrierefrei.univie.ac.at (currently in German only)
Information will also be provided at the
“Referat für Barrierefreiheit“ of the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH)
www.oeh.univie.ac.at/arbeitsbereiche/barrierefreiheit/ (in German
Unfortunately, some parts of the main building are difficult to access
for people in wheelchairs. Also the International Office can only be
reached via staircase and has no direct lift.
However, the Student Mobility Office will be glad to help you by
individual appointments. The situation varies from department location
to department location.
1.13) When do the orientation sessions take place?
The orientation sessions organised by the Student Mobility Office (Büro für Studierendenmobilität) are held in mid-September and at the beginning of October for the winter semester and in mid-February and at the beginning of March for the summer semester.
During the orientation sessions, you will complete your enrolment at the University of Vienna and receive your student ID card as well as some information about living and studying in Vienna.
Exchange students have to register online for these orientation sessions by mid-August (for the winter semester) or mid-January (for the summer semester). You will receive the registration link by the International Office.
1.14) How can I find accommodation in Vienna?
You can choose between two types of accommodation: halls of residence and private accommodation.
Please note that we can only provide you with information. We cannot mediate between landlord and tenant, and we do not accept any liability.
As we have been informed about difficulties where students were asked from landlords in Austria to transfer amounts to an account outside of Austria, we kindly ask to be particularly careful in such cases.
*) Room in a hall of residence via WIHAST
(simple, economic rooms, easy handling of the booking procedure)
*) Room in a hall of residence via OeAD Housing Office
(provides places in different categories and from various hall of residence operators)
*) Alternatively you can also search for a place in another hall of residence.
You can find a list of halls of residence in Vienna under the following link:
*) Upon request, we will also provide ERASMUS students with an informal "housing list" of persons who offer rooms or flats for rent.
*) ESN (ERASMUS Student Network) has established "Facebook" semester groups where people occasionally offer information on available rooms or flats.
Please just note that these groups are basically established to exchange information between exchange students amongst themselves and also with ESN.
From time to time group members also publish room offers, but primarily these Facebook groups are not set up as a platform to enquire for a room.
*) Further useful links:
Jugendherbergen (Youth Hostels)
ÖH-Wohnungsbörse (Housing Exchange of the Austrian Students' Union)
CasaSwap-Wohnungsbörse (CasaSwap Housing Exchange)
Studierenden Wohnenbörse (Students' Housing Exchange)
*) Key delivery:
Please consider the respective and often varying conditions arranged with you regarding the handover of your key after your arrival in Vienna.
In case you would like to be picked up from the airport and to receive the key at the same time, please take a look at the website of "iHouse":
Further information regarding alternative transfer possibilities from Vienna Airport to Vienna can be found in our FAQ area/item 1.16.
1.15) When should I arrive in Vienna?
We advise you to arrive in Vienna two or three weeks before the start of the semester, at the latest, so as to give yourself time to get used to the city and to the way the university is organised. The preparatory German language course usually starts one month before the beginning of the semester.
1.16) How do I get from the airport to the city?
Click the following link to see the different possibilities of transferring from the airport to Vienna:
www.viennaairport.com (see "Arrival & Parking“)
The cheapest option is the city train (Schnellbahn) connection between the airport and the city (line S 7).
Travelling time approx. 25 minutes, fare: € 4, including connections to other public transport facilities to take you to various districts within Vienna. The train stops, among other points, at: Bahnhof Wien Mitte, Wien Praterstern, Wien Floridsdorf.
See the schedule at:
There is also a bus from the airport to Schwedenplatz and another that goes to Westbahnhof via Meidling Hauptbahnhof.
Fare: € 7,00 (the ticket is not valid for other public transport facilities). Travelling time: approx. 20 minutes.
The City Airport Train (CAT) takes only about 16 minutes from the airport to "Wien Mitte“ station.
Fare: € 10,00 (the ticket is not valid for other public transport facilities). The first train leaves at 6:05 a.m. (intervals of 30 minutes), the last leaves at 11:35 p.m.: www.cityairporttrain.com
1.17) Will the University of Vienna send someone to meet me at the airport?
The University of Vienna does not organise airport pickup services. For information on how best to reach the city from the airport, see FAQ 1.16.
1.18) How can I buy a ticket for the public transport system?
If you are studying in Vienna for an entire semester and are under the age of 26 you can purchase a semester ticket for students for € 150 euro. This ticket is valid for all public transport in Vienna, for five months (September to January, February to June). For the holiday months of July and August, you can purchase monthly tickets for students at a reduced price (€ 29,50).
(The semester ticket for € 75 ist only available for students who have their main residence in Austria and are registered in Vienna by 1 September (winter semester) or 1 February (summer semester) at the latest.)
How do I get the semester ticket?
You can get the semester ticket either with your student ID card at any ticket office (“Vorverkaufsstellen”, e.g. at Schottentor underground station) or, if you haven’t received your student ID card yet, you need a confirmation by our office, the stamped blue part of the payment form (or any other proof that you have paid the fee for the Austrian National Union of Students – “ÖH”), your “Meldebestätigung” you receive from the Municipal District Office, a photo for a “Berechtigungskarte” (authorization card which will be provided by Wiener Linien) and a passport/ID card. Please note that in this case you get the semester ticket ONLY at Kundenzentrum ERDBERG (stop of U3 underground “Erdberg”).
Another possibility is to buy it online. A guide can be found here .
Full year ticket
Alternatively, you can buy a full year ticket for currently € 31,25 per month by direct debit (by one-time cash payment € 365 a year). In case the ticket is not used for the whole year, it can be terminated at any time without naming a reason. In order to do that, please return the ticket to one of the Wiener Linien ticket offices ("Vorverkaufsstellen"). If you paid the full price in advance, you will get back the fee for the months that you did not use.
More details on how to terminate your full year ticket can be found on the website of the Wiener Linien (currently in German only).
The ticket can be bought online or at the "Vorverkaufsstellen" (public transport ticket offices).
1.19) What are the activities of the "ERASMUS Student Network (ESN)“ organisation?
The ESN (ERASMUS Student Network) section of the University of Vienna, which cooperates with the International Office, supports exchange students amongst other things at the start of their stay (e.g. separate "ESN orientation week“ at the start of the semester). More activities are organised in the course of the semester, including guided tours of various enterprises and cultural institutions, regular meetings (Stammtische), welcome and farewell parties, excursions into the countryside around Vienna, films etc.
For more detailed information about the "Buddy Service" (mostly Austrian students who help exchange students to find their way around in Vienna) or the "Language Tandem" Service, both coordinated by ESN, please check the website of ESN.
1.20) How can I get a Buddy?
Contact the Erasmus Student Network:
1.21) What are the costs of living in Vienna?
The list below shows the monthly living expenses for students in Austria. The numbers given are average values, any of which may be subject to more or less violent fluctuations. They are intended as guidelines to help you calculate your requirements and are by no means binding. Accommodation costs are calculated on the basis of what you would have to pay for a room in a hall of residence or in a shared flat.
Accommodation (including heating and electricity): € 300-450
Food: € 250-350
Study and personal requirements, books, culture, entertainment: € 250-300
Monthly expenses: € 800-1150
1.22) What are the most important emergency telephone numbers?
122 - Feuerwehr (fire brigade)
133 - Polizei (police)
144 - Rettung (emergency ambulance services)
112 - Euronotruf (emergency call number valid in all countries of the EU)
141 - Ärzte-Funkdienst (7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.) (emergency medical services)
1455 - Apothekenbereitschaftsdienst (pharmacy services outside of
(0)1-71 71 9 - Frauennotruf (emergency call centre for women)
(0)1-406 43 43 - Vergiftungsinformationszentrale (Poisons Information
1.23) Where can I find information regarding safety at the University of Vienna?
For questions regarding safety issues at the university, please contact: rrm.univie.ac.at
For informations regarding fire safety, please read the general fire safety regulations:
1.24) What are the most important abbreviations used at the University of Vienna?
AAKH - Altes Allgemeines Krankenhaus, Alserstraße 4, A-1090 Wien
AKH - Allgemeines Krankenhaus, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Wien
IB - Internationale Beziehungen / International Office
HG - Hauptgebäude (main building)
HS - Hörsaal (lecture room)
KOVO - kommentiertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis (annotated course catalogue)
LV - Lehrveranstaltung (course)
NIG - Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, A-1010 Wien
OeAD - Österreichischer Austauschdienst (Austrian Agency for International
Cooperation in Education and Research)
ÖBB - Österreichische Bundesbahn (Austrian Federal Railways)
ÖH - Österreichische HochschülerInnenschaft (Austrian National Union of Students)
p.A. - persönliche Anmeldung (registration in person)
PS - Proseminar (introductory seminar course)
SE - Seminar (seminar course)
SoSe - Sommersemester (summer semester)
UB - Universitätsbibliothek (university library)
UE - Übung (exercise)
VO - Vorlesung (lecture)
WS - Winter semester
ZID - Zentraler Informatikdienst (Vienna University Computer Center)