To study in Austria, you often need extra language or preparatory qualifications. We’ve put together a basic introduction to the programmes that can help you secure these skills.
Preparation programmes help international students who hold offers from Austrian universities pass their university’s final admissions exam. In Austria, the type and nature of such programmes are specific to each university.
Sometimes, these preparation programmes are held at a different university to the one you have applied to. This means you might need to travel to complete the programme that is right for you.
OeAD preparation programmes
Lots of university preparation programmes are run through an organisation called the OeAD. The OeAD offers a wider range of programmes, including German as a foreign language, English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History and Geography.
Example OeAD preparation programme - Vienna
In Vienna, six universities participate in an OeAD preparation programme. Around 900 offer holders attend this university preparation programme each year. You can only apply to one of these programmes after you have been accepted by a participating university.
Generally, offer holders are enrolled as non-degree programme students at their university. In order to take up their university place, students have to pass the preparation programme.
Viennese preparation programmes tend to last for one semester. The winter semester runs from October to February and the summer semester runs from March to June. Which semester the programme runs in varies from institution to institution. Each institution also has different enrolment dates and deadlines, so it is important that you get specific information from your university.
Viennese German language preparation programmes usually have 22 to 24 lessons per week. The fees are 1,180 EUR per programme plus around 30 EUR for materials. Students from certain countries pay a reduced fee of 480 EUR - the OeAD website linked to at the bottom of this guide has more information on this.
Alternative preparation programmes
Beyond the OeAD, other organisations also deliver university preparation programmes. The specific information for each programme varies, but you can find details and application forms on their websites, which we link to at the bottom of this guide.
Here are some examples of preparation programmes run by other organisations:
German Language preparation programmes
- University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria - German language preparation programme
- To apply to this programme, students require some basic German language skills - the admissions process involves an interview in both German and English.
- This programme lasts for a year and a half and costs 3,600 EUR.
- Universitat Salzburg - German Preparation Programme.
- This programme doesn’t require any prior German language skills.
- The programme is three to four semesters long and costs 630 EUR per semester.
Other preparation programmes
- University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria - International Foundation Programme in Maths, Physics, English and German
- This programme has options for students without existing German language skills.
- The programme takes one to two years and costs 3,600 EUR per year.