Preschool education in Austria is not compulsory. The Austrian system of preschool education includes nursery – Kinderkrippe – for children up to 3 years of age and kindergartens – Kindergarten – for older children in the age range of three to six years. In most cases, children in kindergartens simply spend time – a reading and writing training is not provided.
Preschool institutions are private and public.
Note: Children under three years old attend private and public kindergartens on a paid basis.
In order to arrange your child in kindergarten, you first need to carry out its “registration” at the district MA10 and obtain “Kindernummer” (literally “baby number”). That requires documentation, namely a completed application form and a copy of Meldezettel (registration at place of residence). When you gather the documents, pass them to an employee of MA10 and in exchange you will receive a document with that number (Kindernummer). Austria is distinct in its minimum bureaucracy, so the whole process will take not more than 10 minutes.
Schooling starts at the age of six and is completely free (this includes transportation, textbooks, and basic costs). There are also private schools in Austria, where schooling is not paid by the state.
Elementary schools are divided into three types:
Volksschule — school for the “people”;
Grundschule — general education primary school;
Sonderschule — school for children with special needs and care.
School education has two stages (up to grade 9). After graduation from elementary school there is help in preparation for university or a variety of professional training courses.
Studying time: 4 years;
Admission age: 6 years old;
Graduation age: 10 years old.
Education at secondary school in Austria begins after graduation from elementary school. There are several types of secondary schools:
Hauptschule — general education secondary school;
Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen — secondary school with an academic level training.
In turn, the academic schools are divided into:
Gymnasium — general education gymnasiums;
Realgymnasium — gymnasiums with an emphasis on the study of scientific subjects;
Wirtschaftskundlisches Realgymnasium — gymnasiums with an emphasis on study of housekeeping.
Admission age: 10;
Graduation age: 14;
Studying time: 4 years.
Upper Secondary School
From 14 years old those who graduat from secondary school enter the upper secondary school (Allgemein bildende höhere Schulen) where they continue their education until graduation. During this period their professional skills, practical and theoretical knowledge is extended, as well as they prepare for university studies. At the end of upper secondary school, the graduate receives a certificate of secondary education in Austria.
Admission age: 14;
Graduation age: 18;
Studying time: 4 years.
The higher education system in Austria is developed in accordance with all requirements and standards of the European Union and implies the division into several levels.
First of all, of course, you should choose a particular line of profession. Entrance examinations as such are not held in Austria, except perhaps, for creative, medical and psychological professions. Occasionally, economic professions may conduct an entrance test. But before you learn about them, you should understand the following: what exactly should be taken for admission to a higher educational establishment?
Having determined the profession, you should choose a university that offers the possibility of obtaining your chosen profession. This step should be taken with extreme thoroughness, since each university has a variety of teaching methods and, most importantly, a various magistral staff. Then you should prepare all the necessary documents:
Certificate with the corresponding addendum;
Statement about admission to a Ukrainian university.
Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, also with its addendum;
Statement about admission to a Ukrainian university for a Master’s program.
The educational system in Austria comprises the following academic levels:
Bachelor (in German Bakkalaureus). The bachelor degree program lasts for 3-4 years and directly depends on your chosen curriculum. After passing the state certification for a bachelor’s degree, held in the form of defense of a bachelor’s degree work and passing of two exams, the student is granted a bachelor’s degree that allows to start a professional career or to continue learning at a master’s degree program of any university of the European Union.
To enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, the following is necessary:
First of all a complete secondary education;
The application to study at the university completed and submitted by a certain date. Depending on the semester the deadline for application varies. Applications for the winter term will be accepted until August 20, and for the spring term – before and including the 10th.
Documented proficiency in the German language (level B2 at least).
Master’s Degree or Graduated Engineer (in German, Diplom–Ingenieur) takes 2-3 years depending on the mode of attendance and program you choose. A master’s graduate thesis and passing of two state examinations are required in order to pass the state certification.
The main condition for admission is a bachelor’s degree, submission of an application in a timely manner, namely from October 1 to August 20, from March 1 to January 10 a successful passage of entrance examinations and a required level of language proficiency.
The third and final stage of acquisition of a higher education is the degree of Doctor (in German,PhD, PostDoc) and it lasts for 2-5 years and requires considerable efforts for admission, such as:
Successful passing of entrance examinations in at least three disciplines, including the exam in a foreign language.
Principal provisions of the thesis, previously agreed with the thesis supervisor.
What documents are required for admission?
There is no universal answer to this question, because each university may require different documents. Austria is a bureaucratized country and one word or number in the statement can be crucial. That is why, in each case, on the basis of the applicant’s situation, the ASG goes to the university and verify the documents.
In any case, there are the general conditions for the applicants:
Completion of secondary or higher education
In most cases – a statement of possibility of training in the chosen specialty in a university at home. The form of this document varies depending on requirements of the specific university
The following is necessary for admission to faculties with entrance exams:
Knowledge of the German language (level B2, in some cases C1), when entering the English-language programs – the English language respectively (in most cases at the level C1)
It is necessary to mention deadlines for submission of documents to universities and the time for their consideration.
Submission of documents is carried out twice a year:
June – beginning of September
January – beginning of February
A university may consider documents for 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the size of the university and the number of the enrollees.
An invitation from a university (the document of admission) may be valid for a few semesters so that the student would have enough time for obtaining of a student visa and for moving to Austria.
Since all of the documents for admission should be legalized, the preparation of the documents should be optimally started 2-3 months prior to the planned date of submission of the documents to the university.
What do you need to know about studying in Austria?
The Austrian educational system corresponds to the Bologna education system, with the main points as follows:
Creation of a uniform certification system and introduction of a single form for the addendum to the diploma – so that the education received in Austria is recognized by all the participating countries in the Bologna Declaration. The uniform rules also facilitate communication between universities and exchange of students and teaching staff.
The two-stage system of higher education: The first stage is the obtaining of a bachelor degree (educational program is designed for 3 years), the second stage is the obtaining of a Master’s degree (2 years) or a doctoral degree (two more years after obtaining a master’s degree).
Introduction of a uniform point system: credit units of subjects workload (ECTS – EuropeanCreditTransferandAccumulationSystem ). Bachelor’s program consists of 180 ECTS, Master’s Program of 120 ECTS. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits, which are about 1500-1800 learning hours.
The education program in Austria universities is flexible enough, students of many faculties decide themselves how hard to study. A student can extend a program designed for six semesters to a larger number of semesters. Nevertheless, it is advisable not to exceed the number of semesters by more than 4 semesters.
In Austria, you can study at several universities at once and at several faculties in the same university at the same time
Higher professional schools (Link) are different in this respect, because they offer a precise academic schedule, the training is possible in as a full-time course or at an evening department; private universities usually carry their learning process according to an exact daily schedule as well.
If you desire, it is easy to combine studies and work. Undergraduate students are allowed to work up to 10 hours a week, graduate students – up to 20 hours a week.
The student is entitled to scholarship. In addition to grants and scholarships for research that mostly graduate students and doctoral students are entitled to, students may receive a scholarship for good learning.
Payment for tuition at public universities is between 380 and 780 Euros per semester, depending on a university and a student’s nationality.
An average monthly cost of a student’s living arrangements is about 800-1,000 Euros, of which 250-400 Euros are spent on rent, 50 Euros on health insurance, about 300 Euros on food, about 300 Euros on other expenses, including study materials and transportation.