Scholarships and student loans
There are a number of scholarship opportunities available for international students who would like to study or do research in Vienna. There are international scholarships for undergraduate, postgraduate and research students, as well as prizes and bursaries for summer and other short courses.
Some scholarships, fellowships and bursary schemes are offered by the universities themselves, while others are funded by the Federal Ministry ofScience, Research and Economy (BMWFW). There are also international scholarship programmes funded by private companies, like banks, oil and energy companies and companies in the automotive industry, for example, and by non-governmental or non-Austrian institutions, like Unesco and associations and fellowships like the Rotary Club, to name a few. Some foreign agencies also offer financial help to their home students who wish to study abroad – the Brazilian government, for example, has been funding international scholarships for their home students through the Science Without Borders programme.
The requirements for applying for a scholarship to study abroad vary from one programme to the other. Most of the grants offered by universities are merit-based (in other words, for highly talented students with amazing school results), and even the ones called “need-based” usually require academic excellence. – nationality, – field of study/research- economic/historical background
Other institutions offer international scholarships that take into consideration many factors other than academic excellence, like the ones listed below (or a combination of them):
Students from Developing Countries
There are, for example, many scholarships to study abroad that target students from developing countries. The European Union provides information and offers programs as well. This means you may be able to find a scholarship that suits you even if your grades are not exceptional.
Bear in mind that the opportunities ofscholarships for international students available change every year, so if you checked a year ago and couldn’t find anything suitable for you, it is always worth looking again.
The application processes and deadlines vary from one scholarship programme to the other, and usually require that you are already enrolled to a course. So the sooner you start researching, the more likely you are to be awarded an international scholarship!
How do I look for a scholarship?
There are hundreds of international scholarship & grant opportunities to study in Vienna every year. We would advise, as a first step, to check the availability and requirements to apply for a scholarship at the university where you are enrolled.
We have listed below a few international scholarship opportunities offered by some of the top universities in Vienna:
University of Economics
However, citizens of third countries and stateless persons can be awarded a need-based grant if they fulfil certain requirements. The university also offers mobility grants to doctoral students.
Vienna University of Economics and Business has both merit and need-based scholarships for international students, and academic excellence is a must in both cases. In principle, the university’s need-based bursaries are available only to Austrian citizens and citizens of EEA member countries.
University of Vienna
Vienna University publishes its scholarship opportunities for international students in the University’s bulletin. These bursaries include grants for students with citizenship of certain countries, for special study achievements and for research.
The University of Applied Arts
The University of Applied Arts Vienna offers different types of international scholarships to students from the EU/EUWR and to non EU-students, students entitled to asylum and students granted subsidiary protection.
Scholarships in Austria
and for most or the EU – DON’T usually cover the whole cost of the tuition fee. In many cases, the scholarships available for international students are only a fraction of the amount offered for Austrian students, so don’t expect a grant of more than 30% of your tuition fee. Having said that, we know that every little helps when it comes to finances, if you are an international student. This is particularly true to overseas students, who are subject to higher fees.
Webster University Vienna
Webster also offers work-study scholarships based on academic excellence, experience, and suitability. The students receive partial tuition support in return for working as student assistants.
Approximately twenty percent of Webster Vienna’s students receive some form of financial support through international scholarships, bursary or sponsorships. Webster’s opportunities are mainly of the merit-based type. Webster Scholarsprogramme, for example, offers newly enrolled undergraduate students a merit-based scholarship of 33% of the tuition fee, including books.
Governmental related Agencies
These are just some examples of the international scholarships students can apply for directly with universities in Vienna, usually after enrolling.If you are still in the process of choosing an institution, please check the full list of Vienna Universities. Your chosen university will also be able to inform you about any partnership/ third party programmes available for that year.It is also a good idea to check the agencies of your home country for any funding available to students from your nationality who wish to study abroad.
If you can’t find suitable international scholarships within your university, or with your local agencies, don’t give up. There are many other possibilities. You can proceed by checking the agencies listed below:
The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) focus on academic mobilityand offers a wealth of grant opportunities for international students.
These include, for example, scholarships for descendants of forced labour workers or for people who come from countries that have exceptionally suffered from the Nazi regime. TheOeAD website also has information on third party scholarship opportunities.
The international scholarships awarded by OeAD usually target the inclusion of minorities and opportunities for students from certain countries or regions to study abroad.
Unesco also offers a variety of scholarships to study abroad.You can also find scholarships for international students through one of the many scholarship databases available.Scholarships.at is both a scholarships database and a platform for most of the scholarship applications in Austria.
Grant.at, for example, is Austria’s most comprehensive database for scholarships and research grants in German and English language. Grant lets you browse through international scholarships for undergraduates, graduates and researchers in Austria, as well as for student prizes and practical training courses.
For students within the European Union, another option of funding to study in Vienna is Erasmus +. This programme will provide a range of international scholarships, work experience and volunteering opportunities for over 4 million European students between 2014-2020.
How do I apply for a scholarship to study abroad?
International scholarship application processes vary from institution to institution. If you are applying for a university-funded award, you will most likely have to apply directly with the university after having enrolled for a course.
For merit-based international scholarships, the list of documents you need to submit is usually very similar to the ones you would normally use for your international application to the university:
- grades and school certificates, along with the official translation letters of recommendation.
- English proficiency test (some institutions may establish a minimum grade candidates need to achieve in order to be eligible)
- some form of personal statement, or letter explaining why you should be awarded an international scholarship.
- Sometimes there is a face-to-face interview.
For certain types of international scholarships, if they are not merit-based, all you need to do to apply is manifest your interest and send your contact details. This may be the case when there are loads of grants available and the only requirement is for the candidate to be from a certain nationality, for example. A big part of the scholarshipapplications in Austria is done online via scholarships.at. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to prepare your application and all necessary documents to meet the submission deadline. Deadlines for submission are usually between March and September of the starting academic year, but vary according to each awarding institution. Note that some application processes work on a first-come, first served basis. You may find it useful to keep a calendar of the application dates, especially if you are planning to apply for more than one bursary programme.Make sure to dedicate time for each application, submit all required documents, and send a good quality essay/personal statement, when required.
Finally, make sure to check your finances. If you are unsure if you can support yourself in Vienna even with a scholarship, it is best to speak with someone from the international office from your chosen university before you enrol, to see what other help you can get.
Remember that despite the high competition, being awarded an international scholarship is not an impossible achievement. The more organised and informed you are, the higher your chances of getting help with your fees. By the way, FeelsLikeHome helps you keep on top of your scholarship to study abroad research & application processes ;-). If you need any special assistant just click on the contact us button and an international scholarships expert will get in touch with you asap.
Again, this will vary, so it is important to contact the funding institution directly for more information.
Student loans are an important funding option for international students who wish to study in Vienna but are concerned that they can’t afford the costs involved.
Studying abroad can be a very big investment. It certainly pays off in the end, but you don’t want to be in a different country worrying about money, when you should be studying and enjoying the experience!
If you think you won’t have enough funding to pay your tuition fees and all other expenses that come with studying in another country, you should consider applying for an international student loan.
A study abroad loan IS NOT the same as a grant, or a scholarship. When you get an international student loan, you have to pay the money back to the funding institution some time after the end of your studies.
There are two types of loans to study abroad:
- federal loans
- private loans.
Federal study abroad loans
These are loans to study abroad for which you have to apply in your home country, at your national education ministry. The rules for these vary from country to country, but federal study abroad loans are usually need-based.
The big advantage of getting a federal loan to study abroad is that they are “cheaper” than private ones – you won’t be charged any fees, and usually there’s no interest rate other than the inflation rate.
The only disadvantage of federal student loans is that they are not always available, or may not cover all of your costs. In any case, it is always advisable to explore your options of getting federal funding before applying for private loans.
Private study abroad loans
Private loans for international students are generally funded by banks or other institutions. Such loans usually let you borrow up to the total cost of your education abroad – including tuition fees, living expenses, books and transportation – minus any amounts received as support towards your courses (a scholarship, for example).
Like with any other commercial loan, you will be charged a fee and an interest rate, which will vary from institution to institution. There are many online tools that allow you to search for the best student loans. You can apply for a private loan either in your own country or in the country where you intend to study.
Every university in Vienna will have a list of banks and other institutions that are approved lenders for their courses, so it is a good idea to speak with the finance officer in your university as soon as possible. You can find a list of all Viennese unviersities in our topic Universities in Vienna.
Your university financial officer may even be able to advise on smaller organisations that lend money to students at a lower interest rate than commercial banks.
6 tips to improve your chances on getting a private study loan
Like with any other commercial loan, your bank will only lend you money if you can give them lots of evidence that you will be able to pay the amount back at the end of your track. How to show your bank you are “credit worthy”?
- Have a good credit score – you need to have a good credit score to be able to borrow money. This means not having any outstanding debts to your name. If you do, make sure you pay your debts before you apply, or your international student loan application may be refused.
- Have a co-signer – because students don’t usually have much money to their names, banks might ask the parents to be co-borrowers, or ask for a co-signer from outside the family. This should be someone with a clear credit history, and a good income/expenses ration. Some banks will establish a minimum yearly income. It’s always best to think who could be your co-signer and speak with them beforehand, even if your bank may not require one in the end.
- Bear in mind that your bank will look at the graduation rate of your chosen university and the employability of your chosen programme after you graduate. Needless to say that the higher these rates are, the higher your chances of getting a loan to study abroad.
- If you are applying for a loan with a bank outside your home country, you will usually have to be enrolled prior to applying for the loan.
- As for everything else, start in time, so that you have time to negotiate, or find alternatives, in case your bank refuses to give you a loan for your international studies.
- Make sure that you bring everything you need to the appointment. We have provided a handy little checklist for you! (Click the “checklist icon” on the right!
What are the consequences?
After your study abroad loan is approved and you’ve received a big sum of money, there will be some consequences…
The bank – or funding institution – is very likely to monitor your academic progress throughout your studies. This doesn’t mean you can never have a bad grade, but you have to maintain a certain level of academic progress.
You will usually be required to start paying back the loan six months after the end of your studies. In most cases, the debt can be spread over 5 to 10 years, depending on how much you borrowed. If you end up borrowing more than you actually needed, it is always best to return the money to the bank right away and save up on interest rates.
In many European countries, the interest from student loans is tax deductible. Check if this is the case in your country too – this is a way of getting some of your money back.
Erasmus is one of the oldest, largest and most popular of all the EU funded programmes. It offers:
- Cultural exchange
- European integration
- International understanding
- Acquisition of language skills
- Jump on the Erasmus bandwagon, and you can be offered financial support for the duration of your stay in Vienna.
From 2014 until 2020, the Erasmus + programme will provide a total of 14.7 billion euros for over 4 million students. It sponsors young EU citizens who which to spend time abroad as part of their studies. The minimum stay is 3 months and funding can be granted for a maximum of 12 months.
Get to know your university!
Application deadlines and selection processes will be filtered through your university, so make sure you know who your point of contact is, so that they can help you with all stages of the application process.
Make sure you’ve done a lot of research before your stay abroad. Every application is different, so make sure you know what specifics you and your university may have for the Erasmus scheme. All applications must be sent through a higher education facility, and cannot be completed independently.
Also make sure you’ve had a look at the official Erasmus website to get all the information you need about going abroad, including how much you are entitled to!
Who is eligible?
This programm is only suited for students from germany!
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