Welcome to Vienna: 10 Reasons to Study in Vienna (with EWS)
They say the Danube only looks blue to those who are in love, but it’s incredibly easy to fall in love with Vienna, the most populous city that this mighty river crosses. A city that for the tenth year in a row, Mercer’s ‘Quality of Living’ city ranking declared as the world’s best city to live in.
If you asked different people what they like most about Vienna, you’d get a colourful rainbow of answers. A culture buff would praise Vienna’s legendary opera, theatre and concert venues, an art lover would mention Vienna’s famous art scene, an outdoorsy person would tell you about the closeness of the river, parks, mountains and forests.
People often say they fell in love with Vienna without being able to tell why. We, however, came up with 10 very good reasons why you should come study in Vienna.
1. Vienna is a perfect blend of tradition and modernity
For centuries, Vienna has been the capital of great empires; a city where west meets east, where great minds from all over the world come together to collect, share and confront ideas. Prominent people from near and far moved to Vienna throughout history, many of whom stayed here for the rest of their lives.
Vienna is where Mozart and Strauss composed their most remarkable music, where artists like Klimt and Schiele defined the Art Nouveau movement, and where Freud developed his ground-breaking theories about the human mind.
Times have changed since Freud puffed his famous cigars in the trademark cafés of Vienna, but the city is still a unique crossroads of various cultures. Its rich history can be felt at every corner, but it has also quickly adapted to modern times — becoming the perfect blend of old and new.
2. Travelling within the city is easy, quick and cheap
Today, Vienna is one of the smartest cities in the world when it comes to urban planning, and boasts with one of the world’s most efficient and reliable public transportation systems.
Vienna is comprised of 23 districts, but the diverse public transport makes it easy to live in one part of the city and study or work in the other. Trams, busses and metro bring you everywhere quickly and inexpensively. During the rush hour, a metro train comes every 3 minutes, and you can commute for just €1 a day with the Jahreskarte (‘annual ticket’). With the WienMobile smartphone app you always have the city’s bus, tram and subway schedules in your pocket, and the app also allows you to buy tickets or book one of the city’s many car-sharing options or a taxi.
Many students choose bicycle as their primary means of getting around. Cycling is the best and most convenient way to travel through the relatively flat city. Vienna has a good cycling infrastructure — with over 1.300 spider web-like kilometres of bike lanes, often isolated from other traffic, and one of the best public bike-rental systems with over 120 bike stations throughout the city.
3. It’s the perfect base for travelling abroad
Vienna is located at the heart of Europe, which makes it an ideal gateway to other beautiful European capitals and cities. The proximity of an international airport makes farther travel adventures feasible, as do the train, bus and even boat links with entire Europe.
It takes 75 minutes to travel between Vienna and Bratislava with the Twin City Liner catamaran, 2.5 hours between Vienna and Budapest with the train, 3.5 hours between Vienna and Prague with a car and 4.45 hours between Vienna and Ljubljana with FlixBus.
Students of international business studies at Europa-Wirtschaftsschulen (EWS) are no strangers to travelling abroad. One semester of our 3-year study programmes is devoted to study abroad at one of EWS’s educational partners. After an additional semester abroad, students receive an internationally recognized bachelor’s degree from one of EWS’s educational partners in the EU.
4. It’s an exciting international hub that is also safe and affordable
The central geographical location of Vienna attracts not only students, but also professionals, entrepreneurs, businesses and international corporations. Numerous international organizations and institutions have their headquarters in Vienna:
one of the four official venues of the United Nations
the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
— to name just a few.
As one of the most popular business and congress centres and an emerging start-up hotspot, Vienna is a city of massive career opportunities — especially in areas of business, finance, management and marketing. At the same time, Vienna is still one of the few affordable major capitals of Europe with a relatively low cost of living and rents that are within students’ financial means.
Vienna is also one of the safest cities in the world. In terms of the high quality of life combined with cultural richness, diversity and public safety, the city remains unbeatable.
“Vienna is often considered as the safest large city on the European continent. We have achieved this status through following a simple approach, i.e.: We leave no one behind.” Previous Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Häupl, in an interview for Mercer.)
5. Vienna is a city with many career opportunities
The strong presence of international companies and organisations makes Vienna the perfect city for interesting student work that will help you build an international career.
Many of our EWS students decide to stay and work in Vienna after graduating. During their course of study, we do our best to equip them with not just theoretical, but also practical knowledge and skills. Work placements (internships) are the first stepping stone of a successful career, which is why they are compulsory in all our study programmes.
“Studying at EWS was very extensive and practice-oriented. The combination of business courses and foreign language courses has proved to be a good basis for my future working life. The basics of management were taught in great detail and always illustrated with practical examples. Foreign languages were taught at a very high level, and the semester abroad in Durham, England, has broadened my horizons.” Stephanie Mayrhofer, EWS graduate who currently works in Business Support for AstraZeneca
6. The heart of the city beats in a student rhythm
Vienna is home to a large student population — there were almost 200,000 university students in 2017/2018, around a quarter of them coming from abroad. Studying in Vienna means studying in one of the top student cities in the world — according to students themselves.
The main university building is located at the centre of Vienna, so you can feel the student spirit everywhere. When the weather is warm, the parks around the city centre are filled with students. There is more than enough green spaces in the city: more than half of the Vienna’s surfaces are dedicated to parks, gardens, recreation areas and forests.
If you’re one of those people who find studying at home boring or difficult, you’ll find the centre of Vienna ideal for group study sessions. Studying with friends gives extra motivation, and you can help each other out and exchange questions during breaks.
Besides the parks, cafés and coffee shops, coworking spaces and even bars are where Viennese students get their work done. The best Vienna cafés have plenty of cosy nooks to hang out, one-person tables, and enough outlets to charge your computer.
While background noises of a busy café spark creativity in some students, others prefer quieter places. Vienna has some of the most beautiful and historic libraries in the world that hold the city’s rich cultural heritage. Many of them don’t charge fees for using their bright, modern study rooms, so they are always buzzing with students.
The best thing about studying in one of Vienna’s libraries is, if you need a change of air, you’re always near a park, and if you need a caffeine or a Sachertorte boost, you’re always surrounded by some of the world-famous coffee houses.
7. Culture, music, recreation and fun are synonymous with Vienna
The student life in Vienna isn’t just working and studying. It’s also tasting international cuisine, seeing the latest art exhibition, partying with your friends until sunrise or taking a ski trip to one of the nearby ski resorts.
Vienna is an incredibly vibrant city with a well-developed culture, art, outdoor and party scene. In 2017, there were more than 50 museums, over 26 thousand theatre seats and 167 sports facilities.
The city map ‘Vienna Young & Clever’ was created especially for young people and focuses on trendy restaurants, shops, museums, theatres and places to party rather than the typical tourist routes.
Many of Vienna’s cultural institutions and museums offer free entry or great price reductions for students. The possibility to see otherwise expensive theatre or opera performances for as little as €5 is, for many, the greatest thing about being a student in Vienna.
Every year, the city overflows with cultural events and music festivals. Winter is the season of Vienna’s magical Christmas markets. Spring brings the Vinyl & Music festival, the Art Vienna contemporary art fair and the Electric Spring — an open-air festival dedicated to electronic music. Summer is for the Donauinselfest — Europe’s largest free open-air music festival. Autumn is the perfect season for museum hopping, at the Long Night of Museums event, they stay open all night long.
As in other metropolises with large student populations, nightlife thrives in Vienna. Among the popular student spots are the 7th District with its trendy cafés, bars and restaurants (“Beisls”), the large square Museums Quartier that, on warm days, turns into an open-air bar full of international people chatting over beers, and the party area along the Donaukanal, Vienna’s own beach that is made up of relaxed summer bars and the city’s best electronic music nightclubs that regularly showcase top international DJs.
8. Viennese cuisine reflects the city’s cosmopolitan nature
It’s probably needless to say that if you like Apfelstrudel, Sausages, Schnitzel and Sachertorte, you’ll have a great time with the local cuisine. But Viennese cuisine is much more than that. It’s mainly influenced by French, Italian and Central European cuisines, but fans of food from faraway places will not be disappointed either — there is a variety of Turkish, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Asian and Indian delicacies waiting to be explored.
Students often dine in one of the city’s subsidised cafeterias (canteens) that serve Viennese classics at student-friendly prices. Many of the students eat at least once a week at Der Wiener Deewan, a Pakistani all-you-can-eat & pay-as-you-wish buffet located near the university area and just opposite of the EWS Vienna Campus.
Vienna is also home to some of Europe’s best food markets and flea markets; the most popular is the Naschmarkt, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, traditional Viennese food and specialties from other countries.
9. There are different types of affordable student accommodation
Finding affordable student accommodation in Vienna usually comes down to either choosing to live in one of the many student dormitories, or opt for private housing.
Living in a shared private apartment, Wohngemeinschaft (WG), is usually the preferred choice — dividing the rent and utility costs of a larger apartment (where everyone has their own room but share the kitchen and bathroom) is the cheapest type of student accommodation. Sharing a flat with like-minded people is also more fun and gives you more freedom and independence, compared to living in a dorm which can sometimes feel more like a hotel than a home.
We recommend to our future students to start looking for an apartment as soon as their application to EWS is accepted, or even before, as prices are usually higher during university semesters. Wohnberatung Wien is the city’s official office that helps seeking accommodation, and there are many other helpful sources online:
Facebook groups (type ‘wg wien’ in the search bar)
10. EWS’s student-centred approach to studies
We understand that it’s often hard for students to balance their personal and educational goals. That’s why EWS-Vienna takes a student-centred approach:
Our students enjoy an informal study environment, learning in small groups and lots of personal assistance.
Our long-standing, successful business study programme is designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs at international organizations and businesses.
Our students gain knowledge through a mixture of theoretical and practical studies, with lots of case studies, class discussions and group projects.
We guide our students through their first work experiences within compulsory work placements.
Besides learning from experienced lecturers and experts with a business background at EWS, our students get the option to go abroad and get their first international work experience, as well as obtain a double qualification — a professional diploma and an internationally recognised bachelor’s degree.
If you want to know more about studying at EWS, look at our EWS Course Description for full-time programmes, taught in German.
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