Moving to Austria

It’s never been easier to pack up and move to Austria. Whether you’re joining over a quarter of the country’s population in the bustling metropolis of Vienna or opting for something slightly more rural, you’re never far from the stunning Alpine mountains and crystalline lakes that Austria is synonymous with.

German is the official language. Although, there are several distinct regional dialects that differ quite significantly from high German, which include Austro-Bavarian and Alemannic.

The country has been a republic since 1955 and adheres to a strict code of military neutrality, participating in NATO’s Partnership for Peace. By moving to Austria you’ll be moving to one of the richest countries in the world with some of the highest standards of living. Not only that, Austria has taken great strides in recent years to become a much cleaner country and produces 63% of its energy from renewable sources.

Finding accommodation

Renting a flat is common practice in urban environments in Austria, particularly in Vienna. Both furnished and unfurnished flat are available, however, the term ‘unfurnished’ can vary from flat to flat; from just having no furniture to the kitchen being completely bare. Be sure to view any potential accommodation to know exactly what you are getting. Houses with gardens tend to be limited to the suburbs or more rural areas and buying costs can be quite high. To offset any language barriers, an estate agent will help you navigate any obstacles and have insider knowledge of your chosen locale.

Students can contact the Studentenwohnungsservice SWS (Student Housing Service SWS) for moderately priced apartments.

Education

Austria boasts a robust education system. Although most schools are state run, there are many private and international schools throughout the country. Austrian schooling can be split into 4 stages: nursery (3-6 years old), primary school (6-10 years old), middle school (10-14 years old) and high school (14-18/19 years old), and is mandatory up to 15 years of age.

When attending an international school, students can pursue an International Baccalaureate – an internationally recognised qualification – and have the option to complete the Austrian Matura Equivalency Program to match the Austrian Diploma.

Culture

Austria has a rich, vibrant culture that has so much more to offer than the stereotypical lederhosen and beer. For one, the country’s musical heritage is second to none, being the home country of many of the world’s most renowned composers: Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and both Strauss Junior and Senior. The ball season in January and February offers a touch of pomp and ceremony to your calendar and you should take time to visit one of Austria’s many castles to explore their imperial past.

Good to know

Up until recent years, Austria has been a largely Catholic nation. As a result, almost all bank holidays fall on Catholic Holy Days or have some link to Christianity. Why not spend that holiday time exploring the mountains? You certainly won’t be short of them!

62% of the country is covered by the Alps, so take some time for hiking or indulging in one of the most popular winter pastimes: skiing! You’ll also have the opportunity to visit Eisriesenwelt, the world’s largest ice cave, located around 40km south of Salzburg.

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