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 Study in Austria
ABOUT austria
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STUDY IN  Austria - About austria

General Information    |    Geography    |    Government    |    Communication

General Information


Area: 83,858 sq km (32,378 sq miles)

Population: 8,223,062 (official estimate July 2014 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 0.23% (2002 est.)
Population Density: 97.4 per sq km

Capital: Vienna (Wien)

Ethnicity / Race: German 88%, non-nationals 9.3% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma), naturalized 2% (includes those who have lived in Austria at least three generations)

Language: German is the official language. Regional dialects are pronounced and within the different regions of the country one will encounter marked variations from Hochdeutsch, ie ‘standard’ German. There are Croatian and Slovene-speaking minorities in the Burgenland and southern Carinthia respectively.

Currency: Single European currency (Euro): The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Austria). The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Austrian Schilling was in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2, 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents

Religion: 78 per cent Roman Catholic, 5 per cent Protestant, 4.5 per cent other denominations

Time: GMT + 1.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin European plugs are standard

Health: Ticks often live in heavily afforested areas during the summer months in some of the more easterly parts of Austria and can create discomfort and, in very rare cases, serious infection to people who are bitten. Immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis is available and travellers likely to find themselves in these wooded areas should take a course of injections. Rabies is present in Austria, although there have been no incidents reported in recent years. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten seek medical advice without delay. For more information consult the Health appendix.

Tipping: Widespread, but large amounts are not expected. On restaurant bills a service charge of 10 to 15 per cent is included, but it is usual to leave a further 5 per cent. Attendants at theatres, cloakrooms or petrol pumps, expect to be tipped €0.15-0.22. Railway and airports have fixed charges for portering. Taxi drivers expect €0.22-0.29 for a short trip and 10 per cent for a longer one.

Customs: Austria, at the geographical heart of Europe, is renowned for its ski resorts set on spectacular mountains, overlooking crystal-clear lakes and voluptuously green valleys. Throughout the country are glorious architectural reminders of the once-powerful Hapsburgs, who dominated central Europe for seven centuries.

Austria has a justifiable reputation for music, literature and the arts, but also boasts a gourmet culture. The legendary Gemütlichkeit – a relaxed enjoyment of life – is in evidence in the cafés, where the art of coffee-drinking has been raised to a high art, and the many Heurigen, where the latest vintages are accompanied by vast quantities of food. Nightlife is versatile, offering laid-back taverns, beer gardens and excellent après-ski, as well as trendy clubs and dance venues packed to the small hours.




Location: Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates: 47 20 N, 13 20 E

total: 82,738 sq km
Water: 1,120 sq km
Land: 82,738 sq km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Territorial sea:

Climate: temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers

Terrain: in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m

Natural resources: iron ore, oil, timber, magnesite, lead, coal, lignite, copper, hydropower

Natural hazards: landslides; avalanches; earthquakes

Environment - current issues: some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe

Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere





Government Structure: Austria is a federal republic with bicameral legislature. The 183-member National Council is elected for four years; the 64 members of Federal Council do not have fixed terms. The President, elected for a six-year term, is head of state. Executive power is held by the Chancellor, normally the leader of the largest party in parliament, who leads a cabinet of ministers.





Telephone: Full IDD facilities available.

Country code: 43. Outgoing international code: 00. Call boxes are grey and found in all areas. International calls can be made from payphones with four coin slots. Trunk calls within Austria and to 40 countries are cheaper Mon-Fri 1800-0800 and approximately 35 per cent cheaper at the weekend (from 1300 Saturday to 0800 Monday).

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800. Network operators include T-mobile (website: , Connect Austria (website: and Telering (website:

Fax: Widely available, especially in cities.

Internet: There are many Internet cafes. ISPs include Nextra (website:

Telegram: Facilities are available from any post office; telegrams can also be sent by dialling 10 from any phone.

Post: Letters up to 20g and postcards within Europe are sent by airmail. Letters within Europe take 2 to 4 days, and to the USA 4 to 6 days. Stamps may be purchased in post offices or tobacco shops. Postcards and letters within Austria and Europe cost €0.51. Post boxes are yellow; red stripes mean that the box is also emptied weekends and bank holidays. A Poste Restante service is available at most post offices. Address mail to ‘Postlagernd’ (‘Hauptpostlagernd’ if a main post office), followed by the person’s name, town, and post code. Post office hours: generally Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1400-1700/1800, but main post offices and those at major railway stations are open for 24 hours, 7 days a week, including public holidays.

Press: Newspapers are in German. The Wiener Zeitung, established in 1703, is the oldest newspaper in the world. The national daily with the largest circulation is the Neue Kronen-Zeitung, followed by Kurier, Der Standard and Die Presse. English-language newspapers and magazines are also widely available, particularly in the big cities and tourist resorts.

Radio: BBC World Service (website: From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.


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