Studying in Austria
In Austria you can enrol in any number of study courses. When it comes to lessons, the term Semesterwochenstunde, which indicates the duration (how many hours) of a given lesson per week and semester, is still used occasionally. But now, also in Austria the term ECTS (in Italian CFU - university credits) has become well established, which is used to measure the workload required by the student. The academic year is divided into a "winter semester" (Wintersemester) and a "summer semester" (Sommersemester).
Higher institutes for vocational qualifications
In addition to universities, there are also the so-called Fachhochschulen (vocational training colleges). While in Italy this type of university institution does not exist, in Germany and Austria the Fachhochschulen have a special status because, although the educational provision is reduced compared to traditional universities, the courses offered are very specialized and practice-oriented. Lessons are held in small groups - a bit like at school. Attendance at Fachhochschulen is advisable if you have already decided which profession you would like to practise after your studies.
The topic of tuition fees has been discussed in Austria for years. In state universities only non-EU citizens and graduate students pay tuition fees (4 years for the triennial, 3 years for the master's degree). The amount of tuition is about 363,36€ per semester - and here too there are exceptions. Everyone else has to pay the ÖH contribution of 20.70 euro/semester.
In most vocational colleges, fees of around 363,36€/semester are paid. Some institutions, such as the Joanneum in Graz, do not have fees, but at other institutions or private universities they may be higher.