Dorm or apartment?
First, we suggest you consider whether you would prefer to live in a dorm or an apartment. There are comparatively many university dormitories in Austria, which are usually a little cheaper than shared apartments. When you start studying, living in a student house can also be more "comfortable" because there are fewer things to take care of. In an apartment there are more administrative matters to take care of, but you are also freer and more autonomous.
For student housing you apply for a year. In some cases, it is also possible to save on the rent for the summer months because they only allocate places for the duration of an academic year. Some student accommodation will only accept applications for the following academic year until April 30, while others will accept them all year round. The date of application is not always decisive for winning a room. Therefore, it is best to start looking from the beginning of winter, also because applications can be sent to several student dormitories. If you get a room in a student dormitory, you can always refuse it.
If you want to live in a shared flat, you should start looking immediately after graduation to have enough time and consider as many options as possible. Availability and prices vary from city to city. The price depends on the size of the room and the location of the apartment and can vary from 250 euros up to more than 400 euros per month. When looking at the price, it is important to ascertain whether the price already includes expenses (internet, electricity, heating, condominium expenses, etc.) or not. The deposit is usually 2-3 months of rent. You can find ads on the notice boards in university faculties, online or in newspapers. A more expensive alternative is to contact a real estate agent who usually charges a commission of 2-3 months of rent.
If you go to Innsbruck, Vienna or Salzburg, you have the possibility to use our office as a starting point. Our members can stay there free of charge for a few days.
Anyone moving to Austria must register their residence with the municipality within three days of moving in. Furthermore, it is obligatory to report a change of residence (applies to main and secondary residence) to the competent registration office. In addition, all students (if they have been staying in Austria for longer than three months, in any case after four months at the latest) should apply for an EEA registration certificate. For this purpose, a number of documents such as the identity card, the confirmation of enrolment, the European Health Insurance Certificate, proof of means of subsistence in the form of a self-declaration of the supporting reference persons (without obligatory specification of concrete amounts) must be submitted to the relevant office.
Failure to comply with these bureaucratic requirements may result in fines!
More info on the topic of residence is available here.