Winter semester of 2020/2021: Easing into the start of the semester

Campus of the University of Vienna

University – a whole new universe? Tips, important dates and services to help you have a successful start to the winter semester.

Administrative details 

The semester and the lectures start on 1 October 2020 (overview of important dates in the academic year). Information about the admission procedure and about the application and admission periods are available on the website "Studying at the University of Vienna".

Paying the tuition fees/Students’ Union (ÖH) fee: In order to continue your studies in the winter semester, you have to pay your tuition fee/Students’ Union fee. There are several payment options. For information about continuing your studies if you have already paid your tuition fee/Students’ Union fee at another Austrian university, please visit the website Studying at the University of Vienna.


Studying remotely
After a semester characterised by studying from home, courses at the University of Vienna will still be taught digitally in the next winter semester due to the coronavirus. However, there will also be hybrid and on-site teaching. Digital formats currently provide the greatest planning security. Everything you need to know about studying remotely(© Barbara Mair) 

Please note: If you make a payment via online banking or payment form, it can take up to seven working days for the payment to show as paid in the account information in u:space under "Financial matters > Tuition fee/Students’ Union fee". As soon as we have received your payment, you can validate your u:card – the University of Vienna’s student ID card – for the current semester at one of the u:card terminals.


TIP: Be well prepared for the start of the winter semester 
At the beginning of the semester, the University of Vienna invites you to visit the welcome event unileben that will take place online for the first time on Thursday, 1 October and Friday, 2 October 2020. On the website, students are provided with a wide range of workshops, information and services. The registration for the workshops that are free of charge starts on 17 September 2020 on the unileben website (in German). (© Universität Wien)

If I have questions about my degree programme, who can I ask? 

The best contact points for particular questions during your studies are the StudiesServiceUnit (SSS) or the StudiesServiceCenter (SSC) as well as the students’ representatives of the relevant degree programme (e.g. for subject-related information about studies and the range of courses, the registration system, registration and de-registration deadlines, exams, recognition of exams and graduation).

The Teaching Affairs and Student Services team informs you about the admission to degree programmes, tuition fees, entrance exam procedure/aptitude procedure and general study matters via their website and information events, or by e-mail and phone.


TIP: u:space accompanies you through the semester 
The u:space portal offers you all the services you need for comfortably organising your university life online. You can pay your Students’ Union fee, download your documents (such as your student record sheet, transcript of records, confirmation of enrolment) and register for courses and exams via u:find, etc. Our detailed video tutorials help you organise your studies. (© Barbara Mair) 

Introductory and orientation period (STEOP)

At the University of Vienna, there is an introductory and orientation period (STEOP) in the first semester of the majority of our bachelor’s and teacher education programmes as well as of the two remaining diploma programmes (Law, Catholic Theology). The STEOP gives students an insight into their degree programme, so that they can make up their minds whether the subject will meet their expectations and whether they can meet the programme requirements. Completing the STEOP is a prerequisite for continuing with their studies.

In addition, orientation courses at the beginning of the semester help you plan your first semester and provide important information about your degree programme at the University of Vienna. 


READING RECOMMENDATION: "10 things I wish I had known before starting university"
Starting and continuing your studies is tricky. Therefore, it helps to know where to find the information you are looking for and who can provide assistance if you have problems. The Teaching Affairs and Student Services unit has collected some tips based on many talks with new entrants. Here are the 10 best ofs: "I wish I had known that earlier", by Barbara Hamp. (© Barbara Mair) 

Any questions left unanswered?

At the counselling centre of the Austrian National Union of Students at the University of Vienna, you find the answers and/or the right contact details to help you with unusual queries. And: This is where you get the popular cafeteria sticker (Mensen-Pickerl, giving you a EUR 0.80 discount off every menu in the Mensa) as well as the "Kopierpickerl" (copying sticker) (reduced copy card of the Austrian National Union of Students with 220 copies for EUR 10).

At the beginning of each semester, the (students’) representatives at the University of Vienna offer academic advising services for first-semester students, provide advice on the selection of courses, on the curriculum or the examinations that have to be taken, and much more.

You can also receive support and advice at the Psychological Counselling Services: it is free, confidential and you can use it anonymously if you like. 


TIP: Students tell their stories
You can go through your studies in one way or another. Especially at the University of Vienna, there are many ways through your degree programme. As part of the Humans of University of Vienna, students explain how they spend their everyday lives, what the gist of university life is and what incites them to study. (©

How do I plan my semester?

u:find serves not only as the online course directory but also as the staff and unit directory of the University of Vienna. The course directory outlines all courses including information about the lecturers, registration procedures, e-learning and much more. Additional information about the topic of semester planning is available here.


READING RECOMMENDATION: "Erweiterungscurricula – Friends with benefits" (extension curricula – friends with benefits)
The University offers a wide range of extension curricula that may open up additional opportunities after completing your bachelor's programme. Barbara Hamp from Teaching Affairs and Student Services tells more about it in her blog contribution. (in German) (© Barbara Mair)

What comes after the bachelor’s programme?

For admission to a master’s programme, you need to have completed a bachelor’s (or diploma) programme in the same or a related discipline. Therefore, it is important to consider in which master’s programme you are interested already at the beginning of your studies. The Master Access Guide outlines which degree programmes you have to complete for admission to a particular master’s programme. 

Digital learning

The e-learning platform of the University of Vienna is called Moodle: On Moodle, virtual courses are set up to upload course material, allow communication between teachers and students or provide u:stream recordings. Many lecture halls at the University of Vienna are already equipped with u:stream, offering the possibility to stream courses. 

READING RECOMMENDATION: Making remote studying work (in German)
To make the transfer of teaching from analogous to digital means a success in the past months, everyone joined forces: The Vienna University Computer Center (ZID) provides the required IT infrastructure and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides didactic support for remote teaching and learning. (©

Getting to know my University

Experience the magnificent Main Building from the comfort of your home and uncover the secrets of the Campus of the University of Vienna. Set out on a virtual expedition. The University of Vienna is not only a place of studying, teaching and research, but also a place brimming with many fascinating stories. The app "Uni Wien Guides" takes you on a virtual tour offering plenty of background information in German and English. To listen, read, post and share. 

In cooperation with the Online Shop of the University of Vienna, uni:view offers you the chance to win 1 of 3 University of Vienna drinking bottles. The winners will be notified via e-mail. (© Universität Wien)

We also recommend the guided tours of the Campus of the University of Vienna, the guided tours of women’s history at the University of Vienna, the rainbow tours on the history of homosexuality at the University of Vienna, as well as other special guided tours on a wide range of topics, such as different collections at the University of Vienna (available by prior arrangement).

Researching in the University Library

The Vienna University Library is Austria's largest library. At the same time, it is also the oldest university library in the German-speaking area, dating from 1365. It collects media (also Electronic Resources) in all academic disciplines taught at the University of Vienna. 

The Main Library located in the Main Building of the University on Universitätsring 1 is an inter-faculty and interdisciplinary library and, at the same time, also the central lending library of the Vienna University Library holding approximately 2.7 million volumes.

The 38 special and department libraries stock 4.6 million books, journals, maps and other materials for teaching, research and studying.

Please note: Seat reservations for the main library and law department from 14.9.2020.
Read more on the university library website

VIDEO: "In welcher Bib lernt ihr am liebsten?" (Which library do you prefer for studying?)
In addition to the Main Library, there are 38 special libraries at the University of Vienna. Students of the University of Vienna tell us, which of the special libraries they prefer for studying.

Recreation: Sport and Music

Anyone wanting to sign up for one of the many low-cost sport courses and dancing classes offered by the University Sport Institute (USI) should put 28 September 2020 in their diary, as this is the day that registration starts. But be quick: the courses are popular and places fill up very fast. Due to the coronavirus, the maximum number of participants is reduced. The A to Z of courses is available online as of 4 September. 


In cooperation with the University Sport Institute (USI) in Vienna, uni:view has 3 vouchers for USI courses for the winter semester of 2020/21 to give away (block courses and advanced training courses not included). The winners will be notified via e-mail. (© Markus Frühmann)

Vienna University Philharmonic: There are eight choirs and two symphony orchestras, comprising more than 1,000 musicians and singers in total, of all levels and age groups. This makes the Vienna University Philharmonic one of the largest choral and orchestral communities worldwide. The repertoire ranges from classical music to pop, world music, musical and jazz. Further details are available on their website.

Up to speed in languages

Arabic, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish are only 6 out of 33 languages that you can study at the Language Centre of the University of Vienna. In addition to the usual courses on the Campus of the University of Vienna and its surroundings, the Language Centre also offers e-language courses, which you can attend from anywhere in a virtual room. Subject-specific language courses, ERASMUS courses or exams for going abroad or a proof of language proficiency for an employer complement the range of courses for students. You can register for the courses in the winter semester until 22 September 2020.

Stories about the topic of language learning and useful hints are available on the Language Blog. Tandem partners for having a conversation in a foreign language can be found on the Language Swap platform.  


In cooperation with the Language Centre, the University of Vienna offers the chance to win a language course in the winter semester of 2020/2021 (value: EUR 395). The winner will be notified via e-mail. (©

Up to speed in IT 

So that you stay up to date with the latest developments in picture editing, website design and word processing, the Vienna University Computer Center (ZID) offers IT courses every semester. The ZID Helpdesk provides support with university-specific IT services.

Other services for students offered by the University of Vienna include: the purchase of low-cost laptops (u:book sales promotion in the winter semester from 28 September to 25 October 2020), u:account (e-mail address, web space, etc.) or using the computer rooms.


TIP: Low-cost laptops for students
The u:book sales promotion for the winter semester of 2020 runs from 28 September to 25 October 2020. (© Barbara Mair)

For those who work particularly hard

Students can apply for a merit scholarship and check previous applications in u:space under "Financial matters". There are also other grants and project sponsorship opportunities. A large number of other sponsorship opportunities are listed in the Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants maintained by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD).

Gaining work experience

Gaining work experience is a valuable complement to your studies. The University of Vienna's careers service uniport provides information about a range of jobs and placements as well as advice on job applications. Targeted especially at students with disabilities, ABAk is a great opportunity to find placements or jobs directly after the completion of a degree programme.

The Erasmus+ programme makes traineeships abroad possible.

Students with children

Students who are also parents can use the services provided by the University of Vienna's Children's Office. These services include advice, child-minding or the Flying Nanny. 

VIDEO: Presenting... early stage researchers
From atoms to the self-perception of ravens: In this video series, doctoral candidates of the University of Vienna present their work and tell us about their everyday life in research.

Studying with special needs 

Information for students with physical or mental impairments can be found on the Accessible Studies website. The Accessible Studying team is available to answer any queries about the accessibility of the university buildings or access arrangements for exams (e-mail: barrierefrei(at)

The University of Vienna also offers a grant for the specific support of students with impairments


READING RECOMMENDATION: "Studieren mit Beeinträchtigung. Das Team Barrierefrei unterstützt!" (students with impairments: the Accessible Studying team offers support)
University life often becomes a particular challenge for students with physical or mental impairments. The Accessible Studying team advises and assists students with impairments and tries to prevent unnecessary obstacles before they can even occur. (© Barbara Mair)

Studying further afield...

Anyone who intends to study one or two semesters abroad as part of their degree programme will find the information they need at the University of Vienna's International Office. On their website, you will find information on application deadlines for ERASMUS+, Non-EU Student Exchange and many other mobility schemes.


READING RECOMMENDATION: "Most of my colleagues already knew which career path to take after completing the degree programme in Pharmacy, which prepares students for the profession of the pharmacist. The study abroad mobility schemes Non-EU Student Exchange Program and ERASMUS allowed me to look beyond the horizon of the 'usual' job description during my diploma programme at the University of Vienna", explains Stefanie, human of #univie. (©

Evaluating courses

The University of Vienna is very interested in feedback from its students and graduates. The results feed into the further development of teaching offers, the curriculum and services for students. Feedback is collected systematically via the Unit for Quality Assurance. Courses are methodically evaluated by students by means of study programme-specific questionnaires. The feedback is analysed and forwarded to our teaching staff, the directorates of studies and the Rectorate (information video). 

VIDEO: Why is feedback important?
In research, feedback is self-evident and taken for granted. By promoting an active feedback culture, the University of Vienna aims at introducing students to academic practice. Feedback from teachers given to students provides information about the current level of knowledge and, therefore, serves as targeted learning support. Feedback from students given to teachers, in turn, can help teachers improve their teaching.

Up-to-date information everywhere

The University of Vienna's events calendar provides an overview of university events. News about the University of Vienna and information about current developments in academia can be found on the University of Vienna’s website, in the online magazine uni:view, on the univie Blog, on the University of Vienna's Facebook page as well as on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. (red) 

TIP: Engage in social debates
Each semester, the University of Vienna poses its academics a question that is of particular relevance for today’s society. The current semester question and the researchers’ answers are always made available from the beginning of the semester under as well as on social media under #SEMESTERFRAGE. As part of a cooperation with the daily newspaper, experts respond to the readers’ questions and comments. (©

*Conditions of participation for the University of Vienna’s online prize draws