How Austria supports Ukrainian students: scholarships, university fees and exchange programmes
February 19, 2024

How Austria supports Ukrainian students: scholarships, university fees and exchange programmes

I always dreamed of taking part in an exchange semester. In the end, the reality surpassed my dreams, though the journey was not without its challenges. This is the story of how I ended up in Vienna, what I learned, and the useful tips, links and advice that I picked up along the way.

When I first saw the Vienna University of Economics and Business in spring 2022, I thought to myself “How amazing it would be to study here, even just for a month!” They say you can materialise your thoughts… well, within a couple of months I had applied for the university’s Special Exchange Programme for Students from Ukrainian Universities. It’s important to note that you can apply for this programme, either as an individual student or you can be selected from your home university in Ukraine.

The path towards my acceptance on the exchange was not without its challenges. Being a second year business economics student of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv I started to apply for different exchange programmes provided by the university. Facing rejection from three applications over almost a year could easily have discouraged me, but I held onto my dream and applied for another exchange programme when the opportunity arose. 

The joy I felt when I finally received that letter of confirmation was immeasurable, reinforcing the valuable lesson: never give up. I know how hard it is, but try to reread your motivation letter, personal statement, CV, etc., and ask your friends or colleagues to give you feedback. But also remember that not all feedback is valuable and that everything depends on you. Besides, I want to advise you to engage in different extracurricular activities. For instance, you can join the student parliament, NGOs, youth projects or even start something by yourself. This will make your application much stronger and more eye-catching. Remember that your application is not just about academic achievements, but also about showcasing your unique qualities and experiences.

During my exchange year, I had the opportunity to study different subjects such as Fashion Marketing, Negotiations, B2B Marketing, Start-up creation, Fintech, etc. For sure, the Vienna University of Economics and Business offers a wide range of different subjects. It was a remarkable experience to see the educational process of an EU country. But in addition to the excellent learning opportunities as an exchange student I was able to meet a lot of new amazing people from all around the world! Being part of a multicultural community is something you will remember. 

Have you noticed? I said exchange year, so yes, I stayed in Vienna for the whole year and this was a life-changing experience which transformed me as a person, a leader, a team member and a professional! During that time, I visited 13 new cities in eight countries, saw the splendid nature of the Alps and Lake Como, the Coliseum, the Eiffel Tower, the works of Antonio Gaudi and many, many other breathtaking places.

From the beginning of the russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Austria has supported Ukrainians in many different ways, and education is one of them. During my year in Vienna, I was supported by the Ernst Mach Grant – UKRAINE scholarship from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and I am truly grateful for this huge support! Also, Ukrainian students in Austria have been exempt from paying tuition fees since the summer semester of 2022. Normally, I would have had to pay €726.72 per semester, but now me and other Ukrainian students only have to pay a fee of €21.20, which is extremely helpful in the current difficult conditions.

After this bright journey I returned to Ukraine to finish my Bachelor’s degree and understood that I want to share my experience and show other Ukrainians that there are a huge amount of opportunities from the EU in which you can take part and develop yourself! That’s why I joined the ‘Young European Ambassadors‘ initiative in Ukraine and now as a YEA I plan to organise activities and events to motivate young people to apply for programmes and study more about the EU. Besides, after realising that gender inequality is such an enormous problem in Ukraine and in the EU as well, I have joined the NGO “Women`s League”, and now I am a project manager for the project “Girl`s Diplomatic Academy 2.0”, which aims to provide informal education in international relations and diplomacy for girls aged 17-21. Also I am a PR-manager for the educational project “United Youth”, which advocates the spreading of youth diplomacy in Ukraine. Recently I also got accepted for the EU4Youth Alumni Network and no, this is not the full list of activities and programmes I am engaged in. The exchange year showed me the world of opportunities and I am so excited to be involved!

Looking back, my exchange year at the Vienna University of Economics and Business has been nothing short of a dream come true, surpassing my initial expectations. The journey from envisioning myself studying in Vienna to actually experiencing it has been a testament to the power of perseverance and resilience.

As I reflect on this life-changing experience, I am reminded that dreams can indeed materialise with determination and the right support. My exchange year in Vienna not only enriched my academic knowledge but also broadened my horizons, leaving me with memories that will last a lifetime. To those with a dream of studying abroad, I say: pursue it relentlessly, for the rewards are boundless.

Stay tuned for my new blogs because I already have something exciting to tell you!

Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a GOPA PACE-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

The information on this site is subject to a Disclaimer and Protection of personal data. © European Union,