University of Graz

At over 400 years old, the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (also called UniGraz) is the second-oldest university in Austria. Situated close to the Alps at the southern border, it's ideally positioned for the exange of cultural, economic, and scientific ideas across south-eastern Europe.

Numerous renowned academics, including 6 Nobel laureates, have ties with UniGraz as researchers and professors, and the student population of more than 32,000 makes UniGraz the largest in Austria. The university is also internationally acclaimed; it was recently placed in the 351-400 band of the 2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, confirming its academic prowess as a Top 400 university worldwide.

Key information

Location

Graz, Austria

Language

English, German

Semester

Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type

Exchange

Application information

Application status

Open

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20-21 applications

Priority deadline Jan. 8, 2020

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

21-22 applications

Opens November 1, 2020

Program details

Areas of Study: UniGraz offers a variety of programs in German, including Biology, Business, Chemistry, Earth Science, Economics, English, Geography, German, History, Law, Linguistics, Math, Musicology, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Sport Science, Translation, Zoology and more.

Programs with some English-taught courses include Biology, Business, Economics, English, History, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, and Law. A listing of English-taught courses is available (don't sort by faculty, just select semester and hit "search") as well as a full online course guide for all courses, which has more detailed information. However, students are recommended to review the online course guide's user's manual as well. 

Restrictions: No Pharmacology courses, or joint degree program courses can be taken by exchange students. Lab placements are challenging to be admitted to and cannot be guaranteed.  

Additionally, Science and Schulich students may be able to take 50% or less of their courses at TU Graz (about a 13 min walk away) through their intra-Graz academic network. 

Course requirements:
In Europe, full-time course load is typically 30 ECTS (European credits), and exchange students are typically expected to take 24-30 credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course). 
The amount of credits each course is worth corresponds to the workload/contact hours, and can vary from 1-30 ECTS per course, so please be mindful of this in your selection.

The Transfer Credit Database contains information on previous courses which have been transferred from this institution, however students are not limited to these courses and are strongly encouraged to contact their academic advisor for any other specific transfer credit information.

Student Tip: "Graz offers an impressive list of professors and lecturers. One of mine was from Yale! My law class also had guest speakers from the UN and we took field trips to Military bases to listen to members of Red Cross talk about their experiences."

The academic year is divided into 2 semesters. The Winter semester runs from early October (mandatory orientation in mid-September) to late January and the Summer semester runs from early March (mandatory orientation in mid-February) to early July. It may be possible for students to complete the Winter semester in December, with the exception of Business courses, which must be completed in January.

December (early) exams have to be arranged individually after arrival between you and the professor, and professors have the last say in the matter. Early exams are NOT available for lecture-type courses at the Faculty of Business (pro-seminars, seminars are OK) and through Prof. Wolf in the English Department

Please Note: Austrian visa applications may require travel to the Ottawa embassy to submit documentation and take biometrics as needed - please speak with the exchange advisor as soon as possible about whether this will be required for you.

  1. Costs

    It is recommended that students budget €2600-€4600 per semester to pay for accommodation and living expenses.

    The pre-semester German language 3 week program costs roughly €160 (mandatory for students without a B2 level of German knowledge), and other mid-semester courses are offered at a discounted rate of €35. 

    Please Note: Austrian visa applications may require travel to the Ottawa embassy to submit documentation and take biometrics as needed - please speak with the exchange advisor as soon as possible about whether this will be required for you.

    Graz Cost Comparison vs Calgary: Click Here

    Student Tip: "Buy a student transit pass at the beginning of the semester - it can save you about 40%. I didn’t and I would have saved a TON of money if I would have. Or better yet, buy a bike! Everyone around [Graz] rides bikes and you can buy a fairly inexpensive one and sell it back at the end of the semester. Also, cell phone plans are very cheap in Austria. I paid 10-20 euro a month for my plan, but you may have to budget for a router (or bring one) as wi-fi may be limited without one. Overall, I found Graz to be much less expensive than Calgary, but don't forget to keep the exchange rate in mind!"

    Very Important Information re: Visas/Insurance: 
    Semester-long students: are allowed to bring health insurance coverage from abroad, but it must comply with requirements for "Visa D" - contact the Austrian embassy in Ottawa for more information.  
    For visas, semester-long students must apply for a Visa D (cost approx. €100) through the Austrian Embassy in person, in Ottawa. Canadian or US passport-holders may also apply for the visa after arrival through the Austrian Embassy in Slovenia (Ljubljana) - the process must be completed within 90 days if students choose this option, so must go to Slovenia ASAP to apply, and will need to return to pickup the visa once approved. If students go for the Slovenian application they MUST not enter the Schengen zone through any country but Austria (Vienna or Graz) when commencing their exchange. 

    Year-long students: MUST buy the Austrian National Health Insurance. This policy only activates after students arrive in Graz and finished after studies complete, but does not cover medical evacuation or repatriation - thus students are required to have additional travel insurance for their journey to/from Graz and purchase additional medical evacuation/repatriation coverage for the entire length of stay. This insurance covers students in Austria and other EU countries (cost approx. €56-60/month). Basic dental, eye exams, and most medication costs are included in the coverage.   
    For visas, year-long students must either apply for a residence permit during the visa-free (90 day) stay period in Austria (only for passports on 
    this list), or in person from Ottawa at least 3 months before planned departure. Cost is approx. €120. Students who can apply after arrival in Graz must bring along all necessary documents (check with Austrian embassy for details). 

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Exchange students to UniGraz are not guaranteed housing, but are given multiple options. They may stay in off-campus dormitories (single or double occupancy), in flats shared with other students, or in private apartments. Due to the variety of housing options, prices vary greatly and can range from €810-€1900 per semester for a double (shared) room, and €1500-€2310 for a single (individual) room. Student housing is coordinated by the housing office OeAD.

The Graz student dorms are shared flats with cooking facilities, located off campus. You can fill out the housing application as a part of the application process (sent before May 31 for Winter/full year and October 31 for Summer studies). 

Because all of the dorms at Graz are in residential areas of the city, students are expected to act responsibly and in a considerate manner towards their neighbors. All dorms are co-ed with responsibilities for the cleaning and upkeep of the apartment shared among the students living in the same apartment. Students are furthermore expected to abide by the rules of the dorm they are assigned. 

Student Tip: "I really recommend living in Neubaugasse. It has the best location and it is fairly new. Or Neutorgasse for it's location as well."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-). Students should be at a B2 level of German to be able to study German courses, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

If students have no knowledge of German, they are required to participate in the pre-semester German language program (see FAQs).

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

It is recommended that students budget €2600-€4600 per semester to pay for accommodation and living expenses.

The pre-semester German language 3 week program costs roughly €160 (mandatory for students without a B2 level of German knowledge), and other mid-semester courses are offered at a discounted rate of €35. 

Please Note: Austrian visa applications may require travel to the Ottawa embassy to submit documentation and take biometrics as needed - please speak with the exchange advisor as soon as possible about whether this will be required for you.

Graz Cost Comparison vs Calgary: Click Here

Student Tip: "Buy a student transit pass at the beginning of the semester - it can save you about 40%. I didn’t and I would have saved a TON of money if I would have. Or better yet, buy a bike! Everyone around [Graz] rides bikes and you can buy a fairly inexpensive one and sell it back at the end of the semester. Also, cell phone plans are very cheap in Austria. I paid 10-20 euro a month for my plan, but you may have to budget for a router (or bring one) as wi-fi may be limited without one. Overall, I found Graz to be much less expensive than Calgary, but don't forget to keep the exchange rate in mind!"

Very Important Information re: Visas/Insurance: 
Semester-long students: are allowed to bring health insurance coverage from abroad, but it must comply with requirements for "Visa D" - contact the Austrian embassy in Ottawa for more information.  
For visas, semester-long students must apply for a Visa D (cost approx. €100) through the Austrian Embassy in person, in Ottawa. Canadian or US passport-holders may also apply for the visa after arrival through the Austrian Embassy in Slovenia (Ljubljana) - the process must be completed within 90 days if students choose this option, so must go to Slovenia ASAP to apply, and will need to return to pickup the visa once approved. If students go for the Slovenian application they MUST not enter the Schengen zone through any country but Austria (Vienna or Graz) when commencing their exchange. 

Year-long students: MUST buy the Austrian National Health Insurance. This policy only activates after students arrive in Graz and finished after studies complete, but does not cover medical evacuation or repatriation - thus students are required to have additional travel insurance for their journey to/from Graz and purchase additional medical evacuation/repatriation coverage for the entire length of stay. This insurance covers students in Austria and other EU countries (cost approx. €56-60/month). Basic dental, eye exams, and most medication costs are included in the coverage.   
For visas, year-long students must either apply for a residence permit during the visa-free (90 day) stay period in Austria (only for passports on 
this list), or in person from Ottawa at least 3 months before planned departure. Cost is approx. €120. Students who can apply after arrival in Graz must bring along all necessary documents (check with Austrian embassy for details). 

Did you know that you can take your U of C funding with you on exchange?  
Since you remain a degree seeking student at the U of C while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved U of C study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Accommodation

Exchange students to UniGraz are not guaranteed housing, but are given multiple options. They may stay in off-campus dormitories (single or double occupancy), in flats shared with other students, or in private apartments. Due to the variety of housing options, prices vary greatly and can range from €810-€1900 per semester for a double (shared) room, and €1500-€2310 for a single (individual) room. Student housing is coordinated by the housing office OeAD.

The Graz student dorms are shared flats with cooking facilities, located off campus. You can fill out the housing application as a part of the application process (sent before May 31 for Winter/full year and October 31 for Summer studies). 

Because all of the dorms at Graz are in residential areas of the city, students are expected to act responsibly and in a considerate manner towards their neighbors. All dorms are co-ed with responsibilities for the cleaning and upkeep of the apartment shared among the students living in the same apartment. Students are furthermore expected to abide by the rules of the dorm they are assigned. 

Student Tip: "I really recommend living in Neubaugasse. It has the best location and it is fairly new. Or Neutorgasse for it's location as well."

Additional information/FAQs

Do I have to speak another language?

UniGraz offers a variety of courses in English and so no prior knowledge of German is required for this exchange. Students wishing to take German-taught courses should have German 333 or the equivalent. Regardless of whether students wish to pursue English or German-taught courses, they have the option of taking an intensive German language course prior to the start of the semester, as well as attending German courses throughout the semester. The courses come highly recommended to help you get around some of the administrative aspects of living in Austria.

Is there a Pre-Semester German Language Program?

Yes. This program is mandatory for any students that do not have a B2 knowledge of German (see "Eligibility"). The program is discounted for exchange students to roughly €160 for 3 weeks of intensive study (3.25 hrs/day), and is worth 6 ECTS credits if students attend 80% or more of the classes (for the certificate). Scroll down to "German Intensive Course" here for more info. The language program is offered in September and February. 

There are also semester-long German language course options, from A1-C1 levels according to the CEFR

Student Tip: "I recommend taking the Intensive German course before classes start, as that’s where everyone meets their friends."

What's so special about Graz?

Museums, armouries, and botanical gardens; annual music and art festivals; a vibrant cabaret scene. It's understandable that Graz was named the European Capital of Culture in 2003. The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because of its well-preserved medieval city centre. Additionally, Graz's setting near the Alps has made it an active stop on the European train network. For instance, from here it's only an hour to Maribor, Slovenia, or four hours to Venice, Italy.

What resources are available for new students?

UniGraz's international office runs a mandatory and very informative "Welcome Week" events for incoming students prior to the start of each semester. UniGraz also publishes a thorough "Welcome Guide" online for incoming international students.

Additionally, there are intercultural communication sessions & workshops held before each semester to aid with transitioning into Austrian culture. Limited space is available, so interested students should register early.

The local chapter of the Erasmus Student Network, ESN Uni Graz, coordinates a strongly recommended buddy and mentorship programme which partners international and local students. Information is available online. As well, check out the webpage for ESN Uni Graz, which is used to announce various events and trips arranged throughout the year. All exchange students are strongly encouraged to sign up here, as buddies can help with arrival from airport/train station (please inform your buddy if you will not be needing this assistance as they are unpaid volunteers and help needed is assumed). 

Student tip: "Sign up for the buddy program. I would definitely recommend it - I met one of my really good friends that way! Also just going to the events that are organised during orientation week is a good way to meet people. I would sign up for a seminar class or club if you want to meet more of the locals - generally they are hard to meet outside of class. Also, as part of the Erasmus organization there were weekly get togethers and monthly/weekly trips organized within and outside of Austria. I went to Hallstatt, Slovenia, and Croatia as part of organized trips with ESN! There were also ski trips, pub nights, a chocolate factory tour, etc."

What accessibility resources are available?

UniGraz's Disability Resource Centre provides comprehensive support for students with disabilities. They also offer support through their Integrated Service Centre for students that have chronic/ongoing illnesses, and physical disabilities. For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.


Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.

APPLY NOW

International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.