Studying in Vienna? Put That Student ID to Good Use!
It’s no surprise that Austrians take their sweet time studying, with the average age for receiving your first degree currently at 24.6. With tuition low and the fringe benefits manifold, there’s little reason not to extend the salad days just a bit – or a lot – longer. If you’re a student, take out your University ID and thank it. It will bring you much joy; more importantly, it’s going to save you a ton of money. Living the student life in Vienna is something of an art; here are some of the basics to make a little go a long way.
Stay fresh and fit – for practically nothing
First up is the University Sport Institute of Vienna (USI), which offers public university students an extensive list of sports and activities for impossibly cheap prices – often for free. There’s everything from basketball, swimming and cycling, badminton and martial arts – too many to list here, so check out the website. Sign up early, the popular courses fill up fast! You’ll make friends, have fun, and won’t have to worry about overpaying at the gym!
Buy new electronics
Need a new notebook for class? Before you head to your local chain store, check out Edustore.at: they offer permanent, year-round student discounts. With a full line of computers (Apple included) eligible for rebates, it’s always worth checking there first. If you’re in no rush, you can always wait for Ubook.at’s four-week bargain sale at the beginning of each semester (the next one goes from Sep 26 to Oct 24, 2016), where you can save even more on cutting edge, top brand electronics. Since it’s only twice a year, the wait might be long but the savings may be well worth it.
Get your fill of culture
Heading to a museum, opera, or theater? Chances are your student ID will get you in at a steep discount – if not for free. The Natural History Museum and Jewish Museum are half-price for students, and the Albertina and Wien Museum give significant savings. If you’re willing to wait in line, you can get standing room tickets intended for students at the Staatsoper, sometimes for less than €5! The Burgtheater offers €10 student tickets half an hour before show time, and Theater an der Wien also subsidizes tickets for students. If there’s an exhibition or show you’d like to see, check their website beforehand or just flash your student card at the box office – it won’t hurt, and it’ll most likely save you a nice chunk of change.
Catch a flick
A night at the movies shouldn’t break the bank – and with several original-language theaters (no need to fear dubbing!) in town giving student discounts, it remains the fun and casual pastime it’s meant to be. At the Apollo, you can find all the newest English-language wide releases at discounted rates from Monday through Wednesday (excluding special events and holidays). And with your student ID, you get added discounts all week round, so you’ll never regret dishing out for a total flop. Being a student also nabs you discounts at the Artis, Burg, Filmcasino, Haydn and Votiv, so be sure to flash your card at the box office.
Getting around town
If you use public transportation regularly (it’s Vienna, of course you will), then make your way to any Wiener Linien ticket center and ask about their semester card. By far the cheapest way (€75) to get around the city if you’re a student, it’s valid for 5 months from September through January, and again from February through June. Buying one of these tickets each semester plus the Ferien Monatskarte – a summer pass valid from July through August – gives you a full year of transportation for a fraction of the cost of a yearly ticket – but without the long term commitment if you don’t need the full year.
See Europe by rail
To top it off, if you’re under 26 (student or not), you can get a Vorteilscard from the ÖBB (the Austrian National Railway), giving you a discount of up to 50% on rail travel within Austria as well as abroad. The card is available to all, but those under 26 can get it for €19/year (yes, year!) instead of the full price of €99. If you plan on traveling by rail at all during your stay, take advantage of this offer – you might even end up seeing more than you planned!
The web platform iamstudent.at offers various discounts and coupons for students in Austria, for everything from furniture to food to fun. Registration is free.