Starting and continuing your studies is tricky. Therefore it helps to know the tricks of the trade where you can find the information you are looking for and who will support you in solving a certain problem. Student Point passes on some tips to you thanks to their student advisory service. Here is the best of “I wish I had known that earlier” by Barbara Hamp.
1) Course directory
There you find the following information:
- place, time, course type (hover over the abbreviation in front of the title to show the full course description),
- attendance requirement (the course is either classified as “prüfungsimmanent”, which means that there is continuous assessment and you have to be present, or there is no information regarding attendance requirement, which means that you do not have to be present),
- registration period,
- registration link (once the registration period has started).
Much can be done with the u:space portal. At the beginning of the semester not only course registration is important but also the “Personal matters” area. Here you can change your address in the “Personal data” area (this is relevant for buying a semester pass from the Wiener Linien public transport). In the “My documents” area you can print your student record sheet and confirmation of enrolment (this is relevant for receiving family allowance).
3) Semester sticker for your student ID card
The semester sticker is sent to you within two or three weeks after receipt of the payment of the tuition fees/Students’ Union fee. It is sent to the address stored in u:space. So please be patient. If you do not receive your semester sticker, you can print it out from two special self-service terminals (please read the signs on the terminals) in the Main Building, in the Admission Office area (Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna).
Please note: University of Vienna will change from the student ID card issued in the past to the new u:card. The implementation process will be rolled out gradually – with 94,000 students, a smooth transition is necessary. In the coming semester, students will still receive the student ID and semester sticker in their familiar form. They will receive an e-mail as soon as the new u:card in credit card format is ready to order. Here you can read more about that.
4) Planning your semester
Basic information on semester planning is available on the Student Point website on the page of the relevant degree programme and the according information sheet “Infos zum Studienbeginn und zum ersten Semester” (for bachelor’s and diploma programmes). The students’ representatives – students that are already enrolled on the relevant degree programme – are most qualified to answer further queries and help you to avoid common pitfalls in your degree programme (see section “ÖH Uni Wien”).
5) Problems with the registration system
If you do not know why the system does not display points for the course registration; which curriculum item to select; how the preference system works; why you cannot find courses, etc., you are in good hands with your degree programme’s SSS/SSC (StudienServiceStelle/StudienServiceCenter). It is the organisation hub for semester courses.
6) Missing/incorrectly entered grades
Your grades are not displayed in U:SPACE? Your grades are allocated to the wrong module? The system says that you did not complete the introductory and orientation period? Your SSS/SSC can tackle the issue and shed some light on the confusion of grades.
7) ÖH Uni Wien (Austrian National Union of Students at the University of Vienna)
The ÖH (Austrian National Union of Students) is the interest group for students and offers many services to you. There are advisory services for first-semester students by the students’ representatives, the cafeteria sticker (Mensen-Pickerl) giving you a discount in many Mensa cafeterias (additional discounts for low-cost and tasty food), a copy sticker (to save extra money during your studies) and other counselling services such as studying abroad.
8) Family allowance/federal aid for students
The Finanzamt (tax office) responsible for your place of residence is the best contact for questions about family allowance; the Austrian Study Grant Authority for questions about the federal aid for students. We know from personal experience that both authorities have service-oriented and cooperative staff.
9) Wiener Linien semester pass
The Wiener Linien public transport offers low-cost passes for students. If you buy your pass online, you have to enter the same address as indicated in U:SPACE, use an “a” in front of your student ID number and check whether your admission is valid (for new entrants it starts on 1 October/1 March). If the online purchase does not work, you can buy the pass in person at the VOR-Verkaufsstellen.
10) University Sport Institute and Language Centre
The University Sport Institute (USI) offers great sport courses ranging from aerobic strength training to Zumba classes. You can attend language courses for more than 30 languages at the Language Centre. So you might be able to say “I have finished my studies” in Finnish, Hindi or Korean. Both institutions provide favourable course prices to students.
This article is available in a German version here.