We get a lot of questions via email, social media etc. from future exchange students regarding housing and accommodation in Klagenfurt. The current situation is very difficult and we try to inform you as best as possible about it, and we are in contact with the International Ofice and Admission Office of the University of Klagenfurt.
Accommodation needs for winter term 2023/24
Dear incoming students,
as student representatives (ÖH Klagenfurt/Celovec and ESN Klagenfurt) we would like to get an estimate number of how many students still need an accommodation for the winter semester 2023/24.
If you plan to come to Klagenfurt as exchange student or start to study here as international student (or from somewhere else in Austria) and still need accommodation, please fill out this short form.
We would like to note, that we cannot guarantee accommodation at this time but we are in contact with the university and are doing our best to organize spaces for in-coming students.
Current situation in Klagenfurt
In Klagenfurt we have four student dormitories (Nautilusheim A & B, Concordiaheim, Studentendorf and Mozartheim) and a few other/smaller dormitories which might accept students as well (but mainly are for scholars). On the other hand with the University of Klagenfurt (AAU), Carinthian University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Applied University of Education Klagenfurt (PH) and Gustav Mahler Private University for Music (GMPU) we have four Higher Education Institutions with a lot of students needing accommodation in Klagenfurt. They all have a high rate of local students commuting as well as local students living too far away for commuting. They together with the many international and mobility program students have a much higher demand for student housing than the capacity of the dormitories. Furthermore, there are some secondary schools which have international students as well.
Thus all student dormitories have waiting lists for the upcoming 2 to 3 semesters.
In addition, the Mozartheim dormitory will be closed by the owner from August 1st 2024. It then will either be renovated and modernized to stay livable or transformed/re-constructed into private apartments, which would make the overall situation even worse. We are not sure what will happen as we don’t trust publicly available information in this case.
For international students and especially for those in mobility and exchange programs, it can be very difficult to find private accommodation (see below) and often their only chance is to find a shared apartment with someone else (i.e. a local student) being the main renter.
Building additional student dormitories which we definitely need in Klagenfurt is nothing the students representatives (ÖH), ESN Klagenfurt nor any of the HEIs can do, unfortunately. We can only and will talk together with them to the local politics about the need to find suitable locations and organizations to build and operate new student dormitories.
General housing situation in Austria
Renting accommodation in Austria is regulated by different national laws and can be categorized into basically three different types. Which type a renting contract applies to depends more or less on the house the accommodation is located in. The types provide different levels of protection for the renter like contract cancellation rules. Those are very strict even for the renter and this in most cases means, that the minimum renting duration is 14 months! This of course is not suitable for short term renting like for international students. Therefore you often only have the option of living in a student dormitory (where different laws and rules apply) or shared apartments with someone else being the main renter and just having a sub-renting contract with that person instead of the landlord/landlady.
In general, the protection of renters in Austria is very high and for landlords/landladies (no matter if they are private or companies) it is very difficult to get renters out of their property before the end of a limited contract or even more difficult unlimited contracts. Therefore, they might not be willing to give contracts to international people, often due to preconceptions.