Where to Go - Europe (exc UK)
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Population : 8,132,000
Literacy rate : 98%
Life expectancy at birth : male 74.52 yrs, female 80.99 yrs
Infant mortality rate : 4.5 deaths /1,000 live births
Population growth rate : 0.25%
GDP growth rate : 2%
GDP per capita : £15,900
Unemployment : 4.4%
Inflation rate : 0.5%
TI index : 7.7
Climate : temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers.
Time : GMT +1 except from the last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October when it is GMT +2.
Electricity : 220v AC, 50Hz. Plugs are standard European 2 pin round.
Websites : Press Office http://www.austria.org/
Vienna is a jewel of a city in architectural terms. However it does have the air of Bournemouth in mid-winter. A large proportion of the population are old people (15% of the population are 65 years or older). Many young people emigrate to Germany or other EU countries in search of jobs. That said, the country has wonderful scenery, the food and drink are good and it has all the advantages of a first-world country. As it is a member of the EU, other EU nationals can transfer social security credits back to their home country. Use form E303.
In response to EU directives, Austria is re-arranging its economy with a fair degree of success. The recent political differences of opinion have left some people uneasy and others quite pleased. Older Austrians tend to be somewhat insular and, together with some younger ones, view the increasing Balkan immigrant problem with some concern.
A good knowledge of German will be most useful, although Germans make fun of the Austrian accent, considering it rather bucolic. The cost of living is quite high, but there are so many things to see and places to go. Dont miss Salzburg and its wonderful castle with the cannon ball embedded in the wall, shot there at some local bigwig by the disgruntled villagers. The coffee houses of old Vienna are fascinating relics of a genteel, civilized past. Visit the wonderful museums; if you have never suffered from museum fatigue before, you will here. The public transport system (trams) is efficient and clean. Go skiing in Innsbruck and, if energetic, mountain climbing or just go on a walking tour.
You will be well-placed for all the rest of Europe; quick trips over the border to Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary Liechtenstein and Switzerland are all possibilities.
To sum up: limited opportunities, but a quiet and pleasant place if you can afford it.
For EU nationals, no work permit or visa is required, and these nationals may enter with a valid ID card. As in all EU countries, after three months you must apply for a residency permit/identity card. The situation for non-EU nationals is somewhat more complicated contact your local Embassy or Consulate.
No problems here.
Tax and Insurance
Get health insurance. Income tax and social security can take 40% off your salary.
Gap Year Programmes
Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Austria