Help for students: 5 counselling centres & consultation offices

Written by Kerstin Lakits, Aug 25, 2022

Studying and life as a student are no bed of roses. Sometimes it can be stressful, chaotic and overwhelming. If you feel like everything becomes too much, then you can find help at various counselling centres for students. Here are important consultation offices that support and help you!

1. Ombud’s office for students

Monday – Friday 9 am to 4 pm

Phone number: +43 800 311 650 (free of charge)

The Ombud’s office for students in the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research is an important counselling centre for potential students, students and graduates. The Ombud’s office is responsible for all academic institutions in Austria. The Ombud’s office for students can provide advice and help independent of the private or public university, University of Applied Sciences or Pedagogical University that you go to.

If you have questions regarding the study programme, teaching, examinations, services or administration at your university, the Ombud’s office has the answers. The Ombud’s office can also provide help with concrete problems. In cases of problems in more than one university or systematic shortcomings, the Ombud’s office acts as an intermediary.

The Ombud’s Office can help you with questions regarding:

  • Admission procedure
  • Mobility programmes
  • Educational grants
  • Study conditions
  • Exams
  • Recognition
  • Studying with disabilities
  • Student accommodations

2. ÖH – Austrian students‘ representation

The Austrian Students‘ Representation, short ÖH, is the legal representation of students towards the competent ministries. The ÖH represents students‘ interests and needs on a political level. Furthermore, the ÖH supports you with their everyday services. The ÖH is divided in:

  • ÖH Federal Representation acts as the executive and works in 7 committees and 13 departments.
  • ÖH University Representation is responsible for matters of students at a specific university (e.g. ÖH University of Vienna, ÖH Technical University, etc.).
  • Study Representation is responsible for students of a specific field of studies (e.g. Study Representation for Translation, Study Representation for History, etc.).

Students directly vote the representatives of the ÖH on all three levels every two years.

The ÖH offers various services for students:

  • ÖH Helpline: In cooperation with the Society for Psychotherapy, the ÖH offers a free consultation helpline for all students in Austria. There you get confidential, anonymous and immediate help. Counselling hours: Mon 3pm to 6pm, Wed & Thu 4pm to 6pm; phone number: +43/1/585 33 33
  • Studierenprobieren: If you are still looking for the right field of studies, then you can try different fields. A student will show you the building, you’ll get a glimpse of a lecture and can ask questions about the field of study. You can sign up for that under studierenprobieren!
  • ÖH Schwarzes Brett: On the bulletin board of the ÖH, you find job offers, internships, dormitories, apartments and childcare
  • Mental Health Group: Many students suffer from stress, which can be detrimental in the long run. That’s why there is a free group counselling session by the ÖH Vienna, where you will learn to reduce and cope with stress. Availabilities and information about the application process are on their website!
  • Tutorials for first year students: Your first year at university can be chaotic, everything is new and different than from school. In tutorials for first year students, you can get help and counselling from schooled and trained students.

3. Study Representation

There is a Study Representation for each field of study that takes care of matters of students in that field. The representatives organise events at university, information events, mentoring programmes for first year students and much more. Furthermore, they provide advice and answers for any questions or concerns you have during office hours. The Study Representation is you first point of contact that can give you competent counselling and refer you if need be.

The Study Representation is perfect for questions about:

  • Mentoring for the introductory and orientation period (STEOP)
  • Planning your semester and preparing for exams
  • Study-related information events
  • Exam procedures and enrolment
  • Internships in your field of studies
  • Social events and connection among students

4. Psychological counselling for students

The psychological counselling for students in Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt and Linz will support students from the beginning to the end. The employees help you choosing a field of studies and offer support for first year students. They help you with problems during your studies or in your private life. There is special counselling for acute crises such as the COVID pandemic or the war in Ukraine. All counselling sessions by trained psychologists are free and anonymous if you want to.

There is information and counselling for the following topics:

  • Choosing your studies
  • The beginning of your studies
  • Coping with your studies
  • Personal development
  • Personal problems

5. Workgroup Uniability

Studying is even more challenging for people with disabilities or chronic diseases. However, you are not alone, the workgroup Uniability works to achieve equal opportunities for people with disabilities or chronic diseases at Austrian universities. They support you with specialised information and advice.

People with diseases or chronic diseases will find ample information about the following topics:

  • Choosing and planning your studies
  • Study-related services
  • Financial support
  • Grants
  • Housing
  • Mobility programmes

Studying is not always a piece of cake. However, you are not alone, not even in the most challenging moments. Trained and competent psychologists, students and counsellors will support you and help you find a solution. Here are more counselling centres for students!  Be brave and get the help you need!


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