Good work is difficult to find for non-fluent German speakers. If you speak no German at all the best option is probably looking for jobs advertised outside Austria.Another possibility is giving private tuition in foreign languages, thoughyou are unlikely to earn a full time income this way and it takes several months to build up a base of clients.
There is plenty of unskilled work available in the tourism industry. As long as you have a work permit, finding a job can often be as easy as simply turning up at a hotel and asking. Seasonal work in large skiresorts is the most promising option.
Austria has a diverse school and university system which can be quite confusing especially when you come from abroad. There is a four-year compulsory elementary school for everyone. In general, compulsory school attendance is 9 years. After elementary school you can decide between attending secondary school for four years or grammar school for eight years. However, after four years in secondary school or four years in grammar school, you can switch to a vocational school which typically focuses on technical or economic professions. Vocational schools are usually attended for five years resulting in a diploma sufficient for university entrance or three years resulting in a craftsman's diploma for a certain profession.
The proper secondary school diploma Matura from grammar school or from five years technical school grants access to all subjects which are offered at university. There are no further restrictions e.g. like a grade point average in certain subjects at school except for some programs, like Medicine, that have an entrance exam.
As in many European countries, Austria's traditional system of academic degrees is two-tiered, with a Diplom/Magister stage after 4--6 years of study followed by the doctorate. However, Austria's universities have been moving to a three-tiered degree system in the past few years, with a bachelor's degree 3 years followed by a master's degree an additional 2 years and finally the doctorate.
Tuition for attending regular programms in Austria's public universities is currently unlegislated, which has left a messy legal situation. Some universities are collecting €363 per semester from students who are from most non-EU countries many developing country nationals are exempt, and from students regardless of nationality who have grossly exceeded the normal time frame of the degree program. All other students pay just €17 in union dues a semester.
Tuition for attending any of Austria's handful of private universities or special degree programs at public institutions varies.
Austria has many great universities, the majority of which are located in Vienna, Graz, and Innsbruck. A relatively recent development in tertiary education are the Fachhochschulen Universities of Applied Sciences, vocational colleges that typically focus on engineering and business education with less emphasis on research than traditional universities, but a stronger view toward practice.
Many visitors come to experience Austria's musical heritage. Salzburg and Vienna offer world renowned opera, classical music and jazz at moderate prices, but performances of high standards are also widely available throughout the rest of the country. There are dozens of Summer festivals for all tastes, the most famous being the avant-garde Salzburg festival Salzburger Festspiele but because they're aimed at tourists prices can be high. Austria's strong musical tradition is not confined to classical music alone. Austrian folk music Volksmusik is an integral part of rural Austria, and is said to have influenced many of the nation's big composers. In the Alps almost every village has its own choir or brass band Blasmusik, and you'll often see groups of friends sitting down to sing Lieder in rural pubs. Traditional Alpine instruments are the accordion and zither. In Vienna a type of melancholic violin music known as Schrammelmusik is often performed in Restaurants and Heurigen.
Austria is well known for its scenic cycle routes along its largest rivers. Though Austria is a mountainous country, cycle routes along rivers are flat or gently downhill, and therefore suitable even for casual cyclists. The most famous route is the Danube cycle path from Passau to Vienna, one of the most popular cycle paths in Europe, drawing large crowds of cyclists from all over the world each summer. Other rivers with well-developed cycle routes are the Inn, Drau, Moell and Mur. Most routes follow a combination of dedicated cycle paths, country lanes, and traffic calmed roads, and are well suited for children.
Austria has quite a special kind of cinematic culture, that is worth taking notice of as tourist. Many films star celebrities from cabaret, a kind of staged comedy popular in Austria. Most of these movies are characterized by their rather cynical and sometimes bizarre black humour, usually portraying members of Vienna's lower or middle class. Josef Hader, Roland Düringer, Reinhard Nowak or Alfred Dorfer are among the most outstanding actors here. Recommendations include Indien 1993, Muttertag 1993, Hinterholz 8 1998, Komm, süßer Tod 2000 and Silentium 2004. Popular directors are Harald Sicheritz, Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl. Haneke received positive international praise for his films Die Klavierspielerin 2001, based on the novel by nobel-prize winning author Elfriede Jelinek and Caché 2005. Seidl received various awards for his drama Hundstage 2001.Also, the 1949 classic The Third Man was shot in Vienna, and is regularly shown in Vienna's Burg Kino.
It is normally safe to hike without a guide in the Austrian Alps, as there is a dense network of marked trails and mountain shelters. However, a few lethal incidents do happen every year as a result of carelessness. Walkers are strongly advised not to stray off the trails and not to hike in bad weather or without suitable equipment. Before setting off, always check with the local tourist office whether the trail corresponds to your abilities.
Also, check the weather forecast. Sudden thunderstorms are frequent and are more likely to happen in the afternoon. A rule of thumb is that if you haven't reached the summit by noon, it's time to give up and return to shelter.
Though the scenery is by all accounts majestic, don't expect an empty wilderness. The Alps can be very crowded with mountaineers, especially in high season there are even traffic jams of climbers on some popular mountains. Littering is a no-no in all of Austria, but especially in the mountains, and you will enrage fellow walkers if you're seen doing it. If you really want to show respect, pick up any litter you happen to see in your path and dispose of it at the end of your hike it's a bit of an unwritten rule. Long distance trails are marked with the Austrian flag red-white-red horizontal stripes painted onto rocks and tree trunks.
Most trails and mountain huts are maintained by the Austrian Alpine Club. Some are run by other equivalent organizations, such as the German, Dutch and Italian Alpine Clubs. Mountain huts are meant to be shelters, not hotels. Though they are normally clean and well-equipped, standards of food andaccommodation are basic. Don't expect a high level of customer service either. Blankets are provided, but bringing a thin sleeping bag is mandatory for hygienic reasons. During the high season August, it's a good idea to book in advance. Mountain huts will not turn anyone down for the night, but if they're full, you'll have to sleep on the floor. Prices for the night are usually around 10-20€ half for Alpine Club members, but meals and drinks are quite expensive, as everything has to be carried up from the valley, often by helicopters or on foot. For the same reason, there are no trash cans in or near huts. Electricity and gas are hard to bring there, too, so warm showers if available at all have to be paid for. Some huts don't even have running water, this means pit latrines. As mentioned above, mountain huts are very useful for hikers, they mostly have a heated common room and they are very romantic, but there is nothing more than necessary.
Detailed hiking maps showing the location of marked trails and shelters can be purchased online from the Austrian Alpine Society (http://www.alpenverein.at).