The closest (but not entirely accurate) translation of Fachschaft is "student union". It is part of the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH) and a voluntary initiative by students, for students of Wirtschaftsinformatik at University of Vienna and Vienna University of Technology. Our primary activities are:
Please note: the Fachschaft is not responsible for admissions. We are not part of the university administration. If you have any enquiries regarding admission, please contact the "Studien- und Prüfungsabteilung" (Registrar's Office) of the university you wish to attend, not us. If you want to participate in an exchange programme such as ERASMUS, you should find out who is responsible for that at your own university and contact them first.
The usual translation for this field of study is either "business informatics" (preferred) or "economics and computer science" (inaccurate, but still used in some official documents). It has (limited) similarities to what is known as "information systems" in the English-speaking world. The curriculum discussed here is offered by two universities in Vienna, the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology, in a joint programme that allows students to attend classes at both universities while working for their degrees, without any additional paper work.
The main goals are to provide graduates with the relevant skills to analyze and develop information systems and business application software, create and implement organizational concepts, and participate in theoretical and empirical research on applied information technology (that's the official wording). The most important focus is on modeling of economic systems, based on a solid foundation in both informatics and economic sciences. This opens a wide range of job opportunities: a typical role of the Wirtschaftsinformatiker is that of a mediator between "IT people" and "business people", with a well-founded understanding of both parties' requirements, languages, and ways of thinking. This is a good prerequisite for IT management, but also general software development or other jobs usually occupied by more specialised computer science or business graduates.
Here is a brief overview of the curriculum:
The Bakkalaureat is comparable to a Bachelor's degree (B.Sc.) and based primarily on coursework. Nominal time to complete the degree is 6 semesters (3 years). Admission requires a school-leaving certificate equivalent to the Austrian Matura.
The Bakkalaureatsstudium consists of courses grouped into six subject areas:
Please note: the Austrian Bakkalaureat is a university degree (tertiary level). It is not comparable to the French baccalauréat or the International Baccalaureate (IB), both of which are pre-university school-leaving certificates at the secondary level.
The Magister is comparable to a Master's degree (M.Sc.) and based on both coursework and a supervised thesis (typically around 100 pages). Nominal time to complete the degree is 3 semesters (1.5 years). Admission requires a Bakkalaureat or equivalent degree in business informatics or a related field.
The Magisterstudium essentially consists of the same subject areas as the Bakkalaureat, but with more specialisation and more emphasis on research.
...you'll need to know the language. The principal language of instruction is German, although some lectures, seminars, and examinations may be held in English. Good knowledge of German (i.e., being able to follow lectures, read and understand technical texts, and compose seminar papers) is therefore a necessity for those wishing to study for a degree in Austria; some basic knowledge might be sufficient for visiting students on exchange programmes.
Another thing to keep in mind about studying at an Austrian university is that there is no fixed schedule or tutors telling you which class you should attend when and where, leaving you with a lot of things you have to figure out for yourself. Of course, this is where the Fachschaft can help you.
You may also want to read this comprehensive overview of Austria's higher education system.