learning reading time: 18 min publication date: 07.12.2021


© Karin Wernig
Full WIFI classroom

Going back to school or taking training courses as an adult can be a super satisfying and interesting experience - even if your time in school as a kid wasn’t all that great! Whether you want to advance in your chosen profession, switch to a completely new career, or simply learn things that are of interest to you, there are all kinds of training courses and opportunities for continuing education in the region around Villach that can help. 

In this blog post we’ll give you an overview of the most important regional adult education providers and offerings, and hopefully give you some inspiration for taking a class or two yourself!

Most courses, seminars, and workshops that we present here are not offered in English and therefore require a certain level of German proficiency. (There are many different ways to improve your German in Villach, and we have put together a list of many of the offerings here.) If one of the following educational institutions offers courses or study programs in English, we’ll make sure to mention it!



The Carinthian Institute for Economic Development - Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut, or WIFI for short - is a service facility of the Carinthian Economic Chamber, which, as a leading adult education institution, aims to train specialists and skilled workers and improve people’s career chances. Here you can sign up for more than 3000 classes, seminars, and training courses in diverse fields - from business administration and law to tourism and languages to crafts and trade skills, retail skills, logistics, and technology.

© Karin Wernig
WIFI building in St. Magdalen


The Carinthian Vocational Training Institute - Berufsförderungsinstitut (BFI), which is supported by the Austrian Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, is another institution which offers a wide-ranging selection of courses. The focus here lies in the fields of business, health and psychology, IT, logistics, nursing and other care professions, as well as education and communication. Classes can be taken at the education centers at nine different locations; in addition, there are two practice firms in Klagenfurt and Villach, and three IT-L@Bs for IT apprentices. A bonus for everyone who loves to learn: anyone who is officially employed, and is therefore automatically a member of the Austrian Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer), can get an education gift certificate worth €100-€150 every year, which can be used for courses at BFI or VHS.



The Carinthian Adult Education Centers (Volkshochschulen or VHS) form a non-profit organization that offers the chance to expand your knowledge at favorable prices. The VHS offers a wide-ranging and high-quality course program with various focus areas to all interested people. In addition to traditional offerings like language or computer classes, there are also classes in the areas of health, art, cooking, and beauty. In Carinthia there are eight VHS adult education centers (Klagenfurt, Villach, Spittal, St. Veit, Feldkirchen, Wolfsberg, Völkermarkt and Hermagor).



The Rural Continuing Education Institute of Carinthia (Ländliche Fortbildungsinstitut Kärnten or LFI) provides adult education in rural areas of Carinthia and covers a comprehensive range of training and education opportunities. The Chamber of Agriculture is the sponsoring organization. In addition to a course program similar to VHS, LFI also offers courses in such fields as direct marketing, animal care and husbandry, gardening and farming, and forestry.



A wide-ranging selection of study programs and continuing education opportunities in the fields of technology, business, healthcare and social work, culture, language, and teacher training are offered at three Carinthia universities - the University of Klagenfurt (AAU), the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS or FH Kärnten) with five campuses, and the Carinthia College of Education (PH Kärnten).

© FH Villach
Students in the lecture room of CUAS Villach

Here we have laid out a clear summary of which programs are offered and which ones are offered in English: 



Adults who would like to work in a social profession can get the necessary education and training in a vocational school for nursing and care jobs, early childhood education, social pedagogy, or social support.

Higher Technical Colleges (HTL) in Villach, Ferlach, and Wolfsberg offer opportunities for adults to train for careers in interior design, product design, and mechanical engineering.

If a career in tourism is of interest, in Villach there is the renowned Vocational School for Tourism, which is located in the Carinthia Tourism School.


We hope that our overview of the many continuing education and training opportunities in Villach and Carinthia can help you get onto a new career path or simply learn interesting new things!