Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Studying Abroad in Vienna

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IES Abroad
May 10, 2018
A group of students standing in front of the garden

Did you know that IES Abroad sent our first students to study abroad in Vienna in 1950? More than 65 years later, our students are still having life-changing experiences in this iconic city. Get ready for your Austrian adventure with advice from recent IES Abroad Vienna students and staff.

Why study abroad in Vienna?

Vienna has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to improve your German, study psychology in Freud’s hometown, or advance your musical studies, Vienna welcomes you. When you’re not in class, explore the beautiful city rich with history and art. “The city was voted the best so many years in a row, and it’s just so clean and beautiful, that I had to come here,” Allie Littrell (Ithaca College) said.

Our Music students and music lovers particularly enjoy life in Vienna. Musicians and composers, such as Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, and Berg, have called the city home, and today the city’s music scene is still very much alive. “It’s the city of music in the world and the amount of history that’s happened here is just incredible…You can go see the best orchestra in the world and it’s just a really incredible place to be,” Dillon Downey (University of North Texas) said.

What should I know before studying abroad in Vienna?

An open mind and a willingness to experience new things will allow you to experience all that Vienna has to offer. Saphir Shemesh (Emory University) explains her approach to making the most of study abroad, “One of the main things that I’ve tried to do here is try something new every day even if that’s just taking a new way home…something small that I can do but know that Vienna has become a piece of me every single day.” In relative proximity to other iconic European cities, Vienna will always be ready to welcome you home if you choose to explore other regions and countries across the continent.

What are academics like in Vienna?

With course offerings in Music, History, Psychology, and more, students from an array of majors are able to explore their academic interests. Some classes are taught in English and others are taught in German, which allows you to practice your language skills and integrate into the city’s culture. With course-related trips, the city of Vienna will be your classroom. Penelope Makeig (University of Iowa) explains, “It’s so great to study the history of Vienna, then go and see it.”

What is housing like in Vienna?

Many IES Abroad students live in Vienna’s Sixth District, a centrally-located area of the city and only a short walk to the IES Abroad Center. With nearby markets and cafés, there are plenty of places to explore in the neighborhood.

Housing options include apartments with other IES Abroad students, housing with local residents, and residence halls with Austrian and international students. Clara Couch (University of South Carolina) described her housing: “It’s a beautiful apartment. It’s nice and big. Our landlady’s name is Nellie, and she’s very, very nice. She’s accommodated to us very well.”

What do the resident assistants do?

Resident assistants (RAs) live alongside students in IES Abroad housing. Their primary responsibility is making sure IES Abroad students have everything they need and feel comfortable and at home in Vienna. Saphir Shemesh (Emory University) describes, “The RAs here are different because they are more like a friend and a role model for guidance. That’s what they’re there for. If we’re homesick or anything like that, [they’re] here for us.”

RAs are also a support for IES Abroad students to go to with any questions or concerns they may have during their time abroad. “I’ve been an exchange student myself, so I know what it’s like,” Valerie Amann, an IES Abroad Resident Assistant, said. “How difficult it can be and how important it is to have people helping you with [living abroad].”

Still have questions about studying abroad in Austria? Contact a student Ambassador who has recently returned from an IES Abroad Vienna program.

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