Vienna will be your classroom. Can you imagine learning about Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis and then touring his home and the office where he practiced? Or studying politics and international organizations and visiting the UN, the OSCE, or OPEC? How about exploring art history in Vienna’s world-famous galleries and museums? Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites and include a hands-on, practical component.
What You'll Study
Offering both English- and German-taught courses, the IES Abroad Vienna European Society & Culture program allows you to study the culture, history, business, and politics of a region that continues to play a major role on the world stage. You can also enroll in an internship or field experience, which includes time spent working at your placement in addition to an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
Open to students at all German language levels, our program brings more than 60 years of experience to a variety of unique courses taught by faculty from top European institutions. Courses are clustered into the following topics:
European Business, Economics, and Politics
Society and Self
If you have a sufficient background in German you can also enroll in courses at the prestigious Universität Wien. There you will experience the Austrian education system, have the option to participate in student activities, and make some Austrian friends.
We want you to feel at home in Vienna, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
$5 Million in Financial Aid
We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Austrian History, Culture, Art, and many other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors, as well as course options at the prestigious Universität Wien, enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives both in and out of class.
You take 16–19 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. Language courses are taught in German, and all other courses are taught in English, unless otherwise noted. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.
If you have taken fewer than 4 semesters of college-level German or the equivalent, you enroll in English-taught IES Abroad courses. If you have advanced-level German language proficiency, you may enroll in a combination of German- and English-taught courses or all German-taught IES Abroad courses. Students with advanced language skills can also enroll in partner university courses.
You create your academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
IES Abroad German course (required, 4 credits)
English-taught IES Abroad electives (3-4 credits)
German-taught IES Abroad electives* (3 credits)
German-taught courses at Universität Wien (advanced German required, credits vary)
IES Abroad Internship or Field Experience (includes internship/field experience seminar, 3 credits)
German-taught Area Studies Courses IES Abroad teaches the following area studies courses in German. Please note that these courses are open to students who test into GR401 and GR403. Students who test into GR351 will be considered for these courses on a case-by-case basis.
Fall Semester Only: CU321 Austria in Text and Film I: From the Turn of the Century to 1945 DR341 Vienna Theater I
Both Semesters: CU345 The Cultural Heritage of Austria
Spring Semester Only: IB/GR333 Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business CU322 Austria in Text and Film II: 1945 to Present DR342 Vienna Theater II
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
Enrolling approximately 90,000 students, the Universität Wien offers a wide variety of courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The University boasts recognized academic strengths in Germanic Studies, Political Science, and Theology.
Founded in 1365, the Universität Wien is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
Listed below is the broad range of disciplines available at the University. Universität Wien does not offer any undergraduate courses taught in English, and the language of the administration of the university is German. As such, only students with advanced German are encouraged to consider enrollment at this institution. For specific course offerings, visit the Universität Wien website, and click “Blättern” to browse options. Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester.
Business & Economics
Earth Sciences, Geography & Astronomy
History & Culture Studies
Philology & Culture Studies
Philosophy & Pedagogy
Sports Science & Sports
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
Add international work experience to your résumé
Gain real work experience and skills
Build your confidence
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship. Proficiency in German language is not required for the Education Field Experience or Public Service internships, but is recommended for Arts & Culture and Business internships.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
Arts & Culture — The arts and culture internship offers first-hand experience and involvement in Austrian cultural institutions (including museums and theaters), businesses, and service organizations engaged in the fields of arts, culture, and entertainment in Austria. Proficiency in German is recommended.
Business — Apply foreign language skills while building an international résumé. Most business internships require the equivalent of four semesters of college German, but this is not a prerequisite for all internships.
Education Field Experience — Supervised teaching involves 30 hours of teaching English in selected Viennese secondary schools. Students attend lectures once a week on the structure and function of the Austrian school system and comparative teaching methods. Proficiency in German is not required.
Public Service — Supervised public service internships involve 30 hours of work with environmental, social, medical, and charitable organizations. Proficiency in German is not required.
Field Trips & Events
Although your adventure begins in Vienna, our field trips take you to other great cities in Austria and beyond to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Vienna. These trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.
World Heritage Tour (Hallstatt, Salzburg, Český Krumlov & Prague)
6 days | Fall & Spring
Visit the village of Hallstatt and take a boat cruise on the beautiful Hallstättersee. Then, travel to Salzburg and visit a salt mine. Visit the beautiful city of Český Krumlov, the old town of which has been designated a World Heritage site along with the Castle District of Prague, which is the final destination of the trip.
3 days | Fall & Spring
Enjoy the skiing and the breathtaking scenery!
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit the famous Melk Abbey.
2 days | Fall & Spring
Tour this Austrian region known for its delicious wines and vineyards.
IES Abroad Vienna also organizes course-related trips that complement IES Abroad courses and help you build your general knowledge of Austrian culture and society. Past trips have included visits to:
Political and economic institutions such as the Austrian Parliament and the United Nations office in the Vienna International Centre “UNO City”
Part of making you feel at home in Vienna is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, and the city of Vienna. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
During the weeks following orientation, you spend half of each day in intensive German language instruction. The rest of your time is spent in academic advising, lectures on contemporary Europe, Austria, and Vienna, and tours of Vienna and the surrounding area.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarksto see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Vienna, it will feel like home.
Apartments – You have the option to live in an apartment that houses between three and six students. Some apartments are set aside for students interested in taking a language pledge and speaking only in German while at home.
Housing with Local Residents – You have the opportunity to live with one or more IES Abroad students and an Austrian landlady/landlord or Resident Assistant.
Residence Halls – Allowing you to live among Austrian and international students, residence halls feature double rooms with a shared bath.
You have full access to kitchen facilities for preparing meals, which are not included in the program fee. All housing options include free Internet access.
Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events
Redefine the way you live and learn in Vienna through our cultural events, such as:
Extracurricular sporting activities through the Universitätssportinstitut (for a minimal fee)
IES Abroad Vienna participates in a “buddy system” for language learning with native German speakers. The program lets you practice German and meet local students.
Get to Know Your New City
Experience an Opera at the Wiener Staatsoper
Students have the incredible opportunity to see world-class opera performances for only a few euros.
Relax Along the Danube Canal
Enjoy the late afternoon sun while you take in the tranquility of this waterway.
Visit a Museum or Two on a Rainy Day
Whether you’re into classic or modern art, history, science, architecture, or nearly anything else, at least one of the 100+ museums of Vienna will interest you.
Ride the Praterturm at Prater Park
The “Prater Tower” is the highest swing ride in the world, providing both thrills and spectacular views of the city!
Sip Wine at an Authentic Heuriger
These Viennese wine taverns serve locally-produced wines and snacks to thirsty and hungry patrons who sit at long picnic tables.
Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.