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 prestigious local universities, enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day both in and out of class.
You take 15–19 credit hours 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 two years 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. If your German is at an advanced level, and scheduling allows, you can 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 Music courses (3-4 credits)
- German-taught IES Abroad Music course (3 credits)
- English-taught IES Abroad electives (3 credits)
- German-taught IES Abroad electives* (3 credits)
- German-taught courses at partner universities (3 credits)
- IES Abroad Internship or Field Experience (includes internship/field experience seminar, 3 credits)
German-taught Area 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:
MS332: Music in Vienna: 1705-1820
CU321 Austria in Text and Film I: From the Turn of the Century to 1945
DR341 Vienna Theater I
CU345 The Cultural Heritage of Austria
Spring Semester Only:
MS334: Music in Vienna: 1800-1920
IB/GR333 Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business
CU322 Austria in Text and Film II: 1945 to Present
DR342 Vienna Theater II
Music Performance Workshop
A special feature of the program is the Music Performance Workshop, a course designed to offer instrumentalists and vocalists the opportunity to expand their repertoire and enhance their performance skills. Interested students submit a special application and audition on-site to be admitted to the workshop. As part of the Music Performance Workshop, you can enjoy the following features:
- Student participation in weekly in-class performances of chamber music and solo repertoire
- Emphasis on vocal/instrumental chamber ensembles, opera theater (including Viennese operetta), and German Lied
- An ensemble instructor to help prepare your group in performing works of chamber music
- An in-house pianist/accompanist/coach to help in preparing repertoire
- Performing in Performance Workshop recitals in our Rococo concert hall
- Guest lectures and masterclasses with internationally renowned performing artists
Music Performance Workshop auditions are usually held during the first or second week of your stay in Vienna. This is an opportunity for every performer to perform for everyone else; it gives the music department faculty a chance to assess your artistry and technical proficiency and lets all the musicians start to develop a sense of working together. That, after all, is the point of the Workshop: creating music with one another in a rich learning environment.
Additional Program Features
- Private Lessons – Take partially-reimbursed music lessons for credit with instructors from some of the top orchestras and music schools in Vienna (see MS391 Individual Performance Studies syllabus).
- Practice Rooms – Numerous practice rooms are available at the IES Abroad Center and at nearby facilities.
- Concert and Recitals – As a Performance Studies student, you can perform a selection of works during a group concert and can also present your own recital during the course of the semester.
- Concert Hall - IES Abroad Vienna boasts its own performance space - a beautiful Rococo concert hall with outstanding acoustics and a 50-person seating capacity. The space, which has two grand pianos and a harpsichord, serves as the venue for student concerts and recitals.
- Field Study Excursions - You attend events such as rehearsals of leading ensembles in Vienna, visits to music-related historical sites like the homes of Mozart and Beethoven, and guided tours of famous music venues and museums in the city.
- Instrument Storage – A limited number of lockers are available at the Center, allowing you to bring your own musical instrument to Vienna and avoid rental fees.
- Instruments – A contrabass and an F tuba are available for rental directly from the Center; other instruments are available from local rental companies.
- Guest Speakers - Professional musicians and other guests provide a series of modules on topics including the Alexander Technique, auditioning for Euopean houses or ensembles, sound and recording, early music, and personal performance experiences.
Note for Clarinet, Oboe, Horn, and Percussion instrumentalists
The clarinet, oboe, and horn as taught and played in Vienna have a different construction and require a different technique than found in the U.S. However, IES Abroad maintains contact with instructors that teach and play in both traditions, so lessons are not a problem. You can view this as a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge of the instrument. Percussion studies in Vienna are particularly distinct from in the U.S. IES Abroad does not encourage timpani or percussion students to pursue their studies in Vienna unless they are particularly willing to overcome this complication. The same applies to most areas of jazz, computer, and popular music.