Group of study abroad students in vienna
Study Abroad
Vienna – Psychology & Social Sciences Add to favorites
  • Vienna, Austria

You are here

Why Vienna?

Vienna is teeming with people from around the world who have made this city their home.

Situated at the center of Europe and rich in culture, this is a place where people from all walks of life thrive. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also a city where the study of society has a long history and where modern psychology claims its birthplace. Many prominent thinkers made Vienna their home—Alfred Adler, Max Wertheimer, Helene Deutsch, Erwin Ringel, Viktor Frankl (who taught at IES Abroad), and, of course, Sigmund Freud.

What You'll Study

Experience life in Vienna as a student of Psychology and Social Sciences. Our courses give you the opportunity to explore youth cultures, childhood development, virtual identity on the web, the immigrant experience, and the social and psychological dimensions of discrimination. Deepen your learning experience with a program-related trip to destinations throughout Austria, Hungary, and Germany to explore these issues in a broader cultural and geographical context.  

You can also enroll in an internship or field experience in public service organizations, NGOs, or teaching English to kindergarten, primary, or secondary students. This hands-on experience includes time spent at your placement and an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.

Taking German is required, but no background in the language is necessary. If you have sufficient German language skills, you can also enroll in courses at the prestigious Universität Wien. There, you will experience the Austrian education system, be able to participate in University student activities, and make Austrian friends. 

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Vienna, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From our centrally located housing to cultural events like bike tours and cooking classes, 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.

Academics

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 Psychology & Social Sciences 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 IES Abroad courses in English. If you have advanced German language proficiency, you may enroll in IES Abroad courses in German and English. 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 language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad area studies courses* (3-4 credits) are offered at the IES Abroad Center in English and German in a wide range of disciplines.
  • German-taught courses at Universität Wien  (advanced German required, credits vary)
  • IES Abroad Internship (includes internship and seminar, 3 credits)

*In addition to your program’s specified coursework, you can take any of the area studies courses offered through our European Society & Culture Program.

Courses

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. In addition to your program’s specified coursework, you can take any of the area studies courses offered through our European Society & Culture Program.

To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.

Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/SO 328 - The Culture of Immigration Fall, Spring English 3
AN/SO 345 - Comparative Austrian and European Youth Cultures: Theories and Practices Fall English 3
Education
Course Name Term Language Credits
IN/ED 395 - Supervised Teaching Field Experience Fall, Spring English 3
German Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
GR 101 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 201 - German Language in Context: Novice Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
GR 301 - German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 351 - German Language in Context: Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 401 - German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Fall, Spring German 4
GR 403 - German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad III Fall, Spring German 4
GR 451 - German Language in Context: Competent Abroad Fall, Spring German 4
IB/GR 333 - Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business Spring German 3
International Business
Course Name Term Language Credits
IB/GR 333 - Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business Spring German 3
Intercultural Communication
Course Name Term Language Credits
IC 215 - Intercultural Communication Spring English 3
Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
IN/ED 395 - Supervised Teaching Field Experience Fall, Spring English 3
SO/IN 395 - Supervised Public Service Internship Seminar Fall, Spring English 3
Psychology
Course Name Term Language Credits
PS 214 - Cyberpsychology Fall English 3
PS 235 - Cross-Cultural Psychology Fall English 3
PS 321 - Personality Theories and Psychopathology Fall English 3
PS 330 - Psychology of Language Fall English 3
PS 346 - Psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic Therapy and Humanistic Psychology in Contemporary Culture Spring English 3
PS 350 - Vienna Project on Child Development: Culture and Developmental Psychology Spring English 3
PS 354 - Health Psychology and Communication Skills Training Spring English 3
SO/PS 340 - The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/SO 328 - The Culture of Immigration Fall, Spring English 3
AN/SO 345 - Comparative Austrian and European Youth Cultures: Theories and Practices Fall English 3
SO/IN 395 - Supervised Public Service Internship Seminar Fall, Spring English 3
SO/PS 340 - The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination Fall, Spring English 3

Partner Institution(s)

Universität Wien
www.univie.ac.at
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.

Courses
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
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Sciences
  • Earth Sciences, Geography & Astronomy
  • History & Culture Studies
  • Law
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Musicology
  • Philology & Culture Studies
  • Philosophy & Pedagogy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sports Science & Sports
  • Theology
  • Translation

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.

Austrian Alps
3 days | Fall & Spring
Enjoy the skiing and the breathtaking scenery!

Wachau
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit the famous Melk Abbey.

Styria Tour
2 days | Fall & Spring
Tour this Austrian region known for its delicious wines and vineyards.

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Program-Related Trip

Psychology Study Tour of Austria and Germany 
5 days | Fall & Spring (Required)
As an enhancement to your coursework, you will spend five days studying Psychology and Sociology throughout Austria, as well as Leipzig, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary. Examine the impact of the Iron Curtain along the Austrian border, the collective trauma of Nazism and Communism in Hungary, and the early development of Psychology in Germany.

Course-Related Trips

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”
  • Historical sites
  • Theater performances
  • Classical concerts

Daily Life

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.

Orientation

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.

Housing

We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to 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:

  • City tours
  • Museum visits
  • Theater events
  • 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.

Program Cost

Fees coming soon.

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$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 Center

Also known as the Palais Corbelli, the IES Abroad Vienna Center is an elegant 17th-century palace in the heart of the city and is just minutes from many of the museums, theaters, and other major cultural attractions that have bestowed international fame on Vienna.

Features include:

  • Classrooms
  • Student lounge and small library
  • Computer lab
  • High-speed Internet and printer access
  • Practice rooms and instrument storage for music students
  • Concert hall for music students

Visit the IES Abroad Vienna Center from home with our brand new VIRTUAL TOUR! Please go to: http://www.youvisit.com/tour/iesabroad/86047?tourid=tour2

Our Staff

Morten Solvik, Ph.D.

Center Director

An international scholar, Dr. Solvik holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Music and Intellectual History from Cornell University. Born in Norway, he speaks Norwegian, German, and English fluently, and uses French as a research language.

Dr. Solvik was instrumental in setting up the IES Abroad Vienna Music Program, which he has coordinated since 1999, and has also designed and taught numerous courses in Music History. In addition to his work with IES Abroad Vienna, Dr. Solvik has served as lecturer at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst (The University for Music and Performing Arts). His teaching and administrative experience is augmented by his active and productive scholarly career as an expert on Gustav Mahler.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Vienna Staff
Ginte Stankeviciute, M. Sc.
Academic Program Manager

Katherine Mawdsley
Institutional Relations and Events Coordinator

Helmut Summesberger
Manager of Student Affairs

Meral Kölblinger
Student Health & Safety Coordinator / Student Affairs

Mathias Schmerbach
Accounting and Finance Manager

Tobias Sigmund
Student Housing Coordinator / Student Affairs 

Dieter Strobl
Facilities Coordinator / Library Services