Supervised Arts and Culture Internship Seminar

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Course Information
Internship Seminar
Cultural Studies
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 
13 classroom contact hours; 100-150 hours at placement
  • Prior approval for the internship by both the student’s academic advisor and home institution is required.
  • Students are required to express interest in an internship before departure from the U.S.

Please Note: Prerequisites vary based on internship sponsor. Some of the internship positions may require a minimum language requirement, while the majority of the offered internship positions have none.

Internship Selection
The internships are awarded on a competitive basis. The selection procedure is as follows:

  1. A pre-screening interview with the internship coordinator to discuss the openings available and their relationship to the student’s background and interests.
  2. Application for a position which will be accompanied by the student’s curriculum vitae and the coordinator’s recommendation.
  3. Selection by the organization offering the internship position based on interviews with the applicant in Vienna.

To this day, this city of Vienna thrives on an intense interest in culture that has a strong effect on the institutions, economy, practices, and identity of its inhabitants. 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. The experiential work component of the internship is supplemented by a seminar which explores fundamental aspects of European and Austrian approaches. Students will be exposed to nonprofit and for profit management practices in this sector and discuss the differences between American and Austrian approaches. Class content includes seminars on marketing, fundraising, and sponsorship applied in the field of arts and culture. Students will explore Vienna by participating in one of the many private or public institutions engaged in arts and culture. Placements may include Belvedere Gallery, The Vienna Review, Schwarzconsult, the Austrian Business Committee for the Arts, Image - The Imperial Schönbrunn Palace Music Concerts, and “Dorotheum” - the world´s oldest arts auction house.

The internships vary depending upon the nature of the organization as well as the department in which the intern will work, though most of the work will consist of projects and research. The individual internship programs are to be agreed upon by the intern and the job supervisor by means of a mutual pre-selection process at the beginning of the semester.

Attendance policy: 

IES Abroad Vienna requires attendance at all class sessions, including field study excursions, internship meetings, scheduled rehearsals, and exams. Attendance will be monitored and unexcused absences will affect the student’s grade via the “Participation” component of each course’s final grade.

Excused Absences

  • Excused absences are permitted only when a student is ill, when class is held on a recognized religious holiday traditionally observed by the particular student, or in the case of a grave incident affecting family members.
  • To be granted an excused absence, the student must write an email to his/her professor in a timely manner stating the reason for the absence (and, if appropriate, how long they expect to be away) with a cc to Center administrative staff. In an emergency, the student may call Student Services or the Front Desk. If the student is unable to send an email (too sick, no computer), he/she may call the Student Assistant at the front desk (01/512 2601-11) who will then write the email described above and send it to said parties as stated above, with a cc to the student.
  • If a student is absent 3 consecutive days or more, he/she will need to obtain a doctor’s note and then submit this to the Registrar’s office.
Learning outcomes: 

Upon completion of this semester, the students will be able to:

  • compare arts and cultural practices in Europe and the U.S.
  • actively participate in the practices of European arts management
  • learning about the development of the creative industries in Europe
  • becoming acquainted with sponsorship and fundraising techniques
  • conceptualize PR and arts marketing plans
  • discuss relevant course topics with experienced guest lecturers
  • study primary and secondary management literature on museums and heritage sites, performing arts institutions, as well as the development of arts and entertainment in Europe
  • attend excursions to national theaters and museums, the Imperial Palaces located in Vienna, television and radio stations, and those organizations/institutions where students will be placed.
Method of presentation: 
  • Power point presentations
  • Handouts
  • Practical examples as well as case studies presented via internet or video
  • Each lecture is followed by a question and answer section
  • Group work and group presentations will complete an insightful look at topics and allow the student to practice more interactively
  • Each student will work at their designated office and hand in a paper at the end of the semester. In this paper selected cultural markets will be analyzed by the means of applied research methods. The content of the required paper will be between 15 and 20 pages long.
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Active class participation - 10%
  • Presentation on reading assignment - 20%
  • Term paper - 20%
  • Final evaluation given by mentor and IES Abroad internship coordinator - 50%
Required readings: 

The instructor will provide readings and handouts throughout the duration of the semester.