Home to an astounding number of legendary composers—from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Brahms, Mahler, and Schoenberg—Vienna maintains an incredible richness of musical culture to this day. The world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musikverein, and the Staatsoper are just a few of the many leading institutions that help make Vienna a true “city of music”—and make it the perfect location for an engaging study of Music History and Performance.
The IES Abroad Vienna Music Program is ideal for students majoring or minoring in Music, and offers you the opportunity to participate in a wide selection of courses focusing on Music and European culture and society. The program is organized in conjunction with the Vienna European Society & Culture Program.
You select your courses from English- and German-taught options in the following areas:
This program is unique because it offers a variety of features and conveniences for you as an IES Abroad Music student, including private lessons, new practice rooms, instrument storage, local instrument rental, and our Music Performance Workshop.
If you have advanced German language skills, you can also enroll in courses at the Universität Wien where you can experience the Austrian educational system first-hand.
Vienna will be your classroom. Imagine visiting one of the city’s world-famous concert halls to attend the rehearsal of a major ensemble, or visiting the homes of important figures in musical history, such as Mozart and Beethoven. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites and include course-related excursions.
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 housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. Participate in our language partners program to practice your German and meet local students. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship or field experience placement and accompanying academic seminar.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
For students taking IES Abroad courses only
For students taking one or more courses at a partner university
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:
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
Both Semesters: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:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Coming soon: IB/IM320 Strategic Management
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. Advanced-level German language skills are required to enroll in courses.
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.
IES Abroad Vienna organizes course-related excursions that complement IES Abroad courses and help you build your general knowledge of Austrian culture and society. Past course-related excursions have included:
Further, you attend events such as the 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.
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 Music Research, 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.
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.
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 first few weeks following orientation, you spend half of each day in intensive German language instruction. The rest of the time is spent in academic advising, lectures on contemporary Europe, Austria, and Vienna, and tours of Vienna and the surrounding area.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Vienna through our cultural events, such as:
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.
Central European 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 to participate in the “Sound of Music” tour 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.
Austrian Alps3 days | Fall & SpringEnjoy 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.
About the Center
Also known as the Palais Corbelli, the IES Abroad Vienna Center is an elegant 18th 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.
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 Vienna Staff
Ginte Stankeviciute, M. Sc.Academic Registrar / Assistant to the Center Director
Katherine MawdsleyInstitutional Relations and Events Coordinator
Helmut SummesbergerManager of Student Affairs
Meral KölblingerStudent Health & Safety Coordinator / Student Affairs
Mathias SchmerbachAccounting and Finance Manager
Tobias SigmundStudent Housing Coordinator / Student Affairs
Dieter StroblFacilities Coordinator / Library Services