- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- No previous German language study required for students enrolling in English-taught courses
- 4 semesters or the equivalent of college-level German required for students enrolling in the German-taught or University courses
- 5 semesters or the equivalent of college-level German required for spring semester students enrolling in German-taught or University courses
Penn State Education Abroad approves three (3) IES semester programs in Vienna. For all three program tracks, 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 (University of Vienna). There, you will experience the Austrian education system, be able to participate in University student activities, and make Austrian friends.
Please note U.S. citizens who study in Austria will be required to travel to the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to apply for a visa in-person prior to the start of the program and should budget for travel costs and plan accordingly.
Students will choose from one of these program tracks:
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, the European Society & Culture 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:
You can also enroll in an internship or field experience, including placements in Arts & Culture, Business, Education Field Experience, and Public service. This hands-on experience includes time spent at your placement and an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
- German Language
- European Business, Economics, and Politics
- Society and Self
- The Arts
Choose from a wide selection of courses in disciplines such as Economics, Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Political Science. You can also enhance your experience by taking courses in Art History, History, Humanities, Psychology, and so much more.
Your studies will also take you throughout Vienna and outside the city, with a program-related trip where you’ll visit companies like Red Bull in Salzburg, and BMW in Munich, as well as organizations in and around Vienna.
You can also enroll in an internship or field experience, including placements in banking, consulting, and not-for-profit organizations. This hands-on experience includes time spent at your placement and an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
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.
Academic Year: mid August - mid May
Fall: mid August - mid December
Spring: mid January - mid May
These dates are for students who only take IES Abroad courses. Students who also take courses at the University of Vienna will have a later end date.Refer to the IES Vienna website for the specific dates, if available.
We’d like to let you in on a little secret: Vienna is extraordinary, so pack your bags and study abroad in Vienna before more students realize what a hidden gem it is.
Hear the sounds of this truly musical city as musicians perform on pedestrian shopping streets, explore the many museums and historical sites, check out all of the booths at Naschmarkt, and visit the stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral when you study abroad in Vienna.
Come see for yourself why the music, culture, and history of this world-class city elicit nothing but adoration from those who go there. Make the best of your own Vienna study abroad experience on one of our programs that range from music history to psychology in this European center of scholarship.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.
Available Fields of Study
Anthropology, Art History, Astronomy, Business, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, German, Global Studies, History, International Business, Internship, Journalism, Literature, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Molecular Biology, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science, Sociology, Theatre, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
To find courses on each track for IES Vienna, follow the instructions on the host program page under "Academics".
To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed.
Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.
To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
- Research courses available on your program
- Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements
- Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
- To register for courses on this program you will work with your host program
Students in all program tracks can create their own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
In addition to your program’s specified coursework, you can take any of the area studies courses offered through our European Society & Culture Program.
- IES Abroad Germany language course (required, 4 credits)
- IES Abroad area studies courses (3-4 credits each) 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)
- You must enroll in a minimum number of 15 credits and a maximum number of 19 credits
- You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
- World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
- You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation
Course Equivalency Process
In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.
Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.
Grade and Credit Conversion Scale
Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
Grade Conversion Scale
|Host Institution Grade
||Penn State Grade
Credit Conversion Scale
|Host Institution Credit
||Penn State Credit
| 3 Credits
|| 3 Credits
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.
Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.
Gender and LGBTQA
There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.
Race, Ethnicity, and Faith
When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.
IES Abroad Country-Specific Diversity and Access Resources: Austria
Just as each study abroad experience is unique, each location offers a different adventure. IES Abroad offers students comprehensive resources specific to their host city and country. Please visit the IES Abroad Austria - Diversity Resources website for valuable information on the following:Day-to-Day Life in Austria
- Dietary Concerns
- Diverse Racial, Ethnic, & National Identity
- Gender Identity, Gender Expression, & Sexual Orientation
- Religion & Spirituality
- Disability Resources & Mental Health Support
It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.