Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Insist on the best of all worlds on the Vienna program, where the internships are engaging and relevant, courses are taught by world-renowned faculty, and the city offers a high quality of life (voted most-livable, in fact every year since 2009). The Vienna program gives students access to a part of Europe that has had, and continues to have, an enduring impact on world affairs.

Before arriving in Vienna, every student has the option to add one or two months at the prestigious Goethe Institute in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, for intensive language preparation. In Vienna, students choose between a German language immersion curriculum or courses at the University of Vienna, taught in English or German. If you have an interest in politics and international relations, you’ll find prominent international organizations such as OSCE, OPEC and the UN.

of students complete an internship or service-learning
  • Languages of Instruction: German and English
  • Unique geographic and geopolitical location



Strong Academic Program

Combine internship experiences and top-flight academics at the University of Vienna to build an exceptional study plan. Students choose from the following study tracks: As a unifying thread, students in all tracks take Austria in Context, a reflective cross-cultural course with an emphasis on history. To achieve total German language immersion, highly proficient students may take this course in German.

Austria in Context (required)

A thorough introduction to the complex history of Austria, its politics and role within the European Union and current issues, this course combines traditional academics and assignments where students reflect on their experiences in Austrian society. Topics include religious life, social aspects of multiethnic societies, education, Austrian customs, dialects and national traditions in language, meals, drinks and more. (3 credits)

Academic Excursions

Connect the classroom with the world outside through academic excursions that link Austrian culture and history with coursework. Examples of past excursions include:

  • Visit the famous Vienna sites—the Wien Museum, the Archives of the Austrian Resistance, the Jewish Museum and Parliament
  • Tour Belvedere and Schönbrunn Palaces
  • Attend concerts, theatre and opera performances around Vienna
  • Journey to Budapest, Salzburg, Linz or Graz
  • Visit Austria's Wachau Valley

Optional Intensive Language Preparation

Open to all, most students prepare for their time in Vienna with one or two months of intensive German language preparation at the Goethe Institut. Instruction covers vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening comprehension, textual analysis, and oral and written communication. Credits earned are in addition to the full course load in Vienna. Goethe Institut. (6-12 credits)

Students working together on a project.

Internships and Service-Learning

Practical and transferable skills development is the foundation of the internship program in Vienna. From the very start of the process, students are encouraged to approach internships in terms of skills development. Work experiences are totally immersive.

About three-quarters of Central College students in Vienna participate in an internship or service-learning placement to boost both their language and career skills and earn course credit to transfer back to their home institutions. (Internships 4-6 credits)

  • Austrian soccer team
  • Biosphere park
  • Botanical garden
  • Environmental protection organizations
  • Fashion industry*
  • International corporations
  • Marketing and PR departments
  • Museums
  • Music and history archive
  • NGOs and committees
  • Opera House and theatres
  • Research institutes
  • Teaching English at primary and secondary schools
  • Tutoring English
  • Vineyard*

*= Requires advanced German language skills

The Central Difference

Central European Location

Unique geographical/geopolitical location at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe; both the historical center of the grand Austro-Hungarian Empire with a rich heritage in cultural treasures and historical sites as well as a busy hub of international affairs as the home of one of the world's four UN headquarters and numerous other international organizations.


Residential Program Director

Individualized attention to students distinguishes Central's resident directors from their peers. Starting long before arrival in Vienna, the director works individually with each student, coaching them to maximize their time abroad. Nothing is more central to the work of a resident director than giving students the support they need.

Ruth Verweijen

Ruth Verweijen and student Ian Lloyd

Ruth Verweijen’s love for international education was first sparked during work and study abroad experiences in Canada, Scotland and the United States. She completed a second Master’s Degree in International Education in 2000 and has been the resident director of the Central College program in Vienna since then.

A Vienna native, Ruth is passionate about her students’ experience in Vienna and their overall growth. Based on her long-standing experience, she works to tie the students’ Vienna experience together, finding coursework & internship placements that meet students’ academic needs and language levels.

Academic credentials
  • Associate Degree in Tourism, Modul College
  • Master of Arts in English Language, Literature and Culture and Cultural Anthropology, the University of Vienna
  • Master in International and Intercultural Management (Focus: International Educational Exchange), School for International Training

Integrated Programming

Holistic programming integrates academics, personal journey and intercultural learning. Program excursions are linked to coursework to help students gain the most complete understanding of Austria possible, while gaining skills transferable to future experiences in cultures that are not their own. Guided by the resident director, students engage in intentional reflection to process and understand their personal experiences.

Valuable Work Experience

Internship and service-learning areas include work at international organizations, museums, archives, NGOs, local schools, business, etc. These experiences are invaluable as they further immerse students into the local society and provide them with the opportunity to understand cultural differences in the workplace and to acquire useful transferable skills for their future professional life.

About 75 percent of Central’s students participate in an internship or service-learning placement.

Choose Your Level of Immersion

Depending on their program focus, students will meet Austrian and other international students both in their dorms and in their classes. Internships and service-learning opportunities as well as the many extracurricular activities allow students to truly immerse themselves in Austrian culture and integrate with local life.

While studying abroad in Vienna, you will have many chances for exciting experiences, such as skiing in the Central Eastern Alps .

What to Expect

On-Site Orientation

Get to know your surroundings through a full orientation program led by the Vienna resident director. There will be extensive orientation activities during your first few weeks. Essential information regarding internships, affiliate universities and course registration is provided.

Before and After your Time Abroad

Central College offers a pre-departure and re-entry course for credit. The course is led by faculty and staff and is designed to meet student’s needs at the various stages of preparing for (Pre-departure) and reflecting on (Re-entry) their time abroad.

Housing and Meals

Guaranteed housing in a Viennese residence hall, including double room, and kitchen facilities.  In Austrian fashion, students cook their own meals--a great way to meet hall-mates and learn cuisine from Austria and the world.

You can expect great internship opportunities while studying abroad in Vienna.

Dates and Fees

Fall 2018 dates*

Two-month Goethe Institute

  • Arrival in Schwäbisch Hall/Orientation Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Classes begin Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Classes end Thursday, August 23, 2018

One-month Goethe Institute

  • Arrival in Schwäbisch Hall/Orientation Monday, August 27, 2018
  • Classes begin Tuesday, August 28, 2018
  • Classes end Thursday, September 20, 2018

Vienna Program (all students)

  • Arrival Thursday, September 20, 2018 Orientation Friday, September 21, 2018
  • Classes begin Monday, October 01, 2018
  • German Intensive classes begin Monday, October 01, 2018
  • Christmas Break (tentative) Saturday, December 22, 2018 to Sunday, January 06, 2019
  • Classes end Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • German Intensive classes end Friday, January 25, 2019
  • Vacate housing Thursday, January 31, 2019

*All program dates are tentative. Do not purchase airline tickets based on these dates. Please check the official program calendar in your online acceptance account to confirm dates.

Spring 2019 dates*

Two-month Goethe Institute

  • Arrival in Schwäbisch Hall/Orientation: Jan. 7, 2019
  • Classes begin: Jan. 8
  • Classes end: Jan. 31

One-month Goethe Institute

  • Arrival in Schwäbisch Hall/Orientation: Feb. 4, 2019
  • Classes begin: Feb. 5
  • Classes end: Feb 27

Vienna Program (all students)

  • Arrival: February 27, 2019
  • Orientation: Feb 28
  • Classes begin: March 1
  • Easter break (tentative): April 15 - 28
  • All classes end: June 28
  • Final date to vacate housing: June 30

*All program dates are tentative. Do not purchase airline tickets based on these dates. Please check the official program calendar in your online acceptance account to confirm dates.

Fall 2017/Spring 2018 fees

Central College students pay the same tuition rate for each of the international programs that they pay on the Central campus, plus the price for accommodations. In addition, students who transfer to Central College from another college or university must complete one semester at Central prior to participating in study abroad.

See program pricing information for Central students or for visiting students.

What's Included

  • Tuition
  • Guaranteed housing in residence halls, including double rooms (with German-speaking roommate whenever possible). No meal plan.
  • Computer/internet access at the Central College Abroad center and in residence halls
  • Two-week orientation
  • Language and culture exchange (optional)
  • Excursions and cultural events such as a weekend trip to Budapest, Salzburg, Linz or Graz
  • Internship and service-learning opportunities (optional)
  • Train fare from Schwäbisch Hall to Vienna
  • On-site resident director and support services
  • Reduced rate on Austrian railway system
  • Personal Central College Abroad Advisor for pre-departure support
  • Optional online pre-departure and re-entry course
  • Central College Abroad Student Survival Guide and Parent handbook
  • Supplemental travel insurance, including mental health coverage, emergency evacuation and more
  • International student ID card provided by INEXT
  • Transcript from Central College, a U.S. institution fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Learn More

Want to find out more about Vienna, Austria? Contact us to learn more about this program and other study abroad opportunities.