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Linfield Home » Arts & Sciences » ... » January Term/Semester/Year Abroad Programs » Semester/Year Abroad » Semester Abroad in Austria

Semester Abroad in Vienna, Austria

Restaurant on the top of the mountain after the hike. Doing farm work at Maria's farm Cierrena meets Austrian federal president

"Studying abroad was the best time of my life. I learned a lot about myself and especially about America. I now have a worldly perspective on certain issues and have found myself extremely curious about things I never learned in school."
- Miriam Krueger


Linfield has had a long partnership with the Austro-American Insitute of Education, located in the heart of Vienna, or Wien, as it is known locally.  AAIE is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to the cultural exchange between the USA and Austria.  Bordering eight countries, Austria lies at the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe, providing a perfect base for European study. 

After arriving, students go by train into the Alps to the beautiful mountain village of Dorfgastein, a friendly city of 900 people, where they have orientation and intensive German language study.  Students then spend four months in Vienna with an Austrian family, exploring culture and history in the city of Mozart, Freud, and Strauss and enjoy many outdoor activities.


The Austria program runs from early-August to mid-December.   A study tour to Prague and excursions to Kreuzenstein and Klosterneuburg are usually included in the program.

Language Prerequisites

Regardless of their chosen major or minor or language ability, students can study in Vienna, one of Europe's grandest cities. 

Track 1: Students must complete the equivalent of one year of college-level German to be eligible to apply and must take or audit the appropriate level of German in the spring semester directly preceding the study in Vienna.  Preference is given to students with a minimum 3.0 GPA in German language.

Track 2: Students need no prior knowledge of the German language.


All students take IDST 031 - Intercultural Communication:Departure and Reentry - 1 credit.
During the regular academic program, German language courses are taken at the University of Vienna, a short distance from the Institute.  Students choose one of the following tracks:

  • Track 1 (for German language students):
    MLGR 220, 320 or 370 German Language Practice in August (3 credits)
    Courses taught in German taken during the regular semester:
    MLGR 221, 321, or 371 German Language (5 credits)
    MLGR 206/HIST 206  Austrian Cultural History: Art, Literature, and Society (4 credits; VP or GP)
    MDLA/HIST 365  Ethnic Diversity  (4 credits; IS, VP or GP)
  • Track 2 (for non-language students, courses taught in English):
    Please note: 
    MLGR 120 German language course in August  (3 credits)
    During the regular semester:
    MLGR 121 German language at the University of Vienna (5 credits)
    MDLA/HIST 365 Ethnic Diversity  (4 credits; IS, VP or GP), taught in English
    MLGR/POLS 373 Politics of European Integration (4 credits; GP), taught in English

Students on both tracks take together, taught in English:
MLGR 365  Austrian Politics & Society in a European Context (3 credits; VP or GP)
SOAN 040 Community Service (S/U; 1 credit).  The Institute coordinates a service learning project for each student, providing a link to the community.

European Studies/German Major and Minor: 
Students interested in obtaining a major or minor in European Studies should contact Professor Gudrun Hommel, German, ext. 2476 or Professor Scott Smith, History, ext. 2281. Consult faculty for the number of credits that may be applied to German minor.   All students must take a language course at the 300 level on the home campus to complete the minor.

A series of mandatory orientation meetings (one weekend and possibly other meetings) are held in the spring semester prior to departure.

It is highly recommended that students take TCCA 230(Intercultural Communication: Global Perspectives) and MLGR 212 (Intro. to German Civilization) before participating in the program. Courses in European history and politics (such as Western Culture, Europe Since 1500, 19th Century Europe, 20th Century Europe, and International Politics) also provide excellent preparation. Applicants are encouraged to participate in the weekly noon German tables in Dillin Hall, German Club events and programs sponsored by the International Programs Office related to study abroad, such as brown bag lunch presentations, information fairs and interest sessions.

Selection Criterium

The program is open to sophomores, juniors,and seniors in good academic and social standing with a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.75.

Students cannot participate in both a semester abroad and January Term travel course in the same academic year without special permission from the office of International Programs. The number of students for each program is limited, and selection is competitive. On the basis of an application, and supporting documents, a selection committee judges each applicant to determine motivation, readiness,and academic preparation for this study abroad experience.  Qualified candidates will then be invited to interview with the German language faculty.


The first week in Dorfgastein, students usually stay in a pension. While in Vienna, students live with Austrian host families.

Other Information

Email a Linfield student who participated in this program.

Download PDF of Program Brochure

Download PDF of Information Packet