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Linfield College
- Linfield College
German and German Studies

Linfield College Semester Abroad in Vienna, Austria


(Please see International Programs for more details and/or visit the International Programs office in the basement of Melrose.)

Study intensive German at the University of Vienna and enjoy conversations in your favorite Vienna Kaffeehaus. Spend nearly five months living with an Austrian family. Explore culture and history in the city of Mozart, Strauss, and Freud. Experience Vienna as a gateway to the nearby countries of Eastern Europe. Spend a week in a lovely Austrian village, singing, hiking, learning with the locals. Join a Kletterclub and go rock climbing with natives. Venture into the bowls of the Viennese Opera house. Watch the famous Lippizaner horses during their morning practice. These are just a few of the things you will do when you spend fall semester in Austria's capital, Wien.

Location, Administration & Housing

The program is located in the heart of Vienna, right behind the Opera house, at the Amerika Institut (Austro American Institute of Education). Frau Gretl Weissgaerber, Linfield's semester abroad program's dynamic and enthusiastic leader, presided over the Amerika Institut for thirty-some years. Her son, Herman Weissgarrber, recently succeeded her in this position as the Institute's director.

During the first week of August, students are introduced to Austrian culture by living in the beautiful mountain village of Dorfgastein. Upon their return to Vienna they move in with their Austrian host families.


The program runs from approximately the first week in August until mid-December. The August weeks are spent in orientation and intensive language practice, some of which takes place in Dorfgastein. After one week, students move in with their host families in Vienna. The regular academic program -- language courses as well as the Austrian Culture course and "The Other Europe", both taught in German, and the Austrian Politics and Society course, which is taught in English -- begin in early September and last until mid-December. There is a ten day break during the month of October, a good time for traveling around Europe or remaining in Vienna to explore. A study tour to Prague and excursion to lovely areas are generally included during the semester abroad.

As of fall 2009 the Vienna program also offers a variety of service learning opportunities. In the past, students were tutoring local refugees, were working with a Jewish center, picked grapes with other migrants at a vineyard. The service learning opportunities may vary from year to year.

Applications for Linfield's semester abroad in Vienna, Austria, and information about deadlines may be obtained in the International Programs Office. 

Curriculum (19 credits)

Before departure and upon return: IDST 031 Intercultural Communication: Departure and Reentry - 1 credit (Pass/Fail)

Students take one of these in August:

MLGR 220 German Language Practice I - 3 credits (Pass/Fail)

MLGR 320 German Language Practice III - 3 credits (Pass/Fail)

MLGR 370 German Language Practice V - 3 credits (Pass/Fail)

Students take one of these in fall:

MLGR 221 German Language Practice II - 5 credits (Graded)

MLGR 321 German Language Practice IV - 5 credits (Graded)

MLGR 371 German Language Practice VI - 5 credits (Graded)

All students take in fall:

MLGR 206/HIST 206 Austrian Cultural History - 4 credits; VP or GP

MLGR 365 Austrian Politics & Society in a European Context - 3 credits; IS or GP

SOAN 244 The Other Europe - 4 credits; IS or GP

Linfield Curriculum credits (VP, GP, or IS) are awarded for these courses.

The German Language Practice courses in fall - following the August course in Dorfgastein -- are taught at the University of Vienna. Students attend Deutsch als Fremdsprache courses with other foreign students from countries such as Korea, Ukraine, Russia, France, Turkey, and others. Austrian Cultural History, Austrian Politics & Society, and The Other Europe are taught at the Amerika Institut. The professors who teach these courses are all experts in their fields.


The cost of studying in Austria is approximately the same as the cost of spending an equivalent period of time (one semester and part of one summer term) on the McMinnville campus. Linfield students may use their financial aid while abroad in Vienna.

Linfield pays for a round-trip ticket from Portland International Airport for all eligible students. Linfield also covers the cost for orientation, instruction, and administration.

Students pay regular tuition for the semester and a prorated summer term at Linfield. Room and board charges are set at the applicable on-campus rate. Mandatory insurance and activity fees are charged. Out-of-pocket expenses, passport and visa fees, and local or regional travel are the responsibility of the student.

The International Programs Office will be happy to give interested students estimated costs, including budgets for meals and other expenses while abroad.

Selection Criteria

Students must complete the equivalent of one year of college-level German with an average grade of 3.0 or higher to be eligible for the Austria program (two years are preferred). All participants are required to take or audit the appropriate level of German class in the spring semester directly preceding study in Vienna. The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic standing. Students can only participate in both a semester abroad and a January Term travel course with special permission from the Director of International Programs.

The number of students for the Vienna program is limited to 10 students. Selection is competitive. On the basis of an application, supporting documents, and a personal interview, a selection committee judges each applicant in terms of personal maturity, motivation, and academic preparation for a study abroad experience. Final decision on participation rests with the Director of International Programs. Orientation meetings are held in the spring semester prior to departure and must be attended.

It is highly recommended that students take TCCA 230/ANTH 230 (Intercultural Communication: Global Perspectives) before participating in the program. Courses in European history and politics (such as Europe since 1500, 19th Century Europe, 20th Century Europe, Modern Germany, Eastern European Politics, and International Politics) also provide excellent preparation.

Applicants are encouraged to attend German language table on Wednesdays at noon as well as other activities related to German and International topics.

German Minor and German Studies Minor

For a minor in German, students may count up to 12 credits taken in Austria. All students must take a language course at the 300 level on the home campus to complete the minor.

Students interested in obtaining a major or minor in German Studies should contact Prof. Gudrun Hommel or Prof. Peter Richardson.