Austria Study Abroad Country Profile

Austria Overview

Austria study abroad programs will expose students to a variety of this country's "outstanding" culture. Austria is one of the world’s premier skiing regions, centered on Innsbruck in the heart of the Austrian Alps. Austria’s grandeur is not relegated to its mountains – from the regal architecture of the Vienna Opera House in the country’s capital that is reminiscent of the powerful Hapsburg family to the contemporary architecture found around the country, Austria is a an architecturally well-appointed country. It is also a center for the arts, having produced some of the world’s most notable artists, and the country is home to a growing number of museums and galleries.

Cultural Highlights

Austria is commonly noted for its artistic tradition, specifically its music and musicians. Austria has been home to a number of famous composers, from Mozart and Beethoven to Johann Strauss and Joseph Haydn. Vienna, especially, has long been a center of musical innovation. Today, the legacies of Austria’s past greats live on in Vienna, and its many world-class venues blend the classical and the contemporary. The Musikverein is considered to be one of the top three concert halls in the world and has been open since 1870. Austria is also home to the Vienna State Opera, one of the most important and revered operas in the world, as well as the Vienna Boys Choir, one of the top boys choirs in the world with exceedingly high vocal standards.

In addition to its strengths in music, Austria excels in other areas of the arts. It is well known for its architecture, from cathedrals, castles, and palaces to contemporary work. Salzburg and Vienna are both known for their architecture, which is reflected in both cities’ status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Popular Fields of Study

Austria is an excellent study abroad choice for students with an interest in the German language. Language-based and language-intensive programs are available that will maximize your language improvement, and being immersed in Austrian culture will further your language skills. For those interested in an academic experience with a stronger focus on your area of interest, there are a variety of programs available for students, though many are in the German language. However, Austria study abroad programs can provide a well-rounded experience for students in many different fields. Programs range from physical and life sciences to anthropology, sociology, and history. There are also programs in topics like business and marketing.

Why Study Abroad in Austria?

Austria has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons why you should consider studying abroad in Austria.

1. Classical Music

Music students and music aficionados alike will be right at home in Austria. Hear music by some of Austria’s most famous composers performed by some of the top musical groups in the world.

2. Food

Food in Austria has been very much regionally influenced, with Hungarian, Czech, Jewish, and Italian flavors. Each state in Austria does have its own unique flavors, based on regional factor endowments.

3. Skiing

Because Austria straddles the Alps, it is a very popular destination for world-class skiing. Austria regularly leads the world in international competitions.

4. Lipizzan Horses

Check out the Spanish Riding School in Vienna – the school hosts performances of classical dressage with this unique breed of horse.

5. Floating Opera

If you are in Austria during the summer, travel to Bregenz and the Upper City to St. Martinstrum, the world’s largest floating opera.

6. Salzburg Festival

A renowned classical music festival in Mozart’s home city, the Salzburg Festival features a variety of performances, from opera to theater.

7. Castles

Austria is home to a large number of castles, and Vienna is home to two of the most memorable – Schönbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace.

8. Naschmarkt

Vienna’s oldest and largest market, Maschmarkt is packed with culinary curiosities from around the world.

9. Vienna Boys' Choir

One of the best known boys' choirs in the world, the Vienna Boys’ Choir performs classical works and has historically been linked to some of the foremost Austrian composers, including Mozart.

10. Vienna

The capital and the country’s cultural, economic, and political center, Vienna is home to a wide variety of world class music venues and museums.

Austria Study Abroad Statistics

Austria Country Ranking: 16

(based on total outbound U.S. students)
  • % of U.S. students: 1.3%
  • Total US Students 2006/07: 2,810
  • Total US Students 2007/08: 3,356
  • Yearly 2007/08 Trend: +19.4%
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