Austria is rich with fascinating history, beautiful architecture, awe-inspiring art, and breathtaking landscapes. Aside from its cultural value, Austria is also one of the monetarily richest countries of the world, with a GDP per capita at $49,809. Whether it’s through its enchanting legacy, or its thriving economy, Austria is sure to capture your mind and heart when you intern there.
Furthermore, because Austria is landlocked by so many different countries and their cultures, Austria itself has become a melting pot. With influences from Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland (to name a few), the country is a great place to experience Eastern, Western, and Southern Europe.
- Technology: Austria is committed to developing technology, in many different aspects. Today, many Austrian companies are leading in environmental engineering and energy, life sciences, infrastructure and traffic technology, as well as mechanical and power plant engineering, automation, and communication technology. Interns in Austria can expect to help out in research and development for major companies.
- Business: Some would be surprised to learn that Austria is home to quite a few easily recognizable main companies, including Porsche, Red Bull, BMW, and Swarovski. Business is booming in Austria, and there’s no reason interns abroad shouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to get experience.
- Tourism: Tourism accounts for about 9% of Austria’s entire GDP. Austria was ranked 12th in international tourist arrivals, with 20.8 million. Working in tourism is a great way to learn about the service industry. Interns can expect to work with people from all around the world, and learn a lot about the country at the same time. Another interesting opportunity while interning in Austria is working at skiing, hiking, and mountaineering resorts in the Alps.
- Marketing: Since Austria is an active player in the European Union, marketing interns in Austria will have the opportunity to work on multinational marketing. Multinational marketing includes appealing and catering to different cultures, languages, and opinions. Interns can expect to work on advertising, promotions, research, and imaging.
Planning Your Trip
Visas for Interning in Austria:
A Visa D is required for temporary employment in Austria. The internships must last for more than 90 days and up to 6 months. Documentation and proof of an internship from your employer must be presented when applying for this visa. You will also need to have proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself while in Austria and proof of sufficient lodging while in Austria.
Cost of Living in Austria:
Rent for a month will depend on where you decide to live in Austria. If you choose to live in a one bedroom apartment in the center of a major city like Vienna or Salzburg, rent will be about 600€. Living outside of the city center may be a cheaper alternative, at about 300€ or 400€. You may also be placed in housing by your placement program.
Work Culture in Austria:
- Etiquette: Austrian business culture is often very formal. Personal relationships are not needed to do business, and thus first names are rarely used in the office. Being addressed by only your last name is common. Austrians are fairly straightforward when it comes to business and may be blunt. This is not meant to be rude; business is meant to move along in Austrian meetings. There is very little small talk or joking. Expect to keep good written records of appointments and meetings.
- Language: German is the native language of 98% of Austrians and used almost everywhere. It will probably be very useful to know the language or take courses in order to keep up in the business environment. If you also speak English, this may open up more opportunities to work in the international business environment.
- Networking: Networking is an important part of Austrian business and is often used to stay in the loop. As an intern in Austria, it’s important to build relationships by joining organizations and attending events outside of office time.
Work and Labor Laws in Austria:
In Austria, general labor laws applying to employees and employers do not apply to traineeships or internships. There are no specific laws concerning traineeships or internships as of now.