Study Abroad in Salzburg, Austria: Semester or Academic Year

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About

Spend a semester or academic year in Salzburg, Austria with AIFS! You’ll earn up to 15 credits per semester through a variety of courses. Academic credit is awarded by Richmond, the American International University in London. Courses are taught in English and German with no previous German language study required.

Live in a university residence hall or an Austrian homestay. All students live in a single or double room and receive a meal allowance to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals and groceries.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities including:
• Guided tours of the city and its many sites
• A Mozart dinner concert
• Horse-drawn sleigh rides
• Visits to the Austrian Christmas market
• Tours of the Werfen Castle and Hellbrunn Palace
• A 3-day trip to Vienna and day trip to Innsbruck.

Optional excursions include a 3-day trip to Prague and a day trip to Munich, Germany. A 2-night tour of London is included for students on the AIFS Flight Package.

Highlights
  • Day trip to Innsbruck
  • 3-day trip to Vienna
  • Mozart dinner concert
  • No previous German language study required
  • Optional excursions to Prague, Munich and London

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Reviews

9.53 Rating
based on 36 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 86.11%
  • 7-8 rating 13.89%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 36
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life-changing experience!

I studied abroad with AIFS in Salzburg, Austria in the Fall 2019 semester, and it completely changed my life! I always knew I wanted to study abroad, but had never been out of the country and didn’t know if I could really handle a whole semester living in a non-English-speaking country. But AIFS provided the perfect level of support; they include health and travel insurance, a meal plan, cultural excursions and activities, on-site staff, and so much more! Whether it was figuring out how to send/receive mail, navigating the healthcare system, or finding ways to get involved in the local community, the on-site AIFS staff was always there for anything I needed. But they also were incredible about allowing all students to shape their experiences however they wanted. This wonderful dichotomy was the perfect balance between challenging myself to figure things out independently, and always feeling like I could go to them with anything I needed.

The classes I took at AIFS were so engaging and interesting, and I really got the chance to see how they played out in real life! I took classes in Contemporary Austrian Culture, Art and Architecture History, International Conflicts and Resolution, and German. These courses allowed me to understand the historical and contemporary context that shapes Austrian culture. Not only that, but we were even able to do tours around the city observing different styles of historical architecture and art too! All of the courses that AIFS offered transferred back to my home institution easily, and even counted toward my double minors in German and Government, or for core credits!

Salzburg is the perfect place for anyone who wants a more intimate local experience due to its smaller size than other metropolitan areas, and is nestled right in the northern foothills of the Austrian Alps, so there are plenty of great hiking and outdoor adventure opportunities if you’re a nature person! It’s small enough to really get to know the city, but large enough to have everything you could need or want - restaurants, nightlife, museums, shopping malls, etc. Salzburg holds such a special place in my heart, and I owe my amazing experience all to AIFS for guiding me through the process, and allowing me to just focus on having the best time possible.

Something else that is unique to the AIFS experience is the level of alumni engagement. Coming back from abroad, I definitely experienced reverse culture shock, and was eager to connect with any of my peers that I could relate to and share stories of my time abroad with. I didn't really find that community at my home campus, but AIFS had so many opportunities to engage with other alumni from different programs and helped me find that community. It's clear the impact an AIFS experience has on people, because even those who studied abroad with AIFS more than 20 years ago still connect with each other through alumni social media pages! I can't recommend studying in Salzburg and going with AIFS enough!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try to learn the language! German is an intimidating language to start learning, but it is so so worth it to be able to fully immerse yourself with the locals. Salzburg has a very young population and many international students there, so you'll get by fine with English, but I would definitely recommend seeking out different ways to engage with the community and language!

Also, Salzburg has such a variety of activities you can do - you can delve into its rich art and musical history at Mozart's birthplace, the Domplatz, and the iconic Fortress! You can also do smaller hikes at Gaisburg, Kapuzinerberg, or the Untersberg, or go further into the Alps for more rigorous mountaineering only a short train ride away! The world is truly at your fingertips in Salzburg, so I recommend saying 'yes' to whatever you may come across, because you'll be amazed by the experiences you can have!
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Jane
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

I studied abroad in Salzburg during the Fall 2017 semester and can proudly say that I highly recommend this program with AIFS. Immersing oneself into the city of Salzburg not only makes you feel like you're stepping into a fairytale city, but causes you to realize how much the world has to offer. With AIFS, this immersion was seamless.

The courses I took with AIFS and the University of Salzburg were intensive, but not overwhelming. Many courses integrated the city itself as well, with trips to various museums and historic sites throughout the Altstadt. One course I took especially had a great effect on how I view the world surrounding me and the future of my academic career. It has inspired me to pursue a Master's degree, which I also plan to do overseas.

The housing options offered by AIFS were incredibly diverse, allowing for each student to have their preference of accommodation style. All accommodations offered were similar, however, in that they were clean, comfortable, and affordable and allowed for a unique opportunity to live in an international environment. In these ways, the lifestyles that these accommodations offered allowed for easy integration into the Salzburg and university communities.

Upon arrival, orientation was very comprehensive and answered any and all questions that may have surfaced. The Resident Team in Salzburg was very welcoming, leading to a sense that they truly were our caretakers and leaders. The excursions that they took us on were very well planned and were some of my favorite memories I left my time abroad with.

Overall, my experience with AIFS in Salzburg was truly an unforgettable one. I can proudly say that it gave me a new sense of emotional intelligence regarding myself, my future, and my place in the world. I would highly recommend this program to any interested students.

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Trevor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion Through a Helping Hand

I studied abroad in the fall of 2017 and was able to experience the full immersion of the Austrian culture thanks to my homestay. AIFS worked hand in hand with me from beginning to the end, by helping with course selections all the way until I had my transcript sent to my home university. Having a program that is so easy to work was seen as even more of a plus of the program as many my friends had gone programs that were not all inclusive so they had to make a lot of their arrangements themselves or work with multiple people.
I definitely believe that the program structure itself is a great starting point for students to challenge their German, and get to know something outside of what is considered to be normal on their home university's campus. However, while you learn a lot, a large portion of that also comes from a willingness to push yourselves into harder situations so that you can grow through those challenges. If you do happen to find yourself in a predicament that you are unable to get out of yourself, i.e. medical, visa, etc. the on-site staff from AIFS are always able and willing to assist you in whatever ways it may be or direct you to someone who can. They want you to get the most out of the experience and enjoy your time doing so. All in all, if I were to do it all over again, I would choose Salzburg, Austria in a heartbeat with the help of AIFS.

Not only did my semester abroad in Salzburg help with my development and fluency of German, but it also made me realize that living abroad is definitely something I want to consider because I have discovered a love for other cultures, the ability to meet so many people and life at a bit of a slower pace compared the American rush that we so often experience.

What would you improve about this program?
By providing more homestays so more people can elect that option as only one is currently available. By staying in a homestay it allows for a full immersion experience and to build a bond with in this case, the host mom.
Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best 3 Months of My Life

Salzburg, Austria is a criminally underrated location for a study abroad semester. It has been my experience that few Americans know that much about Salzburg and Austria as a whole, which is disappointing because Austria is rightly nicknamed by some "the hidden gem of Europe." However, I would recommend Salzburg to anyone who is wondering where to go for their study abroad location.

Austria is in the smack-dab middle of Europe, which makes traveling to other countries very easy and very cheap (I traveled to nine other countries during the semester, not including the trips I took around Austria itself). Austria is also gorgeous and is a good option for any nature-lover, as the country features the greenest meadows you've ever seen, plus idyllic lakes, mountains, forests, and old Byzantine cathedrals dotting its countryside. Skiing was a very popular and accessible option for several of the students in my program. Salzburg itself is chock-full of activities that are easy to reach via public transportation or by foot; you could eat breakfast at Cafe Tomaselli, which was Mozart's favorite cafe in which to compose his music (I highly recommend their ham and cheese omelets), or bus to Untersberg and hike the mountain, or visit the fortress in the middle of town, or walk around the Mirabell Gardens which were featured in The Sound of Music, or sit on the banks of the Salzach River to sunbathe or read between classes; the list goes on and on. Other students and I often visited the cozy Shamrock Irish Pub for Tuesday night karaoke or the Augustiner Bräustübl when we wanted a little night-life. Additionally, Salzburg has a more small-town, pastoral atmosphere than other popular locations; you could spend the entire 3 months in Salzburg without ever seeing a skyscraper. The people are nice and no-nonsense, and while you will have ample opportunities to practice German, almost everyone speaks perfect English, so the difference in language was not intimidating or difficult to overcome.

The American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS) not only made this semester possible, but also extremely comfortable; the Salzburg team at home in the States and on-site in Salzburg was incredibly supportive, kind, knowledgable, and involved without being at all smothering or controlling. Take advantage of the excursions included in the AIFS Salzburg package (which include weekend trips to Vienna, Munich, Prague, Innsbruck, and Hallstatt - all absolutely beautiful locations). Also, AIFS offers a flight package that includes a stop-over in London on the way over to Salzburg after departure from the United States, which was a wonderful way to meet the other students in the program, become acquainted to traveling, and explore a fabulous city that I have always wanted to visit. AIFS Salzburg offers both homestay and residence hall options for housing, so students do not have to limit themselves to one or the other in order to study abroad. I chose the residence hall option and was assigned to live in Institut St. Sebastian, which is a still-operating church in the middle of historic Salzburg with beautiful living facilities, a five-minute walk from all cultural sites and a ten-minute bus ride from school. The residence hall options give students the ability to live with both American and Austrian students, and I became very close with the other students in my program as a result. Two meals a day are also included in the program fee and are put on an easy-to-use meal card.

The classes offered through the program gave me an opportunity to learn about subjects I never would have delved into on my home campus (I took literature, music history, art history, history of fascism in Europe and beyond, and a sociology course about contemporary Austrian culture). We spent several days outside of the classroom, walking around the historic city center to explore churches, museums, and even Mozart's birthplace during class-time. In the art history course, we took field trips to a dairy factory, a rug-weaving shop, and a family-owned shop in town that made Dirndl and Lederhosen. The classes are taught in English for the most part, but there are a few opportunities to take courses taught in German, and homework was mostly presentation-based with a few exams and papers.

All in all, AIFS Salzburg provides students with a wonderful opportunity to travel in a highly supported, structured way. GO TO SALZBURG. You won't regret it.

Conor Jordan
Conor Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Salzburg: The Best Place to Study Abroad

Salzburg was great because it offered so many great places to explore. I loved walking around the city after class or in the evening to find the cool nooks and crannies of the city. There were tons of awesome museums, if you are into those. Or, if you prefer outdoor activities they have that too! Some of my friends hiked up the Untersberg Mountain and had a breathtaking view over the city. You can even take Sound of Music Tours, or explore the Salt Mines nearby. Then there is the food and the people. The Austrian cuisine was amazing, and it was great to have hearty German portions. The people were great, too, they were helpful when you needed anything.

Salzburg was a place to call home, and that was the best part of studying abroad, for me. I loved coming back to a smaller city after a long weekend of travelling. The city was easy to navigate and it was relaxing. There is nothing better than coming back, from the hustle and bustle of a big city over the weekend, to the serenity of Salzburg. Even if you don't choose to study abroad in Salzburg, surely it should be on your list of places to visit.

Taylor Ollari
Taylor Ollari
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nine Amazing Months

I studied abroad for the fall and spring semester in Salzburg and it was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed my classes and instructors, we went on a lot of unique excursions in and around Salzburg. I lived in a home stay, which was a 25 minute walk to the city center, which was a great way to practice my German. I made amazing friends, both in the program and locals, and traveled to a lot of cool places. Salzburg is a beautiful, safe city and has a great location in Europe.

Default avatar
Jen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Small-Town Salzburg

Salzburg is a small city, making it perfect for those who really want to get to know and become comfortable with the area they are studying and living in. Within a few weeks you start recognizing locals in their routines and are accustomed to the flow of the city, which is laid-back and quiet, with shops closing around dinner time. It is the perfect place to live, study, relax, and experience Austro-Germanic culture without being overwhelmed. This might not be a major party city, but it is easy to navigate and central to many larger cities, including Munich, Vienna, Prague, and Venice.

Homestays are severely limited, so expect to be housed in a student dormitory, which vary in location and amenities, so it really may be luck of the draw when it comes to your housing preferences. Obtaining reliable internet access was initially a problem, but during my semester the AIFS staff secured portable wi-fi for students having issues, and all problems were resolved.

AIFS really does do a lot to get students settled into Salzburg by suggesting tips, obtaining bus passes, offering meal cards, and arranging excursions to both local and far-reaching destinations. If any issues arise, it is not difficult to reach a member of the AIFS staff to assist you, either.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice to know your housing assignment before leaving the states, to best prepare when packing, and lessen the shock and possible let-down of learning your living arrangement on site.
Default avatar
Lindsey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Enthralling Adventure

I had a great time in Salzburg! I was one of a few that ha the opportunity to stay with a host family, and absolutely loved my host mom. I traveled most weekends but still felt that there wa adequate time to explore Salzburg. Salzburg is such a beautiful town with many friendly people. It's small enough to not feel pressure to stay the whole time but big enough to have things to do. I also think that the support from staff was great. At the beginning I felt overwhelmed and like I was alone, but a week later I grew my wings and flew, grateful for not having someone holding me back. Classes were okay, not very challenging, but a vast majority of the business classes were independent study courses entailing a weekly meeting and a 6,000 word paper at the end. I wasn't a fan of that, but enjoyed having four day weekends.