AIFS Study Abroad in Salzburg: Semester or Academic Year

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About

Earn up to 17 credits through a wide variety of courses studying at the world-renowned University of Salzburg. This program is ideal whether you’re looking to become more fluent in the German language or looking for an elegant European city as a backdrop for your study abroad experience. No previous German language is required and courses are taught in English.

Live in Student Residence Hall, with an Austrian family in a homestay or, for an additional fee, a shared apartment. A 2-week German language orientation course is offered to help students from Beginner to Advanced adjust to life in Austria.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities such as Austrian cooking classes, an Austrian pastry seminar, and visits to the Werfen Castle and Hellbrunn Palace among others.

Few countries could be more exciting to study in than Austria, a peaceful democracy with cultural and economic ties in both eastern and western Europe. With the Alps at your doorstep for outdoor fun and the works of Mozart, Haydn and Strauss in the background, Austria is an unbelievable study abroad destination.
Highlights
  • Visit to Hellbrunn Palace and the Trick Water Fountains
  • Tour of Werfen Castle
  • Dachstein Ice Caves and Hallstatt
  • Austrian cooking class
  • Soccer game featuring Salzburg's Red Bull Team

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 33 reviews
  • Academics 7.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 33
Erin
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
Conor Jordan
Conor Jordan
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
Taylor Ollari
Taylor Ollari
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Jen
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
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Lindsey
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Heather
10/10

Salzburg

I have so many memories from my time abroad that it is too hard to pick just one. If I have to share one though it would be that I learned more about myself and grew out of my shell while abroad. I met new friends from both the United States and from throughout Europe who I still keep in touch with! I love sharing my experience with people and relive my time abroad like it was yesterday. Going abroad is nerve racking and you have so many emotions running through, but once you're there all that goes away and you live in the moment and take advantage of every opportunity.

Yes, I recommend
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Joe
9/10

AIFS Salzburg Review

Salzburg is an amazingly beautiful city with a great central location in Europe. While it's not the biggest bustling city out there, it still is full of amazing views, fun nightlife, good shopping, and delicious food.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change about this program is the level of which we are interacting with Austrian students on a daily basis. Only one or two students on my program had Austrian roommates, and I don't believe there where any Austrian students living in my building. I know this can't really be controlled but it would have been nice. You will still interact with my Austrians at university or at bars for example, but you will not be seeing too many where you live.
Yes, I recommend
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William
9/10

A Place to Settle Down

The city of Salzburg is not the city to go to if you want a crazy bar scene. It is not a loud city. It is not a busy city. I wouldn't even say it is a city. Salzburg is a town that you return to after all the craziness of a traveling a weekend. It is a town where you take evening walks and explore the mountains throughout the city. It is a town where the shopkeepers remember you and help you. It is a town that I would call a second home.

How can this program be improved?
I think they need better options for eating for students. They require that all students cook entirely for themselves which I believe may be hard for some students.
Yes, I recommend
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Alba
10/10

Semester Abroad: Salzburg

Salzburg was the perfect combination between a city and a small town. It is a small town that captivates its visitors with its beauty and charm. Spending my fall semester in Salzburg was hands down the best experience because the weather was incredible and the tourism was low. My favorite part was the Christmas Markets in November. It was an unforgettable experience to be able to fully immerse myself in the Austrian Christmas spirit, the culture, climb mountains filled with snow in the winter, and see the leaves fall in autumn. Going abroad with 40 people you have never met before can feel like an intimidating thing to do but I could not have imagined a better group of people to have traveled and laughed with.

How can this program be improved?
I wish that my dorm could have been closer to town (15 minute bus ride into the city, 10 to school). It would have been a more convenient to walk into town and back to the dorms since the bus stopped working early in the night.
Yes, I recommend
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Shaye
8/10

Great Program but Expensive

This AIFS summer program kept us busy, which was a good thing for me. I really enjoyed the flight package to London, as we got to spend 2 days there and meet some of our classmates. We had excursions most weekends and classes were decent. One of the classes got out at 7pm which was a huge inconvenience because stores close early here.

How can this program be improved?
The cost. It is rather expensive for the short amount of time that we were there. They also did not sit us all down to meet one another.
Yes, I recommend
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Devin
10/10

Couldn't have been happier with Salzburg.

It might sound cliche but studying abroad in Salzburg was the best decision of my life. I lived in university housing, International Kolleg, which was great because many of the other students from the program lived there, as well as other students from many different countries. The housing is a little far from the university so we typically needed to take the bus, but I got used to it and it was a great way to get to know more of the city.

Salzburg is incredibly beautiful! It's clean and very safe, I never felt unsafe once, even at night. The night life is pretty great too. And it's a great destination because it's located so close to so many countries which makes traveling on the long weekend perfect!

Overal I could not have been happier with my choice to study abroad in Salzburg. And make sure you go on all of the excursions, they're awesome!

Yes, I recommend
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Maggie
10/10

Best Decision I've Made

Studying abroad with AIFS was the best decision I've made in my college career. I lived in one of the University's dorms with an American roommate - they did a great job matching us up and we got along really well! There were also some other AIFS students in our dorm which worked out really well for studying, hanging out, and planning trips together. The atmosphere of the dorm was awesome overall.

AIFS was really good bang for the buck - lots of things were included in the cost like insurance, housing, meal stipends, and a few weekend trips that were awesome. It was definitely an awesome deal for the price!

The AIFS staff was one of the greatest parts of the whole experience. They truly cared about each and every one of us. When my family went through some tough stuff while I was in Salzburg, Ingrid checked in on me and made sure everything was ok which spoke volumes. Plus they were always happy to see us if we stopped by the office on a whim.

Salzburg as a whole was a great city to study in - most classes were in the same building so it was easy to find, nightlife was good if you wanted to go out, but it was also fun to just explore the city and wander. So much culture and experience crammed into one place! Definitely check out this gem!

Yes, I recommend
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paula
7/10

Housing

I did not like living outside of the city; I felt like that took away from a great experience. Also, being so isolated from the group. There were only a couple other students in my dorm, which sucked.

How can this program be improved?
Having more students live in the actual city.
Yes, I recommend
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SS2010
10/10

Most impactful experience in my life.

The AIFS Program in Salzburg, Austria made me become a more culturally aware individual. It produced a global outlook and has been exceedingly helpful in assisting with my future career goals. The staff gives you plenty of information before your departure and is a available for all of your needs while there. My classes were in the afternoon allowing for explorations in the morning and night. The pre-planned trips made traveling to other cities easy and enjoyable. Go abroad with AIFS!

How can this program be improved?
No Friday classes would be preferable for weekend travel. I recognize this is difficult for summer sessions though.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Erin
10/10

Best Choice I've Made!

I LOVED studying with AIFS in Salzburg. I chose to live in a homestay which was a really scary decision. I went through some culture shock at first, but the Resident Director Ingrid was so supportive and helped me adjust. In the end, I am so thankful I stayed with a host family, which I would recommend to everyone! My host family had me eat with them almost every day and even had me join family excursions like a ski trip and school programs. I grew to care about them like my own family, and two of my four host siblings will (hopefully - fingers crossed) be coming to visit me in the U.S. next summer! Even living with family, however, I had a lot of freedom. I had the same independence as the students living in the dorms, but also got to enjoy a good home-cooked meal and make lifelong friendships with native Austrians. Win-win!

Salzburg is kind of a random place to study abroad, but that made it so much more fun! There's some great nightlife, and all sorts of unique attractions like a historic fortress built in the 1200s, a Redbulls professional soccer team, or the Stiegl Brewery. The city is surrounded by these gorgeous mountains so there are lots of hiking opportunities, too. If you're into skiing, GO TO SALZBURG! Incredible slopes and the snow is honestly powder.

Because Austria is located pretty centrally,it's easy to travel throughout Europe. During my semester stay I was able to visit Zagreb (Croatia), Stockholm, Hamburg, Munich, Prague, and other cities in Austria as well as the 3-day layover in London at the beginning. I didn't go there,but Venice is only about 4 hours away by train.

Don't be worried too much about the language barrier. I'd encourage you to learn German because it's a very eye-opening experience that you'll grow from, but the Austrians speak very great English. You'll be fine!

I'm so happy I chose Salzburg over larger or better known cities because it was easier to settle in and the culture was so unique. The Christmas Markets are beautiful with all sorts of snacks, sweets and crafts for sale. The atmosphere is so charming that I'd go walk around the markets just because! You won't find the krampuslaufs anywhere else (google it. it's crazy). Also the food is incredible.

AIFS is really affordable. For example, they give you a food stipend and a rebate on a monthly bus pass which is really helpful for budgeting.

Overall, studying abroad was the best decision I ever made. I met some of my closest friends, gained a new perspective on issues and the world, became much more independent, experienced a new culture, learned a lot about myself, and most of all -- had FUN! I could write another 10,000 words about how much I loved it.

How can this program be improved?
I can't think of anything except that I wish it was longer. The semester went by too fast!
Yes, I recommend

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....