IES Abroad Vienna - Music
95% Rating
(24 Reviews)

IES Abroad Vienna - Music

Vienna will be your classroom. Imagine visiting one of the city’s world-famous concert halls to attend the rehearsal of a major ensemble, or visiting the homes of important figures in musical history such as Mozart and Beethoven. Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city’s historical, artistic, and cultural sites and include hands-on, practical components.

Organized in conjunction with the Vienna European Society & Culture Program, the IES Abroad Vienna Music Program is ideal for students majoring or minoring in Music, and offers you the opportunity to participate in a wide selection of courses focusing on Music and European Culture and Society.

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Europe » Austria » Vienna
Europe » Austria
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Art History
Cultural Studies
International Business
Theater, Drama and Dance
Women's Studies
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Program Reviews

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Show 1 - 15 of 24
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Everything I wanted

I got to study with a master violinist, perform a lot, see major ensembles like the Vienna Phil and Vienna State Opera for free or for very cheap, take classes that I could use for my major, and meet a lot of locals, one of them being a lifelong friend that I'll never forget. I also learned so much more German in just one semester than I thought I would, seeing as I didn't know any when I got to Vienna. I lived in an apartment that was about 20 minutes away from the city center, which I thought was really nice--close enough and far away from all the tourists. I also took advantage of a lot of the IES Abroad opportunities like Student Council and Student Forum, which I found rewarding. There really is nothing more that I would have wanted.

Yes, I recommend
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An Amazing Adventure in Austria

I could sing my praises for the IES Abroad Vienna Music program for days (literally, because I am a vocal music major). This program went above and beyond to create a top-notch study abroad experience. The IES Abroad faculty at the Vienna center were helpful, supportive, and all-around excellent. The staff truly took care of us and always went the extra mile to personally see that each student had a fun and successful semester. As a music student, it was so amazing to be able to take music courses in Vienna that would actually transfer to my home university and that gave me the opportunity to perform there, as well. Our classes met in an old Palais in the heart of the city and we had access to a beautiful recital hall and plenty of practice rooms. The course selection in Vienna is wide, so I got the chance to take some courses outside of my field of study, too, which definitely enhanced my learning experience. IES Abroad also provided amazing field trips and social programs throughout the semester that exposed us to more of Vienna and Austria and helped make the city feel like a home-away-from-home. I can't wait to return for reunions and more time in the city of music.

How can this program be improved?

The only suggestion I really have for this program is to improve the living accommodations, if possible. My apartment had 6 girls sharing one bathroom and no true common living space. It was functional, but other students had better arrangements, which seemed unfair when we all paid the same cost for program fees.

Yes, I recommend

Vienna, Great for Musicians

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the music semester program at IES Abroad Vienna. The IES center itself, a clean, well-maintained (as old as it is), historic, beautiful palace has a central, accessible location that is relatively close to two metro stations. The classes are manageable, allowing study abroad students ample time to explore the city and immerse themselves in all Vienna has to offer, from its many world-class concerts to rich history to unique culture. I loved the easy access to many extremely affordable concerts: 4 euro standing room tickets at the Vienna State Opera, 6 euro tickets to Musikverein concerts… Attending so many high quality concerts exposed me to excellent music-making, a wide range of repertoire, and really helped me grow as a musician.
The faculty are knowledgeable and well-connected in Vienna, giving students access to a wealth of cultural insight. The applied music faculty consists of professors and professional musicians from Viennese conservatories and music schools, and this opportunity to work with local, professional musicians was very, very rewarding—I loved my teachers and learned a lot. IES Abroad Vienna is a bit lenient on attendance, but not so much that it interfered with the quality of classes. The IES staff are very helpful, friendly, and quite organized. IES also offers excellent well-planned, optional excursions for additional fees.
I lived in the Margaretenstraβe apartments, which were very nice and comfortable to live in and made traveling anywhere in the city, and on the continent, very easy, with easy connection to the train station and airport. There are also very nice practice rooms next door to the Margaretenstraβe apartments, making practicing a breeze. In all, I had a wonderful time at IES Abroad Vienna and would highly recommend it to aspiring musicians.

How can this program be improved?

Clearer orientation schedule

Yes, I recommend
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Already want to be back!

I loved Vienna! It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been in. Vienna offers you everything a big city has with a small-town vibe. There was something happening almost every night whether it be an opera, a jazz bar showcase, or a ball. The music program was amazing. All the music staff I interacted with were performing in Vienna. It was great to get their first-hand experience and connections to concerts. A professor connected me with a local choir that I got to sing and perform with during my semester in Vienna. I love Vienna, I already want to go back. Whenever someone tells me they are studying abroad I tell them they have to go to Vienna, at least visit it. The culture surrounds you everywhere and the people are so nice. I did a teaching internship when I was there and it was great to get out into the city and meet even more people. IES Vienna is just a great place, with amazing faculty and staff, and I’m so happy I went. I made a lot of new friends and just loved my time there, I can’t wait to go back!

Yes, I recommend
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Best Experience Ever

I had an absolutely unforgettable experience with IES Vienna. It was the best decision I made in my college career and I can't wait to return to Europe. I was not only immersed in the culture through my living and educational experiences, but also through internships with local students and by hanging out in the coffee shops. I will never forget my experiences and the people I met while I was in Vienna.

Yes, I recommend
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You never know what you are going to see around the corner (or even down the street)

As a vocal performance major I expected Vienna to just be classical and very strict in their ways of living. What I came to find was the Viennese culture is very welcoming to new ideas and ways of living. The transportation was the best you could find around the world. It was fairly cheap and efficient. When it came to shopping I was able to buy groceries for a week around 30$. IES Abroad helped me find places that were within my budget and also direct me to the vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants. Since Vienna is welcoming to new cultures I was able to find any type of cuisine. One day I would have Thai food and the next day go to my favorite Australian restaurant. The faculty was very welcoming to all of the students especially the year students. As a year student you get a very different type of experience studying abroad. It has its trials and tribulations but with the faculty they were able to help us adapt and live the year to the fullest. One of my favorite things I like to mention about studying abroad is my second semester housing I was able to choose which apartment I got to move into and somehow I ended up living on the same street as the president of Austria!

How can this program be improved?

There needs to be more immersion of the Austrian and American students. Sometimes the program was stuck in their own American bubble. You had to have the drive to go out and meet new people.

Yes, I recommend
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I wish I could do it all over again

Studying abroad in Vienna through IES was an incredible experience. Although you need not have any prior exposure to German, I found that having some German experience helped me make the most out of my time there. Vienna is such a wonderful city to explore on your own too - there are so many cute cafes, bars, open markets, and parks. I really loved that I was able to live with a residential assistant, a fellow Austrian who I became close friends with and who showed me what local life was like. The IES staff in Vienna were also fantastic. They wanted us to have a great time, and were helpful with all roadblocks we might have encountered throughout the way. They weren't overbearing, at the same time, and encouraged our independence. I also really liked the people who were part of the program. I made many friends who I just clicked with immediately, since there aren't many music/arts kids from my home school. I'm still in touch with those friends now! Featured photo: the culturally acceptable daily cake and coffee!

Yes, I recommend
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Living in Vienna

Vienna was voted "the best city to live" for years. This actually gives a lot of insight into the city. Not only is Vienna a great city to visit for the beautiful architecture, palaces, and old-school entertainment, it is a place where I have learned to adjust to enjoy everyday life.
Through IES, I have made great connections through the staff and the opportunity to live in Vienna. IES provides programs to meet native Austrians, learn how to cook native food, and many more to truly experience the culture.
The classes are challenging, but not overwhelming. The professors want the students to learn, but they know that study is abroad for the experience of culture, so they are very understanding.
I was very impressed with the program and I would definitely recommend it.

Yes, I recommend
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Studying Music Where Its History Was Made

As a Clarinet Performance major, studying music in Vienna was a no-brainer. With such a rich history of the arts, specifically classical music, Vienna is a great place for musicians to come and hone their craft. Not only was the atmosphere of Austria great, but the IES Vienna Program also excelled at making my study abroad experience a rewarding and comfortable one.
The living situation, in my case the music apartment building, was very comfortable and close to the center of the city, which made it easy to get to the IES center in the first district. Each apartment has three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a split bathroom, with a shared laundry room on the ground floor. The apartments have their own set of practice rooms, which makes practicing very convenient for musicians. If they are full, there are also additional practice rooms at the center.
The staff was all very helpful, with the teachers holding courses that were full of valuable information that were taught very well. Private teachers a chosen on a student-by-student basis, in order to ensure the best fit for the skill level and musical interests of each students. Price is also a priority for these teachers; most of the time your won't be paying over 70 euro a lesson. 100 euros is usually the top end of the pricing. I never heard any complaints about private teachers that didn't fit, but if your teacher isn't the right fit for you, students are always able to switch teachers mid-semester.
The music workshop and coachings promote a very motivating and uplifting atmosphere that pushes students to hone their craft in a collaborative and professional matter. With what usually turns out to be a strange instrumentation in the performance workshop, you get to perform pieces that you don't normally get to perform. That was probably my favorite part of the IES music program; getting to perform really interesting music with extremely talented students. I got to perform everything from Romantic music to vocalises to a trio for baritone, clarinet, and piano, and I loved every second of it. With so many talented students, I was always encouraged to perfect my music for not only myself but for the sake of collaboration.
There also just tons of things to do in the city! One of my favorites was going to the TU ball, dressed in formal attire in the famous Hofburg Palace. It was an incredible experience, and I loved seeing the dance culture of Vienna at play. There are always cheap musical performances to see, new coffee shops to visit, and new churches to visit!
With plenty of opportunities for travel, an excellent staff, and a motivational music workshop, I cannot recommend the IES Vienna music program enough. It helped me appreciate the music of Vienna, and really fall in love with all music more. This program is one for people who are passionate about being great musicians and immersing themselves in an historic and wonderfully artistic culture.

Yes, I recommend
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A Perfect Semester

IES Vienna is full of dedicated staff and faculty, and I believe that they are at the core of what makes every IES Vienna experience so special. Not only are they there to challenge and teach you in an immersive and exhilarating environment, they care about your well being and enjoyment of the city they call home. Everyone at the IES Vienna center was full of suggestions, tips, and advice about living in Vienna, and often checked in with us to ask how our adventures were going. They were always excited to hear about what we did every weekend, and listened compassionately something went amiss. While I had many wonderful experiences, I must say that if you are trying to find a program, looking for a supportive and welcoming staff should be your top priority, because everyone will craft their own unique study abroad experience, and that is made 100 times easier with a support system like you will find at IES Vienna.

Yes, I recommend
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Living in the City of Music

As someone studying music, there is no place more prominent in the history of music than Vienna, Austria. As a student, I had the opportunity to listen to the music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss in the city where it was composed. I also reached out and studied with members of the Vienna Philharmonic and performed in local orchestras. The opportunities are endless and there are tons of things that would spark anyone's interest in this magnificent city- hiking, art museums, fine cuisine, architecture, and of course, fine music which makes for the most wonderful culture that I have ever experienced. It is an extremely safe city and the IES center is located in the heart of the historic first district. Learning German and finding out how to get around are not only a part of the program, but these are skills that you will pick up regardless. The faculty is wonderful and you literally get to study in a palace. If anyone asked, I would tell them without a doubt to DO IT! Get on the plane and have the greatest adventure of your life. You will grow more than you could ever dream to!

How can this program be improved?

The only way that I would improve this program would be to have German classes become involved even more with this great German-speaking city to enrich our education.

Yes, I recommend
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A study abroad experience you will not regret!

IES Vienna was a life changing experience. Not only did I get discover Vienna and it’s surrounding countries, but I also got to learn a lot about myself. I acquired a broader perspective of life, discover new passions, and found a new place to call home. I returned back from Vienna a more confident, secure, and well rounded person than when I left, and I only have study abroad to thank for that.

How can this program be improved?

I think that there could be more ways for us, the students studying gibbered, to mix with the local students at the universities. I think that there could be more actives and trips for us to go together. I also think that the classrooms in the palais could be upgraded a bit.

Yes, I recommend
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Can you get any better?

From what I have been told, compared to IES's other sites, IES Vienna is a bit more resourceful in transitioning students into the respective culture. Yet, I never felt like my hand was being held. What IES Vienna does well is provide resources and opportunities for students to experience the culture first-hand, while also giving space for students to explore the city and discover the culture for themselves. The field trips they hosted were fantastic, the staff is friendly and extremely helpful, and the location is perfect (in the middle of the city). Vienna is a wonderful city and though it may not be considered one's first choice, it's a perfect place for someone like me, a music and psychology double major, to deepen my knowledge in both areas. Every class I took with IES was extremely informative and challenging enough where I still remember what I learned to this day. Yet, the work was just enough where I could still travel every weekend and not have schoolwork be in the forefront of my thoughts. Since Austria is in the center of Europe, I was able to go to so many new countries, even ones that I didn't expect to go to.

Overall, IES Vienna is an amazing program in an amazing city in the center of an amazing continent. As the philosophical Shia LeBeouf would say, "DO IT!"

How can this program be improved?

The only (and I mean, only) criticism I have on this program is the mandatory German classes on Friday morning. Since most students want to travel, Friday is an ideal day to do so. However, preventing students from leaving in the morning can occasionally be inconvenient. The general policy on attendance is definitely more strict than college itself, but its leniency on a few absences gives me a reason to ignore this small complaint.

Yes, I recommend
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A Semester in Musical Vienna

I decided to do the IES Music program in Vienna because it gave me a chance to study German, music, and political science together. IES in Vienna is a wonderful program for musicians and non-musicians alike, but I think musicians have an even better appreciation for a city so immersed in music. The city of Vienna is absolutely beautiful and just drenched in musical history. I spent many evenings standing in the golden Musikverein listening to world-class orchestras play the music of some of the most famous composers in the world. As for the program itself, I made lifelong friends and got to know tons of talented, smart, passionate people all while exploring a city and country that are too often overlooked in favor of Paris/London/Berlin/Rome. The education, both music and otherwise, is really high quality, and the staff of the program are incredible. I can't recommend IES Vienna enough.

Yes, I recommend
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Everything a musician could ask for

Making the decision to go to Vienna was a highly personal one - I wanted to be immersed in a musical culture and environment that my school could not offer me, to be interacting with fellow musicians and improving my own skills daily.

This program met and exceeded my expectations, and also settled the worries I had about my living situation and adjustment to the new culture.

I lived in the 5th district with 5 other girls, and the program did a fantastic job with placement according to interests and personalities - I can say that I finally found the group of solid college girl friends I had been looking for ever since freshman year.

The adjustment process was definitely tougher than I imagined, but the kindness of the staff and the teachers on the program eased the process greatly. One day I was feeling very emotionally overwhelmed due to a family situation and my own personal struggles against the pressure to do well on the program and just left class. I emailed my teacher afterwards and he was nothing but understanding. I appreciated that student well being was a top priority for IES.

It was a struggle trying to balance rehearsal time, personal practice time, private lessons, and concert/opera attendance. I ended the semester more frazzled than I would have liked to be, but I still would take this overload of music training and experience to a less challenging experience. For me the highlight was my private lessons and the weekly accompaniment sessions that IES offered to music students. I gained invaluable experience from my accompanist and my teacher regarding expression and performance technique. Of course, being able to go to the Musikverein for 5 euros and listen to things like Mahler 1 and Schubert's 9th didn't hurt the whole experience either.

Overall, if you are a musician looking for an environment where you can have fun and thrive, you should definitely consider this program.

Yes, I recommend

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...