IES Vienna: European Society and Culture

  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Language of Instruction: English (IES Courses) and German (IES and University Courses)
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors


Vienna is situated on the River Danube at the edge of the majestic Austrian Alps and has been an important crossroads since the time of the Romans. It is a charming city as well as a cosmopolitan metropolis of timeless fascination, and its unparalleled opera houses, museum, and theatres are as famous today as they were a century ago. The IES Center is located in the Palais Corbelli, an elegant 18th Century palace in the heart of Vienna, and is just minutes from an array of museums, theatres, and other major cultural attractions.  This program has a special emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe and courses are taught form an Austrian perspective.

  • Visa:

    Required.  See and NAFSA: Austria VISA FAQs.

    Starting in May 2014, the Austrian Consulates in the United States will change their visa application policies. The new policies will require all applicants for Austrian visas and entry permits to have their fingerprints taken at an Austrian Consulate General in the United States. There are currently three Austrian Consulates in the United States: Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C.  Students will need to apply in person for their Austrian visa or entry permit.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition and room to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payments to the program.

  • Requirements

    Previous German language study is not required for students only enrolling in IES courses. Students planning to enroll in university courses must have completed four semesters of college-level German (or equivalent) for the fall semester, and five semesters for the spring semester. Some university courses may not be available to sophomores. Students must enroll in an appropriate-level IES German language course. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    Academic Credit

    Each semester, students must carry 15 to 19 credit hours. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Students enroll in four IES area studies courses (or the equivalent in University courses) and one German Language course each semester. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


    Students can take courses at the IES Center and students proficient in German may enroll in courses at the prestigious Universität Wien.

    Internships in Arts and Culture, Business, Education, and Public Service are available.  Proficiency in German is not required for Education Field Experience and Public Service internships, but is recommended for Business internships. Students must enroll in accompanying seminar to earn credit.

    Course Highlights

    Economics, Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, Intercultural Communication, Industrial Management, Journalism, Political Science, Art, Art History, Cultural Studies, Drama, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies, Anthropology, Education, Psychology, and Sociology

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Students receive a four-day orientation upon arrival and then have a 3 week intensive German orientation program.

    Number of Students: Approximately 100-120 students attend the 2 Vienna programs each semester.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Students can choose from three housing options:

    • Apartment with 3-6 other students
    • Homestay with one or more IES students and an Austrian landlady/landlord
    • Residence Halls with Austrian and international students (double rooms and shared bath)

    All three options include access to full kitchen facilities for preparing meals, which are not included in the program fee. Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Language study: IES Vienna participates in a “buddy system” for language learning with native speakers giving students an opportunity to practice German and meet local students.

    Field trips: IES Vienna offers several optional partially-subsized field trips.  Past destinations have included a 10-day New/Old Europe Tour, a 9-Day Germany Tour, a 1-day trip to Wachau, a 3-day trip to the Austrian Alps, and a 2-day trip to the Styria region of Austria.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Semester I: Late August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Mid-January to mid-May
  • Year: Late August to mid-May
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Ulrich Schönherr

Darin Hayton