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IES Abroad Vienna - Music Semester/Year Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

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.
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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A whirlwind of new experiences

My time with IES Vienna will be some of my most treasured moments of my life. Not only were the faculty absolutely committed to us academically, they also got to know each and every one of us in an effort to afford us the best time possible during our short time in Vienna. I also took part in an internship at Vienna's English Theatre, and the support I received during the most hectic times of my internship from all of my professors and the staff at IES was so appreciated and immeasurable. The fact that I had a class with the Center Director really proved to me his, and the whole center's, commitment to getting to know us as students and helping us thrive in a new environment.

Socially, while it was nerve-wracking at first, we all quickly be came adjusted and found lifelong friends. It was incredible being in a new and vibrant city with so many like-minded people. There was always something to do and always someone to do it with.

I cannot recommend this experience enough. To anyone even considering a semester abroad, IES Vienna offers so much, and now I wouldn't dream of trying anything else.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

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 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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The Hidden Gem of Europe

If you are a musician Vienna should most definitely be the city you choose to study abroad in. I had an absolutely incredible experience abroad and cannot wait to return. The amount of stellar performances, teachers, and performers that are easily accessible is outstanding. The IES Vienna Music Program was a great experience because after going to such a large music school (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) the downsizing and opportunity to do small chamber work was an experience I never would have had at my home school. Also, the amount of private instruction and coaching’s are an outstanding way to improve your musicianship. Vienna is a beautiful, charming, and amazing city and is truly the hidden gem of Europe!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Vienna Music

I couldn't be happier that I decided to do this program! I was able to perform music, explore Europe, and make life-long friendships. If you are a musician who wants to study abroad, this is the program for you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The Best Semester of my Life

I had an absolutely incredible semester through IES Abroad. Getting to live in the city of Vienna and experience the culture gave me a new perspective on both classical music and the world in general. My professors were all knowledgable and passionate about their fields, which made the learning process enjoyable and enriching. Through the composition program, I was able to compose my first work, rehearse it with excellent musicians, and hear it debut in our concert at the end of the semester, which was an absolutely amazing experience for an aspiring musician. I went on three of the four trips that IES offered, which were great opportunities to see more of Austria. The living conditions were quite good as well, and the food in the city is delicious. Furthermore, the mandatory German program was well-organized and extremely helpful for learning to successfully get around in Vienna, and we made an incredible amount of progress for people who came into the program speaking no German at all. Overall, I would definitely recommend the IES Vienna music program for anyone who wants to have an amazing and musical semester in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

A Musical Semester

I had an amazing time with IES Vienna. If you're interested in a program that provides you with both excellent private instruction and collaborative performance opportunities, look no further. I'm a vocalist and I was nervous about having a new teacher, but it really couldn't have been better. My voice teacher was absolutely incredible, and in four months I made more progress than I ever thought possible. The range of material we learned, in both lessons and Performance Workshop, was vast, and while we focused a lot on German diction, we studied a lot of different time periods and composers. Taking German is mandatory with IES, which is a great way to learn about your host country, as well as learn the basics of a new language! There's also adequate time for traveling around Europe, but truly, you won't want to leave Vienna - it's one of the most amazing cities in the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wish I could do it again

Having seen other study abroad programs in Vienna and having lived in Vienna without IES, I can easily say IES provides such an ideal experience and really helps students get the most out of their time in Vienna. They offer so many classes and quality classes, activities, support, anything you could want really.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

No Music like in Wien!

IES Abroad Vienna’s Music program was an AMAZING experience! There is no city in the world that has classical music like Vienna: concerts and operas every night with the best performers in the world, along with student tickets and cheap standing room tickets!! The music classes offered at the center (which is in a palace!!!) were awesome and I grew so much a musician and as a singer working privately with a teacher from the prestigious Music University. Also, the most amazing student services staff that always made me feel comfortable and taken care of! Unfortunately, homestays aren’t much of an option, but I loved living with friends in apartments and learning how to live independently for the first time!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Vienna and its music inspired me and transformed my life

I got to observe the Vienna Philharmonic rehearse and perform Beethoven 9 under conductor Gustavo Dudamel. He is one of my heroes. During a coffee break with my teacher, I mentioned to him how big of a fan I was. My teacher said "He is a good friend of mine! Do you want to meet him?" Next thing I knew, I was standing in his dressing room, shaking his hand and chatting about the beauty of Beethoven's music.

One of my good friends went on the program before me. She was a role-model musician to me, and she encouraged me to go. The music school at Indiana promotes the Vienna music program because of the world class teachers you can study with in Vienna and the successes of students who spend a semester there.

I lived in a beautiful apartment in the sixth district. There were seven of us, but it never felt crowded because the apartment was so large. We were right next to a major shopping area for clothes, shoes, restaurants, the U-bahn line 4 was a minute away from our front door, and the Naschmarkt (largest open-air market in Austria) was 5 minutes away. I did my grocery shopping here as well as normal grocery stores in the area. They have so many types of food and sweet treats to try!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Vienna and its music inspired me and transformed my life.

My abroad experience changed my life. Academically, the classes immersed me in the past and present of Vienna culture. I took part in true Viennese life in numerous ways. I went shopping for traditional foods in the Nashmarkt with my German class by ordering in German and then feasting on our successful purchases. I frequently visited traditional Viennese cafes and drank coffee and ate the famous Sacher torte. I got to go to a real Viennese ball and waltz, I biked on the Danube River and got to see where Johann Strauss wrote his famous music. I got to pay my respects to Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert at their graves. And my favorite thing to do in Vienna was to go to the opera house and philharmonic hall and listen to the world class music and breath-taking performances on stage. I went to 2-4 performances a week for about 5 Euro per performance. I got to pay next to nothing for some of the most prestigious, musical artistry.

Academics:
The classes are rewarding because you get to not only study the history of Vienna and its music, but you get to go out and experience the city as a part of class!

Living Situation:
I highly recommend living in an apartment. You fill out a personality/living accommodations form about your habits, your major at school, what you want out of the program. I was matched very well with my roommates--we were all considerate of each others space, spent time together, and all of us were musicians!

Cultural Immersion:
Challenge yourself to speak German with your friends outside of class and speak to the locals. They all speak English, so if you get a little lost in your speech, they will be understanding. I recommend speaking with locals that are near your age because they like practicing English!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best Adventure of My Life

The staff was always friendly, knowledgable, approachable, invested, helpful, and fun!
Classes were engaging and challenging but did not take up all of your time with homework, so there was always still more than enough time to explore the city and beyond. Many classes took advantage of all Vienna has to offer by going on field trips around the city often to make real world connections relevant to the course.
As a musician, I found it helpful for studying music history to study it in a city that is like a giant music museum and full of dozens of other little music museums! You can study Mahler's symphonies in class then go see the original scores or study Beethoven's Egmont Overture then visit where he wrote it!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Vienna was just sublime

Studying abroad in Vienna through IES was truly an amazing experience. Although you need not have any prior exposure to German, I found that having some German under my belt really helped me make the most out of my experience that. Vienna is such a wonderful city to explore on your own too - there are so many cute cafes, bars, open markets, and parks. I also had the opportunity to live with a residential assistant, a fellow Austrian who I became very good friends with and who helped me see what local life was like. The IES staff in Vienna were also truly great. They cared about us having a great time, and were extremely supportive and helpful through all roadblocks we might have encountered throughout the way. At the same time, they weren't overbearing and allowed us to totally have our independence. I also loved 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 could not recommend this program more. Featured photo: the culturally acceptable daily cake and coffee!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A life changing experience you won't regret!

IES Vienna was definitely 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.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

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 daily and improving my own skills.

IES Vienna: Music met and exceeded my expectations, and also settled the worries I had about my living situation and adjustment to the new culture.

Living:
I lived in the 5th district with 5 other girls, all musicians, and I have to say the program did a fantastic job with placement according to interests and personalities. For me, I can say that I finally found the group of solid college girl friends that I had been looking for ever since freshman year. I was also very satisfied with the apartment. It was cozy and decorated tastefully, a little smaller than we all expected but we made it work. It was located in a very low-key part of Vienna which I was very grateful for.

Adjustment:
The adjustment process was definitely tougher than I imagined, but the kindness of the staff and the teachers on the program and also my roommates eased the process greatly. They gave me the feeling that they were always willing to talk about whatever situation I was going through, and the teachers were very understanding of any personal struggles I was going through.

Music:
And of course I've saved the best for last. The program was jam packed, especially for the music students. It was a struggle trying to balance rehearsal time, personal practice time, private lessons, and concert/opera attendance. While I did end the semester more frazzled than I would've liked to be, I still preferred this overload of musical training and experience to a workload that would be less challenging. For me the highlight was my private lessons and the accompaniment sessions that IES provided for students weekly. I loved my private teacher, and I feel I improved in leaps and bounds with her honest criticism and genuine care. I was very grateful to be able to work on my repertoire with an accompanist, and she gave very good advice concerning performance and expression. And of course, being able to go to the Musikverein for 5 euros 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 the IES Vienna: Music program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Viennese Living

IES Vienna allows an experience that can fit any student's style. For students that need more structure and involved encouragement, the staff is always there to help, give advice, or just hang out in Vienna with you. For students that are naturally more independent, like myself, the program allows for that as well. Living in an actual Viennese apartment, rather than some Americanized dorm, gave space for students to explore throughout the city, interact with Austrians, and develop a sense of self-sufficiency. That aspect was like a little window to one's future independent living. In the academic sense, the program is invaluable to musicians eager to expand and improve their abilities. The music courses offered are diverse and engaging with an incredible staff to work with. I personally would highly recommend participation in the Vocal or Instrumental Workshop as it is pretty much the crown jewel of the program and takes full advantage of the Viennese musical backdrop.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

The most adventurous time of my life.

Skiing the alps in Austria was my most memorable experience!

As a city with an incredible musical history, world renowned orchestras, symphonies, and opera companies, I knew that as a musician I would never find myself short of inspiration. I knew I would also be able to study with a trumpet legend for a semester and that living in a city in central Europe also allow me to travel to places I've always dreamed of.

I lived in an apartment with 4 other music majors (all female), and 1 residence assistant. Our apartment was located 30 min. outside of the center of the city where our school was. We lived in a very diverse area of the city and could get to the supermarket, restaurants, clothing, and supply stores easily. There were two practice rooms in the basement that were sound proofed well and had two beautiful pianos. We were not located very close to the other students in the program however, it was nice to be even more immersed in the culture of the city. The apartment was well furnished, spacious enough, comfortable, clean, and the internet worked just fine most of the time.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

The most adventurous time of my life.

I had an incredible experience abroad! My roommates and I became very close and we had a blast living in our wonderful apartment, exploring the city, and traveling the world together. Our residence assistant was so kind and so helpful and also became a close friend. The living situation was fantastic. I felt safe, was able to practice my instrument whenever I wanted with the practice rooms downstairs, was pretty close to the center of the city, and lived in very diverse area with people from all over the world. The staff at IES Vienna were so helpful and supportive during the semester. They made the transition smooth and easy and not only were friendly and there for us at any time but encouraging and wanted us to enjoy every moment of our time abroad. They put together some incredible trips and although there were some things here and there that could have gone more smoothly (moving into the city after orientation), they organized awesome events during orientation and throughout the semester. The professors were experts in their fields and I learned a ton in each class. I think they did a great job of balancing the course work load so that we learned as much as we could while still having time to travel, explore, and have fun. I would have liked to have more opportunities to meet native Austrians and meet students my age.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

IES Vienna, an incredible experience!

I studied abroad through IES Vienna, Spring of 2012. This experience was exceptional, in terms of academics and cultural opportunities available. IES did a fantastic job of facilitating activities and trips that exposed students to the Austrian culture. In addition, Vienna's location made it easy to do independent traveling, and really was a great place to live for five months. I feel that my semester abroad allowed me to grow as an individual, and the IES staff are largely to thank for that!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    3

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

While In Vienna

While in Vienna, I took a music history course on the 2nd Viennese School. It was such a wonderful experience because we would learn about the material in class, then go on field trips to see actual places composers lived and wrote music. It gave us a chance to see where their motivation came from. My abroad experience was also wonderful because Vienna is such a beautiful city with endless opportunities for fun and music.

I also took a German class but it was harder to practice any German because everyone there speaks perfect English.

Overall, it was a great trip. I met some awesome people.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Vienna is one of the most underrated cities in Europe! The IES Abroad Vienna program is their oldest program and absolutely worth it!

Vienna, one of Europe's most underrated cities in my opinion, is absolutely stunning. The choice to study abroad in Vienna was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am so grateful to have chosen such a special place like Vienna and Austria to study and live for these past few months. The city of Vienna especially is such a unique place where culture, cafés, music, architecture and history smack you in the face upon stepping foot in the city center.

IES Abroad is a leader in the study abroad field and their administrators really make the students feel welcome and at home. The program was well-run and had activities throughout the four months to keep students active throughout the city. Please look into this program if you are interested in experiencing Austrian life to the fullest!

Academics:
I took several courses in German, classical music, and Viennese history. The professors were kind and all local citizens.

Living Situation:
I lived in an apartment in Vienna's 5th district. The apartment was spacious and beautiful! It was close to the City Center and was fully stoked with kitchen amenities and beding, etc. There was WiFi access in the room and enough space for 6 guys.

You were required to make your own meals in the kitchen.

Cultural Immersion:
The IES Abroad program allowed for many activities including hiking in the Vienna woods, biking along the Danube River, and other field trips around Vienna and Austria.

I also took a history class, which had an immersion in the city of Vienna each week! I had walking tours around the city, visited many of Vienna's famous churches, and took a trip to one of the oldest convents in Austria.

Program Administration:
The program administrators were so kind and always willing to help. As a student who never had traveled overseas before, they made the transition into Vienna very easy for me.

The workers at IES Abroad were always willing to help and they provide a very lengthy (yet super helpful!) pre-departure packet, which made the application process for a visa easy and less-stressful. They also gave all sorts of advice to help transition into Vienna.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    8

The best first step into Europe.

Traveling to Norway independently and visiting Beethoven's birthplace in Vienna.

I knew that Vienna would have so much to offer musically,and I had always wanted to learn more about Austria.

I lived in an apartment complex in the sixth district, in Düerergasse. The apartment was spacious, but it was a little cramped because I had five roommates. However, it was nice to get to know other Americans studying abroad in my program and the location was ideal in terms of the U-Bahn (underground).

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

The best first step into Europe.

I studied in Vienna the fall of 2013, which was my senior year of college. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in exploring a single fascinating city, or someone looking to step forward into other parts of Europe. Vienna was fairly central compared to the other main players of the EU, so it was easy to use the train system or hop on a plane to visit Germany, France, or even Greece. Vienna itself is beautiful, culturally rich and yet a modern city. The IES program had wonderful teachers and staff and I felt they helped encourage you to "squeeze the juice" out of your experience abroad.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

UM’s Vienna Music Experience

A great experience with a lot of great cultural and historical sights and lessons. Singing, we were able to perform in one of the beautiful rooms inside the old palace that is the IES headquarters there. I had a lot of fun, learned a lot and gained some new perspectives.

The housing conditions were not as expected and not the best.