Study Abroad in Salzburg

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A Guide to Study Abroad in Salzburg

Salzburg goes by many names. Some call it “The Stage of the World,” some call it the “Golden City of High Baroque,” and others refer to it as the “Small Paradise.” Salzburg lies on the fringe of the Alp Mountain Range at the directional crossroads of Europe. Only about six percent of Austria’s population lives in Salzburg, but it’s a central hub for arts, culture, education, and tourism. If you are thinking about in studying abroad in Salzburg, you have already started the journey in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

How to Study Abroad in Salzburg

Salzburg has a long-term reputation as an outstanding center for education and training. The reputation remains strong with the many Salzburg study abroad programs offered in all sorts of areas.

Popular Subjects to Study. Some of the most popular programs include tourism, the arts, and German. Many German programs allow students to live as a member of an Austrian family, and take immersion language courses. If you’re interested in the tourism industry or hotel management, you’ll find some great programs in these fields here — some even offer a three-month internship, so participants can learn their trade in a beautiful and thriving location. 

Short Term vs. Summer vs. Long Term Programs. From a few weeks to a full year, how long you stay in Salzburg depends upon your program and course needs. If learning German is your priority, then staying a full academic year will benefit you the most. You’ll find listings for semester, year, and summer opportunities for study abroad programs in Salzburg. You can find everything from ballet workshops to political studies programs.

Attending Universities vs. Other Program Types. You can choose to enroll directly in courses through University of Salzburg, Austria or one of its many other higher education institutions, like Salzburg College. Students might also study in Salzburg through their own university or through a program provider. Consult a study abroad advisor at your university to help you determine which type of program fits your needs.

Student Life in Salzburg

With everything you can do in Salzburg, where should you start? Take music classes then visit the spots where Julie Andrews sang in “The Sound of Music,” or see the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Its character and rich culture make Salzburg an excellent location for study abroad. Salzburg is relatively small and new compared to other Austrian cities, but it still manages to offer both quality and quantity when it comes to attractions.

Although there is an abundance of fun outdoor activities like mountaineering, cycling, skiing, and watersports in Salzburg, the city is best known for its cultural soul. Festivals and music thrive in Mozart’s homeland. The Salzburg Festival, held in the summer, offers operas, concerts, and drama performances. There is an annual performance in Cathedral Square of the mystery play “Jedermann” (Everyman). Many plays there have a painted scene or curtain for a background, but this one is set in front of the elegant white stone walls and aqua domes of the Salzburg Cathedral. Known as the Baroque Jewel, construction began on this cathedral in 774, and it’s one of Austria’s most important architectural sites.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

While you’ll experience a “honeymoon” phase when you begin studying in Salzburg, you might also experience some culture shock along the way — don’t worry, most programs offer plenty of support for their study abroad participants, so you can always reach out to them as a resource. 

Austrians take appearances seriously, and they dress more conservatively, so avoid wearing loungewear or shorts in public even in the warmer months. You’ll also need to wear special shoes when you’re in a home or the dorm — going barefoot might get you some strange looks. They also consider punctuality important, so don’t be late for your classes! 

While English is the business language in Austria and touristy places speak English, don’t expect everyone to speak it fluently. You’ll have an easier time navigating and talking to the locals if you learn some German phrases and take German classes. Speaking of navigating, you can visit other cities via the train, and while you can take StadtBus (buy cheaper tickets through Trafik) in Salzburg, the best way to get around the city and see the sights is on foot or on a bicycle. 

From the baroque architecture to a delicious helping of wiener schnitzel, you’ll quickly fall in love with this romantic city with its alpine surroundings. Be sure to visit the Hohe Tauern National Park, where you can hike and bike along trails. Also, hike from the small village of Krimml to the highest waterfalls of Central Europe — Krimml Falls plunges for 1,200 feet from a glacial creek across three different tiers and into the valley below. All this and more awaits your exploration when you study abroad in Salzburg. 

Read our comprehensive guide to studying abroad in Austria.

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Study Abroad in Salzburg


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