Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria

Home to an astounding number of legendary composers—from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Brahms, Mahler, and Schoenberg—Vienna maintains an incredible richness of musical culture to this day. The world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musikverein, and the Staatsoper are just a few of the many leading institutions that help make Vienna a true “city of music”—and make it the perfect location for an engaging study of Music History and Performance.

Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or Full Year 


IES Abroad Vienna is a PLU Featured program for Music, but your academic opportunities with this program extend to unique courses that explore Austrian History, Culture, Art, and many other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. IES Vienna’s world-class professors, as well as course options at prestigious local universities, enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day both in and out of class.

You take 15–19 credit hours per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. Language courses are taught in German, and all other courses are taught in English, unless otherwise noted. Academic programming is scheduled five days a week.

Academic Features

  • Private lessons with instructors from some of Vienna’s top orchestras and music schools
  • Concerts & recitals for Performance Studies students and the Music Performance Workshop
  • Tailor your own academic experience with a one required German language course and a combination of IES Abroad courses (English), area studies courses at IES or Universität Wien (German), and an internship/field experience
  • Internship options in Music Research, Arts & Culture, Business, Education, and Public Service

PLU Course Equivalency

As PLU students choose this program, a Course Equivalency Guide will be built and uploaded to this webpage.

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU’s Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

Course and study tour offerings are subject to change.

Study Tours

Program-Related Trip

Musical Tour Through Austria and Germany
4 days | Fall & Spring 

Covering relevant course material and complemented by resident experts in music history, you will visit the homes and haunts of some of the greatest composers of the 19th century. The tour starts in Upper Austria and Salzkammergut (Bruckner, Mahler, and Brahms), then heads to Salzburg (Mozart). From here, we go to Germany, where we will visit Wagner’s home in Bayreuth and the famous Festival House.

Additional Opportunities

IES Abroad offers a range of field trips that take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. These field trips are not included in the PLU comprehensive fee. Past destinations have included:

  • World Heritage Tour (Hallstatt, Salzburg, Český Krumlov & Prague) – 6 days
  • The Austrian Alps – 3 days
  • Wachau – 1 day
  • Styria tour – 2 days

The program also uses the city to complement courses. Past course-related trips have included visits to:

  • Classical music concerts and operas
  • Theater performances
  • Museums, gardens, and historic homes
  • Political and economic institutions, such as the Austrian Parliament and the United Nations office in the Vienna International Centre “UNO City”

Note: These locations are subject to change. Costs vary by tour. 

For more information on study tours with IES, visit their website.


Student Apartments

Live in an apartment with three to six other IES Abroad students. Some apartments are set aside for students who are interested in taking a language pledge to speak only German while at home. Students have full access to kitchen facilities and free Internet.

Residence Hall

Live among Austrian and international students in a residence hall that features double rooms with a shared bath. Students have access to full kitchen facilities and free Internet.

Housing with Local Residents

Limited placements may be available to live with a local resident and one or more IES Abroad students. Contact IES Abroad for more information.

For more information about housing options, click here.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing, a meal stipend, study abroad insurance, visa fees*, and laundry). To find the current comprehensive fee for one semester, divide the total full-year cost listed on the Admissions website by two. Please note that the comprehensive fee varies each year, and the cost of this program will be based on the year in which you study away. Financial aid applies.

*The Wang Center will reimburse you for your visa fees up to $300; such fees can include: visa processing fees, consulate fees, online application fees. Reimbursement does not include: domestic travel costs for in-person submission, postage costs.

Learn more about Student Visas for Austria.

Out-of-pocket Expenses

Some air travel, personal excursions, domestic travel*/postage for visa processing, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

*Be sure to research your visa requirements as you may have to go in-person to a consulate or visa processing center. Depending on the country, there may or may not be a local consulate, and you may have to fly to another US state.

Contact Us

Holly Peterson, Study Away Advisor and Semester Program Liaison

Dr. Brian Galante
IES Vienna or Milan Music – PLU Faculty Liaison, Professor of Music

Contact IES here.


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 2.75 G.P.A. Must be a student in good standing.

No previous German language study required for students enrolling in English-taught courses.

4 semesters or the equivalent of college-level German required for fall or academic year students enrolling in German-taught or University courses.

5 semesters or the equivalent of college-level German required for spring semester students enrolling in German-taught or University courses.

For Music track: Music major or minor preferred. In the case of non-music majors/minors with serious experience, some exceptions can be considered. All applicants must have at least one year of study in music theory or the ability to read music and follow a score.

Application Deadline

Fall, Spring and Full Year applications are due March 15

A $50 non-refundable fee is due with the application.

Each academic year the current application is made available during International Education Week in November.

Applicants to IES Abroad Vienna must also complete the IES application.

Application Components

  • Short essays
  • Faculty Recommendation Form
  • $50 Non-refundable Application fee
  • Advising appointment
  • Online applications for both PLU and IES

IES Abroad’s Website

Visit IES Abroad’s website to learn more.

Learn more about Student Visas for Austria.

Explore Austria-specific Identity Resources.

Explore Social Identity Resources.

Program Highlights

  • Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or Academic Year
  • Take private lessons from instructors from Vienna’s top orchestras and music schools
  • Take courses in English and German
  • Internship option
  • Option for coursework in the European Society & Culture track