Vienna – Psychology & Social Sciences


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Vienna?

Vienna is teeming with people from around the world who have made this city their home.

Situated at the center of Europe and rich in culture, this is a place where people from all walks of life thrive. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also a city where the study of society has a long history and where modern psychology claims its birthplace. Many prominent thinkers made Vienna their home—Alfred Adler, Max Wertheimer, Helene Deutsch, Erwin Ringel, Viktor Frankl (who taught at IES Abroad), and, of course, Sigmund Freud.

What You'll Study

Experience life in Vienna as a student of Psychology and Social Sciences. Our courses give you the opportunity to explore youth cultures, childhood development, virtual identity on the web, the immigrant experience, and the social and psychological dimensions of discrimination. Deepen your learning experience with a program-related trip to destinations throughout Austria, Hungary, and Germany to explore these issues in a broader cultural and geographical context.

You can also enroll in an internship or field experience in public service organizations, NGOs, or teaching English to kindergarten, primary, or secondary students. This hands-on experience includes time spent at your placement and an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.

Taking German is required, but no background in the language is necessary. If you have sufficient German language skills, you can also enroll in courses at the prestigious Universität Wien. There, you will experience the Austrian education system, be able to participate in University student activities, and make Austrian friends.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Vienna, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From our centrally located housing to cultural events like bike tours and cooking classes, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Psychology & Social Sciences and many other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors, as well as course options at the prestigious Universität Wien, enhance your academic experience, and provide you with new perspectives both in and out of class.

You take 16–19 credits 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.

If you have taken fewer than 4 semesters of college-level German or the equivalent, you enroll in IES Abroad courses in English. If you have advanced German language proficiency, you may enroll in IES Abroad courses in German and English. Students with advanced language skills can also enroll in partner university courses.

You create your academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad German language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad area studies courses* (3-4 credits) are offered at the IES Abroad Center in English and German in a wide range of disciplines.
  • Please see the European Society & Culture Program page for additional course options
  • German-taught courses at Universität Wien (advanced German required, credits vary)
  • IES Abroad Internship (includes internship and seminar, 3 credits)



  • The Culture of Immigration
  • Comparative Austrian and European Youth Cultures: Theories and Practices


  • Supervised Teaching Field Experience

German Language

  • German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I
  • German Language in Context: Novice Abroad III
  • German Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I
  • German Language in Context: Independent Abroad I
  • German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I
  • German Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad III
  • German Language in Context: Competent Abroad
  • Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business

International Business

  • Wirtschaftsdeutsch / Let's Talk Business

Intercultural Communication

  • Intercultural Communication

Internship Seminar

  • Supervised Teaching Field Experience
  • Supervised Public Service Internship


  • Cyberpsychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Personality Theories and Psychopathology
  • Psychology of Language
  • Psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic Therapy and Humanistic Psychology in Contemporary Culture
  • Vienna Project on Child Development: Culture and Developmental Psychology
  • Health Psychology and Communication Skills Training
  • The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination


  • The Culture of Immigration
  • Comparative Austrian and European Youth Cultures: Theories and Practices
  • Supervised Public Service Internship Seminar
  • The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination

Partner Institution(s)

Universität Wien

Enrolling approximately 90,000 students, the Universität Wien offers a wide variety of courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The University boasts recognized academic strengths in Germanic Studies, Political Science, and Theology.

Founded in 1365, the Universität Wien is one of the oldest universities in Europe.


Listed below is the broad range of disciplines available at the University. Universität Wien does not offer any undergraduate courses taught in English, and the language of the administration of the university is German. As such, only students with advanced German are encouraged to consider enrollment at this institution. For specific course offerings, visit the Universität Wien website, and click “Blättern” to browse options. Please note that course offerings vary from semester to semester.

  • Business & Economics
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Sciences
  • Earth Sciences, Geography & Astronomy
  • History & Culture Studies
  • Law
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Musicology
  • Philology & Culture Studies
  • Philosophy & Pedagogy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Sports Science & Sports
  • Theology
  • Translation

Field Trips & Events

Although your adventure begins in Vienna, our field trips take you to other great cities in Austria and beyond to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Vienna. These trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.

Austrian Alps

3 days | Fall & Spring

Enjoy the skiing and the breathtaking scenery!


1 day | Fall & Spring

Visit the famous Melk Abbey.

Styria Tour

2 days | Fall & Spring

Tour this Austrian region known for its delicious wines and vineyards.

Program-Related Trip

Psychology Study Tour of Austria and Germany

4 days | Fall & Spring (Required)

As an enhancement to your coursework, you will spend four days studying Psychology and Sociology in Austria, as well as Leipzig and Dresden, Germany. Examine the impact of the Iron Curtain along the Austrian border, the collective trauma of Nazism and Communism, and the early development of Psychology in Germany.

Course-Related Trips

IES Abroad Vienna also organizes course-related trips that complement IES Abroad courses and help you build your general knowledge of Austrian culture and society. Past trips have included visits to:

  • Political and economic institutions such as the Austrian Parliament and the United Nations office in the Vienna International Centre “UNO City”
  • Historical sites
  • Theater performances
  • Classical concerts

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Vienna is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.


The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, and the city of Vienna. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

During the weeks following orientation, you spend half of each day in intensive German language instruction. The rest of your time is spent in academic advising, lectures on contemporary Europe, Austria, and Vienna, and tours of Vienna and the surrounding area.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Vienna, it will feel like home.

  • Apartments – You have the option to live in an apartment that houses between three and six students. Some apartments are set aside for students interested in taking a language pledge and speaking only in German while at home.
  • Housing with Local Residents – You have the opportunity to live with one or more IES Abroad students and an Austrian landlady/landlord or Resident Assistant.
  • Residence Halls – Allowing you to live among Austrian and international students, residence halls feature double rooms with a shared bath.

You have full access to kitchen facilities for preparing meals, which are not included in the program fee. All housing options include free Internet access.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Vienna through our cultural events, such as:

  • City tours
  • Museum visits
  • Theater events
  • Extracurricular sporting activities through the Universitätssportinstitut (for a minimal fee)

IES Abroad Vienna participates in a “buddy system” for language learning with native German speakers. The program lets you practice German and meet local students.


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $16,630 $3,900 $230 $20,760

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $29,180 $7,850 $455 $37,485

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Clarence & Alberta Giese Endowed Scholarship

Up to $2,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

In September 1950, 23 American students boarded the SS Volendam to begin their journey to Vienna where they would spend the next year living and studying in the Austrian capital. Paul Koutny, an idealistic Austrian student who envisioned the project together with Clarence and Alberta Giese, who were two of the original 23 students, launched the Institute for European Studies -- now IES Abroad -- from these humble beginnings. “The Clarence and Alberta Giese Endowed Scholarship” honors the Gieses and was established in recognition of the 60th anniversary of IES Abroad in 2010.

Our Center

Also known as the Palais Corbelli, the IES Abroad Vienna Center is an elegant 17th-century palace in the heart of the city and is just minutes from many of the museums, theaters, and other major cultural attractions that have bestowed international fame on Vienna.

Features include:

  • Classrooms
  • Student lounge and small library
  • Computer lab
  • High-speed Internet and printer access
  • Practice rooms and instrument storage for music students
  • Concert hall for music students
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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