Spring 2024

German Studies in Austria offers an immersive language and cultural environment for students of German with courses exploring literature, history, museums, and more. Based in Vienna with excursions around Central Europe, students have the unmatched opportunity to connect literary, artistic, and cultural topics with their geographic, social, and historical contexts.

Message from Faculty Director

With Vienna’s past as the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire and its central European location, the city has a rich and complex history as well as contemporary cultural significance. Austria may often be overlooked in favor of Germany, but the geographically small country boasts a thriving cultural scene, diverse landscapes, and entanglement in the many thorny political issues of the moment. Oh, and did I mention the Alps? 

After I graduated from college, I spent two years teaching English at secondary schools in Austria through the Fulbright program and became interested in the varied natural and cultural landscapes in the country, including the regional dialects that students will also come to learn. Later, during my PhD program, I studied literature in Graz and learned about the vibrant literary institutes that support cultural production. 

I designed this program for students who are eager to advance their German language skills in an immersive setting and through exciting coursework that engages with contemporary issues and history. I look forward to welcoming students to an exciting new program in Vienna!

Kiley Kost, Lecturer in German


Learning Goals

  • Significantly expand German language proficiency and fluency in German
  • Analyze different media, including literature, drama, poetry, visual art, and film from the perspectives of literary and cultural studies
  • Critically examine current issues in Austria and Europe and relate them to historical contexts and academic interests
  • Experience immersion in a foreign culture and experience the challenges and discoveries of life in a new environment
  • Build intercultural awareness and independence


GERM 204 or equivalent (German proficiency). Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior status in the 2023-2024 academic year.

Required Core Courses

GERM 322: Contemporary Austrian Literature and Cultural Production (6 credits)

This course focuses on contemporary Austrian literature, theater, film, and the institutions that support authors and artists. Through multimedia texts (novels, film, theater, newspapers), students encounter the cultural production and criticism of the moment while also strengthening German language skills. Events at cultural institutions and theaters in Vienna enhance understanding of Vienna’s diverse cultural landscape today. 
Instructor: Kiley Kost

Electives (choose two courses)

GERM 261: Vienna Past and Present: The City as Text taught by local faculty (6 credits)

This class examines the history of Vienna and Austria (including the Austro-Hungarian Empire) through excursions to museums and memorials in the city. How are these histories memorialized in the structure of the city? What institutions make these histories visible? How do museums and memorials in Vienna construct historical narratives and who is left out from these narratives? Site visits and excursions in Vienna and beyond present opportunities for comparative analysis. 
Instructor: Local Faculty

GERM 262: Cultural History of Food and Drink in Vienna (6 credits)

What are the cultural, historical, environmental, social, and political forces that shape our experience with food and drink? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning about the important food and drink culture in Vienna and Austria. Site visits to the city’s iconic markets, taverns, producers, breweries and cafés deepen understanding and language skills.
Instructor: Local Faculty

GERM 263: Austrian Art and Architecture (6 credits)

In this course, students explore the evolution of art and architecture in Austria, learning about specific artists, eras, and movements. Students learn to critically analyze art and architecture, connecting work to Austrian, European, and global contexts. The class includes field trips to various museums and sites in Vienna.
Instructor: Local Faculty

Program Features


Students will live in dorm-style private apartments. Rooms are private. Cooking is also independent.


Excursions are a mix of day trips in country and longer excursions. Two longer excursions will take the group to Innsbruck, Austria and Munich, Germany on one long weekend and then to Ljubljana, Slovenia and Trieste, Italy on another.