Once a major world power under the Hapsburg empire, Austria retains much of the glory and culture of its earlier days. Majestic mountain ranges frame pastoral scenes, where country dwellers still maintain many of the same traditions and ways of life as their predecessors. In the cities, particularly Salzburg and Vienna, modern sophistication meets a rich history of music, literature, philosophy and art. Situated as it is at the heart of the European continent, sharing its borders with no fewer than 8 other countries, Austria has seen much and has much to offer.
Perhaps most well known for being the birthplace of Mozart, Austria has become synonymous with musical and artistic excellence. Along with Mozart, Austria was home to Haydn, Schubert, Johann Strauss II, and Brahms to name a few, and to this day is considered a premier place to study for music students. Furthermore, artists and architects like Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner and Liane Zimbler have left a major impression on Austria and the world with their contributions. Students interested in music history, composition or performance, art, architecture, art history, and civil engineering will likely find Austria to be enlightening.
In addition, Austria has given birth to great thinkers. The father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud, as well as highly influential philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and author Franz Kafka were proud Austrians and leaders in their respective fields. Still a focal point of European culture, Austria is an ideal location for anyone interested in challenging their worldview and asking the deeper questions.
Besides the attraction of its past accomplishments, Austria has much to offer the modern student. Located in the center of Europe, it is necessarily at the crossroads of much of Europe’s business and political transactions. Austria is a member of the EU and hence has trading relations with many other members, most notably with its largest trading partner, Germany. Furthermore, as a historic junction for the trade of goods, ideas and cultures, Austria is ideally situated for political study and training.
In addition to its academic appeal, Austria is a beautiful and lush (though somewhat cold!) country, with an astounding 48% of it covered in woodland. Students interested in exploring Alpine country, challenging or inviting ski slopes, hiking trails, winding rivers – including Europe’s longest, the Danube – verdant rolling hills or beautiful lakes will find Austria to be a mecca of outdoor activity. Furthermore, each province maintains its own unique flavor and culture, and provides ample avenues of exploration for students interested in expanding their world knowledge.