Dates in Austria: 7 July – 5 August 2018
Dates of On-Campus Course: 21 May – 10 August 2018
+ airfare + 3 credits of VCU tuition
Jessica M. Lonnes, M.Ed.
1 March 2018
The School of World Studies and the Global Education Office at Virginia Commonwealth University as well as the Universität Wien Sprachenzentrum
(University of Vienna Language Center) are pleased to offer an intensive German language and Austrian cultural immersion opportunity in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. German language and culture courses will be offered in an intensive four-week program in the heart of one of Europe’s most enchanting and historic cities. Several day trips, cultural tours, and a variety of cultural exploration activities will be included.
Course and credit options
Students will register for the following required, on-campus course:
- WRLD 391 Discovering Vienna – Past & Present (3 credits), taught by Jessica Lonnes, M.Ed.
The Education Abroad office will automatically enroll students in the course following their final acceptance into the program.
All students will also enroll in one required German course through the Universität Wien Sprachenzentrum.
Course level depends upon the results of the on-site placement test. Students must successfully pass the German course with a cumulative final exam score of "C" or higher in order to receive 3 transfer credits for the Universität Wien Sprachenzentrum course as follows:
WRLD 391 Discovering Vienna – Past & Present
- Uni Wien A1.1 transfers as VCU GRMN 1xx (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien A1.2 transfers as VCU GRMN 101 (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien A2.1 transfers as VCU GRMN 102 (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien A2.2 transfers as VCU GRMN 201 (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien B1.1 transfers as VCU GRMN 202 (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien B1.2 transfers as VCU GRMN 305 (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien B2 transfers as VCU GRMN 3xx (3 transfer credits)
- Uni Wien C1+ transfers as VCU GRMN 4xx (3 transfer credits)
Instructor: Jessica Lonnes, M.Ed
This course will be taught as an on-campus course offered through the School of World Studies. The course will begin prior to the study abroad program departure date, continue during the month abroad, and culminate after the students return. Students will delve into Austrian and particularly Viennese history and culture to gain a more in-depth understanding of the host culture prior to departure. Students will be responsible for assigned readings, films and documentaries (available through Kanopy streaming), and discussions, and also conduct pre-departure research on modern Viennese culture. Students will present their findings to the group pre-departure. Students will be required to create an electronic journal (blog) where they will document, process and reflect upon the entirety of the study abroad experience, from pre-departure through each stage of immersion to reentry into Richmond life. The blog assignments during the month in Vienna will focus on each stage of the abroad experience (initial arrival, culture shock, more in-depth cultural comparisons, required cultural excursions and activities based on individual student interests and their pre-departure research topics, and preparing to reenter American culture). Course requirements will also include post-return in-depth reflective components and an individual exit interview with each student.
All program participants will be required to take WRLD 391 as an on-campus course. The course dates will be May 21 - August 10, 2018.
German Language Courses
All participants will enroll in one German course, depending on prior skill level. The German courses will be offered through the Universität Wien Sprachenzentrum
. Founded in 1365, the Universität Wien is the oldest university in the German-speaking world and one of the largest Central European universities. Students will be required to take a placement test the first Monday of the program, and will then be enrolled in the appropriate German level course. Students will spend 22 hours per week in class. Students will be required to attend class regularly, complete homework assignments, take a midterm exam, and also successfully pass the final exam.
See above for available levels and transfer credit equivalencies.
Students are recommended (but not required) to complete GRMN 101 prior to participating in the program, as a basic foundation in the language will enrich the experience immensely. Students should have a strong interest in intensive immersion in German-speaking society. Students should also be willing and able to participate in a variety of assigned cultural activities (a weekend day-long excursion, walking tours, museum visits, social events, etc.), be conscious and considerate in their interactions with other group members, and willing and able to travel independently by foot, bus, subway, and streetcar throughout Vienna. Strong time management skills are required to balance course assignments, language study and personal time. This program is mentally and physically demanding.
This program is open to non-VCU students. All applicants are required to complete an individual interview with the program director to be eligible for participation. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Accommodations and meals
Participants will be housed in a dormitory operated by the Austrian University System. The residence is located in the 7th district of Vienna, very close to the Westbahnhof (one of the main train stations), Mariahilferstrasse (a popular destination for shopping, movies, restaurants, etc.) as well as the city center. Students share a designated single-bedroom, suite-style dormitory close to campus, consisting of 2-4 single rooms with cable TV and internet access, a fully equipped kitchen, and bathroom. Bedsheets are provided; students must bring their own towels. If students wish to use the Internet, they must bring their own laptop with an RJ-45 cable. The residence also includes a party room, common rooms, a garage for bicycles, and laundry facilities.
Students will be responsible for all meals on their own.
The program is directed by Prof. Jessica Lonnes
, M.Ed. Frau Lonnes is the Director of Advising as well as a German faculty member in VCU’s School of World Studies. She created and has been directing this program since 2008. Having lived and worked in Vienna for six years, and spending a total of ten years abroad, Frau Lonnes brings to the program an extensive knowledge and passion for the city, Austrian culture and the surrounding countries of Central and Eastern Europe. As a dual German – American citizen, Frau Lonnes’ family roots are deeply embedded in the German-speaking world. She is committed to providing a unique and personalized summer study abroad experience to all participants.
A valid passport is required to leave the US. If a student does not already have a passport, they are advised to begin the application process as soon as they are accepted into the program. The processing time for new passport applicants can be as long as 8 weeks. For students who already have passports, they will need to verify that the passport’s validity dates extend 6 months past their return date. For more information about passports and the application/renewal process, please consult the State Department's website
Payment of fees
In order to complete the application, students are required to submit a $250 registration fee and deposit. This $250 registration fee and deposit is refundable in two cases: if the program is cancelled, or if a student is rejected by the faculty member based on their qualifications to participate in the program. Reasons for rejection could include, but are not limited to, GPA, lack of a pre-requisite, unacceptable or inappropriate statement of interest, etc. and are at the discretion of the faculty program director. However, if a student pays the fee and is not given final acceptance to the program based on failing to complete application requirements, as determined by the Education Abroad office or faculty director, the $250 is non-refundable.
Students will receive two separate charges to their student accounts for this program: one charge will reflect the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee) and the other charge is for VCU tuition costs (based on the number and type of credits being taken by the student). These bills will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May.
Please note: While these charges may post to the student’s account simultaneously or separately, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure the account balance is paid before the billing due date.
Withdrawal procedures and financial commitment policy
All withdrawals must be made formally in writing and submitted to the Director of Education Abroad. Otherwise, the program fee will not be refunded. After committing to the program, students deciding to withdraw will be held accountable for a portion of or the entire program fee based on the following schedule:
- Formal withdrawal submitted later than 30 days before the first day of the program abroad: 100% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 30-60 days before the first day of the program abroad: 75% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 60-90 days before the first day of the program abroad: 50% of the program fee will be charged
In the event an unexpected emergency occurs within 30 days before the first day of the program abroad, students must provide a physician’s certification that his/her condition prohibits participation. In this case, refunds will be limited to only those funds VCU is able to recover or that have not already been spent on behalf of the student.
See above for refund policy on $250 registration fee and deposit.
Students should schedule an appointment with their physician or at a travel clinic (such as VCU Student Health) at least 4 to 8 weeks before the program to inquire about recommended and/or required vaccines/immunizations. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all routine and travel immunizations are up-to-date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on recommended and required immunizations for travelers. To view the health risks and requirements for the country to which you will be traveling, please visit the CDC's website
Health Alert: Zika Virus
The CDC has issued a travel alert for countries where the Zika virus is prevalent. Check the CDC’s travel notices
regularly as new countries are being added to this list. Check VCU Student Health
to stay updated as well.
VCU Student Health offers in-depth pre-travel consultation with a health care provider as well as most of the vaccines recommended for safe travel. Prescriptions for recommended medicines are also available. Please visit their website
for full details.
Every effort is made to provide updated and accurate information at the time of publication. The sponsors reserve the right to make necessary changes to the programs and costs. The university reserves the right to revise or alter all fees, regulations pertaining to student fees, and fee collection procedures at any time.