High School in Austria
High school in Austria is a fantastic way to experience life overseas while growing academically.
Studying abroad in Austria gives students with an interest in music an up close look at the birthplace of some of the most talented composers. Even if you aren’t drawn to classical music, Austria is a geographical goldmine if you enjoy exploring the outdoors. Located in Central Europe, Austria is world famous for its ease of travel and inspiring mountain views. As a Greenheart Travel exchange student living in Austria, you will have the experience to live like a local. This is your chance to strap on your hiking boots and take the study abroad experience of a lifetime.
Watch Sarah’s video to learn more about her study abroad experience in Austria with Greenheart Travel!
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS
Its close proximity to lakes, forests and mountains enables Austria to offer a great variety of activities. Alpine skiing began with local competitions in the Austrian Arlberg area, where many well-known ski resorts are located. Most families go on short ski trips, or go skiing during the weekends in the mountains, so you can expect to join your host family at least once on a skiing weekend! Snowboarding, surfing, sailing, horseback riding, soccer, tennis and volleyball are also popular activities.
If you play an instrument, you will have the chance to join the town or school orchestra, where you can practice and play with more than 40 musicians. When you live in a town, or take a trip to a city, there are museums, theatres, musicals and more to enjoy!
Dates subject to change
Dates: August – June
Application Deadline: April 15
$500 Early Application Discount: Apply by Feb.2
Dates: August – November
Application Deadline: April 15
$300 Early Application Discount: Apply by Feb. 2
Dates: August – January
Application Deadline: April 15
$500 Early Application Discount: Apply by Feb.2
Dates: January – April
Application Deadline: Oct. 1
$300 Early Application Discount: Apply by June 24
Dates: January – June
Application Deadline: Oct. 1
$500 Early Application Discount: Apply by June 24
In researching a study abroad program, you have already shown you are a leader and open-minded in your academic pursuits. These are just a few of the traits that our exchange students possess. You’re motivated to immerse yourself in another culture and flexible enough to live outside your comfort zone. You should also:
- Be between 15 and 18 years of age
- Be from the United States or Canada
- Possess a high school cumulative GPA of at least 2.75/4.0
- Be in great mental* and physical health
- Have a genuine interest in becoming a part of your host family and community
- If no pre-knowledge of German, an intensive German course is compulsory, additional fee applies
- Be willing to learn the German language
Interested in gaining German fluency before you go? Check out our Teen Summer Language Camp in Berlin!
*What does it mean to be in good mental health?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of (High School Abroad/Teen summer Language Camp) candidates. Learn more in our FAQs section.
Academic Trimester: $10,710
Academic Semester: $12,870
Academic Year: $15,030
Prices subject to change
Program fee includes:
- Roundtrip international airfare from designated gateway airport to Vienna
- Host family accommodations and 3 meals per day
- Medical/Accident insurance
- Support and counseling services from in-country staff
- 24-hour emergency support
- Pre-departure Orientation and Preparation
Cultural Pre-departure Orientation (via Skype)
General Pre-departure Orientation (in-person or via Skype)
- Full Day Arrival Orientation *(Conducted by the Austrian Staff, 4 weeks after arrival)
- Personal assistance from a Greenheart Travel program manager
- Letter of Recommendation upon request and successful completion of the program
The best way to learn about a new culture and language is to be fully immersed in it and what better way to do that than to stay with a local family. All Greenheart Travel high school abroad participants live with a carefully screened, local host family and are provided with 2-3 meals per day. All our host families are volunteers and will treat you as a member of their family. By being a part of your family’s daily life, you will learn to live and speak like a local.
Most families try to eat breakfast and dinner together. During weeknights families usually stay at home to talk about things that happened that day, to play cards, to watch TV, etc. Weekends are dedicated to trips, family get-togethers, concerts, picnics, bike rides, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Your host family will probably be as nervous as you are when you first meet. You can help to alleviate nerves by e-mailing and speaking with them before arriving in Austria. Getting to know them will help break the ice when you finally meet in person. It will also show that you are as excited to live with them as they are to host you.
Do you need to meet a service learning requirement?
Does your high school require you to volunteer to complete graduation requirements? Are you applying to top colleges that are asking for your service learning experience? By joining the Greenheart Club during your program abroad, you’ll be able to have an unforgettable year studying abroad, while having a truly, unique cultural experience. Not to mention having a great time while making a difference in your host community! Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Join the Greenheart Club
The Greenheart Club challenges participants to pursue a deeper level of immersion through volunteerism, and acts as a resource to help you find volunteer opportunities while studying abroad.
Create your account at greenheartclub.org and get started! Check out the Greenheart Travel group once you have logged in to meet other members of the travel community making a difference while studying abroad!
Step 2: Log Your Hours
It only takes a minute to join, and once you create your account, you will be able to connect with a community from around the world to inspire you to start volunteering, or log service hours you have already earned. Every hour you volunteer for a service learning project can be logged in our database to help you keep track for your high school requirements and college applications. The more you volunteer the more rewards you are eligible to receive.
Need help getting started? No worries! Greenheart Club staff members are happy to help you identify volunteer opportunities during your study abroad program.
Step 3: Earn Rewards
Here’s what you can earn as a Greenheart Club member:
- Certificate listing the number of hours volunteered while abroad.
- 5 hours: A Greenheart Club Certificate and Letter of Recommendation
- 15 hours: A feature on the Greenheart Travel Website
- 30 hours: Eligible to apply for a $125 Grant to do a Greenheart project in your home country
- 75 hours: Eligible to apply for a $250 Grant to do a Greenheart project in your home country
Why Join the Club?
This is your chance to get to know your local community outside of the classroom while you study abroad. There’s no better way to learn a language and understand a culture than working with the community on a project that matters. Boost your college application while you travel for a change!
“While in Spain, I experienced many amazing things and I got the chance to volunteer through awesome organizations. My experience actually inspired me to major in international relations.” – Eleanor Brow, former Greenheart Travel High School Abroad participant in Spain.
Read more about fellow Greenheart Club members on our blog.
Do I need to be fluent in another language?
No. One of the main goals of studying abroad is to become fluent in another language while you live overseas. Your host family and school will not expect you to be fluent when you first arrive and will help you improve your language skills.
Will my language skills be good enough?
We require two years of foreign language study for Argentina, Spain, France and Japan.
The language requirement is waived for all other country destinations.
For English speaking countries (Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand), you are already set!
Can friends study abroad together?
No. Our programs are based on a full, cultural immersion experience so friends are not allowed to study abroad together. Don’t worry though; making friends in your new host country will happen quickly!
Do I need my parent’s permission to participate in the High School Study Abroad Program?
Yes. As most high school participants are minors, parental permission is required.
What are my chances of being accepted into the High School Study Abroad Program?
If you have two years of foreign language experience, at least a 2.75 GPA, and a true passion for discovering new cultures you will have an increased chance of being accepted.
What does it mean to be in good mental health?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of (High School Abroad/Teen summer Language Camp) candidates.
We cannot accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Debilitating anxiety
- Eating disorders
If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner(psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.
I’ve already graduated, am I still eligible?
We can accept graduated students on a case by case basis and only for certain countries. The student must be within the age requirements for the program.
How are host families selected?
Host families go through a thorough interview process and are carefully screened. They must complete an application, their references must be checked, and an in-home interview must be conducted by the partner organization. Many current host families have hosted numerous participants year after year.
I know a family in my program country that would like to host me. Is that possible?
This can be possible on a case by case basis. Chances improve if there is a school in the same community that is able to host foreign exchange students.
What kind of assistance will I receive while I’m abroad?
There is a strong network of people working together to ensure your time abroad is successful. This includes your program manager in the U.S., your natural parents, your local coordinator abroad in your program location, your host school, and your host family. Immediate assistance will be provided by your local coordinator and/or host family as they will be in the same region.
What about taking SAT’s while abroad?
If you choose to take your SAT’s abroad, you will be responsible for finding a testing site. It will be much more convenient to take the SAT’s prior or after your study abroad experience, which is what we recommend.
Can we speak to current participants?
Yes! Check out our blog or find us on Facebook to talk to current participants right now!
If there is a class I must take in order to graduate, can you guarantee that I will be able to take it abroad?
There are no guarantees that you can take certain classes at your host school. CCI/Greenheart Travel will be able to provide information about the general curriculum for your age level in your host country; however, in most cases you will not be able to sign up for specific courses until AFTER you have arrived in your host country. Please review classes, transfers, and credits abroad for more information.
Can I go home to visit my family or can my parents visit me?
No. Visits are not allowed during the high school program. If your family wishes to visit, they should plan to meet you after your program is completed. In this instance, CCI/Greenheart Travel’s National office and international partner office should be informed of your family’s plans.
Can we select a certain city or region in the country abroad?
We are unable to take your location preferences into account. Our priority is to identify a host family and community that are the best match for you.
Do you offer any scholarships, financial aid, or special discounts?
We offer special discounts for students whose families have hosted one of our CCI Greenheart exchange students.
How will my son/daughter get money abroad?
It is best for students to bring an ATM/debit or credit card. Most cards are accepted at ATM machines abroad and this is by far the easiest and most convenient way to access money.
When and where does the orientation take place?
You will receive one general pre-departure orientation from your local representative here in the U.S. Your program manager in the national office will conduct the cultural pre-departure orientation via Skype. Our partner office in your host country will organize an orientation for you abroad. Normally this is conducted within a month of your arrival to the host community.
Will I have a host sibling my age?
There is no guarantee that you will have a host sibling your age. Your host family may have young children, teenage children, or grown children who no longer live at home.
When is the application due?
Applications for the fall start are due by April 15 and there is an early bird discount for applications received by February 2. Applications for the spring start are due by September 15 and there is an early bird discount for applications received by July 2. We may be able to accommodate late applications on a case-by-case basis; contact us for details.
You should apply by April 15 for a September departure and October 1 for a January departure.
Complete the Online Application
There are 4 short steps in the application process which are outlined below. Please answer the application questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. This is the most important step in getting to know you and assessing your best host family match.
- Step 1: Select the APPLY NOW button to the left. Once complete, you will be connected to a High School Abroad program manager, who will send you a link to begin the application.
- Step 2: Provide general information about yourself. Once complete, you will receive a link in your email for the next part of your application (5 minutes)
- Step 3: Provide more detailed information about yourself, why you want to study abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. Once complete you will receive a link in your e-mail for the final part of your application (2 hours).
- Step 4: Submit your $1000 deposit and program documents. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee. Once the deposit, general profile, and signed polices are submitted we can begin preparing you for your adventure abroad. You will have 1-2 weeks to submit your remaining documents.
Review your Application
Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to schedule a time to speak about the next steps in the application and acceptance process.
You’re Accepted – now what?
Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive an acceptance packet via email within 4-6 weeks of submitting all application documents.
Attending School in Austria
Austrian youths study eight years at high school (Gymnasium). Austria has different kinds of schools e.g. sports orientated gymnasiums, music orientated schools, science orientated schools, economics orientated gymnasiums, tourism orientated gymnasiums, handicraft orientated schools, pedagogic and kindergarten orientated schools, and agricultural high schools.
The school year in Austria will begin for foreign students in mid-September.
In most cases you will go to school five days a week, except in some schools, where they have classes on Saturdays too. On the other hand, the school days are fairly short. Lessons start just before 8 o’clock in the morning and finish around an hour after lunch during weekdays and around 12 on Saturdays.
The compulsory subjects for Austria are German, English, Mathematics, Biology, History, Physics, Chemistry, Sports, and Music. The most common subjects (basic subjects) are English, German, Mathematics, History, Biology, Sports, Music, Physics, Geography, French and Latin. You can substitute one or two of them. This means, that instead of Latin or French, you can take part in a lower grade in German, where they teach more grammar. All classes are taught in German.
In Austria there are no school uniforms. There are mostly public schools, but some schools are private schools with a school fee.
In schools you can join many sport activities, and for students with an interest in music, different musical activities are also offered. Every school arranges trips, either for sport or cultural activities. The trips are a lot of fun to take part in, but not included in the program fee.
Transportation to School
There is also a fare to pay if you go to school by bus or train. Some students can walk or ride a bike to school.