Did you know that your delicious apple strudel came into culinary creation in Austria? Or that this was the home country of the reputable Sigmund Freud? Nestled beneath the monumental mountain range of the Alps, a population of about 8 million people call the beautiful landlocked country of Austria their home. It’s historical capital of Vienna holds a great wealth of history and culture as well as modern development in technology and its economy. Since becoming a member of the European Union in 1995, Austria has seen growth in their commercial relations that has resulted in their up and coming economic strength, along with their high GDP, human development index scores and high living standards.
With just under half of the entire country is covered in forests, and with the massive Alps mountain range, there is a great deal of the country that cannot be lived in. Originally a Germanic territory, German is still the official language of Austria, but there are local Austrian dialects spoken throughout the country, and their popular tourist reputation has led those working in the tourism industry to develop their English language skills. The country also has a very high number of foreign nationals ranging from origins of former Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, and Turkey.
Internships here will typically be hosted in the capital of Vienna, as this is where several companies and organizations have set up their headquarters, and is Austria’s central hub for economic, cultural and political affairs.
Internships In Austria
Austria has a lot to offer in the way of tourist attractions. The rich forests to hike through, the magnificent Alps to climb, ski and trek are all huge tourist draws as well as the cities of Graz, Salzburg and Linz. Although the winter season does bring the potential of closed roads and blizzards, but it also brings the much attended ski season in the Alps.
If you’re interested in interning during winter term, a great opportunity awaits at the top of the mountain! Head up to the Ski Academy in Salzburg and get certified as a ski instructor, and work on your German and French language skills, and build community among other ski enthusiasts. If you are interested in the tourism field, there are several resorts and hotels that might hold possibilities, but you are more likely to be able to find straight work opportunities rather than internships in these fields. If you are determined to work in the Austrian tourism industry, you might find that getting involved with a language learning program is a great way to make connections as well as improve your German language skills to be able to proficiently excel during your tourist related internship.
There are a great deal of language-related internships that will give you the upper-hand when it comes to your German language prowess, as well as integrating you into the Austrian culture. Vienna is where most of the programs will be held, as it is so central and there is always a museum to explore or cultural vent to partake in. Check out the language programs through the ActiLingua Academy or try the Travelmania program, which is more focused on work study placements that immerse you in German language, while simultaneously giving you experienced in your chosen field.
Global Organizations and Companies
One of the most recognizable organizations in the world, The United Nations, has a head quarters in Austria that offers internships in a variety of fields. These offices; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) all offer internships.
If you are still trying to find your intern-niche, iAgora and Prospects, might provide you with the internship you’re looking for. Internships in business, marketing, technology and the arts are all available at different intervals, so make sure to check your desired organizations web page or internship host websites for updates on possible openings! Summer internships are the most popular, so if you are looking to sign up for a summer internship, be sure to be ahead of the game as spots will be competitive.
Living in Austria
The climate here has four seasons, with winter’s average temperature being about 0° C and summer averaging out at about 20° C. A great deal of the food is influenced by Germany, such as Wiener schnitzel, but Austrians also boast amazing confectionary abilities and some say that Austrian pastries are top of the line! Another important cultural aspect of Austria is music. Classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven hail from Austria, and many of the opera houses still pay homage to these great musical maestros, sometimes even hosting period balls where attendees dress as though they are still in the 19th century.
As mentioned earlier, German is the official language in Austria, and it is advisable that even if you don’t have a fluent grasp of German, at least bring along a small phrase book to help you get by on a day to day basis.
Housing options through internships will vary depending on the organization you align yourself with- but options usually range between homestay with host families residence dormitories or flats that can be found in the city, but are usually a bit more expensive than the other two options.