Study Abroad in Salzburg, Austria

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Study Abroad in Salzburg: Social Identity & Access

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the experience knowing that your time abroad will be different than on your home campus. The resources, community and support available to you abroad will likely be different than your home campus as well. Your Resident Director will provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.

When abroad, let your Resident Director know if you are experiencing challenges. Being able to speak to someone about your experience can often be helpful. They can provide tips and resources for navigating this new environment. Please notify AIFS staff immediately of any incidents that make you uncomfortable or if you should happen to feel unsafe at all.

Our student resources website features additional information and accommodation forms for you to communicate any specific support you need during your time abroad. We encourage you to download and complete the appropriate form(s) from the site and return them to the Admissions Officer for your AIFS study abroad program. Letting us know before you arrive abroad will allow us to better assist you throughout your study abroad experience.

If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program.

In Salzburg and Austria all public places must be easily accessible for people with physical disabilities by law, so you should find it easy getting around the city. The classrooms and the AIFS office are wheelchair accessible as are most bars, restaurants and shopping malls throughout the city and Austria. However, visiting some tourist sites could be problematic, because of the local terrain or historical buildings that cannot comply with accessibility regulations.

Non-traditional age students are known as mature students in Austria. They account for a small percentage of the student body. Salzburg offers many opportunities to engage with other students or locals and you will be able to meet some like-minded people here. A wide range of cultural events and offers, museums, theaters, sports facilities and many more activities will be available during the program. Student discounts are typically only offered to those 26 and younger.

Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country will be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter while studying and the day-to-day aspects of Austrian life which might be unfamiliar.

Attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community in Salzburg is rather liberal. While the younger generation is accepting, the elder generation might express reservations about these issues. Since the end of 2018 same sex marriage is legal by law. The HOSI society in Salzburg offers space for information, meetings, and counselling for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Austria recognizes a third gender in official documents. The German language is quite restrictive and there is no commonly used pronoun for non-binary people yet, but Austria cites recommendations as "divers", "inter", "offen".

Although AIFS in Salzburg does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Students who have any kind of neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns are strongly encouraged to make the Resident Director aware of your situation, so they can better support you throughout your experience abroad, including providing access to professional help while in Salzburg. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, and this service is included in the program fees.

The population in Salzburg/Austria is predominantly white. Salzburg is a city used to different cultural and ethnic identities as there are lot of tourists visiting from all over the world. However, People of Color are minoritized in Salzburg and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff or with the police.

Austria is a Roman Catholic country. However, the numbers of people practicing other faiths has risen in recent times. All major religions are recognized by the government. There are places of worship for other faiths such as e.g. Muslim and Jewish, and a small Buddhist community.

For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Salzburg to experience local culture inexpensively. Students can join the University Library for free. Many of the city's attractions offer reduced prices for students (with student ID and age under 26 years); it is also possible to receive reduced prices for cinema and theater. Your Resident Director will provide you information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program.

Service in the military is well respected, every year on October 26 the military offers a public show in Vienna. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. Please let your Resident Director know if you have any concerns or need anything while abroad.

Salzburg offers a lot of possibilities to be active and practice different kind of sports. Walking and running can be practiced all over the city and students may use the local university gym for a minimal fee. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives to the meat-heavy Austrian diet are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists.

The Austrian concept of "equal treatment" differs substantially from the United States idea of "equal rights." Austrian legislation not only aims at establishing equality in realms where there is discrimination against women, but it also attempts to provide women with additional benefits related to the inequities inherent in the gender-specific division of labor. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Austrian society.

It is recommended that students follow "common sense" safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. In general Salzburg is a quite safe place to live.

Download Study Abroad Resources!

Download Study Abroad Resources!