- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences prepares students to better grasp and harness the power of communication in the personal, professional and public spheres while also seeking to open students' minds to the complexities of human affairs. Offering students to fully immerse themselves in a different culture for a four week period and focus on a few specific aspects while abroad provides a unique chance to support this mission: Students get to work on academic, inter- and intra- personal, career and intercultural development outcomes.
The University of Vienna is the largest teaching and research institution in Austria, a safe and prosperous country located in the heart of Europe. The Department of Communication, founded after World War II, has a long tradition of making contributions to the social sciences. Some areas faculty and students focus on include the theory of media and democracy, rhetoric, political communication, journalism, media law, public relations, advertising and the study of new information systems.
Both courses will be taught at the Department of Communication's brand new facility.
Summer: This program will not run in summer 2021, but hopes are that program operation will resume in 2022. Contact the faculty leader or check back for information about future travel on this program.
Refer to the program website for additional details.
Program Leader Information
- Ines Meyer-Hoess, Associate Teaching Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State College of the Liberal Arts
All students will be enrolled in 6 credits. Students will be enrolled in CAS 271 International Communication for 3 credits and their choice of CAS 199 or 499 Intercultural Communication for 3 credits.
CAS 271 International Communication (3 credits)
In today’s globalized world where many of us are frequently in contact with people from different cultures, continents, and contexts, we cannot assume that our own cultural values and beliefs, behaviors and expectations are universal. We discuss definitions of culture and explore the various cultures we encounter in our daily lives to come to appreciate the complexity involved in intercultural exchanges, and to acknowledge the influence of context and power in our intercultural interactions. Our approach is interdisciplinary in perspective and global in outlook.
This course offers a plethora of formal and informal opportunities to engage in dialogue with Austrians from a variety of backgrounds. The goal to improve students’ intercultural competence: Attitudes such as curiosity and the willingness to step beyond one’s (cultural) comfort zones, skills such as observing, listening, and analyzing, plus, being adaptable and showing empathy are a requirement to successfully complete and fully benefit from this program. The objective is to provide students with an immersive experience abroad to enhance self-reflection, flexibility, and sensitivity in intercultural communication settings that can be applied to both personal and professional environments.
Note: The course CAS 271 Intercultural Communication fulfills the General Education IL (International Cultures) requirement at Penn State as it will increase student knowledge of different cultures and touches on U.S. international relations. This course also supports the College of Liberal Arts’ efforts to develop a curriculum that is infused with diversity and fosters intercultural competency.
CAS 199 OR 499 Foreign Studies: Communication in the European Union; Politics, Policies, and Practices (3 credits)
First, communication and media systems within and across the European Union are introduced. Then, students investigate how changes in media practices and governing structures – truly global phenomena – are intertwined with and provoke changes in discourse, rhetoric, and intercultural communication. In addition, students explore the reconstruction of communication within the European Union in various social spaces. Potential reactions/solutions to these phenomena are researched and discussed. Understanding the importance of media literacy and intercultural competence as practices based on knowledge, capability, communication skills, social and personal responsibility, provides a key vantage point for this inquiry. Field trips to media outlets and other places of interests enrich this complex and challenging learning experience.
Students are required to take the prescribed courses listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for these courses. To determine how these courses will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
- Research courses offered on your program
- Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
- Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the course you want from the cross-listed program options.
- You must enroll in 6 credits
- You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation
Students will reside in dormitory style lodging at Hotel Academia Hotels in Vienna, within walking distance of the University of Vienna's main campus and the host department.
Each student will reside in a single room with en suite bath and free cable internet access. Free wireless access is available in the lobby. Washers and dryers are available 'on site' for an additional cost.
Students will have access to a shared kitchen and are responsible for providing all their own meals.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule.
Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account
Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
After the Start of the Program
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.
Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.
Gender and LGBTQA Considerations
There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.
Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations
When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.
It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
Steps to Study Abroad
The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
How to Apply
Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!
Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.
You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.
Contact Education Abroad
If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.
Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.
Education Abroad Advisers
Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.
For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!