Wake Forest University Semester Abroad in Vienna, Austria


The Flow House is a three-story villa located in the 19th district of Vienna. It houses sixteen students on the top floor, features a classroom, spacious kitchen, library, dining room, and living room on the middle floor, and a comfortable faculty apartment on the lower level.

Flow House Program Fall 2023 Flyer
Flow House Spring 2023 Flyer

Vienna, Austria: Vienna is a world cultural center that links past (History and Culture of the Habsburg Empire) and present (vibrant cultural and economic hub of Central Europe). The grand Ring Boulevard and ringed first district transport the visitor back in time to the grandeur of the 19th century and indeed all the way back to Roman times. The traditional coffee houses maintain the grand air of Imperial Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Vienna also boasts a vibrant contemporary culture and arts scene in addition to one of the world’s greatest offerings of high art, opera and classical museums. The Danube River and many parks and greenways provide ample access to recreational activities of all sorts. Austria also boasts an exceptional Alpine landscape easily accessible from Vienna by bus or train for those interested in hiking, skiing, or simply taking in the alpine grandeur. Finally, Vienna is a central hub of Europe making weekend travel to the North (Germany, Netherlands) South (Italy, Slovenia), East (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Croatia) and West (France, England) very accessible.

Academic Program: Each semester Students take two courses taught by the accompanying Wake Forest faculty director. These courses will be in the professor’s discipline and will typically carry divisional and major/minor credit. Students should check the Global Programs and Studies’ Flow House website for information on what professors and disciplines will be represented during which upcoming semester.

In addition, students will enroll in two of the following three courses taught in English by Vienna professors, all of which count for divisional credit (see course offerings below).

Finally, all students studying at Flow House will study German at their appropriate level. Prior German knowledge is preferred but not required. Students with no prior German will take the orientation and GER 110 course for beginners. GER 150 (intermediate) and 214 (literature) are also offered as necessary.

Travel: The academic week in Vienna is four days. Most of the three-day weekends are open for independent student travel. The first three weekends involve orientation and planned travel with the program to key locations in Austria such as Graz, Melk and the concentration camp Mauthausen. Typically, one international group trip is also planned. This trip may be to Trieste, Italy (formerly an Austrian province), Prague or Budapest and will be announced at the beginning of the program. Each semester will also provide a 10-day fall or spring break for independent travel.

Vienna instructors:

Günter Haika (German Literature and HMN 190, The Vienna Experience)

Martina Anghel (German language, elementary and intermediate)

Stefan Wedrac (History)

Ulrike Anton (Music)

Martin Schwarz (Economics)

Vienna Courses:

HST 120 Formation of Europe: Habsburg Empire and its Successor States (3h) (D or HST major/minor credit)
The development of Central and East-Central Europe as a multiethnic unity under the Habsburgs, 1526-1918, and its dissolution into successor states and subsequent interactions, 1918-1989.

MUS 219 Music in Vienna (3h) (D)
Study of music and musical institutions of Vienna and Central Europe

ECN 271 International Economics (3h) (D)
This course is offered contingent on minimum enrollment

HMN 190 Contemporary Viennese Experience (1.5h) (p/f)
Social, cultural, and environmental factors of life in contemporary Vienna.  Includes site visits, guest lectures, and interviews with Viennese

Flow House Director: Professor Rebecca Thomas, thomasrs@wfu.edu, Greene Hall 331.

Rebecca Thomas, Professor of German and Kenyon Faculty Fellow, is the Program Director for the Flow House. Professor Thomas has been at Wake Forest since 1993. She has taken numerous groups to Flow House since 2002 and served as its program director since 2019.  In addition to a long and deep relationship with the Vienna program, Professor Thomas has also served most summers since 1988 on the German language faculty of the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Thomas’s primary research focuses on modern Austrian literature and culture with a particular emphasis on living Austrian authors. Her secondary research concerns programming to facilitate student adaptation abroad in second-language contexts. Austria is Professor Thomas’s home away from home, and she is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge of all things Austrian (including coffee, food and hiking) with the Wake Forest community.


Applications may be made through the Center for International Studies (link below):


Financial Aid:

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid through the Center for International Studies. Students can also apply for the Sanders Scholarship, which can help defray some, but not all, of the costs incurred while studying at the Flow House.

The Flow House
Wake Forest University
Gustav Tschermak-Gasse 20
A-1190 Vienna, Austria