- Language Requirement: None
- Academic Standing: Sophomore or Above
- GPA Requirement: 2.5 or above
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*You may complete all pre-decision materials by the priority deadline to receive a $75 credit toward your summer program fee or a $100 credit toward your academic year program fee.
Inside the Program
The interview is intimate, immediate, and often an entrée toward the soul. Conducting interviews can be both great fun and an art form. The interview is a critical tool for journalists, and every human interaction constitutes a form of interview. This class is designed to improve and professionalize students’ interviewing skills, from the art of posing questions to the critical task of listening actively and creatively to answers.
Students in this course do not just learn interview. They learn how to cross national, cultural and linguistic barriers while securing sought after information via the interview. Hence, teaching the class in a German-language city in the heart of Middle Europe, where a wide variety of cultures and languages intersect, provides a rigorous venue for fieldwork. Students will find interview subjects in the multitude of NGOs headquartered in Vienna, in the United Nations organizations located in Vienna, in the refugee and immigrant communities of Vienna and amongst the host Austrians.
Students participate in this hands-on class. They help choose and secure their interview subjects. Their interviewing processes and the resulting stories they create are presented, analyzed, and critiqued in class. In addition to the primary text, excerpts of model interviews are studied as are the techniques used to secure them.
Students learn how to deal with translators in interviews. They learn how to interview through language barriers without formal translators. They learn how language barriers can work to the interviewer’s advantage (and how to avoid interview problems created by language barriers). They learn why words are not the only tool for interviews. Students complete a major Vienna-centric final assignment based on their fieldwork and are guided toward options for its publication.
Read what former and current AHA students have published during their time in Vienna:
- Jonathan Bach - Mozart in a Mug (via Wiener Zeitung)
- Jack Heffernan - Top nine things Google wants to tell you about Austria (via The Local: Austria's News in English)
- Carly Smith - A Turkish expat fasts for Ramadan (via The Local: Austria's News in English)
- Chloe Huckins - Putin, protests and the Alps: UO students report from abroad (via Around the O)
- Nick Schwarz and Adam Vaughan - Food for Thought (via FM4)
Credit Explanation / Academic Details
All courses offered are recognized and approved for academic credit by various AHA partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information, in particular, how many contact hours are required for internship credit.
Courses are taught by U.S. and Viennese faculty who are experienced with teaching U.S. students. Students will have varying levels of German language experience. Each course is specially designed to take advantage of the rich opportunities Vienna offers as a classroom, with additional excursions to Budapest, Hungary and Bratislava, Slovakia. Courses make use of a variety of materials and texts, all of which are provided as part of the program fee. All courses will be held three times a week during the same days of the week allowing the internships to fill the rest of the week.
Because of the AHA relationship with the Austrian journalism-training institute FJUM in Vienna, students enrolled in the course will have an opportunity to work and study alongside early- and mid-career Austrian journalists. Seminars to exchange experiences regarding journalism theories, best practices and challenges across the American and Austrian workplace are a unique offering of this program, as are internships with Vienna-based media companies.
The International Journalistic Interview in Vienna is taught in English. But one of the elements of the course is learning to transcend language barriers. To that end, students receive specific training in interview techniques that do not require a common language exist for interviewee and interviewer. In addition, you will have an opportunity to learn or strengthen your German during language classes.
Students will have the opportunity to experience a Viennese neighborhood, usually living with another student as a guest in a private apartment or house in Vienna. The homes vary from relatively small, centrally located apartments to larger, private homes in the suburbs, or foothills of the Vienna woods. Most of our homestays have previously hosted American students and have all been carefully selected. The strength and depth of your relationship will depend on the degree of your adaptability and interest and involvement with your hosts. Many students cherish their homestay experience as one of the most rewarding aspects of their Vienna experience.
You will receive breakfast daily from your host, and you will have access to the kitchen to prepare meals for lunch and dinner, when not visiting inexpensive cafes or restaurants in the neighborhood. You will have your own bed and desk, and typically share a bedroom with another student. All of the homestay accomodations have wireless internet access, and you will have your own mobile phone (Handy) as part of the program.
AHA Vienna works with its Austrian partners to secure vibrant internship opportunities for students at media outlets such as the English-language public radio station FM 4, the English-language newspaper The Vienna Review and Biber magazine, the iconoclastic periodical for and by immigrants to Austria.