For centuries, Vienna has been a city renowned for its contributions to arts, literature and science. Many of the world’s greatest minds lived in Vienna at some point of their lives. History buffs and “culture vultures” are in for a treat: Immortal pieces of classical music were composed here. There’s stunning architecture right around every corner, and the locations of countless historical events bear the traces of the past.
Despite its size, wealth and international appeal, Vienna, especially the city center, is generally a very safe place. Crime is usually limited to small offenses such as petty theft. Violent crime is not a bigger problem in Vienna than in any other European city of similar size. Compared to other metropolitan areas, living in Vienna may even be a lot safer.
Expats with children or prospective parents should familiarize themselves with the Austrian school system. Compulsory schooling begins at the age of six and lasts for nine years. If you begin your new life abroad in Austria’s capital before your child turns six, one year of Kindergarten is obligatory. Here, your offspring will easily and naturally come into contact with the German language.
Public schools are free of charge for everyone living in Vienna. Elementary schools, which include grades one through four, provide additional German courses and, for some languages, also classes in the child’s mother tongue. Starting from the secondary educational level, children and their parents have the choice between different types of school, according to the kid’s academic skills and interests.
The highest level of secondary education in Austria ends with the Matura, the equivalent to a high-school diploma. It enables students to attend higher education and go on to one of the local universities and academies. Vienna boasts an abundance of these, with over 15 such institutions. Never a place to rest on its laurels, the city takes many measures to keep academic life as alive and vibrant as ever for people studying and living in Vienna.
If you do not plan on staying in Vienna for long or simply do not want to enroll your child in a public school, there are multiple private international schools. Lessons are mostly taught in English. The United States Embassy offers a comprehensive list of private international schools, pre-schools and kindergartens to people living in Vienna and the rest of Austria. For a list of English-language international schools in Vienna, please see below. No matter what you decide on, though, rest assured that your children will receive a high-quality education in Vienna.
Further Resources: English-Language Schools in Vienna
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