Choosing a program (and why Bregenz is a good choice)

So you’re looking to Study Abroad.  Good job, now muster the confidence to search for a program and commit.  The earlier you do, the more time you’ll have to save money.  I can give you some general advice about choosing a program but let’s face it, you’ll probably forget all of it or be swept away by some cool marketing campaign.  That’s alright, here’s a little bit about the program I chose and why YOU should choose it to.

The KIIS Study Abroad program is perhaps the cheapest and full-featured programs you’ll come across.  While their business class offerings are a bit scarce, there are definitely enough options to take care of your needs.  Luckily, their most feature-rich and well-established program in Bregenz, Austria, can help you grab some international study classes.

Let’s start off with the first thought to cross your mind: who wants to go to Austria?

I’m glad you asked.  As someone who studied Spanish, Spain was my top location choice.  That didn’t work out.  In fact, of the roughly thirty students in 2011 Bregenz program, nobody chose Austria first.  Aside from the Hapsburgs, Austria isn’t really known for much of anything (and contrary to popular belief, there are no kangaroos).

None of us walked away disappointed.  The Bregrenz program was the first KIIS program and the only one that runs every single year.  The director has her stuff together.  Here’s why it’s so great:

1.  It’s the only KIIS program and one of the few overall programs to allow extensive travel.

2.  Bregenz is close to Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, France, and Italy.

3.  The program has high upfront cost but is cheap once you get overseas.  Many students spent less than $1000 USD.

4.  Bregenz is westernized enough to feel comfortable but European enough challenge your habits.

5.   It’s a like a resort/retirement town.  Pretty people, pretty places, great shopping.

6.   Beer is cheaper than water, and its good beer at that.

7.   The sun shines from 4:30 AM – 10:00 PM.  Who needs sleep anyway?

The basic program setup is simple.  Monday through Thursday, you go to class.  Classes are two hours each and you can take 1-2 of them.  I know you’re going for the credits, but keep in mind you’ll want plenty of time to enjoy yourself.  Decide accordingly.

Once classes are over Thursday by 3:30, you’re free to travel.  Bregenz is the only program with a Eurail Pass included: this pass gives you unlimited travel throughout five countries (usually Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy).  Want to go to Rome?  Have at it.  Eiffel Tower?  It’s beautiful at night and “sparkles” on the hour.  Skiing on the Alps?  Insurance is included.  You have three days per week to get it all in, so plan early, keep up with homework, and have fun.

Some other programs actually discourage travel while overseas.  Ask a lot of questions and strongly consider Bregrenz.  It doesn’t sound as cool as Paris or Barcelona, but I guarantee you it’s safer, cleaner, and a hell of a lot more fun.


Only Bregenz allows you the opportunity to take cheesy photos overlooking the obscenely beautiful sunset at Lake Constance.

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