Austria, with its scenic grandeur and warm hospitality, has welcomed the Binghamton University study abroad program in German and Austrian Studies for over thirty years; as of Fall 2010 students can participate in a beginner's level European Studies with Coursework in English track as well. The historic city of Graz, a crossroad between Eastern and Western Europe, provides an interesting and friendly environment for these programs.
Graz, Austria's second largest city (population 290,000), is situated in the Southeast in the alpine foothills of the province of Styria. Originally founded as a medieval fortification, the city later became home to the Hapsburg emperor Frederick III. Over the centuries the influence of both Italian and German architecture has contributed a unique flavor to Graz's palaces, towers and the intricate, narrow streets of the old city. Today the city is a gateway for commercial relations with Southeastern Europe and the Balkan countries.
Graz is lively and Austrians enjoy a rich tradition of music and theater. There are many parks and cafes in which to linger. In autumn the annual Steirischer Herbst, an international avant-garde arts festival, takes center stage.
The province of Styria is endowed with a richly varied landscape from rugged alpine mountains in the north to the gentle hill country full of castles and thermal baths in the east. Recreational possibilities abound: skiing, mountaineering, hiking, swimming, hang-gliding and spelunking.
Graz is an hour's drive from Hungary and several hours from Trieste, Venice and the Adriatic Sea. Vienna and Salzburg are easily accessible for week-end excursions.
Last Updated: 4/9/10