Frequently Asked Questions

What are the application steps?

  1. Apply for the program by downloading the application with the link on the left.
  2. Download all the other forms
  3. As soon as we receive all completed forms with your deposit your spot will be held.

When should I apply for a passport?

NOW! Don't wait! It can take anywhere from two days up to many weeks to get a passport. This is very urgent! Please check to see that your passport has not expired. Your passport must be valid for when you return into the United States. You will have to pay an extra fee to have it mailed to you in time for the trip if you apply late.

How do I get to Innsbruck if I am not on the Group Flight and transfer?

There are a few ways you can get to Innsbruck if you're not with the group. The easiest way is to fly directly into Innsbruck but may cost considerably more money. You can also arrange to take the group transfer. If you're planning on meeting the group at the Munich Airport, be aware that it's about 60 to 90 minutes away from downtown Munich. There's an additional group transfer cost. Please download the Airport Shuttle Form from our Forms/Downloads page. You can also take the train into Innsbruck, but if you have a lot of luggage, train travel can rough.

There's a shuttle service that will bring you from Munich to Innsbruck for about €42. You need to make a reservation with them first. Four Season Shuttle Service 011-43-512-58-41-57 (in Austria). There are other shuttle services but we recommend you use this one.

What do I pack for the trip?

A complete list is in the Student Newsletter. Do not bring too much! We know from experience that it's better to travel light. When in doubt, leave it out! If you plan on bringing back gifts for your family, you'll need room in your suitcase on the return trip. Remember, it's only a few weeks in Europe, so you don't need 10 pairs of shoes or six pairs of jeans. Note: You can run in to problems with Customs by bringing a lot of clothes, as they may think you're trying to sell them on the black market! No joke!

What is the mailing address in Innsbruck? top

Your Name
C/o The International Summer School
Studentenheim Panorama
Fürstenweg 174
A-6020 Innsbruck

Please do not mail anything to the dorm before June 10.

How much money do I bring?

We recommend about $400 to $500 a week depending on the exchange rate. This will cover evening meals and weekend travel expenses. This is only an estimate—you have to decided on how much you'll need!

One very important item of consideration when planning your trip is money. Carrying around a lot of cash is risky. The best method for money exchange is through ATM machines. These offer the best rate of exchange and can be accessed twenty-four hours a day. Apply for a debit card now. It is important that your debit card has the Cirrus or Pulse logo or combination of both on the reverse of the card. These are the international networks for ATM machines. If your card has Plus it may or may not work overseas. Please contact your back for more info on the Plus network. Traveler's Checks also are also an alternative, but not recommended anymore. If you use Traveler's Checks, record its number so you will easily be able to report exactly which checks are missing, if necessary. Keep part of your supply of checks in a separate location; if you have the misfortune of losing checks, at least you won't lose them all. Remember that most banks in Europe are closed on weekends, so plan ahead to avoid problems. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We advise you to contact your bank regarding withdrawals from overseas.

PLEASE NOTE: The American Express office in Innsbruck has been closed.

Are there triple rooms in the dorm? top

There are only single and double rooms in the dorms. The single rooms are designated for student ambassadors and students with disabilities, if they choose to have a single room. All other singles are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that there is a single room upgrade fee of $500.

How much do I tip? top

The truth is, this is a hard question to answer. Every village, town, city and country has different customs for tipping. How does the service industry in Europe work? For the most part, waiters and waitresses get paid a fixed wage, and everything else is bonus. Unlike the U.S., they do not rely on tips to earn money. Since this is the case, your server doesn't have to like you or be nice to you. You have a high chance while in Europe of seeing this for yourself. As for tipping, what you do is round up a little. Do not give 15 percent like you would at home. In some countries it can be insulting, as they don't want your charity. For example, if your meal cost €9.43, give the waiter €10. There are factors that change how much you tip: if you receive excellent service, if you're in a large group, etc. But remember that you don't have to tip like you do here, just round up a little.

Which Eurail pass should I get, if one at all? top

Depending of your travel needs, you'll want the right pass. For more help on this topic, visit our section on Eurail passes.

The most popular passes are the - Any 10 days in two months Flexipass and the one-month unlimited Eurailpass.

How do I set up my weekend accommodations? top

All students are responsible for arranging their own travel arrangements while in Innsbruck.

Are youth hostels a good option? top

Youth hostels can be both affordable and convenient. Once in Innsbruck, you can check the Internet for hostels. Another option you may want to consider is to get a cheap room with a few friends. There are many mom and pop hotels all around Europe - some you can bargain with for a lower price.

What is the weather like in Innsbruck? top

The weather in Innsbruck is great! But sometimes it can be strange as well. It can be sunny and hot one day and the total opposite the next day. Remember that you're in the Alps and that the weather can change drastically in a few short minutes. Innsbruck during the summer has a average temperature between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Every summer it's different. Be prepared for anything. Bring an umbrella or raincoat&emdash;you may need it.

Do I need dress clothes? top

Yes. You'll need dress clothes for the opening ceremony. Ladies will need a dress/skirt. Gentlemen will need a coat and tie. If you are 21, you may want to visit the casino in Innsbruck where you will also need dress clothes. If you plan to attend the opera, you'll also need dress attire.

Do I need to know German? top

No, but it's not a bad idea to learn a little before you go, as well as the other languages that are spoken, such as Italian, French, etc. You do not need to know much, just the basics (e.g., thank you, please, you're welcome, excuse me, etc.). Most, but not everyone, can speak English, but when in Rome do as the Romans do!

Is the water okay to drink?

Yes! The water in Innsbruck tastes great and is completely safe. Don't waste your money on bottled water. Most of the bottled water is sparkling (carbonated) spring water. If you want water with out gas, select the water which says, "Wasser, ohne" - this is water without gas.

Do I really have to wait at crosswalks? top

Yes. You can get a ticket for jay walking. Especially in Innsbruck, it is not wise to risk getting a ticket for jay walking. Most people wait for the sign to change. It appears that only tourists jay walk from what we've seen. Your goal is to fit in with the European setting as much as possible. The police station is a half block from the Rössl student dorm. Don't tempt the police to stop and give you a ticket. FYI - a jay walking ticket is about €20.

Do I need a laptop in Innsbruck? top

Yes! We highly recommend that you bring a laptop with you. We also recommend that you seek out travelers insurance to protect against possible theft or damage.

Do I need to bring my own bed sheets and bath towels? top

No. The dorms have weekly maid service. Towels are changed twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. Once a week students will have their bed sheets changed. We recommend that students bring face towels and a beach towel.

How safe is hiking in the Alps? top

It's very safe to go hiking in and around Innsbruck. It's wise to always go hiking with someone else - Never Hike Alone. The first Thursday in Innsbruck, there will be a hiking lecture for all those interested in hiking. The lecture is not long. What they have to say could be life-saving.

Is Innsbruck a safe city? top

Innsbruck is an extremely safe city. Innsbruck, with a population of about 120,000 has a very low crime rate. When in Europe make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Pickpockets are everywhere. Don't think you can outsmart a pickpocket, as they are extremely good at it.

What is expected academically? top

Students are responsible for attending class regularly, participating in class discussions, attending all required weekend field trips and attending all weekday afternoon field trips. We highly recommend that students read and prepare as much as possible for their courses in the upcoming summer so that they will have more free time for travel.