Vienna, Austria Report of what it's like to live there - 04/05/19
Personal Experiences from Vienna, Austria
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
One child attending from Grade 5-12 (now a senior); and another child who attended Grade 11 and 12 (graduated in 2014).
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
Spouse relocated for work.
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
There are a handful of international schools from which to choose. The overall quality of the curriculum (including IB) was the main reason for choosing the school; the music program and the extracurriculars were a close second.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
The Welcome BBQ and Orientation included tours and the opportunity to meet both new and returning families. In addition, the PTF Newcomer's Meeting offered the opportunity to further connect with the school and its activities.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
We have never experienced difficulty when needing to contact teachers or administrators. Communication is facilitated through the weekly newsletter and on occasion all-school emails. In addition, the school hosts a Back-to-School evening to meet the teachers and get a sense of the syllabus; along with twice-yearly parent-teacher conferences.
2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
Yes. At the middle school and high school level there are costs for athletic wear (jackets and pants); athletic trips (the costs vary depending on the distance (plane versus train versus bus) but is always made known when a parent signs the athletic participation contract. Extracurricular trips (music events, MUN, Speech & Debate, and so on) also incur fees.
Academics & Resources:
1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?
The school offers a full range of counseling. There are dedicated college and IB curriculum counselors who are familiar with universities worldwide.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
There is no before care. There are after-school programs at the elementary and middle school levels; the fee varies based on the activity.
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
The elementary library maintains over 12.000 books; there is a secondary library as well. Both students and parents are permitted to borrow books.
4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Laptops are provided at the middle school and secondary levels. Technology is well-integrated into the curriculum.
5. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
There are two gyms, a soccer pitch, and a playground. Nearby is a sports facility that the students use for some athletic practices as well. The Vienna Woods in the backyard offer hiking and running trails that the students use, as well.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
At the HS level it depends on the course. Some IB courses have 20 students and some have as few as five.
7. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?
No AP. The IB and American Diploma are offered. Students are not required to pursue the full IB diploma.
8. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
We think so.
9. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Music, Choir, Theater, Dance, Art is all offered.
10. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
English fluency is required.
11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
A wide range. There is a club or activity or a sport for everyone.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
It has been our experience that all the students socially engage with one another. The school is too small for "cliques" or "groups."
1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?
We would assign an "A" to AIS Vienna. The school has served both of our children well, preparing them to lead in a global environment.