Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone 18 and older, including those who have already graduated, never attended college, or at another university. There is no language requirement and all majors are welcome. The Program is built to be interdisciplinary.

Yes, guest students are welcome. They just have to register as a guest student with NMU, which is an easy process. 

If you do not attend NMU, you will need an NMU email and ID, which are linked (you get both at the same time when you apply to NMU as a summer guest student). For your Program application before you have those, just provide your usual email and state that you will be enrolling as a guest student closer to summer. You can contact the NMU admissions office for more details; they have a live chat as well -

Phone 906-227-2650

Here is a link to get you started thinking about that process:

If you are enrolled at another university and need the 8 credits to transfer, this is not a problem, but it is a process. We can assist with that conversation with your home advisor (providing syllabi, accreditation verification, and the like). 

Yes, dual enrolled high schoolers are welcome but must be 18. 

Absolutely! You will be in good company with about half of the group also being absolute beginners. Also, the language of instruction for all cultural programming is English. 

Language is not a barrier - it is a bridge.

Early bird applications are due 31 October (203 Cohodas Hall or Early application gives you priority status over those who apply after that deadline. You can download the application here. Submitting the application does not commit you to going, but it gives us a clear sense of interest, assists us in planning, and increases your chances significantly of not being put on the waitlist.

You bet - why not make it your graduation present?  All you need to do is enroll as a post-baccalaureate student or stay enrolled with an August graduation date. Either way, you will be in Marquette to walk in May!

Of course - we do not leave until a week after commencement (so you will be at NMU for the ceremony), and all summer graduates are entitled to walk in May.

First, don't be nervous. You can do it - it is much safer than driving a car and almost impossible to get lost! 

Second, if you are petrified, travel with one of us (the leaders). We are happy to share our flight plans with every participant and even drive you to the airport with us - door to door service!

Getting to Vienna

Heck yeah! Book your ticket as it suits you. Stay as long as you like to travel on your own or with friends. About half of the participants do this every year. You are already there, so why not explore a bit now that you are a seasoned traveller?

Just be aware that after the final day of the Program, you are no longer covered by the Program and NMU. 

Naturally, but you may have to make your own living arrangements until the Program starts on the first Saturday. But let us know and we can assist you with possibly getting set up in our apartments early (though that depends on availability). One of the leaders is there by the Thursday before in any event.

Past participants were unanimous that they wanted to make flight arrangements on their own. You may have frequent flyer miles or other vouchers. You may have a relative who can get reduced or even free travel. You can definitely fly cheaper out of another city such as Chicago, Detroit, or Windsor rather than Marquette. You may want to stay longer after the Program has ended. 

If we organized the flights, we would leave on the same day, pay the same non-discounted rate, and fly out of and return to Marquette on the same day. That just does not make sense for your personal needs. And we would not be able to get any discounts (the Marquette airport is not cheap.)

You decide. As long as they are on the Program, you can share your room with whoever you want (usually two to a room, but some rooms are larger and can accommodate three). If you don't know anyone, we will set you up with a roommate (and you can get to know them during our orientation meetings). If it doesn't work out, let us know and we can switch. If you hate the idea of a roommate, let us know that, too. For a small surcharge, we can arrange a single room.

We have accommodated kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, allergies, lactose intolerance, and other needs. Sure, we eagerly encourage you to try new things, but we will not force feed you. There is always an alternative.

Based on universal feedback from past participants, we do not make everyone eat breakfast together. You know that you prefer to start the morning off at your own pace and with your own rituals and foods. We leave that to you - and we are pretty sure you are happier for it. But everything else we eat and drink together is covered (including those afternoon coffees and cakes as well as the gelato breaks)

You will be full time in the summer (8 credits) and may be eligible. By November, we will have a final budget for you to add to your FAFSA to count towards your annual financial needs (since this is a summer program, it is added to the next academic year).  All of the Program expenses can be included (tuition, Program fee, flights, passport) since all are required to be on the Program.

Yes, there are several dedicated scholarships just for study abroad experiences such as the Vienna Program (see "Scholarships").

Go to "Cost and Payments" and then to the pulldown option of "Deposit Slip and How to Make a Payment". There you will find a program payment deposit slip and timeline for payments. It will have the account code for Student Services and three detachable slips (for each of the three payments).  

Don't worry. We understand that you may have to wait for financial aid, scholarships, paychecks, parental help, or other sources that do not follow NMU's schedule. Pay what you can to keep your application current, even if it is only a small amount.  You will be in the system and we will work with you on payments.

The only exception is that you have to have your first deposit paid in full by 15 November; we require that to have a firm grasp of numbers so that we can begin logistical planning.

Cost, Payments, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

That is a hard one to answer. It depends on what you do in your free time. You can be either frugal or profligate. We can guarantee that you will always be well fed, hydrated, have a warm bed, and have all your expenses covered when engaged in Program-related activity. The Program is pretty close to "all-inclusive" with no hidden fees or surcharges for activities - if we do it as part of the Program, it is already paid for. 

But check out the section on "Costs" for some estimates on typical personal spending.

Yes, they speak an elegant High German (the German that you will learn in any school). But, like the rest of the German-speaking world, they also have regional accents and dialects, including one that is specific to Vienna. But you will be learning the universal dialect called "Hochdeutsch" (High German) also spoken in Germany and Switzerland. As a bonus, you will be picking up some of the local slang; having even a few words and phrases that are specifically Austrian (or outright Viennese) will open all sorts of doors.

Yes - our NMU professors have lived and worked in Germany and Austria on and off their entire adult lives. They are fluent, have degrees in German, and are extremely knowledgeable and comfortable in the German language and Central European culture. While the language of instruction is English (aside from your German class, of course), they take great delight in speaking German with you.

Our days are full, but we have lots of downtime. Every week there are free afternoons after morning language classes. Most days your evenings are free after dinner. On state holidays  there are no classes. And we include an optional free weekend when you can explore  on your own. In short, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own. We are also flexible, adjusting our pace and activities to our group needs.

Yes, there are free days built in for this purpose, and many participants use the free weekend to travel extensively, including abroad. We just need to know your plans and have your contact information. 


You will be with a group of exciting people who are like you - they want to take a risk and experience something new. Many are also just like you in that they do not know anyone on the Program. Look through the pictures on the website, though. Notice how everyone is happy, sharing meals and drinks, and willing to be physically close to each other. We build trust and lifelong friendships during this experience. And we will be paying close attention to make sure you are having the best experience possible. Travel is both scary and exhilarating - the perfect time to make new friends!

If we have enough early applications by 31 October, and enough financial commitments with a first down payment by 15 November, we will know then. 

Anything can happen, of course, and we will not put you in harm's way (think global pandemic or regional conflict), but the Program has been running for three decades, so it is a safe bet that we will be heading out in May again.

The Program is very popular, but we have to cap enrollment at 15-20 participants. If we have too many applicants, we have to perform the difficult task of ranking them. 

If you are waitlisted, it means that you are not among those guaranteed a spot this year. However, and this is important, you are ranked on that waitlist. Should anyone drop out for any reason, we immediately contact the next person in line on that list. This is a normal occurrence, and, while stressful, does mean that you still have a chance.

In addition, anyone who was waitlisted and could not go automatically moves to the top of the list for next year's Program.