Austria Program Overview

Deepen your undergraduate studies and your Catholic faith when you study abroad in Austria through Franciscan University of Steubenville. Travel from the main campus in Ohio and spend a semester in Gaming, Austria, with about 200 students from Franciscan and other private and public universities.

A journey of the heart and mind

Through the Franciscan study abroad program you’ll have a life-changing experience learning about history, culture, the world — and yourself. You’ll live and learn in the Kartause, a restored 14th century Carthusian monastery in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. You’ll take rigorous academic courses, taught in English by Franciscan University professors, and travel throughout Europe where the leading lights of Christendom and Western Civilization once walked.

Academics in Austria
Catholic international studies

Your Catholic-focused academic courses during your time with the Franciscan study abroad program are no less rigorous than those on main campus in Ohio. You’ll take courses four days a week studying literature, psychology, history, philosophy, theology, art history, foreign languages, and other disciplines. You will learn from Franciscan University professors in classes taught in English.

Every major program offered at Franciscan allows for time spent in Austria, but you need to prepare well in advance with your advisor so your academic needs are met while studying in Austria.

Then you will have opportunities to explore Europe over extended weekends and two ten-day breaks, making memories for life.

Students with Disabilities

Franciscan University encourages all students to study in Austria. Our Austrian Office and our Center for Success work to make this unique study abroad opportunity available to all. Students requesting accommodations are encouraged to contact the Center for Success as soon as they begin planning their semester abroad. The key to a successful adventure in Austria is advanced planning. Learn More at The Center for Success »

Classes offered in Austria

For the official list be sure to consult your advisor and the Austria Study Abroad page on The Port, but in general here are the courses offered in Gaming each semester:

Student Life in Austria
Strengthen your Catholic faith, grow your knowledge, expand your horizons:

Attend Mass daily with other students in the Kartause chapel, then share a meal together. Participate in nightly events — from Philosophy on Tap to praise and worship to men’s and women’s ministries. You’ll also have daily opportunities for adoration and confession.

Student Life Highlights

  • All activities stop midday for two hours so everyone can attend Mass together in the Kartause chapel. Mass is followed by lunch, also all together.
  • Events are held each night of the week to foster community. Everything from Philosophy on Tap to Praise and Worship to Men’s and Women’s ministries.
  • Ministry for Families lets you help in the day-to-day family life of the faculty and staff in Gaming.
  • Various local activities—hiking, wine tasting, creek jumping, and more—readily available without having to travel anywhere!
  • You will have daily opportunities for Adoration and Confession.
  • Live-in residence directors and residence assistants will aid in any way they can, big or small.


Upon arriving in Gaming, you will find out your rooming assignments, get your keys, sign your Meldezettel Form (town registration), etc. We will then have our opening Mass in the Kartause chapel with dinner and a social to follow. Orientation week is very busy with meetings, tours, trips to nearby landmarks, and chances to get to know your Gaming classmates!

Health and Medical in Austria

We have it all covered while students are in Austria, from prescriptions to medical services to emergencies. More on medical facilities in Austria »

Your Home: The Kartause
One of the best places to study abroad in Europe:

Your residence and home base is the Kartause, a renovated 14th-century Carthusian monastery. Located in central Austria, this historical landmark is ideally located for explorations throughout Europe. With the Eurail Pass, you can ski the Swiss Alps, see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and take a gondola ride in Venice.

The Story of the Kartause

In the year 1330, Duke Albrecht II of the Habsburg family ordered the construction of a monastery situated in the middle of the steep, rocky, and richly wooded Otscher region of Austria. It was dedicated as “Mariathron” or Mary’s Throne. The Kartause serves as the ducal burial place for Duke Albrecht and his family.

The founding of the monastery necessitated the establishing of economic and social infrastructures for its support in the area of Gaming. The roads leading through the area became routes of great importance to the salt trade as well as the iron processing industry in this region.

The style of the former ducal residence of Gaming resembles a castle, characteristic of the style of the medieval imperial castles. The construction of the spacious complex was completed with the dedications of the chapter house in 1340 and the monastery church in 1342. It was the largest Carthusian monastery of the order’s German-speaking province. It remains the largest existing Carthusian monastery of the 15th century.

The Carthusian monks occupied the Kartause until the late 18th century. The monastery fell into disrepair until 1983, when Austrian architect Walter Hildebrand undertook a complete renovation. In the Fall of 1991, Franciscan University opened its doors for the first time to its Austrian Campus when 89 Students pioneered the first semester in Gaming. Renovations have continued throughout the years. The program celebrated its 30th Anniversary during the Fall 2021 semester.

Travel Opportunities
Activities near and far:

Most weekends you’ll have three days to travel. You’ll also have two 10-day breaks. Trips covered in the cost of the Austrian Program include a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi during one of the 10-day breaks, plus weekend trips to Salzburg, Vienna, and Melk Abbey. Nearer to the Kartause in Gaming, Austria, you can experience hiking, wine tasting, and creek jumping while you create lifelong memories.

Three types of excursions

Major University-Sponsored

These trips are official University events that usually require significant planning and preparation on the part of University staff, and generally take place each semester. These trips are advertised and promoted by the University through various channels, and are usually placed on the official semester calendar. University staff or representatives accompany students on these trips. Unless otherwise noted, these trips are partially or fully subsidized financially by the University. These trips involve transportation, lodging, meals, and/or other services that are arranged or coordinated by University staff. All University-sponsored excursions traveling outside of Austria are considered “major” with respect to this policy.

  • Mariazell
  • Melk
  • Salzburg
  • Vienna
  • Rome/Assisi
  • Poland (Note: Student Subsidized)

Minor University-Sponsored

These trips are official University excursions that generally require less advanced planning and preparation than major trips. University staff or representatives accompany these trips. The University will provide transportation, lodging, meals, and/or other services that are arranged or coordinated by University staff. Students can decide to go on these trips when they are in Gaming, but are not required to go. These excursions are student subsidized and are subject to change based on interest and faculty/staff availability.

Past destinations have included:

  • Prague
  • Pollone
  • Venice/Padua
  • Ski Trips
  • Budapest
  • Bavaria

Non-University Excursions

These trips are not promoted by the University. The director of the Austrian Program may restrict or prohibit advertisement of non-University sponsored excursions on the Austrian campus. The University does not recommend or endorse excursions to non-European countries, to countries or locations for which the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning, or to pilgrimage sites that have not been officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church. These trips are not subsidized financially by the University. University staff or representatives generally do not, but occasionally may, accompany these trips or make arrangements for transportation, lodging, meals, and/or other services. These trips are not approved by any University official, and University staff are not acting as agents of the University on these trips. Examples of non-University sponsored excursions include most student-organized trips and informal, family/private trips involving staff/faculty accompanied by one or more students.

Tuition, Costs, and Fees

Since the Kartause is Franciscan University’s campus in Austria, tuition, room, and board for the Austrian Program are the same as main campus in Steubenville. The additional costs associated with the Austria Program include:

  • International health insurance: ~$200 (more information below)
  • Austria fee: $1,000
  • Student Visa fee: $300
  • Travel to and from Austria (on your own)
  • Travel costs in Europe
    • Eurail Pass (varies)
    • Spending money ($3,000 – $5,000 recommended)

International Health Insurance

The Schengen Student Visa requires all students to have International Health Insurance. Franciscan University purchases the needed coverage from Cultural Insurance Services International and then bills you the ~$200 cost, which covers the entire semester abroad. It includes the following coverages:

  • No deductibles, no co-pays
  • Guaranteed direct payment to doctors and hospitals in Europe
  • Urgent and emergency care including repatriation
  • $100,000 insurance per accident or sickness with no lifetime maximum
  • Full coverage for all cases regarding a pandemic
Austria Summer Experience

If you are longing for the life-changing experience that the Austrian Program provides but are unable to join us for a full semester, then check out Franciscan University’s Austrian Summer Program!

The Austrian Summer Program offers an academic mini-session between 3 to 6 weeks with the opportunity for school-sponsored excursions and independent travel on the weekends. Although the summer program is shorter than our traditional program experience, we strive to maintain the key components that make the Austrian Program a holistic, transformative, one-in-a-lifetime experience!

The Austrian Experience

The Austria Program
Are You Ready?

The Austria Program – Academics

Come to Austria! – Visiting Students

Austria – Faith and Mission

The Austria Professors Speak

Dr. Javier Carreño on distance from your culture

Prof. Jennifer Healy on experiencing beauty in Austria

Prof. Jennifer Healy on experiencing and learning about art

Prof. Jennifer Healy on seeing original works of art

Dr. Javier Carreño on the overlap of classes and experiences of traveling

Student Voices
A girl stands in a field in Austria

Summer at the Kartause

For most Franciscan University students, time at the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu is a beautiful but all too brief season in their walk through life. As alumni they may journey…

Read more
Visit Your Student in Austria

There are two main options to visit your student while he or she is studying with our Austrian Program:

Parents Week: The Austrian Experience

Let us handle all of the planning and logistics! Every semester our Pilgrimages Office coordinates a trip to Austria which spends four days based at the Kartause in Gaming, and then travels to Salzburg and Vienna for the weekend before returning to the United States. This trip includes many events at the Kartause, including a formal dinner with faculty, a student talent show, day trips, and an opportunity to see how our students live while in Austria. Find out more from the Pilgrimages Office.

Visit Most Any Time

Family and friends are welcome to visit the Kartause completely on their own most any time during the semester, just not during the week of the Austrian Experience. Be sure to communicate with your student and with the staff at the Kartause to be sure your visit won’t be during any other major event, and be sure any travel plans won’t interfere with the mandatory attendance policies for students.

Future FUS Student

Begin your journey by becoming a student at Franciscan University.

Current FUS Student

Sign up now and start your Austrian adventure today.

Find out your next steps

Non-FUS Student

At another school? Fill out our transient student inquiry form and join us for an unforgettable semester abroad.

Information for Parents

Find everything you need to know about your child’s adventure in Austria here.