Moving to Vienna
Expats moving to Vienna will get to enjoy one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally vibrant cities. Austria's capital combines majestic architecture with an abundance of tranquil green space, in a city that consistently ranks highly in the annual Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
Vienna is also home to the famous State Opera House, numerous art galleries, cafés on every corner, bike paths winding their way through quaint streets, and interesting neighbourhoods.
Even when the initial novelty of Vienna wears off and the reality of being away from home settles in, be assured that the transition for the expat is a piece of cake – sacher torte to be exact.
Vienna’s expats take care of themselves; partly because there are so many of them and partly because the Viennese are not known for their warm welcome. To put it lightly, the locals are a very reserved people. Expats living in Vienna may always feel, to some degree, like foreigners and feel some culture shock – even if they master German.
The Austrian culture is strong and insular. This is why there are so many social groups set up by expats – there really is a group for every interest including mothers, Australian-Austrians, book lovers, hikers, museums goers, writers and sports enthusiasts of every hue.
Finding suitable accommodation in Vienna is a battle that most expats have to face. Housing is generally quite expensive and getting to grips with the property market can be frustrating. For this reason, most expats hire an estate agent to assist them with finding a home.
The city is highly accessible and getting around Vienna is easy. Extensive train, tram and bus systems allow expats to traverse Vienna in minimal time. Transportation is on schedule and inexpensive compared to many other cities.
Expats moving to Vienna with children will be pleased to know that the standard of education throughout Austria is excellent and the capital boasts a number of good international schools which specialise in foreign curricula. The Austrian public school system is quite unique and most expats opt to send their children to a private or international school in Vienna.
Contrary to what one might think, language is not an insurmountable barrier. The Viennese speak English very well and seem to enjoy practicing their skills at any opportunity. That said, there are many opportunities to learn German, and expats who do make some effort to master the local language will certainly improve their career prospects.
Those thinking of moving to Vienna should arrange employment before arriving in Austria. Vienna is home to many international organisations such as the UN, OPEC and IAEA. Many of the banks have international departments that operate in English, and of course there are endless opportunities for native English speakers to teach English.