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Semmering, Austria (Short-term Culinary Program)

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In partnership with Tourismus Schulen Semmering Culinary Institute in Austria, ECC invites applications for an immersion program into Austrian culinary arts, hospitality, and culture to occur spring semester 2015.

Program Overview

Participants in this programs will engage in hands-on learning and attend workshops related to Austrian culinary, hospitality, and culture. This is an academic study abroad program, and selection is competitive. Prior knowledge of German is not required to participate in this program. ECC culinary and hospitality students will experience cultural immersion through participation in excursions in the local community that focus on hospitality and culture. The program is open to ECC culinary and hospitality students who have a strong interest in immersing themselves in another culture and have a commitment to the hospitality industry.

About Semmering and Austria:

A small, mountain town, Semmering is home to the the Zauberberg Ski Resort which has played host to The Alpine Skiing World Cup several times and is a popular spot in Europe to enjoy skiing. Cross-country skiing, tobogganing, horse sleigh rides, Nordic walking, mountain biking and hiking can also be enjoyed in Semmering. Austria is a mountainous country, and different weather and climatic conditions occur over short distances. However, Semmering’s sheltered valleys usually create warmer and sunnier summers than in the North, and the prolonged sunshine brings a touch of the Mediterranean to the area. There are rarely heavy thunderstorms or unsettled weather and spring arrives earlier in the region; however, winters can be cold and severe.

Program dates

  • 7-14 days in February or March 2015. Dates to be announced.

Program Application Deadline

To be determined. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at or by visiting building B, room B105 for more information.

Admission Requirement

This program is open to serious students who have a strong interest in immersing themselves in Austrian culture and history and have a commitment to the hospitality industry. Students need no previous study of German to apply for the program. All students are required to register for credit and participate in all classroom and program activities.

Applicants must be a current ECC culinary or hospitality student in good standing and meet the following minimum admission requirement:

  • 3.0 cumulative college GPA, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA from the last six semesters of coursework at ECC
  • Completion of a minimum of 12 college semester hours at ECC
  • Minimum of 10 event stamps in the ECC culinary Program Events Passport. Event stamps may be from Hospitality Club, Visiting Chef Dinners, Jazz Club, special luncheons or any other special events organized by the Culinary Arts Center.
  • Completion of CUL 203 if a culinary arts major OR PAS 180 and PAS 202 if a baking/pastry arts major OR HOS 220 if a restaurant management major

Applicants must have no outstanding financial obligations to ECC and no disciplinary record on file with the Office of the Dean of Student Services and Development. Applicants can contact the Center for International Education and Programs to determine eligibility; admission into the program may require an interview. Admission is made on a space available basis.

Academic Program

The purpose of this program is to immerse participants within Austrian culinary and hospitality industry. This is an academic study abroad program, and students are required to demonstrate a professional and positive attitude at all times. This program is designed for intensive immersion into culinary and hospitality practices in a foreign culture. This is a non-credit bearing program; participants engage in cross-cultural sharing and understanding but do not earn credit for a specific ECC course. All participants will engage in Austrian culinary and hospitality courses, practicums and workshops. Participants will be exposed to the local culture through excursions to sites of interest, such as local wineries and restaurants.

A complete listing of available courses is available from the Center for International Education and Programs (B105) or by emailing

Lodging and Meals

Students will stay in the quaint eleven room Hotel Gasthof-Pension-Cafe Edelweiss. The hotel offers all the amenities expected from an Austrian family-run business and includes a complimentary breakfast buffet. Meals are provided on the various group excursions. Students who choose to eat out are responsible for the cost of their own meal.


A mandatory pre-departure orientation is required of all applicants. Further details will be given upon acceptance into the program.

Program Fees

The program fee is $582, subject to change. Fees cover:

  • International airfare
  • In-country transportation and airport transfers
  • Lodging and three meals daily for the duration of the program
  • Instructional costs
  • Basic medical insurance provided by iNext
  • Faculty leader on-site
  • Orientation materials
  • Cultural excursions and visits to sites of historical significance

Fees do not cover:

  • Passport/Visa
  • Personal expenses
  • Trip interruption/travel insurance
  • Transportation to/from O'Hare International Airport

Upon acceptance, submit one (1) cashier’s check or money order payable to Elgin Community College in the amount of $582.00 to the Culinary Arts Center to the attention of Chef Jill Russell. This payment serves as your deposit for the international airfare and iNext insurance. The remaining costs for the international airfare will be paid through fundraising efforts organized by the Culinary Arts Center.

Applying to the Program

To apply for the Semmering, Austria program, please complete the following forms:

  • Semmering, Austria Study Abroad Application (see Center for International Education and Programs in B105 for application)

Submit it to the Center for International Education and Programs in building B, room B105.


For more information, please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at or stop by B105.

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