Vienna 2021 Travel Course

Lyle and Meg Barkhymer have made their ‘home away from home’ in Vienna for the last several winters. They are both retired from teaching in the music field. Lyle taught a Senior Year Experience in Vienna for 12 years, with Meg joining him a number of times. In 2019, they hosted 12 Lifelong Learning Community members on a similar travel learning course. We hope you will consider joining the Barkhymers in Vienna in 2021.

For trip information, please contact Lyle Barkhymer

When does the course meet?

December orientation meetings TBA Leave Columbus February 14, 2021 Return to Columbus February 28, 2021. Please note that the December orientation meetings are mandatory.

How will we travel?

Economy class on a scheduled airline round-trip from Columbus to Vienna.

May I extend the trip and return later my own?

Yes, it’s possible to extend the trip and travel in Europe independently before the course or after the course ends. You would buy your own ticket and receive a credit for the price of a ticket for the group going from Columbus. You would have to decide by October 1, 2020.

Where will we stay?

The group will live and study in the Benediktushaus, the guesthouse of a historic monastery, the Schottenstift, Abbey of the Scots, in the center of Vienna’s oldest, most interesting district in walking distance of many attractions. These monastery lodgings in double or single rooms are simple and plain, but clean, safe, and attractive. Though the rooms are small and Spartan, each room has a modern private bath and toilet. A cold buffet breakfast is included every morning.

For information about the monastery, go to (Note: this website is in German)

For information about the monastery’s guest house, go to

Where will we study? What will we do?

Most mornings we will meet as a class in the modern and comfortable seminar room of the Schottenstift (Abbey of the Scots). But, “the city is our classroom.” We will visit important sites and museums together, and you will have the opportunity to go to points of interest on your own. Evenings will offer some performances that we will see as a group and others that you can take in at your cost according to your interests.

Is the course accessible for those with physical challenges?

There will be a reasonable amount of moderate-paced walking. We will use public transportation and participants will manage their own luggage. There will be steps to negotiate in some locations.

This sounds more like a course than a holiday. What about that?

You got that right! There is a strong study focus to our travel-learning course. Yet, many afternoons and evenings will be available for relaxation, tourist pursuits, and socializing.

I didn’t study German. Will that be a problem?

All Austrians study English in school and younger people are good in English and anxious to practice with visitors. We will learn a little “survival” German together, greetings, menu terms, asking directions, and so on. Vienna, as a major tourist destination, is used to accommodating the needs of English speaking guests.

What if violence breaks out overseas? Will the trip still go?

The university takes safety extremely seriously. We would never go to an area that the State Department has warned U.S. citizens to stay away from. At this time, we are not aware of any circumstances that would cause the trip to be cancelled, and security in Austria is exemplary.

What will it cost?

$4195 per person in a double room with private bath and buffet breakfast.

What does fee cover?

  • 15 days of travel, 13 nights lodging
  • economy class airfare from/to Columbus
  • accommodation in 2-bed rooms with private bath and toilet. A limited number of single rooms may be available at extra cost of $250.
  • cold breakfast buffet daily
  • welcome dinner and farewell dinner
  • admission to museums and sights
  • local transportation in Vienna
  • rent of a classroom and equipment
  • cost of instructors, lecturers, guides, and guest presenters
  • admission to an opera or operetta performance
  • Otterbein University travel/medical insurance (not “trip cancellation” insurance)

What is not covered?

  • trip cancellation insurance
  • personal items such as souvenirs and toiletries
  • extra traveling you may wish to do on your own
  • most lunches and dinners are on your own (Budget estimate: $25-$40 per day)

You will need to plan to spend $400 to $500 depending on your budget, tastes and spending habits.

Could the course fee change?

The course fee might have to be increased if the exchange rate of the dollar to the euro goes above 1 euro = 1.1 dollars, or if there should be an unexpected increase in airfares. We have not had to make increases in the past.

When are payments due?

Non-refundable payments are due to the Otterbein University Business Office on the following dates:

September 1, 2020: $2100
December 1, 2020: $2095

Otterbein University
1 S. Grove St.,
Westerville OH 43081

Please, make your check payable to Otterbein University. On the memo line, write “LLC Vienna 2021.”

Do I need health insurance?

Otterbein University’s EIIA travel abroad accident and emergency illness insurance up to $100,000 is included in the course fee. This is not “trip cancellation” insurance.
You are probably aware that Medicare does not cover us outside the U.S. You may be interested to know that the standard of health care in Austria is high, and outcomes are actually above U.S. averages. Austrian citizens and permanent residents have universal health insurance, and costs of treatment are somewhat lower than in the U.S.

Do I need a passport and visa?

You must have a passport valid for 6 months after the trip. It must be valid until at least August 30, 2021. U S citizens do not need a visa for short-term visits to the European Union, including Austria. If you are not a U S citizen, please check with us about your visa situation.

What about cancellation and refunds?

Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the course fee. The university policy is the following :

The fee for LLC Vienna 2021 is subject to Otterbein University policies, as published in the most recent edition of the official university catalog. The course-related fee is non-refundable. However, if a participant withdraws from the course because of a documented medical emergency, the participant may be entitled to a refund of the course fee less any non-refundable funds paid to tour service providers and a cancellation fee of $200. In the event of the cancellation of the course by the University because of world events, the course fee will be refunded less any non-refundable funds paid to tour service providers.

Trip cancellation insurance can be bought from a travel agent or from web sites. The Austrian Consulate recommends Europäische Reiseversicherung (European Travel Insurance), in English at We have also used STA Travel at Other providers include AAA and TravelGuard.