What guides and distinguishes us

Our philosophy

Our guiding principle is that study abroad entails setting important goals, both personal and academic, and working toward results that make a difference to a student's future. 

This inevitably requires resolve, persistence and endeavor, hence our name Achievement Study Abroad

We are here to provide meaningful study abroad experiences and guidance throughout each student's journey.  


Helping students develop their own capabilities and possibilities is at the core of what we do. We  get to know each student personally and provide individualized guidance throughout the entire study abroad experience.

Whether they are looking for a great place to run or a church that matches their needs and expectations, we go the extra mile to optimize what a student achieves while on our program. 

Genuss ist ein Muss

Genuss is part of the program because healthy food is the foundation for healthy living. Students join us in Marburg for student get-togethers once or twice a month and discover a multitude of healthy culinary pleasures cooked up by Giulietta. This component is also kind of like having a home away from home.

Because our body is our temple, we encourage a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of where you are studying with Achievement, we are always available for cooking tips and nutritional advice. Not into cooking (yet)? Study abroad is the perfect time to famialiarize yourself with healthy recipes. Self-catering saves money and is also an excellent means for socializing in any of our student living arrangements.


Travel can be fun and educational, and with added reflection it helps students to piece their overall impressions of Europe together. Achievement students have Europe at their fingertips.   
As part of orientation after leaving Vienna*, we normally organize and lead group travel to 

  • Salzburg - for sightseeing and an unforgettable hike in the Alps.  (No worries - we don't climb, just wandern.)
    We then move on by train to...

  • Frankfurt am Main - for a day with a paid ticket to all the city's main museums and an evening in the opera.

    Then it's on to Marburg for orientation, red tape-cutting and academic advising.  

    Once that's done, the semester gets underway, students are meeting people, getting familiar with their Hessian home away from home, and things are falling into place.  

    Later in the semester, usually over a holiday weekend, we head on to...

  • Berlin - for a trip to Germany's multicultural, relentlessly hip capital city.  Museum passes and an unforgettable theater evening are included.  

* Marburg Stand-Alone students join us in Frankfurt am Main and are fully integrated in the semester group, meaning that they also participate in the Frankfurt and Berlin excursions.

Train fare, accommodations, a guided tour in each city, public transportation passes for each city, and the group activities listed above are covered through the program fee.

Achievement provides students a free public transportation pass for the state of Hesse that includes travel to/from and within places like Kassel, Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden and Darmstadt. Students also have plenty of time and opportunity for personal travel.

What sets Achievement Study Abroad apart?

  • While there are many options out there to study abroad, Achievement Study Abroad cuts no corners and guides students through the entire study abroad experience, from start to finish (and beyond!). We have built-in programming that keeps students from getting lost in the shuffle, so instead of feeling overwhelmed and alienated, students feel like part of a family.

  • We eliminate the guesswork and anxiety of setting out on one's own. We have been working with US students for the past 20+ years in Marburg and Vienna, so we know how to get our students squared away so that they can focus on their academic and cultural experience. 

  • Once students are here, we guide them through everything from settling into housing (of course we handle that arrangement, too) to figuring out how to choose and register for classes. Students don't have to worry about finding housing, applying for a residence permit on their own, or figuring out the German university system, which is vastly different from the US system.

  • Achievement provides invaluable exposure to two German-speaking countries (Germany and Austria) through our program options, and students can also opt for only Vienna or only Marburg. While that may seem random, the flexibility opens doors for more students: our combined program students basically have two study abroad experiences in one, and we can also serve those students who can only study abroad for a shorter period of time (Vienna summer, Vienna stand-alone, Marburg stand-alone).

  • We are the only US study abroad provider on site in Marburg, which means that we are both figuratively and literally here for our students.

  • Achievement is directed by Kris Riggs, an American with more than 20 years of experience in international education. He holds a master of arts degree in German and studied two years in Germany and Austria, so he is familiar with what students go through in those first days of culture shock and has a thorough understanding of the American, German and Austrian educational systems.

  • We pack in some pretty cool excursions and activities along the way that help round out the student experience. Students also have the opportunity to travel on their own or with other Achievement students if they like, or focus on meeting locals and immersing themselves in all things German or Austrian.

But don't just take it from us. You may want to read this article, or also feel free to contact us about connecting you with a student we've taken care of in the past.