Our Philosophy and What Sets Us Apart

Study abroad empowers

When we were contemplating the best name for our organization, we knew we wanted a name that demonstrated more than merely going abroad.  Achievement is a word we have often heard when our students talk about their experience and how proud they are of their accomplishments during and after their time with us, hence the name Achievement Study Abroad. 

We know that studying abroad in a foreign language requires determination and resolve.  And we also know that studying abroad will empower you to achieve more in your lifetime than you could ever fathom right now. 

We are here to put your study abroad experience in place, guide you through it, and help you to reach your personal and academic goals.  It will change your life for the better.  Permanently.  And you will likely consider studying abroad with us the best decision you ever made.  But don’t just listen to us.  Read what some of our students have to say.  


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

Looking for a great place to run?  A church that matches your needs and expectations?  Want to find a way to pursue your hobbies from home while abroad?  We are here to help.

Genuss ist ein Muss

Genuss is part of the program because good food is key to a good life.  Join us in Marburg for student get-togethers 1-2 times a month and discover a multitude of healthy culinary pleasures cooked up by Giulietta - it's like having a mother cook for you when you come home from college.  

Not sure if you would do well without family over a holiday such as Christmas or Easter?  We got ya covered - our door is always open for our students on important holidays.  Warm, home-cooked meals included!


Not only can travel be fun, but it can also be very educational and help you piece your impressions together.  On Achievement Study Abroad's semester/year programs you have Europe at your fingertips.   

As part of your orientation after leaving Vienna*, we 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 a night in the opera.
    And then it's on to Marburg for orientation, red tape-cutting and academic advising.  

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

    Later in the semester, normally 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 your program fee.

Once you're in Marburg, not only will we provide you with 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, you will also have plenty of time and opportunity for personal travel.  YOLO - so do it!

What sets Achievement Study Abroad apart?

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

  • We eliminate the guesswork and anxiety of setting out on your own.  Working with US students for the past 20 years in Marburg and Vienna, we get you stress-free through the red tape associated with moving and studying overseas. 

  • Once you're here, we guide you through everything from settling into your housing (of course we handle that arrangement, too) to figuring out how to choose and register for classes.  Whether you join us in Vienna or Marburg, you don't have to worry about finding housing, applying for a residency permit on your own, or figuring out the university system.  On top of that, we also offer our own classes that we know most of our students need.

  • With our two-month pre-semester training option in Vienna (Vienna-Marburg Combined program), students who are keen on getting their German up to stuff so that they can take classes in German at a German university have an amazing opportunity.  Achievement Study Abroad provides you invaluable extended exposure to two German-speaking countries (Germany and Austria) within one program.  While that may sound random, the added exposure is invaluable for anyone who wants to return to work or study in German-speaking Europe later.  You basically have two study abroad experiences in one.

  • Our philosophy focuses on each individual student's success.  We are the only study abroad provider that is physically present in Marburg; we are literally here for you.  

  • Achievement Study Abroad is headed by Kris Riggs, an American with more than 20 years of experience in international education.  Holding a graduate degree in German and having himself studied two years in Germany and Austria, Kris, aka Herr Riggs, is familiar not only with what you're going through in those first days of culture shock, but he also has a profound 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 your experience.  And you'll still have the opportunity to travel on your own or with other Achievement students if you like, or focus on meeting locals and immersing yourself in all things German or Austrian.

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