LISA Academy information:
What is the LISA Academy program? The LISA Academy program is a program for students of the 11th and 12th grade, the last two school years. This program prepares the students for completing the IB Diploma. Students of this program receive mandatory German as a foreign language courses. They complete only the subjects required by the IB Diploma. It is a program specifically designed for students with an international background.
I am bilingual in German and English. Should I go into the LISA Academy Program? If you have received German as a mother tongue lessons, then you are not allowed to go (for legal reasons) into the LISA Academy program.
Who is allowed to allowed to follow the LISA Academy program? Only students who do not have German as a mother tongue are eligible for this program. These students will go to German as a foreign language.
What are the advantages of the LISA Academy program? The advantages are, that students only have to complete the 6 IB Diploma courses (plus sports and a third language), and not all 13 courses required for those students who complete the Austrian ZRP exams. It is therefore easier for these students to focus on those subjects that are important for their later career. LISA Academy students will also receive intensive German as a foreign language courses, as well as a course in Austrian culture, society and geography (“Österreichische Landeskunde”).
What are the disadvantages of the LISA Academy program? Because these students only have a limited number of subjects, universities might make additional exams a requirement. For example, if the student has chosen IB Biology but wants to study Chemistry at Austrian university, then the university might make an additional Chemistry exam a requirement. These exams are called “Ergänzungsprüfungen” by the university and are a normal component for those students who do not fulfill all university admission requirements. Students can avoid these additional exams, by choosing the correct combination of courses in our school. The strictness of admission depends very much on the individual university and courses to be studied.
Is it possible for a student who has German as a foreign language to follow a mother tongue German course, so that he/she can do the national examination (ZRP)? No. This is not possible and it is also not meaningful. The national examination for German mother tongue is standardized and requires a very high level of German competency and cultural understanding. Having the Austrian national exam (ZRP) is no advantage per se for university admission. The IB Diploma works just as well, as long as the required courses were chosen.
Is it possible for a student with German as a mother tongue to follow the LISA academy program? No. This is not possible. The Austrian state does not allow it. These students have the possibility to also complete the ZRP in addition to the IB Diploma.
What are the advantages of the LISA Academy Programme?
- The advantages are, that students only have to complete the 6 IB Diploma courses (plus sports and a third language), and not all 13 courses required for those students who complete the Austrian ZRP exams. It is therefore easier for these students to focus on those subjects that are important for their later career. LISA Academy students will also receive intensive German as a foreign language courses. They will receive a report card with marks on these courses.
- They receive support for their self-taught languages (if they have chosen any)
- By focusing on the IB courses that they need for university, they can improve these points and increase the possibility to be accepted into a university.
They will receive German as a foreign language (DAF) training to be able to more easily continue their studies in Austria.
What are the disadvantages of the LISA Academy Programme?
- Students who attend the LISA Academy program are not allowed to take the Austrian national examination (Matura or ZRP). This exam requires German as a mother tongue, which LISA Academy students do not have.
- Some universities might require additional courses besides the 6 IB courses to be accepted. For example, if a student has chosen Chemistry SL for the IB and did not go to Biology or Physics core, then this student might not be accepted into an Austrian university for studying medicine. Additional exams will then be necessary at the university. Students can avoid these additional exams, by choosing the correct combination of courses in our school. The strictness of admission depends very much on the individual university and courses to be studied. Universities and Fachhochschulen have different admision requirements, which might also depend on the subject to be studied. There is a general trend in Austria to accept the IB Diploma as-is (without additional courses), however. The same is the situation for students who only do the ZRP, so it is not that the IB is a disadvantage. Austrian students who went to a technical high school need additional exams in Biology to be able to study medicine.
- Students must already consider what they want to do in the future and choose subjects accordingly. We do not advise you to automatically „play it safe“ and choose all subjects. If you sign up for a subject, then we do not allow you to de-register if you discover that you do not need it. You will then risk failing the course (and having to repeat the school year).
What courses do LISA Academy students have to take?
- 6 IB Diploma Programme Subjects (plus other IB requirements, such as TOK, CAS, Extended Essay)
- German as a foreign language (whether or not they choose to complete an IB Exam)
- Social studies
- Self-taught languages support, if they have a self-taught language
- Core courses of their IB subjects (eg. If a student has chosen Physics SL, then he/she must also go to Physics core)