Expat life with children in Villach is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn and grow by experiencing a new culture. Known for its small-town charm in a medium sized city, Villach is a great and safe place to raise children. With 60,000 residents, the city of Villach is developing into a more international community each year. In order to help the growing international community, there are several resources specifically designed to support international children as they develop and grow in Austria. Surrounded by nature and conveniently located between three cultures, the Villach region is a great location to raise a family.
Located in beautiful Velden am Wörthersee, the International School Carinthia (ISC) offers a dynamic and international education for children in grades 1 - 12. ISC’s goal is for all students to embrace lifelong learning while becoming internationally globally-minded citizens. For younger children, the International Daycare Center (IDC) is located in Villach and offers holistic childcare for children between the ages of 1 - 6 years old. At IDC, children learn core developmental competencies in a caring environment. At ISC and IDC, children have the opportunity to connect with other international children while learning both English and German in the classroom.
Part of the appeal of moving to a new country is experiencing a new culture. Luckily in Villach, there are several annual cultural events which are great for children. Every February, Villacher Fasching takes over the city center. During Fasching, children dress up in costumes and celebrate with sweets while enjoying the Villacher Fasching parade. During summer is Villacher Kirchtag, a large traditional Austrian folk festival complete with carnival rides for children. In December, there is Villacher Advent when Saint Nicholas and his mean companion Krampus pay their visits to local children. Enjoy these festive events with the family and learn more about Austrian culture by experiencing it firsthand.
In many ways, living with children in Villach can help new arrivals become quickly connected to the local culture. There are several international parent-child playgroups that meet in the area. In nearby Klagenfurt, Playgroup Klagenfurt regularly meets at the Kreuzbergl playground for international families to enjoy some fun outdoors. Once a year, the Carinthian International Club (CIC) also organizes a Coffee Morning with ISC. There is also an International Toddler Playgroup that can be organized through the CIC.
For non-German speakers, living in Villach gives children the opportunity to learn a foreign language. Some expat children attend local schools where they are exposed to German and the Carinthian-dialect on a daily basis. Many children acquire their language skills just by playing with other children or by watching local television programs. Children are able to learn languages surprisingly fast and it is not uncommon for international children to become bilingual or multilingual. One of the children I work with explained to me that he speaks four languages, English, German, and a little Spanish and Japanese from his two international friends he has met from school. Acquiring a foreign language is a highly valued skill and is a great opportunity for children.
Like most of Austria, Villach is a very safe place to live. It is not unusual to see children playing in the city center or walking to and from school with their friends. The pace of life in Villach is slower and children benefit from this by being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of being a kid. Family life is very important in Austria, making this a great location to raise a family abroad.
Expat families have an excellent opportunity in Villach to learn and grow by experiencing a new culture. Children will get more out of their experience in Austria than you can imagine. While this post only details 5 reasons why Villach is a great place for expat families, there are plenty of reasons to come to this sunny corner of Austria.
Chelsea Navarro is an American expat from California, USA.
She has lived in Villach with her partner and dog since February, 2016. She enjoys exploring the Austrian wilderness, drinking Villacher beer and traveling around Europe.