ARRIVING IN VILLACH - THE CARINTHIAN INTERNATIONAL CENTER
With its beautiful location on the Drau River in a stunning region of the Alps, very high quality of life, amazing healthcare system, and interesting and diverse career opportunities, including at a growing number of international companies, it’s no wonder the population of Villach is growing.
But moving to a new region, especially if you’ve come from a different country, can at times be confusing, frustrating, or overwhelming - it’s often necessary to learn many new ways of accomplishing daily tasks related to things as basic and important as shopping, education, healthcare, accommodation, and so on.
Our latest blog post series, all about arriving in Villach and Carinthia, is intended to give you important information about settling into life here. Hopefully it will help make the transition much easier!
FIRST STOP: CARINTHIAN INTERNATIONAL CENTER
When you move to Carinthia (or are considering moving here), the first place you should visit for information is the Carinthian International Center, or CIC, whose mission is to help people become accustomed to life in Carinthia through providing information, services, and endless networking possibilities. (And even if you’ve lived here for a while already, CIC is a fantastic center for networking and information that will help make life easier for you.) The organization is financed through its membership program, which is available to local companies from industry and science who wish to support the organization and offer their employees access to the many services CIC provides.
AN ABUNDANCE OF OFFERINGS
The CIC has an abundance of useful, interesting, and valuable (and mostly free!) offerings to help you get settled in the region. For example, it hosts many social gatherings (both general and special interest groups, such as for musicians, parents of small children, sports lovers, and so on), offers language classes and swaps, organizes a book club, and much more. The CIC also puts on lectures and workshops about such relevant and interesting topics as multilingualism or Austrian insurance and legal issues. Their website itself is a treasure trove of information about many aspects of life, education, and working in Austria, which can help you get acquainted with everything from local customs and facts to how Austrian bureaucracy works. You can also find a collection of details about local clubs and societies, a page showing the services offered by other CIC members, not to mention news about local happenings and events. Additionally, the website has wonderfully helpful career information, such as a job board where local companies advertise their vacancies, a list of job search engines and employment agencies, as well as information about topics like being self-employed in Austria.
OFFERINGS FOR CHILDREN
The CIC also has several offerings for children. Every year in July and August they put on the Summerkids program, a super fun and educational bilingual and multicultural summer camp for 6-12 years olds. Additionally, the organization is a co-founder and board member of the International School Carinthia in Velden, an English-language International Baccalaureate school for primary through upper secondary school students.
If your children attend Austrian schools and need some help with their German be sure to check out the Pfiffikus - fit for school! language program offered in coordination with educator Dr. Thomas Willmann. In this program, kids are taught in pairs or small groups and the goals of the classes are to help children improve their German and to stay on top of things at school.
CIC SERVICE COMPANY
An offshoot of the Carinthian International Center is the CIC Service company, which offers professional (for pay) services to companies (and their employees) and individuals in such areas as regional orientation, relocation, and logistics. In terms of orientation, the company offers tailor-made service packages to help you get to know the province, which can include such activities as visits to specific towns or regions, discussions with people from relevant companies or schools, apartment/house viewing, a welcome talk at the CIC, and generally handling formalities and logistics.
Through their relocation services you can access assistance viewing and finding appropriate accommodation, including all logistics surrounding contracts. Through this service you can also get help with things such as opening bank accounts, connecting to utilities, obtaining a driver’s license, registering children at school, general information about local shopping, doctors, transportation, and much more. Their services around official logistics can give you assistance with such vital things as obtaining legal residency, work permits, and accommodation. And finally, the company can offer invaluable assistance with your job search and career planning, as well as offering advanced training modules for companies and individuals in such areas as multiculturalism and English.
The Carinthian International Center is a valuable and helpful source of information, guidance, and networking possibilities when you arrive in Villach, or when you’re planning your move to the region. In the next parts of our Arriving in Villach blog post series we’ll introduce you to a few other local organizations that are also incredibly useful, especially for companies that would like to settle in Villach. Stay tuned!