For the October intake of the UNIGIS professional certificate course, 11 future GIS-professionals met in Salzburg for starting together into an intensive year of studying. With the exception of this introductory workshop UNIGIS professional is completely based on online distance learning: the programme consists of seven core modules plus electives with a total workload of 60 ECTS. The curriculum covers spatial data acquisition, modelling, management and visualisation as well as spatial analysis and application development. A great variety of real world exercises and assignments ensure the practical applicability of the learned concepts. The UNIGIS Salzburg team enjoyed the good atmosphere of the workshop and wishes a good start into the first module!