Vienna is the Place to Study Past Review

By (Economics., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/06/2013 to 06/19/2013 with

Brigham Young University: Vienna - Vienna Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Through the Vienna Study Abroad, I became acquainted with Central European history and culture. In addition, I got to freshen up my German and polished my philistine side to allow a little appreciation of art. When someone mentions the World Wars, I know much more background concerning the first and understand more about why it was such a turning point for the world. I visited seven countries, visited more than 10 cathedrals, heard German, Slovakia, Yugoslavian, French, Italian, and Spanish, became acquainted with the Döner, and ate tons of Schnitzel and drank raw milk. It was more than worthwhile, and it is the most expensive thing I have ever done in my life ($/day wise).

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The instructors were excellent. In addition to the standard lectures, we were able to visit the sites of our study ourselves. We saw the history and art not just in text, spreadsheet or video format, but through preserved artifacts, paintings, sculptures and ruins in many museums. We had the opportunity to reflect and digest these experiences through writing about them and researching them further.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Austro-American Institute of Education provided excellent support for the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Artner family was amazing, friendly and helpful. The opportunity to live with a native German speaking family improved my German and allowed for greater immersion.

* Food:

AMAZING!!! Definitely worth it just for this aspect. You get to miss peanut butter, free refills, and maybe even burgers, but the native food is great. Schnitzel, place-ka-vitska (how ever you spell it actually), and everything else is awesome. Just in case you missed it: IT IS AMAZING!!! They also have good ice cream, pastries, lunch meats, sausages, and fresh fruits.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I still felt like a tourist for most of it, but it was only a six week program, and I am not close to fluent in German

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

They made sure that we were taken care of.

* Safety:

Austria is a pretty safe place, and Vienna is no exception. There was not any major safety issues in other places either.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Food is not cheap, forgetting you month pass for the transportation system can also be a setback, too.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Approximately $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take a large backpack, stock up when visiting the neighboring countries in the EU (they are often a little cheaper). Make lunches before you head to class.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

This was expected, due to the make up of the program (other students in the program were at the beginning stages).

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? German 302
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you talk a lot, talk in German, if you don't talk a lot, talk more in German.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food, Food, Food, and Food
  • Opportunity to practice German
  • Castles
* What could be improved?
  • Involvement with the locals
  • (add) Tours to technology and science museums
  • Do not use a night train from Serbia.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Where the good grocery stores were, how much to spend during each excursion, and

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

German 303

Course Department: German
Instructor: Dr. Talita Wiener Osman
Instruction Language: German
Comments: I do not believe a better candidate could have been chosen to instruct this course. As a native, she knew everything about the surroundings and was able to immerse us in the culture and history of Austria, while giving us quality instruction in German
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Honors 204R

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr Grant Lundberg
Instruction Language: English
Comments: As a philistine, I am not one for examining or appreciating "fine art", but this course was more than worth it. Though the focus was on the art and history of the Habsburg Empire, Dr Lundberg, Dr Hanreich, and Dr Osman brought more to the table than just monotonous lectures and "important" works of art. The tours allowed one to see the art, sculptures and preserved apparel and other artifacts first hand. With their expertise, they brought out the subject matter and helped us apply its meaning to ourselves. With the traveling, they gave us a chance to experience the culture and see the current state of affairs. After all was said and done in the classroom, we were given the opportunity to digest it all, research some more, and give our feedback through papers. The "classroom" was dynamic and enabled more one-on-one time, opportunities to focus on certain aspects personally, and extensive assistance and support (more than in the typical university setting). For those of you who love art more than me, this is the place for you. For those who like history, this is a go also. For those who lack a fondness for art, the history and cultural immersion that you get from the class more than make up for any drawbacks.
Credit Transfer Issues: