A Life-changing Whirlwind December 28, 2015

By (Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 08/18/2015 to 12/18/2015 with

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned what it is like to be a foreigner in a different country and this gave me a new perspective on foreigners in the United States. I also got to learn a lot about the Austrian culture and came to understand a new way of life. This was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Vienna - IES Abroad in Vienna Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in the international student dorm. I highly recommend this accommodation because it was very close to IES and gave me the opportunity to interact with international students outside of the IES program.

* Food:

It seems a bit heavy at first, but you have many great options in Vienna!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had one orthodontist and doctor's visit while in Vienna. IES was able to provide me contacts with English-speaking doctors which was very useful. My experience was very quick and effective service!

* Safety:

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

Finances

* 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)

To qualify this, I did a lot of traveling on the weekends which increased my expenses. Vienna is pretty expensive so I mostly went to the cheaper grocery stores and ate at home.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to go to the cheaper grocery stores, like Zielpunkt. It saved me a lot of money (about 20 euro per week) shopping there instead of Billa. Also, invest in a Vorteilscard Jugend if you are planning on doing a lot of traveling by train. You save 50% on domestic trains and 25% on international trains.

Language

* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? GER 506
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? Whenever you go to a cafe or store or restaurant, try using German. Not only do they appreciate it sometimes, but it is a great way to practice German. Also, if you have a chance to sign up for a language buddy, please do! I had a great experience with my language buddy and it was a great way to practice German and meet local students.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes
  • German instruction
  • Administration
* What could be improved?
  • Contact with Austrian students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had knew that I was not going to have that much contact with Austrian students. The only way really was through an RA, the international student dorm, and the language buddy program. But this is all still difficult when you spend most of your time in school with American students. I wish I had also known that Vienna is a pretty expensive place to live, but if you budget carefully it is manageable.

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:

Fin de Siecle: Vienna

Course Department: History
Instructor: Vocelka
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was very interesting and thoroughly taught the information about Vienna during the turn of the 19th century. I really enjoyed this class! Dr. Vocelka taught the class very well and was very knowledgeable about the subject. Each lecture dealt with a specific topic of the same time period and I thought this was a very effective way to teach the information. The field trips were very interesting and provided us with an opportunity to see course material first hand throughout the city. I highly recommend this class.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Austrian Art and Architecture

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Ottersbock
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was incredibly interesting. We learned about the different art styles present in Austria from Venus of Willendorf to Klimt. Not only did we learn about Austrian styles, we also learned about how these styles fit into the world's art history. Each lecture was accompanied by a field trip to see the works we talked about. I thought this class was incredible.
Credit Transfer Issues: No