Austria: Best experience of my life! The happiest I've been while in college. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/15/2018 to 05/12/2018 with

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned what I was capable of in terms of independence and dealing with major problems without having knowledge of a country or language. I had to go to the hospital in Switzerland where they spoke only French, I had to navigate transportation in Hungary and Slovakia and Denmark, etc. countries where I didn't speak the language, and I had to deal with filing a police report in England. After doing all of these things with no help and no other resources than the ones I had on hand, I feel confident that I can deal with any problem that arises in the US.

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.

The classes were not as rigorous as my home institution, but the way that they used the city of Vienna as a classroom as well made it a very enriching educational experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They made sure to respond to maintenance requests and personal problems promptly, even accompanying me on a hospital visit. The administration was very hands on and welcoming to students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My apartment was gorgeous and in a good location, and when appliances were broken they were typically fixed within a day or two.

* Food:

I prepared my own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They were kind because I spoke German, but other than that I had very limited interactions with local Viennese people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Very easily accessible, they took me in a taxi which they paid for to the ER, remained with me while I was checked out, helped me fill out my insurance claims, and also allowed me time off from classes to recover. It was a much smoother process than receiving healthcare in America. There were no prevalent issues.

* Safety:

Vienna is one of the safest cities in the world, and I never felt unsafe even coming home late at night on public transportation.

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

I absolutely fell in love with Vienna, the culture and the food and the city itself. I loved the friends I made, and its location in central/eastern Europe allowed me to travel all over.


* 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)

By preparing my own food, I was able to travel extensively.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There are many student discounts for travel, hostels and cheap airlines make traveling very accessible, and preparing your own food saves a lot.


* 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

They encouraged us to have language buddies and use it as much as possible outside the classroom.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? German 231
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? Immersion works.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • People
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Academic Rigor
  • Extracurriculars
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go for a year, not just one semester.