Study Abroad in Vienna: An amazing experience I would do over again anytime Past Review

By (University of North Texas) - abroad from 01/15/2018 to 05/11/2018 with

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became more comfortable with myself because I had to make a lot of decisions and make a lot of mistakes. I had to trust myself and when I messed up I had to be the one to fix things because no one else was there to help. It was definitely a learning experience. I also learned more about myself and my preferences. One of the biggest things I gained was worldly knowledge and experience. I got to see a whole different life from my own and realize how big the world really is and the multitudes of differences there are. I also got to learn a cool new language not used very much here in the states. My experience was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Very rigorous, very hands on. Professors very knowledgeable. Not always engaging, but definitely knew what they were doing. Had a lot of opportunities to get outside the classroom and see the things we would talk about in class, which was very good for 3 hour classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. They had an emergency phone to contact at all times, were welcoming, and helped navigate adult life in a new city in language.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a homestay with a mother and a daughter who was my age. They were very nice and spoke German with me. I had my own room (which was different from a lot of people in the program) and it was located in the first district, 10 minutes away from the IES Center! Amazing company and amazing location. IES could not have done a better job.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were many ways to get involved in the culture- they provided the chance to get paired up with language buddies to help improve our German and meet a local, they offered homestay as an option to live with locals, and also offered classes at the Universität Wien if our German was good enough.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

IES offered the information of multiple physicians around Vienna in case of assistance. I only had to go once, and it was easily accessible, accepted walk-ins, was cheap, and spoke English. This was all information provided by IES, so that helped me narrow down which doctor I would go to. I did not need to get any additional vaccines for the program, but I did have to schedule a doctor's appointment before I departed to verify I was up to date with all my US vaccinations, which was quite simple.

* Safety:

Vienna is a very safe city. Of course, there are the sections to avoid just like any city, like the U6 at night. But I always felt comfortable walking around after dark and never had any problems. The city is well lit and public transport is the best you will ever experience. IES even has a place picked out for students to go to in case of a country/continent crisis.

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

Great staff, great city, great language.


* 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)

If you go to the right districts, you can find stuff for cheap. Eating out in the first district was expensive, and drinks can also add up. Would recommend going to the outer districts for cheaper eating. But going to grocery stores in the first district isn't too different.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook at home as much as you can, even if you can't cook. Splurge on weekends and/or when you go out with friends. Going out to get coffee and cake in the afternoons also adds up


* 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

I am fairly sure that they put us a class above what we tested for, and a lot of the students were not very happy about how rigorous the language classes were. But we used it a lot! They also provided language buddies and encouraged us to speak the language when ordering and doing everyday things.

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? I had taken 3 semesters of German prior to departure
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? Listening to music and TV shows in the language you are learning. The more you hear it, the more you will understand it. Also don't let any opportunities pass you up- if you find friends who speak the language of the country you are in and English, ask them to speak in their language with you sometimes to better your understanding.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Staff support
  • English classes
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Upper level staff
  • Ease up on workload
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How complex the visa application process is.