Squeezed the Juice! (Program saying, means to make the most of it) Past Review

By (University of Redlands) - abroad from 01/21/2019 to 12/15/2018 with

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
German Better horn playing how to travel efficiently and make a travel plan how to "squeeze the juice" (slow down and make the most out of your day) Friends How to be independent

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad Photo IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad Photo IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad Photo

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.

My IES study abroad program in Vienna was for music in particular, and while there I was very impressed by the level of faculty of which I was able to study with. I was able to take private horn lessons with the retired 3rd horn of the Vienna Philharmonic. I was also able to take (my first) composition class with one of Austria's leading modern composers. Furthermore, I was also able to take a course on acoustics in which my professor had endless experience in audiophile recording, as well as an incredible background in jazz piano and composition as well. Coming into the program, I had no idea I would be learning from such distinguished faculty, so the experience was a pleasant surprise. Below, I have evaluated both my composition and acoustics courses in slightly more detail.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was extremely satisfied with my living arrangements. I lived in an apartment with 5 other students from my program. My apartment was part of several reserved by my program within a larger apartment complex with other apartments being occupied by local tenants. The most amazing part of this living situation was my program, acoustics professor, and the landlord of the building had collaborated to create a practice facility within the building. Having been designed by my acoustics professor, the practice facility allowed a place for me to practice without bothering the neighbors (I am a horn player, so practicing can get kind of loud). This facility also included a recording studio as I mentioned before. The apartment was very well located with several grocery stores, an U-Bahn (subway) stop, and a bus stop all within 5 minutes of walking distance. There was also a local beery, post office, and public park within the same radius. My apartment mates were some of the closest friends I made while abroad and we had a blast living together. We were so tight knit we named our apartment, and often had friends over. The friends and memories I have through my apartment were likely one of the highlights of my abroad experience so I am very thankful to the program for having provided me with such living circumstances.

* Food:

The program did not provide us with food, however food in Vienna is easily accessible and fresh produce is very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the culture. My program made this possible in several ways. One was a language program that allowed us to partner with a local Austrian to practice our German and them their English as well as make an Austrian friend. Through this program there were also language buddy events such as pub trivia where all the people in the program got together for a social event. Another way my program helped integrate me into the local culture was through class field trips. These allowed us to explore parts of Vienna while simultaneously expanding our views of the class material. On a larger scale the program also offered trips outside of Vienna that allowed student the opportunity to explore Austria and its culture as a whole. My program also set up trips to events within Vienna. For example, there was a Ball in Vienna and our program offered us dance lessons for the ball and discounted tickets; and what's more Viennese than a ball? A few other ways I felt culturally integrated were through weekly emails of events to go to in Vienna, simply through learning from local faculty, and, in my personal case, staff members in the program allowed me to join them in practicing with their local team.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My program requires you to get a certain insurance, however I found this insurance very helpful. I was experiencing elbow pains while abroad and was able to have access to a variety of treatments through the insurance with my program. After the first 100 euros of medical costs, the insurance covered the rest of my bills making these treatments very affordable. I was even able to get an MRI covered because of this insurance.

* Safety:

Vienna is a very safe city on its own. The program buildings were also key and code protected for additional safety.

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

My program was fantastic in the staff and faculty it provided, it's location and organization, the other students in the program, and the program's resources.


* 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)

As I mentioned, my school provided me with a meal stipend. As I was cooking for myself often and groceries in Austria were less expensive, I was able to budget food nicely. As for public transportation, my program gave us transportation discounts. I would say these are the bare necessities. Now outside of that it is very nice to have some personal savings. The program provides great opportunities for trips and events, but these costs are not covered by the program. That being said, all the trips and events come with are worth the cost (though these trips and events aren't required). One additional thing was for music students the program would only reimburse you up to a certain amount of money. This amount was often less that what a semester's worth of lessons came out to be so I paid out of pocket for the remaining lessons.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shopping is very affordable (even organic food!). Cooking for yourself definitely saves money.


* 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

Not only was I required to take a German class, but the program encouraged us to use German in many ways. Class field trips often required us to speak German in public settings, such as cafes. The language buddy program I previously mentioned also allowed us the opportunity to practice German.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? In German, none
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? Take German at your school if possible.

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?
  • The resources of the program
  • closeness of the faculty, they were very personal
  • Vienna
* What could be improved?
  • music lesson costs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? student demographics of the program how to speak better German

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!