The Best Experience You Will Ever Have Past Review

By (Wake Forest University) - abroad from 08/19/2018 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?
This experience was one of the most incredible things I've ever been able to be a part of. People say that abroad changes you, but I really think it allows you to settle more into yourself and just become more you: at least that's how I felt. I traveled alone and with so many different groups of people, allowing myself to gain confidence in who I am, what I can accomplish, and what I'm capable of. From grocery shopping and cooking my own food to commuting to school and back every day to exploring a beautiful city I got to call my home to missing trains and having to figure things out on the spot, studying abroad has helped to shape the person I am becoming today.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Vienna - Study Abroad With IES Abroad 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?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

The IES program in Vienna created the best semester abroad I could've ever asked for. I felt welcomed right away by the staff who were extremely attentive and very experienced in helping in various situations. They really created a home base for their students. One of my favorite parts were the incredible trips they organized, such as the ski trip on a glacier in the Austrian Alps (many people learned to ski for the first time on this trip), a journey through the beautiful mountain villages in the west up to Prague, and a weekend trip to the Wachau Valley for hiking and wine tasting. Pretty much all students lived in apartments. I lived in the 5th district of the city with an easy 20 minute commute to school (Vienna’s public transportation system is so easy to master). Classes take place in an old palace in the city center between the Opera house and St. Stephen’s cathedral. For many classes I got to tour museums during class period and really learn hands-on about art, history, architecture and psychology. The central location of the school enabled me to explore the ins-and-outs of Vienna on a daily basis after or between classes. The IES program helps make things happen for its students. They make known events from the film festival at the Rathaus to how to join a gym or sports club team. They help create incredible experiences, such as providing discounted tickets to attend an infamous Vienna ball and dancing lessons to prepare. I was able to see the dress rehearsal for a world premiere at the State opera house. We were able to have a big Thanksgiving dinner in a traditional countryside tavern. And they helped people get involved with locals through setting up local German language buddies and helping students get internships. The program at IES Vienna creates a community and enables its students to explore and soak up every possible second of the most incredible semester imaginable. I would give anything to be back in Vienna right now.


* 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)


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
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? Most of the time I used German was at restaurants to order food and coffee, but most people speak English in the inner-city so I recommend just speaking back to them in German regardless if they speak English to you or not.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 infinite resources available to me
  • The IES trips (Ski Trip!!)
  • The home base it created
* What could be improved?
  • More interactions with locals
  • Orientation was a little stressful
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known to push myself to meet more locals. I eventually got a German language buddy and made an Austrian friend, but besides that I really stuck with the Americans in my program. There are definitely ways to meet locals, I just wish I'd taken those opportunities. I think that having an internship abroad would've been an amazing experience and if I could do it all over again I would definitely apply for an internship.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.