The perfect semester designed by an expert administrator March 05, 2024

By (Linguistics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/01/2023 to 06/30/2023 with

Trinity in Vienna: Study Abroad in Austria

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was just a lot of fun and rewarding. I learned all the things people generally learn when they experience new things. I feel that I had a better social life than most people who go abroad in small, non-traditional programs (i.e. it seems like most people who had similarly positive social lives abroad more often went to big programs where they hung out with other Americans).

Review Photos

Trinity in Vienna: Study Abroad in Austria Photo Trinity in Vienna: Study Abroad in Austria Photo Trinity in Vienna: Study Abroad in Austria Photo Trinity in Vienna: Study Abroad in Austria 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.

Pre-semester German course was extremely useful (with Hildegund Heczko) and helped us meet a lot of other foreign students we befriended. Program mandatory course with Gerhard Unterthurner had very interesting readings and great field trips. At the university: Flexible choice of German and English coursework and diverse selection of courses depending on personal preference for rigor. One course I liked in particular was my history course with professor Julia Bavouzet.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration done largely by Gerhard Unterthurner who was an endlessly helpful and caring resource we could get in contact with whenever we needed. He was highly organized and prepared for every situation and any mistake we student made could be rectified by his extreme preparation.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Beautiful living arrangements in a location near lots of important transportation and most delightfully an IKEA. Furniture etc. provided. Rooms were singles and very large.

* Food:

Food was self catered. Rating does not reflect food in Austria in general (which is very middling) but rather that we were well taken care of on our field trips where the program paid for expensive and delicious meals in full.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Even though I only made one or two Austrian friends, we felt integrated in the culture in some ways because I feel that we were all able to make our own lives in the city of Vienna. Some people did internships, other volunteered. We were able to carry conversation with waitstaff. We knew the city well and were able to explore the local culture a lot. And the way the program is designed made it easy to make connection with other like-minded European study abroad students, if not Austrian ones.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

One student we were with needed to go to the emergency room late one night and the administrator (Gerhard Unterthurner) was extremely helpful in his responses and helped us with a few things. Healthcare in Austria was great and we were able to get most of the expenses reimbursed. Even if they had not been reimbursed, I believe the emergency room visit was $100-200 and the dentist visit was $300-400 (expensive, but much cheaper than American equivalent).

* Safety:

Extremely safe. Could walk alone for miles in the city late at night as a woman and feel safe.

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

This program was absolutely the best choice I could have made. Vienna itself as a city was perfect for me because I prefer a quieter city with beautiful architecture (parts are almost suburban with boredom, and tourist flocks are undetectable outside a very small city center) and I am very much interested in the arts (I attended the opera more than a dozen times). The fact that we were there for an entire month before university started taking German, making friends, and getting to know the city was extremely settling and a very enjoyable time. The classes were neither too much nor too little work and I learned a lot. The program fee included three trips outside of Vienna which were also wonderful. So many little costs were already thought of and taken care of for us, like local transportation cards and university fees. We were picked up from the airport, etc. The structure of the program really helped us make the most of our experience and I've made a dozen friends for life, many of whom have visited us in the last year already.


* 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)

Vienna is a relatively expensive city, but it's doable with careful budgeting.


* 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

Even though this program doesn't have a fake "contract" to sign about using the language or even a language minimum, I believe the implicit structures really encourage you to improve and use the language when it is within you ability to do so through the thoughtful month of German immersion.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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 202 (B1)
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • Structure
  • Friends
  • City
* What could be improved?
  • Support with food costs
  • Literally nothing else
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I shouldn't be scared at all :) If you are considering going on this program, absolutely do it. We are great friends with the people we went with, but even if you don't get along I think you can definitely make the most out of different opportunities and make friends while learning a lot about a beautiful city.

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!