First Few Days in Austria
Well I made it here everyone! The flight took around 9 hours and I arrived early Sunday (Austrian time). Surprisingly, getting from the airport to the city by three trains did not prove too difficult. Right from the start, it is clear Austria’s public transportation system is much cleaner and easier to use than the one in my city. It also runs on the honor sytem I believe of ticket buying, although as a student I have a card for the month.
My dorm is about 10 minutes from campus as in Austria as there is not “campus housing” like in America. I have my own room and share a kitchen and bathroom with a nice roommate from Brazil. One thing Austrians do not use very much…air conditioning! Back in America I live in a warm and humid climate so AC is essential, here it is cooler but I am in search of a fan.
Classes are going really well on top of it all. My professor is very engaging and we do a lot of group work to engage with other students. Students in the program really do come from all over the world so it is an amazing experience to have people from all different countries and continents working together and sharing perspectives. International students are quite interested in Donald Trump, America’s gun laws (or lack thereof), and just general cultural things!
There are definitely some cultural differences I have noticed already, although I will write more later once I live here longer. Austrians seem to be quite punctual and follow the rules (that means no jaywalking!). However, the locals are friendly and willing to help if someone asks, I found.
In terms of social activities, the program is very good at planning outings and activities. The first night of classes, Monday, we got a voucher for a free beer and a bunch of us went out for a beer or three. I am a fan of “spritzers”, which is white wine + soda. It was an underground bar and afterwards we walked around the city a bit at night.
Yesterday we all went into the city and saw a lot of museums and historic buildings which totally brought out my inner European history nerd (on the bright side, I found someone very nice who enjoys listening to my rambles and appreciation for history!). Afterwards, a bunch of us sat by the Danube Canal with a cold beer. They mimicked a “beach” by putting sand and beach chairs along the canal, however people do not swim in it. Next up tomorrow is SchÃ¶nbrunn Palace…expect more pictures!
Austria City Tour in Pictures
I am still working on my German. It is barely elementary and most people here speak some English, but of course people assume German first. Regardless, I am in another country and want to learn more of the language. I can successfully check off eating Wiener Schnitzel as well and it is quite delicious. Until next time…auf widersehen!
PS: Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram where I’ll also be posting more travel photos!