Emily is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Austria
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I had always known I wanted to study abroad, but had no idea where I wanted to go! What finally made me choose Austria was seeing pictures of how beautiful it was and how the mountain culture there allowed you to be quite outdoorsy. Plus Austria is located centrally in Europe and it was a great base from which to explore the rest of the continent. I had only taken one semester of German, but it was fun immersing myself in the language and doing my best to tackle it.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One thing I loved about Austria was living in International Student dorms. My next door neighbor, Peter, was Bavarian and over the course of the semester we did everything from making spätzel to climbing the Gaisberg to visiting the beer hall together. From him, I learned things about Germany and being a student in Europe that I would have never known otherwise. And now, I can say I have a place to stay when I return to Europe!
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Eye-opening! Seeing myself and America from outside the country made me come to a lot of realizations. The American way is not the only one and it was refreshing to see that. Plus studying in Salzburg was pretty rad. There's a large student population there so it was easy to meet people my age! You can also buy pretty cheap local train tickets so I was able to explore many of the smaller towns around Salzburg.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Personally, I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I took some solo trips and learned to rely on my own skills. Plus when you need help, there are friendly people all over this world willing to lend a hand.
Academically, I'm really interested in discovering more about my own home town. Salzburg (and most European cities) are steeped in history and the people there intimately know the history of their own home and land. It made me want to discover more about my own history.
Professionally, I'm going to explore more career options that allow me to travel. After living in Salzburg, I know I would like to spend time living abroad again. Every day you are confronted with differences and I enjoy the challenges that brings! Keeps you always thinking.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?Learn to let go of the plan. Sometimes spontaneous trips are the best ones. Try everything new you can, you might not like it but at least you tried it. Spend as little time in your room as possible...go out and explore.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Austria? Email Emily at email@example.com