Presentation on theme: "Pictured above is my bedroom of the apartment where I stayed. I lived in a separate apartment from the host family (although they lived right across the."— Presentation transcript:
Pictured above is my bedroom of the apartment where I stayed. I lived in a separate apartment from the host family (although they lived right across the hall) and shared it with a fellow member of the program. My host family, the Schachermeiers, were a nice older couple. Although they often left us to our own devices, I still communicated with them on a regular enough basis to feel right at home. I was located in the 17th District of Vienna, which is well within the inter-city train system, and with myriad ways to get around the city, location was not a problem. I personally have a good deal of experience abroad and away from home, so the effect of culture-shock was minimal at worst, and I had no feelings of homesickness, although peoples experiences will vary. I would say that because of this, I was immediately able to jump right into Viennese culture and all that the city had to offer. Incidentally, I arrived the day right before classes (May 29th), which may not have been the wisest choice, but I nonetheless settled right in. Throughout the summer 2011 Emory Study Abroad Program in Vienna, I took a number of pictures so that those who are interested will help get better idea of some of the sights and experiences one can take in by taking part in the program. It is not intended to be a comprehensive nor exhaustive journal covering every small detail of my experience, but I will provide enough background detail (and pictures) to help convey my personal experience in Vienna. It will be somewhat chronological in the sense of my arrival, break periods between the classes, and the end of the program, but otherwise I will detail my experiences as the pictures I have available allows me. Thank you to Emory University, the German Department, the coordinators, my peers, and especially to the Max Kade Foundation for making my Summer Study Abroad experience possible and fun.
I arrived in Vienna in the morning, and later that day there was a scheduled meeting at 5:00 pm at the St. Stephens Cathedral (Stephansdom). Aside from greeting the other members of the program and having our official Welcome, it was an opportunity to quickly get a tour of the 1st district and the most famous sights. One of these is the picture above, the Votivekirche.
Concerning the classes I took, I was in the 300-level 370A/B course, known as the Austrian Experience class. It was essentially 2000 years of Austrian history packed into two summer semesters, with other aspects such as politics, culture, music, cinema, art, and a variety of other subjects mentioned. I took it with three other students, making the class total four people, and we had two different professors throughout the program: Professor Hafner for the first half, Professor Niederacher for the second half. Both had different teaching styles, had their areas of focus and concentration, and subject matter, but both were equally great professors that really made the experience exceptional. My classes were held at the Medical University of Vienna, and it was a 15 minute walk from where I lived, although the street cars were an option as well. The first session was from May 30 th until June 22th. One of the more interesting aspects of the classes were the out-of-classroom excursions that we took, which often enhanced the subject matter we were covering. On some occasions, our homework was to go on self-guided tours of the city and write a report on what we saw. Some of these included Baroque tour; others included the Important Monuments tour, all of which added a different dimension to our learning experience. The above picture was from an excursion to the Vienna Museum of History, and other such pictures will follow.
The program included three mandatory excursions as a group together, and the one pictured to the left (with a picture of me) occurred at the city and Abbey Melk, located in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. The picture above is at the main alter of the Abbey Melk.
On the way back to Vienna we partly returned by river ferry along the Danube River. We passed through the Wachau region of Lower Austria. Many interesting sights and towns were located on the banks of the river, which was an interesting experience.
One of the numerous class excursions was a trip to Parliament. We went inside the Parliament building received a tour of the main chambers.
When I was not in class or during the weekends, I was usually out exploring the city. With a wide variety of museums, theaters, cafes, parks, and other locals, I was never without something to see or do. The next several pictures will show a handful of the places that I visited, often with a good friend of mine that I made during the program. Incidentally, he is a Chinese international student at Emory who was taking the beginner-level German courses for his language requirement. We would often find good Asian restaurants and grab a bite for lunch of sometimes dinner. Naturally, I ate Viennese and German food when I had the opportunity and the urge to do so. Other times, I would cook myself some dinner or grab a sandwich at a deli or supermarket.
With this aforementioned friend, we went to Schönbrunn Palace, one of the most iconic and famous locations of Vienna and the Hapsburg heritage. It was certainly a well-earned reward to see the view after climbing the steep hill.
Taken on the same day in front of the Glorietta, a part of the Palace. The café there offers not only a nice view of the Palace and city, but delicious cake and coffee.
Taken on a different day, my friend and I took a Saturday to visit the Museum of Natural Science.
Taken in front of the State Opera House. I saw two different performances during my stay in Vienna, the ballet Giselle, and Mozarts Opera The Magic Flute, both with some friends I made through the program.
During the interim of the two sessions, my Chinese friend and I went on a two-night stay trip to Munich, Germany. Some of the other people of the program went to Prague, but we saw Munich as a more interesting choice for a quick trip. There was plenty to see and do there, and this picture was taken in front of City Hall in Munich.
Another picture taken in the streets of Munich. Taken in front of the Palace of Justice, Munich.
The second mandatory excursion was to the mountain Schneeburg. Unfortunately, our timing of the trip resulted in cloudy weather and we were unable to see what would have been a magnificent view. Nonetheless, the hiking trip was fun, albeit rather cold.
One of the numerous class excursions involved a tour of Art Nouveau throughout the city of Vienna. The greatest example of this architecture was the Otto von Wagner Church. The assistant coordinator of the Program, Callie Jordan, who worked directly with us students and acted as our go-to advisor, spent a great deal of time and effort putting together events and excursions throughout the city, as well as beyond, during our time there. The most memorable one was the excursion to Bratislava, in the nearby country of Slovakia. Interestingly enough, it takes merely an hour or so to get there. We arrived there by boat ferry and we took the train back. Although it was a quick one-day tour of the city and its sights, I had an enjoyable experience.
Another picture taken at Bratislava, from the Castle. This particular excursion occurred during the second session of the program, and with not much time left in the city. This picture was taken the day before the last official day in Vienna. Of course, during my time there I had been to the Hofburg a number of times, but it was on this day that I actually had a picture of me taken in front of it. And naturally, I had to juggle all the sight- seeing with classwork, and towards the end of the second session with finals and projects to consider, I spent a great deal of time concentrating on my school work. The program came to an official end on July 16 th and flew back to the United States that same day. I left behind a great city, but came back with memories of an exceptional experience.
Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the farewell party and the last parts of the program, but I leave this photo journal with of one of my favorite pictures and a great view of the city. For me, the program was an unforgettable experience with a chance to live and experience a different culture. I would certainly like to be able to experience this program again and I have many fond memories of it. I would not hesitate to recommend this program to any student who is remotely interested in German language and German/Austrian culture. I hope this photo journal helps give a bit more insight on some of what the program offers. It is impossible to show everything and describe in detail what is great about Vienna and the Study Abroad ProgramI could write a whole book on thatbut I hope this photo journal will help contribute to the continued success and legacy of this program and for future participants. Once again, I would like to thank Emory University, the German Department, my fellow participants, and the Max Kade Foundation for providing me the foundation scholarship that made my participation possible.