Charlie studied abroad in Vienna, Austria during the Spring semester of 2017.
IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK: A small fan–most Studentenwohnheime (dorms) don’t have AC.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, YOU CAN LEAVE AT HOME: Any kitchen tools/misc. house items–the Vienna program saves all of the previous participants’ items and you get to keep the while you’re there!
WHERE TO LIVE: Vienna is one of the best connected cities in the world via it’s subway, buses, and street cars (I’ve been to Tokyo, New York, and London–no contest) Location isn’t too important, but I’d recommend getting a non-American roommate. It’s a really cool experience!
FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY: Almost every cafe/coffeehouse will have a deal around noon-3pm where you can get a slice of cake or strudel with a Melange (Austrian cappuccino) for ~2euro. That became my lunch routine.
BEST PERSONAL HIDEOUT: Cafe Kafka (just off of Mariahilferstraße).
FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: Any coffee house outside of the first district (first district is a bit loud).
MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH: Zwiebelrostbraten! (onions, potatoes, and meat–fried to perfection and omg it’s pretty awesome).
BEST PHOTO OP: It’s pretty cliche but taking a picnic on the hill behind the Schönnbrunn palace at sunset with some Austrian wine is pretty amazing for photo ops.
BIGGEST FAIL: The public transit seems “unmonitored” in that no one checks your tickets to board, but they have surprise inspections by people in normal clothes. Don’t be THAT American….
BEST PURCHASE: Gelato, every Friday, on the Donaukanal.
BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM: The program coordinators do an amazing job hosting events. Go to as many as possible!
MOST MEMORABLE TRIP: I found a really cheap flight to Berlin (at 10pm) that departed Vienna at 1am. I ran to the airport and was the last one to board the flight, but had a really fun, inexpensive trip.
BEST LOCAL EVENT/HOLIDAY: Inselfest–it’s like Lollapalooza with a lot more (better) beer.
FAVORITE LOCAL WORD/SLANG: “Servas!” (a viennese pronunciation on the greeting “Servus”).
IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN… I’d leave for Vienna earlier (I waited until the semester started in February).