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!

BEST PLACES TO EAT: Berliner Döner–Order a “Lamb Döner mit alles und scharf” (if you don’t speak German, just trust me, that is what you want!) Location: Westbahstraße and Zieglergasse.

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).



Alex studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland during the Spring semester of 2017.
IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK: A rain jacket and comfortable shoes.
WHERE TO LIVE: Live in the dorms on campus.  The school holds spots for international students, and the dorms are quite conveniently located.
BEST PLACES TO EAT: The Stag’s Head.
FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY: Listening to live music, especially traditional Irish music in local pubs.
BEST PERSONAL HIDEOUT: Student Lounge in the International Building.
FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: James Joyce Library study areas.
MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH: Fish and Chips or Fish Stew.
BEST PHOTO OP: Cliffs of Moher.
BIGGEST FAIL: Missing a train that nearly caused me to miss my flight.
MOST INTERESTING CLASS: Buildings and the Environment.
BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM: The opportunity to travel to different parts of Ireland and meet the locals.
MOST MEMORABLE TRIP: Spring break trip to Budapest, VIenna, and Prague.
IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN… Travel more on my own.



Matthew studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina during the Spring of 2017.

IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK: A battery pack for charging electronics (great for long bus rides), and a small gift from home for your host family.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, YOU CAN LEAVE AT HOME: Big expensive camera (someone else in your program will probably have one and share the photos with you). A really large suitcase — don’t want to get charged for oversized bags.  One large (40L) backpack and a medium sized checked bag should be enough.  Packing lighter will make in-country travel easier.  No need to bring consumables like shampoo (they take up a lot of space and are easy to buy once you get there).
WHERE TO LIVE: Homestay for sure!  Almost all of my friends really enjoyed living with host families.  If it doesn’t work out, you can always switch host families. I lived in Godoy Cruz, close enough to the city center and university (20 minute walk, short bus ride), but it also had more of a neighborhood than city feeling.  Even though you have slightly less independence, the benefits (constant language immersion, home-cooked meals, second family in another part of the world) far outweigh any downsides.

BEST PLACES TO EAT: Zampa (Fun ambiance, somewhat pricey, great food and large drink menu); El Palenque Aristides (Good variety of typical food, good price. We would go here as a group occasionally); Club de la Milanesa (Must try! Two locations – Aristides street and Chacras de Coria neighborhood – the one in Chacras has a better outdoor eating area); Arabian Food Truck on Colon street (great falafel for a good price — opposite corner from Universidad de Congreso); La Tabla – Beer & Grill (HUGE portions. The barbecue plate for “3 people” was probably enough for 6)

Azafrán (Best dining experience I had. It is expensive though, so maybe save this for a final dinner or if you have family come and visit. They have an above ground wine cellar room that you can go in and select a bottle with the help of the sommelier); Josefina Resto (Another really tasty spot, but also kind of expensive); All the ice cream shops!
FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY: Almost every Sunday afternoon my host family would have a barbecue in the “quincho” (a room dedicated to barbecues). One big cultural difference I noticed is how often family gets together. In the USA, I might see my extended family for holidays; however, at my homestay, my host parents’ children and their families would come every Sunday (sometimes for lunch on weekdays as well!).
BEST PERSONAL HIDEOUT: The garden of my host family. Most homes had a private backyard/garden and on nice days (so almost every day) I would try to spend some time there.
FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: My room with some “mate” and hot water (an essential study buddy).
MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH: The asado (barbecue).  It’s seasoned with just salt and slow cooked over a wood fire.
BEST PHOTO OP: Either Potrerillos Dam or go on a hike to one of the Aconcagua (tallest mountain in the Americas) base camps.
BIGGEST FAIL: Finding myself in the middle of a flash flood while on a trip to Buenos Aires and only having packed one pair of shoes.
BEST PURCHASE: Mate and bombilla (a gourd and metal straw for drinking the customary hot beverage)
MOST INTERESTING CLASS: Close tie between my “Water Resources in Arid Climates” class and my winery internship.
BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM: Meeting people through the local Ultimate Frisbee club (no need to be any good, great way to meet locals, this is where me and the other exchange students were invited to a bunch of social events (kayaking in the mountains, barbecues, etc.), Facebook group: Ultimate Mendoza).
MOST MEMORABLE TRIP: Even though it wasn’t a long trip, going to my host sister’s wedding.  It was especially fun acting as a Spanish/English translator for her host parents who came from Australia (she studied abroad years ago). Favorite “far-away” trip was to Bariloche.  Great hiking and outdoorsy activities — and chocolate!
BEST LOCAL EVENT/HOLIDAY: Vendimia (wine grape harvest festival).
FAVORITE LOCAL WORD/SLANG: “Ojo”.  It literally means eye, but there is an associated hand gesture and someone does it when they want to say “be careful”, “stay on your toes” or something to that effect.  My host mom would say this a lot.
IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN… I’d stay for two semesters.



Stephanie studied abroad in Munich, Germany during the Summer of 2017.

IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK: Passport, CASH, backpack, laptop, towels/toiletries, snacks for early mornings, swimsuit, a light jacket.


WHERE TO LIVE: I lived in a hostel with the rest of the students in my program but would recommend an apartment if given the choice. I enjoyed living next to the other students, but the hostel we stayed at wasn’t the best…

BEST PLACES TO EAT: Hofbrauhaus, Hirschgarten, Brenner Operngrill, Vapiano (Italian).

FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY: Heading to the Englischer Garten for swimming, relaxing, and hanging out at the beer garden by the   Chinese Tower.

BEST PERSONAL HIDEOUT: Nymphenburg Palace garden.

FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: Technical University of Munich or McDonald’s for the free wifi; I studied for my finals at the Englischer Garten (with books) and had a pleasant experience.

MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH: Schnitzel and the gigantic pretzels.

BEST PHOTO OP: Englischer Garten, Odeonsplatz, Nymphenburg Palace gardens, Max-Joseph-Platz, Olympic Stadium.

BIGGEST FAIL: While visiting the Deutsches Museum, I was locked inside of the storage room below the mine exhibit which is very far down… My friends were taking too many photos in the exhibit so I decided to go on by myself and immediately got trapped for 45 minutes.

BEST PURCHASE: Throughout the trip, I was able to buy a lot of nice jewelry for cheaper prices than in the US. I also love the traditional German steins that I bought for my family!

MOST INTERESTING CLASS: Nanotechnology lectures were very interesting to me, but I specifically liked the research project at the end of the semester. My group researched and presented on the characterization and fabrication of 2D nanomaterials and learned a lot from it, which helped us for the final.

BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM: Meeting people from around the world and having the opportunity to study with them and travel every weekend as a group. Also, there were a lot of karaoke bars around so we made sure to go to them in our free time, which we had a lot of. Class-wise I like how classes were split up and seemed to be the right length; a portion of our grade was dedicated to networking, writing your CV/cover letters, and visiting companies like BMW, Infineon, Walter-Schottky Institute…

MOST MEMORABLE TRIP: Hiking in the Austrian Alps or visiting Prague with my closer friends in the program.

BEST LOCAL EVENT/HOLIDAY: There was a music festival and beer garden set up on one of our school’s campuses. After dinner during the first week, everyone in my program would walk over to the event and had a blast listening to live music, dancing, and socializing.

FAVORITE LOCAL WORD/SLANG: I used the word “Entschuldigung” on a daily basis throughout the trip…

IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN… As a freshman, I was hesitant about going on this trip and ended up being the only freshman in the      program. However, I had the most amazing experience last summer and wouldn’t trade it for the world; I met some of my closest friends, traveled around Europe with friends, and immersed myself in German culture while learning about nanotechnology through lectures and research.



Stephanie studied abroad in South Korea and United Kingdom during the Spring and Summer of 2017.

IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK: Travel documents!! Things like your passport, hotel reservations, flight tickets, train tickets, etc. are obviously very important. I also recommend google-mapping places and saving screenshots because finding your hostel in the middle of the night by yourself with almost no navigation after a 14 hour journey can be pretty nerve-wracking (and expensive since international data rates are crazy). Trust me on this.

ON SECOND THOUGHT, YOU CAN LEAVE AT HOME: Don’t bother bringing school supplies with you, like notebooks, pencils, etc., as they’ll weigh your bag down and they’re pretty easy to find once you get to your host country. An exception would be a folder to hold all your travel documents.

WHERE TO LIVE: I stayed in a student flat (University Hall) when I lived at Bristol, which was nice because we each (6 of us) got our own room and bathroom and shared a kitchen. At POSTECH, I lived in an all-female dorm with a communal bathroom and living space. Housing in England was comparable to dorm prices at UIUC, but campus housing in Korea was crazy cheap (around $100/month).

BEST PLACES TO EAT: In Bristol, two places I would always eat at were a Japanese restaurant called Bento Boss and a dessert restaurant called Kaspa’s. My favorite food to get at Bento Boss was their chicken udon and Kaspa’s was known for having amazing sundaes, waffles, and milkshakes.

FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY: My favorite cultural activity was the “Gogul Templestay” during my summer in South Korea. It consisted of us traveling to a local Buddhist temple and learning the ways of the Korean Buddhist monks that lived there. This included learning sunmudo (a type of martial art), practicing archery, and a very intimidating ceremonial lunch.

BEST PERSONAL HIDEOUT: I really liked my room in my flat in England. With my own private bathroom and a small collection of snacks, it was easy for me to occasionally relax with a movie or TV show for many hours without even having to leave my room.

FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY: I really enjoyed studying at “Beacon House” at the University of Bristol. It was connected to a cafe and there was a lot of light, but it was usually pretty hard to find a place to sit.

MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH: “Mulhui” (물회) is a raw fish soup very famous in the southeastern part of South Korea, especially in coastal cities like Pohang and Busan. It’s a spicy cold soup made with fresh raw flounder.

BEST PHOTO OP: My favorite photo op was at Gyeongbokgung ( 경복궁) palace in Seoul wearing traditional Korean hanbok. This historical palace was also right in front of the house of the South Korean president (the “Blue House”).

BIGGEST FAIL: I took a trip to Amsterdam with a friend during spring break (FYI: spring break is 3 weeks long for most British universities) and we were trying to find our way to a museum not too far away. After 20 minutes of walking we realized we were walking the complete opposite direction.

BEST PURCHASE: My best purchase was definitely my T-Money card in Korea. Korea’s public transportation is cool in that most public transport (buses, metros, and some taxis) uses the same card anywhere in the country. T-money cards are cheap, come in many (mostly cute) designs, and are extremely useful for getting around.

MOST INTERESTING CLASS: This one’s gotta go to “Politics of Performance” at the University of Bristol, which I took as part of my minor in Theatre. The class was centered around how theatre has been shaped by history and political turmoil and the content as well as the unique perspective was super interesting.

BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM: This is a hard one, but I would say meeting new people was overall the best part of my year abroad. It was so cool to be able to talk to people from so many different countries and get a better perspective of the world.

MOST MEMORABLE TRIP: I was lucky enough to go on many fantastic trips, but perhaps my most memorable was a 6-day trip to Spain. A friend and I toured Madrid and Salamanca, taking in all the beautiful and historic scenery that we could.

BEST LOCAL EVENT/HOLIDAY: I really enjoyed celebrating Chuseok (추석) during my time in South Korea. This fall harvest festival is comparable to Thanksgiving in the US, and consists of wearing traditional Korean clothing, called hanbok (한복), and eating traditional Korean foods like songpyeon (송편), among other activities.

FAVORITE LOCAL WORD/SLANG: I’d say my favorite local word/slang is the Korean word “daebak” (대박). It kind of translates into “awesome,” and I would occasionally overhear my Korean classmates saying this.

IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN… I would probably make more of an effort to join a club and befriend locals, especially in England. Unfortunately since I arrived at both universities in the middle of their respective school years, it was a little hard to join clubs so I ended up hanging out mostly with other international students (which was still cool, though).