Arrival in Vienna, Austria

By Nicholas F.

Feb. 2, 2016

Austria, not to be confused with Australia, is a small country in Europe that’s called home by roughly 8 million people and, now, after months of waiting, I can include myself in that count. In this blog entry, there’s a lot I could talk about. So to keep this from becoming a biography of sorts, a short summary of the events that transpired in my first month abroad will have to suffice.

Flight over Europe
Flight over Europe on the way to Vienna.

The flight, my first ever flight, was thankfully uneventful aside from the breathing bags deploying for the row in front of me. After roughly 12 hours of traveling, I landed in Vienna, Austria, got to my hotel room and start the seemingly-long process of waiting to meet the IES program people the next day. Due to me still being by the airport, there was a rather short list of things I could do to try to pass the time. After testing out my German comprehension with some German-dubbed U.S. shows, and after realizing I couldn’t get any of the light switches to work, I wanted to try out my German with one of the people at the reception desk. The good news from the conversation was that to use the power in the room, I simply need to “plug in” my room key. Awesome, problem solved. However, I also learned I’m quite intimidated by native speakers and, as a result, I quickly forget how to say all but the most basic things. It was really quite annoying. However, as the days went on and I started to use my German more often, I grew more comfortable speaking it outside of a classroom and am finally able to, I hope, not make a mockery of the language.

IES Abroad, my program, took us to a small town in the mountains called Mariazell for our orientation. A truly wonderful town and area. I had a great time there with the other people in the program, but after a couple of days I was definitely ready to go to Vienna. Since getting here I’ve had German class daily, and have been exploring the city with the free time I have. There always seems to be more places and things to experience.

The mountains surrounding Mariazell.
Town center
Panorama of the town center.
About the blogger

Nicholas F. is studying abroad on the IES Abroad: European Society and Culture program in Vienna, Austria.