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Vienna, Austria is the Place to Be
Submitted by andrewneilsutton - Point Loma Nazarene University | January 24, 2012
There is something in Vienna for everyone. The students in my term were from California, Oklahoma, and Texas and everybody thoroughly enjoyed their time there. If you like history and museums, Vienna has tons of wonderful museums. If you like traveling and want to get out and explore Europe, Austria neighbors 8 countries that are from a few hours away by train. If you like to go out and have a good time, there are great bars, pubs and clubs to go out and have a great time in a safe environment. If you like the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking or biking destinations in and around Vienna. The Vienna Woods are right behind the dorms and feature miles of trails to hike or bike while getting a great view of the city and seeing tons of wildlife. Also, go experience Oktoberfest and the Christmas Markets!
My choice to study abroad with IGE Abroad is by far the best decision of my life. Before signing up, I was a little hesitant on whether or not studying abroad was right for me. But by talking to my school's study abroad office and the Director of IGE Abroad, Dr. Archer, I easily became assured that going abroad was a great choice for me and that IGE Abroad would enhance my time abroad. The director of IGE Abroad worked for several years as a director of a study abroad office at a university and his knowledge and experience in regards to studying abroad, and all the aspects that go with that, is obvious and very helpful and assuring.
Besides the language barrier and the challenge that comes with maneuvering a much larger university (roughly 80,000 students annually), the most challenging aspects of the education I received at the University of Vienna came as a result of the much different expectations Austrian professors have compared to American professors. There was considerably less homework outside of the class but inside the classroom the professors at the U of Vienna were looking for much more class participation as compared to my American professors. Although it can be awkward for some students to speak up, including myself, it was a great learning tool because the students in my courses were from around the world and so it was great seeing all the different views on topics such as history, art, economics, and literature.
The differences that arise when comparing my home university to the University of Vienna come as a direct result of the differences between private education and socialized education. My home university has roughly 2,500 students while the U of Vienna is home to about 80,000 students. Not only was the U of Vienna much larger than my home university, but there are no educational standards or requirements to be accepted into the U of Vienna. There are not SATs, ACTs, or anything of that sort that are required for most American Universities. As a result of a huge university student wise and no educational standards, I found the educational experience at the University of Vienna to be very lax compared to my home university. Besides my German course which met 5 days a week for 8 weeks, my other courses only met once a week for a couple of hours. There was a small amount of homework with light reading assignments. I would not say that the education was easy, but it was definitely not challenging compared to what I am used to at my home university. The most refreshing part of my educational experience was that I found my professors to be extremely interested in what the students had to say and spent most of the class time interacting with us instead of just straight lecturing for the whole class time.
Health and Safety:
Vienna, Austria is constantly rated as one of the safest cities in the world and I could not agree more. Regardless of where I was and what time of the day it was, I always felt safe.
Submitted by cweezy - University of Denver | April 02, 2012
I initially chose this program because of its smaller size and cool travel component. After arriving in Vienna I found that there were many other key advantages that this program had. The courses were nice because we had as few as 6 students in a course which allowed me to get to know my professors well. The professors were all friendly and local experts in their fields. The living accommodations were exactly what I was looking for. We lived in double rooms with private bathrooms which were located in an international dorm that had a kitchen on each floor, a gym, a table tennis room, a sauna, an outdoor soccer field, and even on-site washers and dryers. I enjoyed the dorm most because it allowed me to make friends with local Austrian students. Knowing the locals proved to be a major benefit when it came down to finding fun things to do around the city. One of the coolest things this program does is take its students out to dinner at a local restaurant each week. It was nice to be provided a good meal in a new part of the city. Overall, this was the best semester of my life. I couldn't have asked for a better program in such an amazing city.
A more personal experience given by the owner of the program who lives there, and doesn't just sit in a desk.
Submitted by Chris Harms - University of Denver | April 30, 2012
IGE Vienna is a great program because it is built on future and former relationships, not making a profit. The Professors are personal friends with the Program Director (Your classes will be in English except for the accelerated German), and classes are held at the University of Vienna.
You will get much more out of this program than any brochure can advertise. You will have ample time in order to "do your own thing" and you will have numerous opportunities to socialize with the locals.
I highly recommend this program if you're looking for a smaller, more personalized study abroad experience with guidance or advice a cell phone call away.