Federika Garcia Muchacho - 2014 Program Participant

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace -- Vienna, Austria.

Why did you decide to go abroad again with IES Abroad?

This past Summer 2014 I wanted to go abroad once again and did not hesitate when applying for another program of IES Abroad. My experience in Vienna, Austria was again incredible. I would definitely go again!

What were your housing arrangements like in Vienna?

In Vienna, myself and five other girls lived in an incredibly spacious apartment of three bedrooms, a living room, a big kitchen and two bathrooms. We were close to our class site, markets, museums, parks, and restaurants, it was also a great location!

What did a typical day look like during your psychology program in Vienna?

We would wake up have breakfast and then walk or take the train to our class site in the middle of the city. We would first have German language classes, then a lunch break, and after that we would have our psychology class. We got out of class at around 2pm and every day we explored different parts of the city. At night we would go home or to a coffee shop and finish our homework for the next day.

What are your three favorite things about the city of Vienna?

It is a city with people from all around the world, the Naschmarket, and the delicious coffee.

Opera House in Vienna, Austria

Opera House -- Vienna, Austria

Do you have any packing tips for students heading to Vienna?

I wish I would have packed a rain jacket!! It did rain a few times while in Vienna, and the wind was so strong while it was raining that an umbrella was useless. Moreover, my tennis shoes were constantly wet because I had not brought a pair of rain boots.

How has your experience studying abroad impacted your life?

Personally, traveling and studying abroad allowed me to discover myself. In both trips I went without knowing anyone and traveled to two completely different places. Because of that, I learned how to get away of my comfort zone, network, meet and interact with new people of different backgrounds, majors, experiences, and interests.

Academically, it was a great challenge to take classes outside of my school with professors I had not met and that had different teaching and grading methods than the ones I was used to. 

Professionally, studying abroad has changed my short and long term goals. I now see more than ever the importance of travel and study abroad. It taught me about cultures, beliefs, traditions, and practices different than my own, allowing me to change my perspectives, beliefs, and stereotypes about other people and countries.

If you could study abroad again, where would you go?

I would certainly study in India. I have heard great things about the country, the people, the culture, and their practices. I am highly interested in traveling one day to India and truly get immersed in the culture. I am sure it would be such a magical experience getting out of my comfort zone and traveling somewhere completely different than what I am used to.