Vienna, Austria is a gorgeous city located in the central region of Europe, which made it extremely convenient to travel to other cities within Europe and gain the most out of our travel experiences. IES staff also provided us with information on websites and agencies that were helpful regarding student travel.
While I was in Vienna I was able to travel to Salzburg, Austria via train and go on the Sound of Music bike tour, we went to Prague for a weekend via bus, as well as Slovakia for a day trip via bus. Also, one of our weekend field trips with IES staff included taking a bus to Budapest!
Monday through Thursday we had class in a palace that was located in the first district of Vienna (the city is split up into over 20 districts). It was a great location and was within walking distance from our apartments, which were in district 6. It was about a 20 minute walk, or you could take the U-bahn, which is Vienna's subway system--the U took about 6 minutes.
I really enjoyed my Psychology & Society class, which met Mon.-Wed. The field trips we were able to take were very interesting and I was able to learn so much. A couple of our field trips included: the Sigmund Freud Museum and the first psychiatric hospital in Vienna.
I had never taken German before, so I took a beginning German class while in Austria. We had class Mon.-Thurs. and learned quite a bit in a short amount of time. We had German homework almost every day, but it wasn't bad and allowed us not only to learn, but also to practice the native language.
As I said before, our apartments were in the 6th district and had an incredible location! We were located between Vienna's large farmer's market/flea market and Vienna's largest outdoor shopping center. The location was great, but so was the apartment itself. My apartment had 6 girls in it and consisted of three double bedrooms, a kitchen, one full bathroom, and one half bathroom. We also had a living area and a washer in the apartment (Vienna doesn't have dryers).
I thought IES abroad was helpful and loved my time in Vienna! There was so much to do, including concerts, the opera, festivals, museums, and the list could go on and on!
I think it would be beneficial if the program could pair a few study abroad students with a resident of Vienna. That way the students would have someone from the city that could answer their questions and show them local hot spots sometimes, as compared to the students consistently going to all of the tourist attractions.