Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kimberly S. - Salzburg, Austria - Fall 2011

My program started quite a bit later than others, so it's only now that I am really getting a feel for the city of Salzburg. The city is absolutely beautiful. From the mountains that surround the city, one is treated to an absolutely breathtaking view, whether it is day or night. Everywhere I look, I see church steeples and an obvious effort to maintain the architecture and structures of old. Salzburg most definitely is deeply rooted in it's past and takes great pride in its famous sons (most especially Mozart. Every store it seems carries Mozart souvenirs to purchase or some statue or pictures in reference to him) It's funny that Austrians have a reputation for efficiency because they also certainly value taking their sweet time. For an American, going to a restaurant can be an almost infuriating experience at first because of how long it can take to be recognized by the waitstaff, get one's food, and finally pay the bill. Basically, I need to get adjusted to leaving myself more time and taking a moment to breath and enjoy my surrounding. Walking and biking (as well as public transportation) are the ways to get around. Since Salzburg is such an old city, most of the infrastructure is based upon pedestrian zones. Most of the Altstadt (old city) is also not gridded, so it can be easy to get lost. Another somewhat foreign thing to get used to is store and office hours. Most stores are not open on Sunday (so one must plan ahead for groceries) and in general stores close earlier than in America and administrative offices have very limited operating hours as well. If you need something (such as your student ID card) plan on being there at opening hour.

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with speaking German because I didn't review quite enough over the summer. I would like to be speaking more German, but having a large group of Americans for my program and an American roommate can be quite a disadvantage. Hopefully I will be able to start practicing my language skills more now that my classes are actually starting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, for my study away class, I was wondering if you could give two tips for selecting classes abroad?
Pamela, Elmhurst College

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would also appreciate two tips for picking classes. Have you noticed that some are more challenging culturally than others?

Sarah Consoer

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tips for choosing study abroad classes:

Depends on what you're after! For me, only one class was fulfilling a Gen Ed requirement. That meant all of my other classes were pretty open. I chose what I thought would be interesting such as a current events class in Austria. Also, don't feel like you have to take a million classes if you don't have to. I am literally taking basically the bare minimum so I can concentrate on learning the language and travel as much as possible. I also ended up having to drop and switch classes because I knew one of my choices would be far beyond my language skills. Don't be afraid to make a change.

Kim Schaefer

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Andriy Dvirnyy said...

What is the schedule for classes overall? I mean do you still have enough time to explore Europe while taking all the classes and completing all of the homework?

10:14 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

How were you able to cope with the differences and were you at all overwhelmed? I am going to Australia in the spring and I am worried about the culture shock and becoming too overwhelmed.


10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, I was just wondering if you experienced culture shock at all when you got to Salzburg and if you did how did you adjust?

Lindsay Ryan

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, you mentioned there were some things that were hard to adjust to at first abroad, since you have been there for a while have you managed to adjust to Austrian society?
-Shelby K.

8:06 PM  

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