Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Aditya S - Vienna, Austria - Spring 2015

Hey there! My name is Aditya Sharma and I am studying Music at IES Vienna (Spring ’15). I don’t even know where to begin my praise for this breath-taking city. From grand, majestic museums that house Picasso’s and Cezanne’s to a plethora of Opera houses and performance arenas that regularly stage musical works that are in the least, spectacular, Vienna is a sparkling oasis to the weary traveler; a freakishly beautiful dream that you pray never ends. I flew into the city on the 8th of January where I met 80 other students from all across the United States. Our hosts then drove us to a quaint, charming town called Mariazell (in the district of Styria) for a 3-day orientation where we were taken through the history of Vienna (which is quite fascinating) and spent a lot of time getting to know one another which I suppose was one of the primary objectives of the event.

I am writing this post after completing 2 weeks of class and absolutely love every second of my time here. What I would recommend is brushing up on your German (assuming you don’t speak the language like me) because it will make it a lot easier to find your way around the city, especially in the first few weeks. About Vienna itself, it is layered with history, its residents are very accommodating and reach out to you if you look a little lost. All in all, it’s been a great experience so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store for me. Auf Wiedersehen!

15 Comments:

Blogger Maggie Bisaga said...

Hey Aditya!!
It's Maggie from Elmhurst!! I am so happy to hear that you are having a good time. They way you describe Vienna makes it sounds absolutely incredible. I hope your music is going well and continue to work hard :) Everybody misses you and we all cannot wait to hear about your adventures! I am in the CPE 250 class now and I am planning on studying abroad in Nepal & India for fall 2015. Do you have any tips? You have to tell me about some good places to visit in India while I'm there.
Miss you I hope you have an amazing journey <3
Maggie B

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Aditya,

This is Stephanie from the CPE 250 class! Sounds like you are having an amazing time, and I'm so jealous of you. I know you mentioned brushing up on German because it makes it easier. Was there culture shock when you go there and anything else that you had to adjust to regarding their culture?

Stephanie H

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Aditya,
It's Jill from Elmhurst College, I am currently enrolled in CPE 250. This past year my family and I came in contact with our "long lost family" who still lives in Austria! Therefore, when I am traveling abroad I would absolutely love to travel there. Are there any places you would recommend visiting?
Jill H

1:04 PM  
Blogger Hannah Lipman said...

Hey Aditya!
My name's Hannah I'm currently in CPP250. It sounds like you're having a really great time so far in an amazing place. I am going to Dublin this summer and one thing that concerns me some is the different of culture and adjusting quickly. Was it hard for you to adjust? Was there any type of culture shock?
Enjoy yourself!!!
Hannah Lipman

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Kayla K said...

Hi Aditya,

It sounds like you are having so much fun! You make me really want to visit! DId you have any trouble picking out classes? Was the process easier or harder then here?

HAVE FUN! :)
Kayla K

3:43 PM  
Blogger Kristen Rossi said...

Hey Aditya! Vienna looks so fun! What would be your two tips for selecting classes when abroad?
Thanks,
Kristen R.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Gary N. said...

Hi Aditya! I plan to travel to Austria when I study abroad. What were some examples of culture shock that you experienced in Vienna?

12:56 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Maggie, thank you so much! I'm having a great time here. This place is so much more than what I expected it to be. i miss you guys too. Really happy to hear that you are going to India and Nepal next semester! It's going to be incredible. There are a few things I would recommend doing beforehand. Read up on city reviews and travel blogs before you go there but don't go with any preconceived notions of what your experience might be. The best way to enjoy a country as diverse as India is to work on a "calculated impulse" if you know what i mean. Our diet is very rich in flavor and spice,so take a bottle of antacid syrup with you, you'll need it. Finally, poverty is still a problem that we're trying to tackle and, beggars might try to harass you for money because you're not a local. Don't be intimidated! Give them whatever you consider appropriate but practice that compassion in moderation. I have a friend from Nepal who is better equipped to answer those questions for you. I will ask her to get in touch with you soon. I hope you're having a wonderful semester so far! Take care. :)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Stephanie, there was definitely a moment where I felt like I rolled down the rabbit hole. It was a lot less evident because I didn't go there with any expectations about my experience. In terms of adjusting to their culture, Austrians are very respectful people and expect the same in return. The country has incredible coffee culture so if you enjoy the occasional cup of caffeine you're in for a treat. Speaking German is definitely an added perk but having a working knowledge of the language when you get here should get you through the first few days just fine. All the best!

2:08 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Jill, really happy to hear that you've found another place you can call home.:) I would definitely recommend going to the Opera, the Philharmonic (you can buy tickets for pretty cheap as a student), try and visit the cathedrals in and around the city which are gorgeous. Vienna has an incredible coffee culture that I would recommend exploring too, not to mention their absolutely disregard for discretion when it comes to chocolates and pastries. :) Try to visit the towns in and around the city too if you can. Salzburg for example is very close to Vienna, you could start there and see where the road takes you. Hope this helps, all the best!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Hannah, It was a lot less evident because I didn't go there with any expectations about my experience. I would suggest reading up on the areas that you will be spending time in but not necessarily projecting that information as a template for your experience there. Hope this helps! All the best.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Kayla, the process was very efficient in my case. I was given information on every class that I could choose and was briefed on the syllabi for all of them. The staff made the process of selection a lot easier than what I expected it to be. Hope this helps!

2:21 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Kristen, I would recommend looking at how the courses you will be taking at your host school fit into the graduation requirements at Elmhurst. Also,looking at whether what you're studying in the classroom is somehow relevant to the environment you're in makes the learning process a lot more fruitful. Hope this helps!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Aditya Sharma Music said...

Hi Gary, the "shock" was a lot less evident because I didn't go there with any expectations on what my experience was going to be like. Having said that, I was really surprised at how affable Austrians are, they're very easy to talk to and are very respectful to the people around them. I was also surprised to find a thriving coffee culture in the city. Its a very big part of their lifestyle and you'll find a lot of cool places experience that when you get here. Hope this helps!

2:35 PM  
Blogger Karina Ambriz said...

It sounds like a beautiful place! I would love to travel there someday!

3:20 PM  

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