May 19, 2017
Today we had our last exam, the last time we had German, the last time we would all walk through the doors of IES Abroad, Palais Corbelli. Our five month stay in Vienna has come to an end and most people would be gone by tomorrow. Finishing the exam and seeing everyone hanging around downstairs, accumulating as they turn by turn finished, brought me back to high school when everyone would finish school at the same time. It also felt like graduation in that this would be the last time many of us would be seeing each other. Unlike college, where everyone just goes home for the year on whichever day they finished their final, we all finished in unison and would be parting ways, not to return the next semester.
After the final, our program hosted a goodbye BBQ in the Vienna Woods. A shuttle picked up batches of IES Abroad students and brought them to the secluded yet seemingly popular spot at the edge of the woods. There was a restaurant at this place that had a buffet set up. Although there were plenty of IES Abroad affiliated people there, there were still some families or neighbors who were also there for the day. I’m pretty sure most people hadn’t made it to the Vienna Woods yet, so this was a great last way for them to see something new before leaving Vienna. Most people I knew attended the BBQ. The weather was great with the sun shining down and a gentle breeze. Several people were throwing a football or Frisbee or just sitting in the grass.
The whole basement level of Flannagan’s had been rented out for IES Abroad students that night. The issue with having to say goodbye right after finals is that I was exhausted and sleep deprived from all the activities we were doing the past week and trying to study for my finals. After a quick nap, I made it to Flannagan’s where you could find most people singing their hearts out one last time with the people they had spent the past five months getting to know.
It seemed that no one wanted to leave and kept finding ways to prolong the night. Several times, someone would say goodbye to me only to find them 30 minutes later, still not departed. A lot of people had early flights the next day and so some committed to just not sleeping that night at all. Eventually, I finished my round of goodbyes and made it home for the night, knowing I still had a lot of packing to do. Two of my roommates would be leaving the next morning but I still had 5 more days in Vienna and my other roommate was not leaving until Sunday.
The next morning, after saying goodbye to two of my roommates, I spent the day packing and getting ice cream after dinner with my remaining roommate for one last goodbye. Sunday at 3 am, I ordered my roommate an Uber to the airport and said one last goodbye. I was all alone in the apartment and the sadness was finally starting to hit me. Fortunately, I was kept busy by the fact that I had to be out of the apartment, leaving everything spotless, by 10 am. The next 4 days would definitely tough without everyone else there to keep me company.
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<p>April is a junior at Harvard University studying Neurobiology and Astrophysics. When she is not in the lab or looking at the stars, she likes to force her friends to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack, get away to the beautiful beaches of Southern California, and plan spontaneous trips. April is studying in Vienna, Austria this spring to drink lots of coffee, learn some German, and finally learn how to Waltz.</p>