Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music sang it best: “Climb every mountain, / Ford every stream, / Follow every rainbow, / Till you find your dream.” The song “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” was written as an inspirational song to motivate people to pursue their dreams. As I’ve been planning for my semester abroad, I’ve often felt like I’ve been climbing mountains to achieve this goal. From COVID closures delaying my original plan by 3 semesters, trying to arrange my class schedules to align the classes I need to take with what will be offered through IES Abroad and count towards my graduation requirements, working with my advisors to make sure I could still study abroad and graduate on time with a double major—I’m pretty sure at this point, I’ve seen it all.
But with lots of patience and perseverance, I did it. I climbed every mountain that was in front of me and forded every stream that was in my path. I followed every byway and even forged some new paths. Now, my dream of studying abroad is becoming a reality. I have no doubt that it will be worth the wait. And as my day of departure for Vienna is now quickly approaching, I can’t help but keep dreaming. In The Sound of Music, when Maria is on her way to the von Trapp house, she sings, “What will this day be like? / I wonder / What will my future be? / I wonder.” I often wonder what my semester abroad will bring. What will it be like? But also, just like Maria, “I Have Confidence” that my semester in Vienna will be an amazing adventure. It's not everyday that I get to study music in The Music Capital of the World, and I know how blessed I am to be able to have this opportunity. I want to make the most out of every moment and there are so many things I am looking forward to during my semester abroad. It’s impossible to name all of them, but here’s a sample of just a few of the things I can’t wait to experience in Vienna:
- My Teaching Internship: I’m very excited to meet the students at the school where I will intern. IES Abroad has an amazing opportunity to complete a supervised teaching internship abroad. I’m looking forward to volunteering in a Viennese classroom and meeting new people. I hope to learn about the history and culture of Vienna and I know that the cultural exchange between myself and my students will be a valuable experience.
- Attending Music Performances: They don’t call Vienna “The Music Capital of the World'' for nothing. There are numerous musical opportunities to attend every single night! I’m looking forward to attending some operas, concerts, musicals, and exploring all the music history that Vienna has to offer!
- Attending a Viennese Ball: Okay, I’ll admit it. When I was little, I wanted to be a Princess when I grew up. And maybe I can experience a little bit of being a princess when I attend a Viennese Ball!
- Exploring all of Vienna’s Christmas Markets (and drinking hot cocoa): The magic of Christmas comes alive in Vienna and the city is decorated with immense spirit. I’m so excited to explore all that the Christmas season brings in Vienna, and sipping hot chocolate in a souvenir mug!
- Traveling: What better way to learn about Europe, than living in Europe. I am so excited to explore all that Austria has to offer and take some side trips to nearby countries!
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Hallo! Ich heiße Carissa. I’m a Westmont College senior who is double majoring in Music Education and History. I am an enthusiastic musician and play the oboe and English horn. In my not-so-free time, you can usually find me baking cupcakes or cookies, painting, or planting seeds in my garden.