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Why Vienna?

Julia Nugent
April 2, 2019

Studying abroad anywhere will give you an enriching experience. Yet, where should you choose to study? I had a hard time choosing where to go, but I ultimately decided Vienna. Why? Well, Vienna has so much to offer!

Vienna is fantastic city to explore and to live in. In fact, Vienna has been voted the best place to live for the past nine years! It’s hard to argue with those statistics. So, why exactly should you study in Vienna? Let me explain…

  1. If you love history…

Vienna has a rich history. The streets and buildings date way back to centuries past. Vienna is a great place to learn about the Austro-Hungarian Empire, World War II, and more. Vienna has also kept a lot of the historical monuments and buildings that are easily accessible. If you like to learn about history, then you should totally consider Vienna.

  1. If you love music…

Music is a no-brainer if you love classical music. Vienna was in fact the homeplace of many famous musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and more. IES Abroad offers a music program if you are currently studying music, but if you are not studying music, there are opportunities in Vienna for you as well. The opera is very close to the IES Abroad Center, and they offer discounted tickets the day of the showing. Additionally, IES Abroad regularly hosts concerts for anyone to attend. Music, in general, is welcomed and celebrated in Vienna: I often see people carrying musical instrument cases in the streets and hear music in the streets. So, if you are passionate about music, or you are just interested in music, Vienna is a great location to explore music.

  1. If you love art…

Vienna has a ton of art museums and galleries. There is even an entire area dedicated to museums: Museumquartier. There are many famous artists either from or who studied at the Viennese art school, such as Klimt, Egon Schiele, and more. I highly recommend checking out the Kunsthistorisches museum, which is the art history museum. The building itself is a work of art! If you prefer modern art, Vienna has that at the Mumok. Vienna is also home to the Albertina, which has artists such as Monet, Degas, and Picasso on display. I also recommend going out to Schönbrunn palace, where the interior has been preserved to look as it would have in the past. The gardens at Schönbrunn are free to enter and are absolutely beautiful! So, whether you are serious about art or are mildly interested, Vienna has many opportunities for you to view famous arts and learn more.

  1. If you consider yourself a foodie…

Then I highly recommend checking out Vienna’s traditional foods. And yes, that means the Vienna sausages. Wurstelstands are very common and popular around Vienna. Here, it is possible to purchase a wurst stuffed into a baguette with ketchup and/or mustard. So far, my favorite is the käsekrainer, which is a cheese-imbued wurst. Or if that is not your kind of thing, then I would also recommend schnitzel. Schnitzels are German, but they are also abundant in Austria. Vienna is also becoming more culturally diverse, so there are many stands to get falafel or gyros. There are also a lot of really good Asian restaurants such as Bao Bar or China Kitchen no. 27. While Vienna has a lot of meat options, there are also options if you have food allergens or dietary restrictions. When shopping in the grocery store, there is a section that is clearly labeled ‘vegetarian’, and there are often labels to show what the food contains and if it is vegan or not.

  1. If you love pastries...

Pastries absolutely belong in a category separate to food. Viennese pastries are internationally famous. There is the apfelstrudel, an apple pastry that is baked into a loaf with raisins. Or the Mozart torte which is chocolate cake with layers of pistaschio and marzipan. One of my favorites is the punschkrapfen, which is a cube of rum cake coated in very sweet pink icing. And of course, there is the famous Sachertorte. That is chocolate cake with apricot jam. Or there is the kaiserschmarrn, which is like chopped up pancakes with jam. The list could go on and on about all of the pastries that you could try!

  1. If you’re a coffee fanatic…

Vienna coffee is like nothing else. Vienna is well known for the coffee culture, which I found a tad difficult to get used to, but I have come to love it. There are so many cafes in Vienna, that it’s a little crazy. There are many famous cafes like Café Central, Café Sacher Wien, or Café Schwarzenberg whose history goes way back and served famous historical figures. And there are also a lot of casual cafes. Some famous coffees to look for are: the Melange is espresso with hot water and steamed milk, Einspänner is espresso with whipped cream, Eiskaffee is cold black coffee with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, Verlängerter is long black coffee, and more. Something to know is that Vienna coffee culture is very different from America. You are expected to find a table instead of being seated, at least in casual cafés. The waiter takes your order and brings your drink and food but that about it. The waiter will leave you alone until you ask for the bill. It’s not uncommon to spend hours in a café just enjoying the coffee, conversations, or a good book.

  1. If you like to travel…

Vienna is a great location if you’re trying to leave Vienna. As great as Vienna is, there are a lot of opportunities to travel around Europe as well. Austria is located in central Europe which means that traveling is very easy and affordable. One of the easiest and cheapest places to go to is Bratislava. There is a bus, boat, and a train that takes you to Bratislava for less than 20 dollars. Flights that would be really expensive from the U.S. are now less than a hundred euros!

 

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Julia Nugent

<p>I am currently a student at the University of Vermont, where I am pursuing an English degree. I have two older sisters. I I love reading, swimming, and coffee.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2019 Spring
Home University:
University of Vermont
Hometown:
South Burlington, VT
Major:
English
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