Reflections on a Summer in Wien

Headshot of Madeleine Sherry.
Madeleine Sherry
July 20, 2023
Two girls together on a ferris wheel smiling at sunset

While I’m still in Vienna, I wanted to reflect on my summer so far and share about my time here. This was one of the most fun-packed, travel-heavy, and learning-intense experiences I’ve ever had, and it feels important to talk about what my summer here was actually like.

Staying at The Social Hub was a really positive experience for me overall. They had trivia every Thursday night, free laundry, ping pong and foosball tables, and a shared kitchen in each section. I got lucky with the people who I shared a kitchen with, and we all would cook together and watch movies in the shared space. One of my favorite memories there was the Fourth of July, where a few friends and I had a huge cookout with all of the American classics, like mac and cheese, burgers, peach cobbler and watermelon to celebrate the holiday together while abroad. Having the shared spaces allowed for one’s own room to be a quiet, safe space which was really nice for recharging after a long day at work and classes.

Another aspect of the program that I really enjoyed were the optional events. I actually just went to one where we went to an amazing pool (read my other blog post to hear about it!) which was great. In the past few weeks, I also participated in the Graz Trip, Karaoke Night, Trivia Night, and an adventure to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the English Theater here in Vienna. Those are just a few of the events that were offered, and they all enriched my overall experience through bonding with the other interns and participating in the culture here.

I’d also say that even with internships and classes taking up most of the day during the week, I had lots of time to hang out with friends and get all my outside-of-class work done. One of the things I really like about European culture is that a lot of things don’t even start until later in the day. My friends and I were able to take evening walks that ended up at outdoor film festivals, ice cream adventures and mini shopping excursions. I’d recommend to anyone coming to Europe to take advantage of all the free local events! In a city as big as Vienna, it seemed like there was something big happening almost every week that was free to attend.

The most important part of the experience, I'd say, was making strong bonds and getting deep about the real stuff with the friends I made here. I never expected to come out of this experience with such true friendships, but I was happily surprised to get so close with people here. Turns out coming to the same place with the same goals might actually mean you have things in common! I'm excited to be able to look back on this time with such fondness as well as look forward to the future experiences I get to have with these friends.

Overall, the learning mixed with free time mixed with exploration allowed for a genuinely eye-opening European experience. I highly recommend to anyone thinking about studying abroad to consider coming to Vienna (especially over the summer!), as most of us on the program agreed that out of all the cities we visited, Vienna was the one we liked the most. The funny thing I realized about our travels was the sense of relief we all felt as we rolled into Vienna after a weekend abroad, and how much like home it became even though we’d only been here for a short period of time. I can say with certainty that if you come here, you won’t regret it!

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Headshot of Madeleine Sherry.

Madeleine Sherry

Hi! I'm Madeleine Sherry and I'm a junior at Whitman College majoring in Mathematics. I'm a captain of the lacrosse team and a member of Delta Gamma on campus. In my free time, I love to read, spend time outside, and hang out with friends!

2023 Summer 1
Home University:
Whitman College
Bainbridge Island, WA
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