Over the River and Through the Woods, to not Vienna...

Paige Balut
August 23, 2018

Arriving at the Vienna airport on Monday, it was not hard to spot other IES Abroad students. Just look for the people speaking English and have an abnormal amount of luggage. By the time check in was supposed to start, most had arrived.

After that, it was off to Vienna! Well, not really... we were off to Mariazell to spend four days getting to know IES Abroad away from the craziness of the city. The town was super cute and almost magical. Here are some photos from around the hostel.

That night, the director gave an inspirational speech. One that put many of us at ease. Here is a quick overview of what was said:
You did something that someone else did not. You didn't return to your university and instead got on a plane and went somewhere new. You took a new challenge.


Orientation pushed many of us outside of our comfort zone but showed how IES Abroad  is very willing to help. Some parts were boring, some stressful and some entertaining (such as our first waltzing lesson).

Over these last 4 days, I got to meet most of the 161 students that are currently in Vienna. I found out their stories. Whether it was a name, a hometown, a home university or their favorite color, we all got to know each other a little more. I do not feel as anxious to be in Vienna, knowing that I now have a few friends by my side.

Now it is actually off to Vienna to start the semester!

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Paige Balut

<p>Hi! I am a junior Music Education major at Pacific Lutheran University. When I am not practicing or doing schoolwork, I love to spend time with my cat and dog! Fun Fact: I am also a huge supercross fan! I love watching dirtbike races. I also go to a dirtbike track on the weekends to watch my dad ride while I walk my dog around!</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
Pacific Lutheran University
Renton, WA
Music Education
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