"So... How was it?"

Paige Balut
December 25, 2018

Since coming home, I have heard the same question over and over:

How was studying abroad

On the plane ride home, I actually made bullet points to answer the impending question. This letter is for family, friends and anyone else who wants to know how my study abroad was. So here it is:

Dear Everyone,

Studying abroad was amazing! Every article will tell you about how much you change and how weird coming home is. The plane ride home felt unreal. In this time traveling home (all 13 hours on 2 different planes), I want to reflect.

While abroad, I met so many friends that soon became my study abroad family. My roommates were always there to great each other with a loud and happy "Hallo! Wie geht es dir?"

All those classes in German, and we never once got away from saying a very simple "hello! How is you day?" Those smiling faces of my Vienna family will be something I remember for a long time. If I ever want to travel, I know have friends in just about every U.S. city that I hope to visit some day. 

Food! The food was amazing! Also, I hate cooking. I would rather do anything else but if I wanted to eat in Vienna, I had to do it. In my five months abroad, I became a pretty decent chef (and no Dad, that does not mean I will cook every meal for you once I am home).

On the few days where I had no time to cook, I had many cups of coffee from the fabulous cafes in Vienna. I am going to miss all the coffee in Vienna and may be a bit of a coffee snob once I return home.

I picked Vienna to study music. All my friends and family know how important music is to me. When I read about the Vienna study abroad, I knew it was the chance to immerse myself in a culture of music. I saw so many different shows and met many musicians. In that time, I played in five different chamber groups. Each group taught me something different. All the coaching sessions gave me so much musical knowledge that I can't wait to share with my colleagues back home.

The faculty at IES Abroad was super! They cared so much for each student and want to get to know us. My individual flute professor was amazing, and I can not thank her enough. She was encouraging and pushed me hard. I can say after a semester with her, I am returning home a better player. To my German prof, danke! I can actually get through a simple German conversation now and have come a long way. My other favorite class was my Education class. This was such an amazing experience to sit in an Austrian classroom. Also the professor pushed us all to see the world. The IES Abroad staff was such a big support system and helped me in so many different ways.

While I may be nervous to make my big return to my university, I know that I will be welcomed back with open arms. Studying abroad will not tear you away from your friends and family. If anything, it will show you how much people care for you and how much you appreciate home.

Five months and thirteen countries later, I am finally coming home with a new found confidence. Washington, get ready because I am coming for you.

Paige Balut
A Fresh IES Abroad Alumni 

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

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
Explore Blogs