What’s Next?

Ramon Giron-Melendez
February 1, 2013

Its crazy to realize that I’ve already been with IES in Vienna for 3 whole weeks! It’s even crazier to think that intensive German will be over by tomorrow afternoon and all that will remain will be a final exam, some worksheets, and crows feet by our still young eyes. Some say New York City is the city that never sleeps, but after some time here and time to reflect on my weeks thus far in Vienna, I’d like to give Vienna a moment in the sun. In fact, I would like to describe Vienna as the city that “never stops giving.” But wait, giving what Ramon? And what does this have to with intensive German? Wether Vienna is honoring the great geniuses of the past or pushing forward, Vienna truly has art and music from every corner of the Western world! In the mood for some Renaissance art? Stroll over to the Kunsthistoriches Museum! Longing for some realism and dark sexuality? Run on over to Das Leopold Museum! In the mood for some refined modern art, where the lighting is low and one can go for a quick Merlot before the exhbition? Daddle on over to the Mumok! See what I mean? Everywhere you turn it is as if you have walked into a new century, world, or even era! It’s strange to realize that a city the size of Vienna (1.8 million) could offer such a mulitpilicty of cultural doors. Many often portray the country as an awkard younger sibling of Germany, who tries and yearns to be as cool as the eldest son, but simply cannot be. Alas friends, Austria has proven her self worth well enough.

Although having lived in Boston for 18 years and New York City for 2, I have to say Vienna, as a city,  has more than lived up to her  international prestige, and that’s only after 3 weeks! Moreover, arriving here already with 5 semesters  of German, taught by the illustrious faculty of  the German department at Columbia, I have to say, German as a language also….keeps on giving! One would think that 5 semesters would give one, an edge, might we say, on basic German communication. But with three weeks of German instruction 3 hours a day, Monday through Friday, even my German was surprised by how much further it could be refined. I was surprised to see how as a student, my language skills could be quickly enhanced, vocabulary augmented, and a new linguistic melody learned. Of course, I never thought German as a language could be figured as “just a class,” but if my tongue could have its own mini-blog it would might write a post of unexpected gratitude for how much was learned in so little time.


So here’s to you Vienna, German, and Sachertorte! For giving me a whirlwind of 3 weeks, full of culture, art, language, and amazing pastries! But wait a minute! I’ve still got 5 more months in this grand city..oh man, now it’s time to really hold on! IMG_0264 IMG_0186 IMG_0167 IMG_0170 IMG_0266 IMG_0279 IMG_0306 IMG_0205 IMG_0203 IMG_0185

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Ramon Giron-Melendez

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ramon, originally from Boston, MA, is a Junior currently studying History at Columbia College. Specializing in Eastern European history with a focus on the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, he hopes to deepen his understanding of the fundamentals of the dual monarchy during his time in Vienna. Through comparative research of geo-politically marginalized regions, he aims to find new ideas to aid development in the 3rd world. Strongly believing that everyone has an inner child, he actively works to raise awareness on the rights of children worldwide through is involvement as co-president of the Columbia Child Rights group. However what most captures Ramon&rsquo;s imagination is his admiration for one of Europe&rsquo;s greatest institutions, The Eurovision Song Contest itself! Eagerly following year round developments, Ramon enjoys watching how countries choose to represent themselves to the world and how they project their national identities unto this unique international platform. A passionate fan of music, he spends as much time as possible following the music industry. He can usually be found reading Rolling Stone magazine, keeping his eyes peeled for new emerging music genres, and eagerly looking out for new artists on the rise!</span></div>

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