Zoom Out!

Ramon Giron-Melendez
April 25, 2013

Despite its illustrious cultural repertoire, Austria has always been valued for its strategic geo-political location on the continent. Beginning with the Romans and up to the Allies of WWII, Austria has always been a point of interest due to its identity as a cross roads of east west and north south. It has thus been said that Austria is the metaphorical heart of Europe. Unexpectedly, I find myself realizing that an added convenience of studying abroad in Vienna has been the ability to just ….go!

Vienna’s advantageous position in Europe facilitates easy travel and accessibility to other nearby European gems. Looking for a taste of Soviet Eastern History? Rent a car, jump on the highway and speed up towards Prague. Its Soviet Museum, WWII memorials, and former Habsburgian past will drown you in an ocean of nostalgia. Craving an arena concert? Simply buy a bus ticket, and zoom to Bratislava. There even the great Beyoncé will be ready to greet you.

Still got the travel bug? No worries! Vienna has got roads leading to Zagreb, Sarajevo, Leipzig, Budapest, Berlin, Ljubljana, Milan, Venice, Trieste…the list just goes on and on. Of course, the Ringstraße, the Albertina, the Hofburg, the cafes, and manicured parks all conspire to create a more then memorable city, but if it is one thing that Vienna can always lay claim to is its matchless topographical centrality.

So yes, studying abroad in Vienna does mean getting to know an exceptional city, but getting here is only the beginning, for you will inevitably find yourself standing at the threshold of Europe.

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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>

2013 Spring
Home University:
Columbia University - CC and SEAS
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