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Good-bye, Small Town, USA! Hello, Vienna!

Victoria Rice
August 15, 2017

Washington D.C., June 2017

Welcome to my blog! My name is Victoria Rice. These entries will be my means of documentation of Fall 2017 AKA the semester I spent in Vienna, Austria. I am from the small and rural town of Clewiston, Florida. I left “America’s Sweetest Town” two years ago to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am an Anthropology and Human Biology major and Religion minor. I am a journalist for my university’s chapter of Her Campus, am on the executive board for Emory Anthropology Student Society, and am a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. When I’m not in class, you’ll likely find me at the library or a local coffee shop.

My journey to Vienna will take place in less than a week. I have four days to say goodbye to my friends and family, pack my bags, and learn enough German to make it to the city where I will be spending the next four months. (“Einen Kaffee, bitte” and “Wo ist der Zucker?” is where I’m at right now.) Instead of dwelling on the anxiety and stress that are inevitable when you move half away across the world, I am going to focus on the positives!

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. June 2017

My journey to Washington D.C. in order to obtain an Austrian visa went well. Initially, it was discouraging that the closest consulate was 1,006 miles away from home and that I was forced to reschedule my appointment multiple times… but I made it there and got my visa! The Austrian attendant who worked at the embassy was welcoming. I was thankful for his patience as I discovered how bad I am at giving fingerprints. I am most grateful for of my visa trip because it gave me the excuse to go sightseeing in my nation’s capital.

I was given my housing placement a few weeks ago. I was placed in a homestay, meaning I will be living with a Viennese resident. Given only the address of the resident and an email address, I reached out to my host. They replied to me within a couple of days. It was nice to receive a friendly email from the stranger I will soon be living with. (Hopefully, they felt the same!) My qualms about living in a homestay situation have evaporated. I am so excited to move in and begin.

Course selection went well! I was pleased to see that many of the classes I had anticipated taking were being offered this semester. I even signed up for a couple of interesting classes I hadn’t expected to see. It is slightly concerning that I will not know my schedule until I make it to Vienna but I am optimistic about it. I found it reassuring that the registration form took into account what courses were to be applied to my major. My semester abroad will without-a-doubt be an adventure and the classes I take will only be a part of it.  

Shopping for fall/winter clothing in the middle of summer in south Florida proved to be quite a task. This contradicts the beliefs of my northern friends who assured me otherwise. After a few shopping trips to both coasts of my wonderful peninsula, I am relieved that I will have relatively warm weather at the beginning of my stay. As I type this blog post Vienna’s current temperature is the “winter” temperature I am used to. I am looking forward to experiencing a winter I have never known.

My final point of positivity is my study abroad checklist! I have created a list of twenty items I intend to do during my semester abroad. These to-dos range from silly to sophisticated and I will never forgive myself if I don’t complete every single one of them! Stay tuned as I will make sure to update it.

Study Abroad Checklist

  1. Make it to Vienna!
  2. Try wienerschnitzel
  3. Study in a Viennese coffeehaus
  4. Have an entire conversation in German
  5. Get lost (at least once)
  6. Visit the oldest building in Vienna (St. Ruperts)
  7. Visit the Imperial Palace
  8. Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum
  9. Go to an Opera
  10. Listen to Mozart while in Vienna
  11. Ride Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel
  12. Pretend I am in the Sound of Music (at least once)
  13. Shop in a Christmas market
  14. Attend a cultural festival
  15. Attempt skiing for the first time
  16. Visit a vineyard
  17. Day trip to another country
  18. Visit Kunst Haus Wien / Museum Hundertwasser
  19. Ride the U-Bahn
  20. Convince someone I am a local

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Rice

<p>A small town Florida girl, my passion for anthropology took me to the bustling hub that is Atlanta, Georgia and is now taking me to the antiquated and beautiful Vienna, Austria. Compelled to write anecdotes and real-life narratives, blogging will be my diary as I discover and embark on a caffeine fueled and culturally invigorating adventure far from any that I have experienced.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2017 Fall
Home university:
Emory University
Hometown:
Clewiston, FL
Major:
Anthropology
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