Mid-Semester Update

Victoria Rice
October 25, 2017

Midterms are here! Can you believe it? I have been living in Vienna for so long now, I am practically a local. Yesterday, I saw a young woman wearing my exact same outfit—scarf, jacket, hairstyle and all! That’s what happens when you go to Europe: you look confused for the first few weeks but finally assimilate and derive joy from finding an Austrian doppelganger. I’m joking. Sort of.

This semester I am taking five courses: German, two history courses, one anthropology/sociology course, and one religion course. German is going swimmingly. I was blessed with an understanding and compassionate professor. She does her best to make sure everyone understands the content and raise the morale of her students. (She doesn’t know it but her compliments on my pronunciation have made my mornings.)

Vienna oozes history so it is only natural that I am taking two courses in history. One is on the city itself and one is on the history of the Habsburg Empire. Because of the nature of these two subjects, the course material greatly overlaps. As someone who hadn’t taken a history class since World History my sophomore year of high school, I was initially skeptical about jumping into a subject I had been away from for so long. Having overlapping content and interactive fieldtrips has greatly lessened the challenge of memorizing dates and comprehending events.

The topic of my anthropology/sociology class is comparative youth cultures. It is exposing cultures, subcultures, and important aspects of youth I had never seen before. My fifth course is on the topic of nations and religions in central Europe. It has challenged ideas I was previously certain on, such as the differences between ethnic and political boundaries.

Midterm season is far from peaceful. For the majority of my classes, I have to come in to take a seated midterm exam. The European approach to academics is slightly off-putting; as the examinations are much more heavily weighted than other assignments. As always, flashcards and coffee will get me through it.

I have spent the entirety of the past month in Austria! I cannot begin to describe how beautiful of a country it is—both the rural and metropolitan areas. I will be giving a more in-depth description of the specific areas I visited in my next blog post where I will be talking specifically about the IES Abroad sponsored tripped I opted into going on!

Here’s a mid-semester update of my study abroad checklist! Spoiler: So far so good!

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>

2017 Fall
Home University:
Emory University
Clewiston, FL
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