Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hallo Wien!!

Willkommen!! Danke for visiting my new blog! If you didn't know, I am studying abroad through BCA in Vienna, Austria and Marburg, Germany this semester.  I'll be spending 8 weeks in Vienna and 4 months in Germany taking classes and (hopefully) really improving my Deutsch.  I hope to keep everyone updated with what I've been doing through this blog so please enjoy :)

Traveling to Vienna was a hectic and extremely nerve-wracking. First, I took a 7 hour flight to Copenhagen in which I lost my entire night of sleep due to the time difference, turbulence, and a very upset child.  I arrived around 7 at the airport on Sunday (it was 1 am back in PA) and had to wait around for three hours for my next flight to Vienna.  I was exhausted by the time I got onto the plane, but I was pumped up with adrenaline to almost be there so I couldn't even sleep!

I met our program director, Kris Riggs, at the airport in Vienna along with another student in the program and we immediately bought a monthly public transportation ticket that allows us to take any of the subways and trams around Vienna.  Kris took us to our dorms to drop off our bags and then took us to the main office of IKI Wien (our international language school) where we would be taking our German classes.  Turns out, classes started the very next day...surprise! We then took a small tour of Vienna while trying to decide where to have dinner.  By then it was around 2 in the afternoon (around 8 in the morning in PA) and I had gotten no sleep.  I was in a bit of a daze walking around Vienna, but I was amazed at how beautiful all of the buildings were.  There were gothic churches next to modern buildings and many small artistic touches here and there.  We tried to find a traditional Viennese restaurant, but many were closed on Sunday or wouldn't accept credit or bank cards.  One was even closed to prepare for a Super Bowl party.  We ended up at an Indian restaurant and so my first meal in Vienna was a dish with spinach and lamb. 

By the time I actually got to my room around 6, I almost immediately wanted to fall into my bed but I had to unpack. My dorm has a tiny kitchen, a bathroom, and a pretty spacious bedroom with two beds. I'm sharing my room with a girl from South Korea who is also attending IKI. She was extremely helpful with all of my questions, especially when I attempted to make my bed.  Turns out that in Europe, people put a sheet around their comforter kinda like a pillow and then have only one sheet to cover the mattress.  It took me a good 15 minutes to figure it out!  I finally got to sleep around 8:30 ( I had not slept for over 24 hours) and had the best night of sleep I've ever had.

For the past two days, I've been going to Deutsch class from 9-12 and then exploring the area, trying to buy school supplies, buy groceries, and also run errands.  I've gotten lost twice so far, but the Viennese are extremely helpful and very nice to foreigners so I haven't been too stressed.  Most of them speak a little bit of English, but I've been trying to speak only in Deutsch for practice.  I've also mastered the U-Bahn (subway) system these past few days.  All of the public transportation is efficient and definitely the quickest way around. 

So far, I love Vienna!  I'm hoping I'll find some time to explore more of the city this week :)

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