UMD: A Globally Connected University

Iva Boishin

ProgramBMGT Exchange: Vienna University of Business & Economics
Term: Fall 2016

Studying  abroad helps you step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. During my time in Vienna, I tried various local foods but the one that left an impression (and also became my favorite meal) was the Käsekrainer, a spicy pork sausage filled with cheese and dipped in curry sauce. Sounds gross, doesn't it? It's actually a little slice of heaven! [Insert heart eye emoji].

Studying abroad will expose you to a variety of cultures apart from the local one. During my study abroad experience, I had the opportunity to become friends with students from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Scotland, just to name a few. Making such a variety of friends and experiencing new cultures is something that I will never forget and wouldn't trade for the world. 

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Going abroad when you know the language is stressful. Going abroad when you've only taken one semester of the language is terrifying. I know. But don't let that stop you! You will make mistakes. I did. Just take a deep breath, put a smile on your face and dive head into the next experience. Being able to survive in (and enjoy) a foreign country will give you such confidence in yourself that you will run towards these opportunities in the future!​ When you go abroad, don't stick with the people from your own country. You'll have plenty of time to do that when you get back home. Instead, take the chance to learn something new and make some cool experiences!

My most memorable experience while abroad was going to all of the Christmas Markets. Actually, the reason why I picked Vienna as a study abroad destination was because I love the Christmas season and where best to experience it than in Austria? The most magical Christmas market (and I would know because I went to all thirteen in Vienna and to a couple more in Austria) was at the old university campus. The snow had just fallen and all of the wooden Glühwein huts were as fairytale-like as ever. Vienna is generally beautiful but during the Christmas season, it is simply breathtaking!

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Studying abroad is not as terrifying as it sounds. The host university will give you all of the support that you will need and the locals are typically very helpful. Also, as an added bonus, because student housing is subsidized in Vienna, my study abroad semester was my cheapest semester even with all of the traveling throughout Europe!

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