Greta is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Austria
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Going in to college I knew I that I wanted to study abroad somewhere. As for how I chose where to go, I was drawn to the culture and location that Austria offered when I learned more about it at the Abroad Fair. The access to mountains right outside of your dorm was a huge attraction for me. I also had always been interested in the Bavarian culture, since my dad's side is 100 percent German. Although German is different than Austrian, the Bavarian culture was still around, and it was awesome. Also, the central location of Austria makes it easy to travel both within Austria and to other countries.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
A specific cultural experience I had that made a lasting impressions was dancing with the locals one night at the Augustiner Brau, a local beer garden. One night some people I was with stumbled upon a dance going on in one of the halls. It was a local dance group that wore traditional clothing, dirndls and lederhosen, and danced polka and waltz dances to live music. They invited us to join in and taught us the traditional dances. It was an unforgettable night that allowed us to experience more of the Austrian culture.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, I had an incredible experience in Austria. I loved the outdoorsy culture that is embraced and encouraged. The view of the mountains never gets old, and it is so easy to walk, run or bike along paths all throughout the city. Every day allowed for a new adventure if you took advantage of it, and being in the beautiful city of Salzburg made it easy to do so. I also enjoyed learning about the Austrian culture by talking to professors and other people who live there. You begin to feel so comfortable in a place that at first was foreign, and that is an amazing thing to experience.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad has definitely benefitted me in many areas of life. Personally, I feel that I have grown as an individual and have learned to see things through different perspectives. I also realized how much more there is to learn about the world, and how important it is to try to learn it. Academically, I enjoyed the classes abroad and also got some of my general credits covered. Professionally, as a psychology major being abroad allowed me to meet new people and experience different societies which will definitely help me in the future. It also looks awesome to have on a resume.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Take advantage of your time abroad. Remember to keep an open mind and look for chances to get out of your comfort zone. Those are likely the moments that you will remember most. Also, try to get to know some of the locals there, especially some your age. It is extremely helpful if they can give you tips and tricks that you can use all semester.