RoseMarina is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Austria
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I have loved traveling since I was young, so study abroad seemed like a natural thing for me to do. I knew I wanted to go somewhere in a German speaking country, as that is my minor, and I have always wanted to go to the Bavaria/Austria part of the world as I have family that came from there. That meant either the Germany program or the Austria program, and the Austria program seemed like a better fit for me.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One experience that stuck with me was going to the beer gardens throughout Austria and Germany, particularly Augustiner Brau in Salzburg. The atmosphere in these places is so different than at any bar or club here in the U.S. Rather than drinking to get drunk, which a lot of people here do, they were having a social drink with friends. It was more about who you were with and enjoying their company than getting drunk, and I think that is something most Americans, especially college students, can learn from.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
This experience was amazing! I got to meet so many people and experience new things that I never would have done otherwise, like going to an opera and meeting Syrian refugees!
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?
As a chem major, studying abroad was a great way to take a break from science in the middle of my academic career. This allowed me to come back more focused on chemistry and what I needed for graduation. It also broadened my view of the world and showed me exactly how other cultures live. It helped me more fully realize that the way we do things in the U.S. is not the only way, and sometimes not the best way.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Budget wisely and stick to that budget as much as possible. Also be prepared for everything to be different.