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All blog posts are by University of Michigan students who have participated in a CGIS program. The following blogs are students studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. 

Spring/Summer 2018 Blogs

Aarel reflects on her time in Vienna

I am both excited and nervous about going abroad. I have never been on an airplane before, so that’s one obstacle that I have to overcome to even get to the place. I’ve spent a lot of time looking up stuff about what it’s like to be on an airplane and asking people too, so I have concluded that I should most likely be fine! I think even though it may be a little scary, seeing the world from so high up should actually be kind of cool.

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Kaleigh's Vienna journals 

When I first arrived to the airport in Detroit, I was definitely excited, but also more nervous than I had anticipated. Although I have flown by myself multiple times before, I knew that flying abroad and being in a different country would be a unique experience. I generally had no issues during my flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. My nerves did prevent me from sleeping, but I was surprised by how comfortable the aircraft was and how friendly many of the staff were that I encountered. Luckily, my plane from Detroit landed early and I was able to make my short connecting flight in Amsterdam. As I stepped foot in this airport, I immediately knew I was in a different country. It was a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by people speaking foreign languages and to see signs that were not translated in English.

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Emily reflects on her spring term in Vienna

Today we arrived in Vienna! It took a long time to get here, and I’m currently exhausted, but I am also very excited for the next 3 weeks. Before driving to the airport yesterday afternoon, I realized that I left my debit card in Ann Arbor the night before the flight, so I had to rush to the bank to get a new one just in case I needed it. The group of us flying out of DTW met up at the airport and went through security together. Before the flight took off, I got some McDonalds as a farewell to America (but more so because it was very close to our gate!). Then we had a long flight to layover in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I have a ton of trouble sleeping on planes or vehicles, so I didn’t get a second of sleep on the flight. I did, however, watch several movies I had wanted to see. Amsterdam looked gorgeous even from the plane; I really want to visit the Netherlands too, and was sad I didn’t get to explore while I was there.

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More 2018 Blogs

Anastasia reflects on her spring term in Vienna

Our day began early at 8:30. 4 stops on the tram later, we arrived at the beautiful Belvedere grounds. We first captured the moment on the steps of the palace before heading inside for the tour.

We had a tour guide named Marcus who was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the grounds. The main tourist attraction to this place was Gustav Klimt - specifically The Kiss. My mom lived and worked in Austria for a few years after college. Because of her experience, I grew up watching her get excited every time there was Klimt painting on sale at Ikea. It was familiar and new seeing the painting in person. I find the evolution of technology interesting in museum behavior. Of course everyone was trying to get a picture of this iconic painting. But it’s funny to imagine people even 30 years ago just enjoying the art free of cell phones. I wish I could experience more museums in the time before the iPhone.

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Brianna reflects on her time in Vienna 

This Friday started bright and early!  We meet in the hotel lobby at 8:30 a.m. and exchanged stories about our night explorations before heading to Belvedere Palace, a museum and grounds complex about 4 train stops away from our hotel. We were lucky enough to be matched with an enthusiastic tour guide named Markus, who eagerly told us the history behind many of the art pieces we saw.  One aspect he emphasized about the grounds was the symmetry favored during the 18th century.  This was definitely shown in the precision of the plants and mazes seen in front of the museum.  He also talked to us about Prince Eugene de Savoy, an influential military commander of the Holy Roman Empire. 

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Katherine reflects on her spring term in Vienna

Leaving for Vienna was exhilarating and scary all at once. I knew I needed to sleep on the plane but was really confused with all the different stimuli going on as to how long the first plane ride would take and when I should start sleeping to help prevent jet lag. I had 2 meals on the plane and watched “The Greatest Showman” to pass the time. The rest of the roughly 9 hours of the flight I tried to sleep or looked out the window and watched the clouds go by.

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