As I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, I had the opportunity to visit the many countries that
surrounded it and beyond. In my time abroad I traveled to nine countries outside of my host
country- Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, and
Menorca- immersing myself in the cultures and traditions native to each country. The program in
Austria encouraged us to travel and gave us the opportunity to learn by providing us with culture,
economic and language courses.
Each country had such historically significant sights that I was able to see and experience with
my grant. While in Germany, we visited the famous porcelain shops in Meissen and got a special
tour on how they hand-made and painted each piece. In Poland we saw the most historically
significant salt mine during Neolithic times- the Wieliczka Salt Mine. People were able to use
the salt as a preservative and the discovery of the valuable salt boosted the local economy. In the
Czech Republic we toured the whole city of Prague and saw many castles and Jewish
synagogues and cemeteries In France I was able to visit the Louvre and see in person the many
significant artworks that I had learned about in my Art and Architecture course I was taking in
Vienna- such as the Mona Lisa, Liberty Leading the People, The Raft of Medusa- as well as the
work from the artists we studied- Caravaggio, Rembrant, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Jan van Eyckand
many more. I toured the Palace of Versailles as well and was able to use my knowledge from
my history class in Vienna of Napoleon during the French Revolution.
In Austria itself, I traveled outside of Vienna and to the city of Salzburg. There I was able to
immerse myself more within the culture of my host country. I toured the Salzburg cathedral and
climbed the Hohen Salzburg fortress. At an altitude of 506 meters, I saw the entire city and views
of the Alps. The fortress was constructed in 1077, and we were able to get a glimpse of the
medieval times. Salzburg was the home of Austria’s most famous musician, Mozart. Mozart was
born and raised in Salzburg, and we were able to tour his house he was born and grew up in. His
home was converted into a museum of his life, and as we toured we saw his violin, piano, and
even locks of his hair.
As a business and economics double major at SLU, it was really impactful for me to learn about
other countries’ economies as well as the history. I took a course on International Economics in
Vienna and while I was traveling I was able to learn more about their economic state. Through
all of my travels I was able to connect what I had been actively learning in my classes to real life
and get a more hands-on approach. Traveling gave me a unique perspective on my academics
that I couldn’t have experienced elsewhere.