Goodbye Austria, Hello MontanaVienna, Spring 2011

I've returned to Montana and MAN is it weird to be in America. I seriously fell in love with Austria, and after the semester ended, I couldn't bear to tear myself away. Instead of WOOOFing in Ireland like I had originally intended, I stuck around Vienna for another month with roommates who were Au-Pair-ing and taking classes at the Uni Wien. It was a glorious month filled with sunbathing and frisbee on the Donau Insel, swimming in the Donau, biking from Vienna to Bratislava, and completing a list of "must see/do before leaving Vienna" with my roommates. After an incredible going-away party, I actually DID have to leave Vienna, and I may have sobbed uncontrollably as the plane circled the incredible city, and thoroughly freaked out the man sitting next to me. The only thing that consoled me was the knowledge that I will be headed back to Austria as soon as possible. In the mean time, I have a few pieces of advice for future Vienna-IESers. -Buy your school supplies at Libro, Billa, or the Post Office as opposed to office supply stores. You'll save a lot of money. -Memorize the night bus schedule so that you know when an appropriate time to leave the bar/the club/your friend's house so that you don't have to wait an hour for the bus. -Try Kasekrainer at Schwedenplatz. -Take advantage of the language buddy opportunity. You'll meet TONS of really cool people. -Take a class on Austrian History or Austrian Art, you'll understand Vienna so much better. -Invite friends to come visit you. It forces you to get out and see Vienna, regardless of cold or rain or laziness. But the most important thing is to make friends. Make friends and keep them close. Make American friends, Canadian friends, Austrian friends, British friends, Norwegian, Czech, Slovakian, German, French, and Australian friends. Because they're going to be the only ones who understand how your experience is changing you. Because it is your time with them that you'll really miss when you're home. Because amazing friends are going to be who make your experience incredible. [gallery]
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