Omar Karzay in the Austrian Alps
Overseas Study Program
Omar’s majors: Finance and International Business
Year/Term Abroad: Spring 2010
Reason you chose this program: I wanted to improve my German! Vienna is also consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the world.
Favorite Classes: European Monetary Union and Financial Integration, Developmental Psychology, Europe in the Global Economy
Describe the Housing Situation: I lived in an apartment with three other students. Our building also had four other apartments housing American students—It was a blast. The apartment had just been renovated, so everything was brand new. The location was also great, we were only about 10 minutes from downtown Vienna by public transit. Overall, it was fantastic.
Best Memory: Going to a ball in the Hofburg Imperial Palace! It was a very “black-tie” event, with gentlemen wearing tuxedos and ladies wearing ball gowns. Beforehand we learned to waltz and tango so we could tear up the dance floor, although it’s safe to say that I was outclassed by every Austrian. The ball itself was fantastic, possibly the classiest event I have ever attended. It was a very surreal experience.
Biggest Surprise: Everything was closed by 8pm on weekdays! I did not find any 24-hour shops in Vienna. In addition, nothing (with the exception of the pharmacy and bakery) was open on Sundays.
Complete this sentence: If I could do it over, I would… have done more research about Vienna and the history of Vienna. I was surprised by how many of my classmates already knew about the city when we first arrived! I also would have brushed up on my German before I left.
Going abroad versus staying on campus, discuss: Absolutely go abroad. You will not only learn a ton about your new home, but also about yourself. My abroad experience is something that I will remember for the rest of my life and the people I met are some of my best friends. It takes courage to live abroad for an extended period, but it is definitely worth it!
Fact about your host country that you think people would be surprised to learn: Vienna is home to the world’s oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn.