May Term in Vienna & Budapest

Ethan Gaines
May Term Abroad
Vienna & Budapest

Over the three weeks we were in Vienna and Budapest, we toured so many amazing museums and magnificent monuments. There was almost too much history in these two cities, which made it difficult to fit all of these historical sites into the schedule.
In Vienna, we saw two incredibly appealing palaces in the Hofburg Palace and the Schloss Shonbrunn with its beautiful gardens. For museums, we toured the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum of Military History, the Wien Museum Karlsplatz of Vienna’s history, and the Jüdisches Museum Wien of Jewish history, life and religion in Austria.
In Budapest, we saw many more museums. We toured the Hadtorteneti Museum of Military History, Buda Castle for the history of Budapest, and the House of Terror and Holocaust Memorial Center which exhibit the tragedies of World War 2 and the Holocaust. On our last day in Budapest we hiked up Gellert Hill to see the Freedom Statue as well as the amazing view. Lastly, we were able to go inside the Hungarian National Assembly that was possibly the coolest and most beautiful place I saw on the entire trip.
In our free time, we visited the Tiergarten Schönbrunn (The Vienna Zoo) which is one of the best in the entire world. In Vienna, we also visited the Seegrotte Hinterbruhl which is a large underground lake and cave system on the outskirts of the city that offers underground boat tours. In the early twentieth century, the cave was used for mining expeditions and there are currently many memorials in the cave dedicated to the Hungarian miners.

May Term in Vienna & Budapest

Ethan Gaines
May Term Abroad
Vienna, Austria & Budapest, Hungary

When we first arrived to Vienna, we started in a suburban town on the outskirts of the city that looked very similar to Virginia. Then, we traveled by bus to our hotel in the middle of the city and we immediately witnessed the grand architectural structures and monuments that made Vienna so beautiful. This major urban area had numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes we would later venture to after class. Budapest offered much of the same, but often times we had to take the metro as our hotel was not in the center of the city.
For class in Vienna, we only had to go a few floors down in the hotel where we had a conference room set up for lectures from Dr. Frusetta and Dr. Glont. Before class, we were given complimentary breakfast in the hotel with a traditional European breakfast consisting of sausages, deli meats, and many different kinds of croissants. In Budapest, we needed to take the metro one stop away to a separate building for class.
Both our hotels in Vienna and Budapest were very nice with employees who were also kind and helping. I would say that the biggest difference between living at home and abroad is the lack of air conditioning. During our may term, it was regular 90 degrees or more so we had to get used to the heat. I should have packed more shorts and sun screen.
There was excellent food in both cities. Schnitzel was easily the best meal I had in both cities, and the food stands in Vienna along the Danube river were cheap and delicious. Also, during our class excursions all over the Vienna, we would often stop to get a quick snack at the many tasty pastry shops that served some of the best croissants and donuts I have ever eaten.

Greetings from Salzburg, Austria

Daily Life in Salzburg

Conner Lachine, Fall 2015

I live on the south side of Salzburg with about 1/3 of my group, so a fifteen minute bus ride is required to reach any place in town. Unipark, the plaza where most of my classes are held, is three bus stops towards city center from my building. The walk to my bus stop, the bus ride to the university stop, and walk to Unipark all together is a thirty minute commute. I found that riding a bike it takes only twenty minutes, so when weather permits, which is usually twice a week if I am lucky, I ride my bike to class. The bike relieves me of riding the hot and crowded city bus, which is efficient and clean, but the morning bike ride is refreshing and allows me to choose one of many scenic routes to class. The south side of Salzburg is a commercial and residential area so I do not pass any of the 12th century buildings like Mozart’s house in city center, but I have the opportunity to see the “real” Salzburg, where the city residents live, shop, etc.

I live in a dorm style building in a neighborhood with several similar buildings. All about five stories tall and house roughly 150 people, most of whom are students of the University of Salzburg. The most exciting difference between living here and HSC is the student diversity. My next door neighbors are from Italy and Iran; across the hall are two girls from China. Another different aspect to the dorm is a large communal kitchen where everyone on the hall cooks. Cooking together has been an easy conversation starter and has given me an intimate perspective of cultures I never would have encountered at HSC. Sausage is one of my favorite foods, right now. Austrian cuisine is made up almost entirely of sausage, bread, and beer. It is not just a funny stereotype. Other than a diverse student population and communal space the dorm is very similar to any dorm in the US. I share a room with one guy from my program and have very similar accommodations to housing at Hampden-Sydney.

Packing was a struggle between being prepared and packing light, which was a unanimous recommendation. I only packed clothes, lots of cold weather clothes. Although the weather has not been vastly different than Virginia’s, I expect it to turn quickly as Salzburg does sit along the western side of the Alps. There is a gargantuan IKEA where Pete, my roommate, and I have purchased most of our home décor.

The typical twenty-somethings in Western Europe dress very similarly to each other. It is much more formal compared to how the average student dresses in the US. A little more fashionable. No shorts. Always presentable. It is frowned upon to walk around my building in sweats.

Other than using the 24 hour clock there is not much difference in how we view time in the US. Shops close a little earlier. It is rare to find a shop open past five or six during the week, even convenience stores and CVS-type businesses. On Sundays 95% of Salzburg is closed. Grocery stores, mom & pop shops, even the mall is entirely closed on Sundays.