Location: Multiple Locations, Central Europe, Summer 2018
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Term Abroad: Summer '18
Majors: Accounting, Finance, International Business
Minors: Philanthropic Studies, Certificate in Nonprofit Management
Program Name: Economics
What’s your best memory from your time abroad?
I had a lot of great memories on my trip. But my favorite one was during the last day of my study abroad trip. It was our last day in Prague and we had stumbled upon this beautiful spot on the canal with a great view of the city. We had a little picnic sharing our best memories of the trip and had a great time. The feeling of calm and peacefulness I got when watching one of the most beautiful sun sets by the Prague Castle while reminiscing my trip was like no other and made me fall completely in love with the city. Amongst all these places, Prague stood out the most to me. It was not only beautiful but the architecture itself added to the beauty and serenity of the city.
But trust me when I say this: It Will Be Worth It. Whether it is a two week program or a semester long program, DO IT. You need to cross this bridge because once you do, you are going to thank yourself and wish you had done it sooner.Saira Choudhry
Initial Thoughts on Arrival & Cultural Adjustment
Since this was my first Study Abroad experience not only was I a little nervous about the trip, but also really thrilled to embark on this amazing journey that was once in a life time opportunity for me.
This program fulfilled 3 credits in the international category of my major.
We stayed in hotels booked by our program leader. Two people were assigned to each room and roommates were assigned based on people traveling together.
I applied for a scholarship through the study abroad office at IUPUI – The International Experience Scholarship. This helped cover some of the program fees. All other costs including booking airline tickets were covered through the Study Abroad Stipend received through the Honors College. I did all my souvenir shopping through the money I had saved prior to the trip.
Leisure & Travel
I visited various Cathedrals, Churches and Museums in each city we travelled. Before the start of my program I stayed a week in Zurich, Switzerland, where I went on day trips to different locations like Mount Pilatus, the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Lucerne Lake, Rhine Falls, Lake Zurich and other places in the vicinity.
In Vienna, Austria I visited the Schonbrunn Palace, Prater Amusement Park, Museums Quartier, and Naschmarket to name a few. I was also able to acquire tickets and listen to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony concert in Vienna. I also took a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia and visited the Bratislava castle after which I roamed the streets during one my leisure days during the program. In Prague, Czech Republic I visited the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Prague Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square and the Lennon Wall.
As someone who loves dessert, I also tried various desserts and Gelato places on my trip. I went to at least one Gelato place a day - which may seem too much but all that walking all day definitely helped balance it out (totally). This trip definitely made me a Gelato Expert and I definitely recommend trying Prague’s famous cone dessert if you ever go there!
There were many similarities and differences between the people, businesses, food and culture of both the places compared to the United States. In fact there were times where both the places seemed to have separate cultures of their own regardless of being in the same region. Locals in Vienna were fast paced and took local transportation to wherever they were going. While locals in Prague could be seen walking leisurely and enjoying their time. But both of them always arrived at their destinations on time and were never late.
In both places locals sat down to eat food and enjoy their coffee in the restaurants rather having it to go. But there were quite a few places in Vienna where I noticed people having lunches to go rather than sitting down and eating.
Locals in both places were very welcoming of locals and tended to be very friendly while communicating which made me feel more welcomed and at ease.
Doing a Study Abroad may seem overwhelming and scary at first, it may even seem impossible. But trust me when I say this: It Will Be Worth It. Whether it is a two week program or a semester long program, DO IT. You need to cross this bridge because once you do, you are going to thank yourself and wish you had done it sooner.
Do research, save money before going on the trip, be prepared, be adaptable, expect the unexpected but above all enjoy yourself.
It was only two weeks but the amount of knowledge and experience I gathered on this trip really helped me grow as a person. The time spent with all the students that went with me on this trip will stay with me forever. There were times when we laughed, teased each other and even complained when we got rained on but we became a part of a small family that will keep reminding us of the great time we had over this summer.
Effect on Career Goals
I added International Business as my third major after the trip because going on this Study Abroad made me realize that international knowledge of cultures, businesses and economies is very important and necessary to succeed professionally. Now I hope to work with a company that enables me to travel internationally so I can experience new cultures and expand my knowledge base.