By: Sarah Ganton, Capilano University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship
Study Abroad Destination: Innsbruck, Austria
I have been living in Innsbruck, Austria for about three weeks now. It is such a beautiful town surrounded by huge mountains. I live directly at the base of the Nordkette Mountain, which they call, The Jewel of the Alps. I love the landscape because it gives me a taste of home (Vancouver). The view from my dorm room is beautiful, it looks out over the city. Although, having this beautiful view means walking up quite the hill and stairs every day after school. The walk to the campus is only about 15 to 20 mins, every day I cross the Inn River, stroll through the Innsbrucker Hofgarten and end up at the main Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) Campus.
The classes in my program varied in difficulty, some were very easy and a couple of them took some hard work to achieve the grades I wanted. Nevertheless, it was easy to get through it with the friends I made. Due to the program being a short one-month term abroad, the friends I made were all in the same classes. We also all stayed in the same dorm building, so if I ever needed any help, someone was always around. The nice thing about the program at MCI, was that it was one class per week, so we never had homework on the weekends. This meant, lots of time to travel, seeing as how Austria is in between many other countries, which are short bus rides away.
On the first weekend we had off, my new friends and I (about 8 of us) went to Munich, Germany because it was only about a 2-hour bus ride. The second weekend we had off we went to Zurich, Switzerland, this bus ride was much longer. It was very cool because on this trip we travelled with about 20 students in total, all from MCI in many different study abroad programs. Our Zurich trip was a perfect example of students travelling on a budget. We left on an overnight bus the Friday after class, so we would arrive around 7 am. We spent only the day in the city and took another overnight bus back to Innsbruck in the evening around 10 pm. Zurich is a very expensive city, so this way we had an entire day there without having to spend money on accommodations, just the cheap overnight busses. After that exhausting weekend, it is nice to be “home” in Innsbruck though. I won’t be relaxing for too long though. Next weekend the 8 of us have another overnight bus to Venice, Italy!