By: Amanda Phillips, Capilano University, winner of the Spring 2023 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Austria

Studying abroad is an experience that is hard to put into words. Studying and living in Vienna, Austria has given me a million reasons why everyone should study abroad, but there aren’t the words to convey it. Typing and deleting this blog for the last two weeks has brought me to this point where I can at least say that studying abroad makes me wish I had superpowers.

Writing this, lounging at Sigmund Freud Park marveling at the magnificent Votivkirche across the road feels surreal. I’ve been in Europe for 4 months now and I cannot stress the perpetual ‘awe’ I have walking past the beautiful architecture in Vienna. Having been born and raised in Canada, the history and culture within Europe is beyond imaginable. While being in Austria I have had the privilege to meet people from around the world and learn from experts in the Austrian field.

Making friends while abroad is a daunting thought. I came to Vienna not knowing anyone and over the course of welcome events and classes I have made incredible friends. They have taught me about their culture and the opportunities to study in Europe. I’ve fallen in love with the European lifestyle and hearing about the experiences my friends have had studying in multiple countries has encouraged me to research what options are available to Canadians for grad school abroad. By studying in several countries their education has better rounded.

Studying in a different country brings its own unique perspective into the classroom. I’ve been lucky enough to have incredible guest speakers come to my classes, sharing real stories about working in the Austrian marketing space. From a professional perspective it was amazing to make these connections but also to learn more about working in industry. These professionals were all well-spoken and prompted me to explore the possibility of working in a foreign country myself.

Living, studying, and exploring a new country has been incredible, but I found once I reached the halfway mark of my time abroad I wish I could have slowed it all down. My experience has been filled with highs and lows I can't help but with I had superpowers to slow down time. The semester is flying by with no avail, and I don't want it to end!


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