“Amazing”, “highly engaging”, “best decision of my life”, “far better than I could have ever expected”, “made life-long friends”, “Once in a lifetime experience!”. These are the some of the words that describe this year’s group that spent 10 weeks in Vienna, learning German, and exploring the cultural richness of the city and many of Austria’s neighboring countries.
Our sincere gratitude goes to the International Culture Institute (IKI Vienna), Dr. Friederike Forst-Battaglia, a Viennese art historian who has been associated with the program for many years, the Department of Germanics, the Max Kade Foundation, and to all those who have contributed to the success of the program this year.
The poem below, submitted by Leo Linder and Kyle Wong, two students participating in the program, expresses the culmination of emotions and thoughts that built up over more than two months describing the groups’ study abroad experience.
Spring in Vienna
You say you want to move to Wien, the great imper’al city.
Then have I got some advice for you, to ignore which would be a pity.
Before I should begin though, friends, I really ought to say,
That this is not a short poem and it might ev’n take all day.
To start, make sure you’ve got a flat, close to city center,
To be an U-bahn’s ride away will make your stay here better.
Become acquainted with the routes, they surely will be helpful,
For when you travel through the city your days are more eventful.
Next, take care to meet some people, with whom to spend your time,
Don’t worry about first impressions, you’ll all be partners in crime,
These newfound peeps will be the ones that share your experiences
And you’ll all become the best of friends despite your differences.
You should go out in the evening, you’re not like some caged bird.
Spend some time out, go to the theater, Papageno’s waiting to be heard
Hear Mozart’s greatest hits and recreate them as a group,
Eat food together, share your stories, become a jolly troupe.
Now in Wien, the town itself, there are a great and many places,
From Stephansdom to Belvedere there are just so many choices,
My personal rec’mendations: the Kunsthistorisches Museum,
The Tierpark, and the Prater, man, you really must go see them.
Nothing is too far away for a quick and fun diversion.
Some beautiful cities lie in wait just for a group excursion.
Budapest is just two hours away, Prague is maybe three.
Dürnstein is a bus from here and Salzburg just a nap (for me).
Make sure that you enjoy your time, it doesn’t last forever,
And all the mem’ries that you’ll make, again make sure to treasure.
Ev’rything must one day end, there’s no point trying to fight that,
So savor all the fun things done, now pard’n my breach of format.
Fin’lly our trip has reached its end, it’s really sad to say,
It won’t to be hard to miss all you after see’ng you ev’ryday.
I wish you all the best in everything that you guys do,
I hope you have amazing summers and all your dreams come true.
So these last lines go out to Aaron, Candice, Pattie, and Great too,
Klaus, JJ, and Katie you know we’ll really miss all of you.