Friday, February 26, 2010

Today is Friday, February 26th. The entire FPU population woke up for one class today, at 10AM. Everyone's favorite, History of Math! After getting through two of the presentations today, everyone dispersed and went their separate ways before reuniting at 1PM for lunch in the caf. Which I may add, was absolutely delicious. It was fried fish with a rice medley. It's always a treat to come down to a meal we're accustomed to.

I have been in need of a haircut since we've been here, and, concerned that there isn't a barbershop around that can speak English, I decided to cut my hair myself. I figured, hey, you can either go to the barber and pay 20+ Euro for a haircut you're not going to like, or you can cut it yourself for free, and have a similar outcome. I was delighted to find my haircut didn't come out THAT bad. Thanks to a little help from young Matthew on the back [which is obviously a blind spot], I was pleasantly surprised in my hair cutting capabilities. I took a quick shower, and showed up to lunch a few minutes late. The lunch lady warned Matt and I that anytime later than 1:20PM, and we're not getting served. We smiled politely and, preceding her little warning, she hooked us up with double lunches because she knows we're growing young men.

Concluding lunch, Matty Boy and I embarked on yet another outstanding adventure into the urban playground we're quickly getting accustomed to. We went to the Spar, a local grocery store down the street, for some necessary ingredients for the fridge. We also payed a quick visit to my favorite place here, Bourbon de Corte's Candy shop. Delicious chocolates and candies for a great price. I've been in at least a half dozen times since we got here. The owner is always quick to light up with a smile when he sees his most valuable America customer. I bought a dozen dark chocolate truffles, and a 100 grams of rich chocolate nougat encased in a dark chocolate shell [total cost, 4,50 Euro].

After our trip to the candy store, we took to the subway to a music store near the center of the city. Matt got his guitar fixed, and we were lucky enough to "sample" a few different instruments in the store. I was also fortunate enough to be on the laundry schedule today, so now I have nice clean clothes to pack for Athens tomorrow! Tonight is also the last night we get to spend with our wonderful RA, Janet, who has been more than helpful the past seventeen days. She has helped schedule Spring Break trips, given us valuable information about the city and traveling, and also been there to let us into our rooms when our key is misplaced or in the room. She will be greatly missed, and we all look forward to seeing her back at FPU in May. Hope everyone's day went as well as mine! Cheers, Smeg.

Today was Thursday and, overall, a very uneventful day! We did not have to go help Martin with the English class today so it was a chance to get a few extra hours of sleep before class, which was wonderful=] So, I got up around 9 and got myself dressed and ready for class, some more history of math presentations. After class we all just hung out until lunch. After lunch I came back upstairs and packed for Greece! Who knew packing for just four days would be so hard! With the weather in Greece being warmer than here I wanted to bring ever summer outfit I brought with me, but unfortunately my suitcase would not allow that at all=[ So I had to really think about what I would need and finally narrowed it down to all fit perfectly in my bag.

After I packed I decided it was way too nice of a day to be inside any longer! So I got changed and Steph and I went outside and walked on the track for a while. It was beautiful; it really felt like spring! It was so sunny, no clouds in the sky and, my favorite part of it all, was it smelled like spring! It was awesome. After the track we came back upstairs to a wonderful surprise from Chrissy: she had gone to the American food store and got me some Goldfish. I have been craving them since we got here and have tried very hard and failed at finding anything like them here in Vienna. It was a nice surprise! By the time dinner rolled around I had not even noticed the afternoon had flown by between being outside and come back in and doing school work. A bunch of us later that night tried this Mexican place we found. We went for dinner and happy hour. It was great. The food and drinks were awesome, and I was so excited because I absolutely love Mexican food! After dinner we all came back to school. I tried to finish up some work, but Sammy and I decided to go down to the pool to meet up with Katie and Steph. It was awesome--we had the pool to ourselves! So after we swam around for a little while we came back up stairs to relax and do some homework, eventually going to bed after a few card games. Not a very exciting day, but it was a fun day to say the least=]

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beautiful Day

Wednesday Febuary 24, 2010
Today we had our first exam for statistics, so I woke up a little bit earlier to get some studying in. After Stats was over we headed to History of Vienna with Heinz Kroll. Originally we were suppose to go to see the Crown Jewels. However, the museum was being cleaned, so that was a little disappointing that we had to sit through a two hour lecture instead.
After Class Mike and I started to plan our spring break trip--we are starting in Munich, Germany, and then we are going to Bern, Switzerland. After that we went for a walk around the city. It was a gorgeous day, around 55 Degrees and sunny, and we found a section of the city that we had not been to before. As we tried to make our way back we got a little lost. However we found a couple of new cafes, which were really good. So we kept walking around, and we realized where we were. On this little adventure we saw a car that looked like the bat mobile. It was one of the coolest cars I have seen in Vienna.
Once we got back we went to dinner, which was good. After dinner we had a meeting with Carl and Michele, so they could let us know the itinerary
for Athens, Greece. I am really excited to visit Athens, as I have wanted to go there for most of my life. After the meeting Bob and I worked on finishing our presentation for History of Math. Then the night came to an end and I retired to my bed.

I am starting to love this city more and more each day, I feel like I have been here for years and it is getting easier to travel around the city and fit in with the crowd.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Our day began in the classroom, in which two groups presented their chapters to the class. In our History of Math class, we are learning about the earliest people to discover different mathematical techniques and the cultures in which they came from.

After lunch, which was either a vegetable quiche or fish and potatoes, a few of us went out to roam the city some more. We had heard about a street downtown that was supposed to have some really good shopping--so of course we had to check it out! As we were walking there, I was really proud of myself for remembering how everything connected, as if a map of Vienna was finally becoming more clear in my head. (I'm usually not very good with directions!) We walked up and down the busy street for about an hour or so, squeezing ourselves through mazes of people and looking into the windows of different bakeries with mouth-watering treats. We went into a few clothing stores as well, but our most prized purchase of the day (I think I can speak on behalf of everyone) was the gelato! Days of searching for a gelateria, and finally we were rewarded! The lady serving us at the counter was very pleasant and spoke some English--at least enough to tell us what the best flavors were! I took her word on one of her favorites and got the Hazlenut. It was SO delicious! After everyone ordered, we stood outside (probably about 5 feet from the store) because we couldn't even think about walking with this deliciousness in our hands! We scoffed down our cones in a matter of minutes, and then contemplated getting more!

Soon we decided it was time to head back to the Theresianum, and as we walked through the open streets of Vienna, I remember looking up in awe at everything that surrounded us. Even though I felt that I had learned so much about this city, there was still so much out there.

After dinner, which was a sort of baked macaroni/potato and cheese dish, we headed up to Janet's room to watch a movie! We played the movie through a projector and all lounged around her room to watch it. It was so wonderful just to relax and laugh with everyone. Times like that remind me of how much of a family that we are becoming.

Once the movie was over, some people went to the Ost Klub, a club right down the street that features live and local music venues. The atmosphere there is very relaxed and casual, which makes it a comfortable and friendly place to visit. Matt even went up on stage to show the audience some of his skills on the guitar!

The night had finally come to an end, so people snuggled up into their beds that overlooked this city with so much to offer. Gute Nacht Vienna!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 20th, Saturday

We missed lunch Saturday morning because we all thought it was at 1:00 instead of 11:45, but we survived that by making toast and sharing with each other. After that, I spent most of my morning getting my work done. The plan for the night was that some of us, Sam, Janet and I, were going to check out an electronic party not too far from the Theresianum.

We knew the Electronic party was supposed to start at 10 pm. Even though we got there at 10:15, it seemed to us that the party hadn’t quite started yet. We stayed a few minutes until we decided that it wasn’t really our crowd. In my opinion it looked like it was more of an after work party, where the co-workers all knew each other. Then, when we all realized that almost everyone looked like that they could have been our parents (lol), we decided to change our plans for the night.

I suggested that we go to Billabong, an Australian café. They have live music every Saturday, so it should be fun. Sam and I only went there once with the group, however I was able to remember which subway to take and the stops (I’m so proud). So we got there.

The place was crowded but we managed to get a table after a few minutes. Then we ran into one of the guys I met the night before. I thought they were interesting Austrians, and so were their opinions of Americans. Felix, good-looking Austrian, speaks French, English and German, thinks that Americans are very friendly. He just doesn’t like the fact that they’re always trying to take over. He gave the example of the McDonalds here in Vienna. He thinks that the American way of life is to work in order to have more than their neighbors. He loves Boston Red Sox (That’s what’s up!)… It was interesting to see how his opinion differed from what I expected it to be. During pre-orientation departure, we talked about how most of the Austrians form their opinion of us based on what they see on MTV, the reality shows, and else. So it was interesting to hear something different, and also interesting to chat with the locals.

by Murielle.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

The best memory of today has got to be the first; and after almost two weeks of awakening to knocks on the door and ear piercing tones of alarm clocks, it was finally the bright blue sky and luminous sunlight elevating through the windows that woke Vienna. Who knew that this city could become more picturesque, more stunning and even more vivacious, especially when stumbling upon the palaces on the Belvedere grounds?

Walking through the gates of the Belvedere, you automatically feel of royalty. The architecture leaves anyone who gazes at it in awe, and with the sun shining on the Belvedere buildings in all the right places, I must admit, there is nothing more beautiful than that view. Since it made most sense to stay outside today, the clear skies and inspiring sun led everyone to roam unnoticed streets, eager to discover new and interesting sites.

Some places included a dance studio, featuring ball room dancing (a big to do for some of the group), Demel, arguably one of the best chocolate shops Vienna has to offer, and the Hofburg Palace, the true home to Maria Theresa (not to invalidate the Theresianum, but this place was kind of a big deal, just saying).

And what could be more interesting than camels and Mercedes being captured in a motion picture? No lie. Walking through the streets of downtown Vienna, nearing the Hofburg Palace, a profusion of vehicles were clustered around traffic men clearing the way for what seemed to be mail ordered camels and an S class (the crème de la crème of Mercedes) just stock-still, surrounded by movie cameras. It was a little random, and a little ridiculous, but still awesome none-the-less.

Past, what seemed like a circus act was the Roman Ruins, a jaw dropping sight of water gates and brick structures, dating back to the Roman Empire; it was honestly unbelievable. Behind every turn of every street there seemed to be a piece of history more astonishing than the last; and it was all unearthed to us by the nicest day to date, this sublime Sunday.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Night of my life

What an awesome day. Started off Friday the usual way, tiredly waking up for Stats, followed by History of Math. After Bobby made some delicious bacon & eggs, it was off to the city to meet the gentleman who was selling me my tickets to see Dave Matthews Band that night in Vienna. After getting a little turned around walking there, we finally made it to the Radisson Blu Paris hotel, to meet JD for the tickets. FINALLY, they were in my hand. I was seeing my favorite band in the very city I live in; it seemed so surreal. Bobby and I then took a stroll through Stadtpark, a beautiful park to say the least. I finally saw a statue I have been dying to see, the gold-plated statue of Johann Strauss. I really look forward to spending time in this park as the weather starts to warm up.

Before long it was show time, so we hit the underground and headed out towards the venue. After having trouble finding a good (cheap) place to get a beer and some food, we ended up choosing to eat at a McDonalds. Looking back, I do not regret this decision one bit, because Bobby and I met the nicest girl from Sweden. Her name was Ani; she is living in the city doing an internship with the UN and was going to the show by herself. We were quick to let her join our two man posse and enjoy the evening with us.

Then the waiting game began. We stood outside for over an hour, in order to give ourselves the best possible general admission seat. Boy was that worth it--we ended being about two rows back from the stage. Out of the many times I have seen Dave Matthews Band, I knew that this experience would be different than any other. Come 21:20, the boys hit the stage, and I was already in awe. My favorite part of the whole night was how intimate Dave was being with the crowd. He was chatting all night about the city and all the things he had done while being in Vienna, joking about wienerschnitzel and how beautiful the city was but, then, he "saw the ugly," referring to seeing a Mcdonalds in Stephansplatz. I could really relate to everything he was talking about, and it made me feel great on the inside.

The show came to an end and Bobby came INCHES from catching Dave's guitar pick he threw into the crowd after finishing. What a cool souvenir that would have been! Oh well. We took the subway back to Stephansplatz and parted ways with our new friend Ani. But THEN, the U1 had closed, so we had to get our strut on in the rain to make it back to Favoritenstrasse. We were so filled with joy from the awesome night we had just had, it didn't even phase us. We stopped at the infamous Four Bells on the way back, and sure enough our FP buddies were all there. We sat down, had a few drinks and told them about the night we had just experienced.

February 19, 2010, was the best night of my life. I love this city more and more every day, and it takes a unique experience like this to make you fall for such an awesome place. Vienna, I love you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Day

Thursday was a pretty relaxed day here in Vienna. We had our normal math classes till twelve and then went to lunch around one. After lunch we came up into the classroom and had a meeting about our scavenger hunt items. Almost everything was found, which was good. After discussing our items, we hopped onto the subway and took off trying to find the most important items on our lists, and the most interesting. We saw a whole new part of the city, and the U.S Consulate. Then we walked through the alleyways of the city. They were absolutely GORGEOUS. While walking through them we stopped at one of the best candy store I have ever been to. While walking to the candy store we saw a car jacking attempt. It added a little excitement seeing a guy jump into some lady's SUV while she was in a store, but she saw him and ran out screaming and then she called the cops. After finishing our walk through the alleys some of us walked back and saw the city at dusk, and it was beautiful. We got back right in time for dinner. A little bit after dinner we had time in the pool. Overall, it was just another great day in the city.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17

Wednesday morning Ally woke me up at 9:30, fifteen minutes before we had to meet downstairs for our morning trip to the museum. After rushing to get dressed I met up with the group, and we took the subway (which is starting to grow on me) to get to where we needed to go. The museum's architecture was beautiful. There were two museums parallel from one another both owned by the Hapsburg family with a common statue in the middle of them of Maria Theresia, one of the most prominent and influential leaders of the Hapsburg family, which ruled Austria.

After group photos we entered the Hapsburg museum which focused on man-made historical artifacts. Immediately the interior design was breathtaking. Once through the doors a gorgeous marble staircase welcomed us, which staged a colossal statue of a Greek soldier overpowering a centaur. The statue in and of itself drew significant emotion just through its visual appeal. We learned towards the end of our tour that the statue was built during the reign of Napoleon but was transferred to the museum because before the sculptor could finish his masterpiece, Napoleon had been exiled. The artistic background of the sculpture signified a Greek soldier protecting his people/country by defeating the centaur (the mythical half human, half horse creature), which had planned to kidnap Greek women.

The tour of the museum took approximately two hours and we barely got to see the museum in its entirety. The museum offered Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts that ranged from sculptures, to tombs, to mosaics tiles, to commonly used jewelry and gold plates.

By the time we were back from the museum I felt exhausted. This fatigue was partly due to everything I had just taken in but more likely because of the Ost Klub I had checked out the night before, which offered amazing live music both in English and German. I skipped lunch in order to catch up on sleep and spent the rest of the day catching up on reading and other work. By the time dinner rolled around I had worked up an appetite…. But was disappointed to find only fish, shrimp, and calamari were on the menu for dinner. I sat with my group, ate a banana, and then hit up the pizza place down the street with Sam.

The pizza was pretty good but the sauce was mixed with green peppers which made it a little weird. In Austria you can’t order just “Cheese Pizza” or else they’ll give you what Americans refer to as “White Pizza” without any sauce. It’s called “Margarita” pizza here and it tastes different every place you go, but pizza’s pizza for the most part and its hard to do wrong.

So far this week has been going pretty good. I’m just trying to immerse myself in the culture, get more familiar with the city, and try and to get used to the food.

Erin Dwyer

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday February 16, 2010 a.k.a Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday a.k.a Mardi Gras was pretty eventful here at the Theresianum in Vienna. All day people were dressed up in costumes as we would do for Halloween back home. It was a very good vibe throughout the school, and even the teachers were dressed up in goofy hats and costumes. Techno music seems to be very big over here, and that was played through out the school day with confetti being thrown around all over. This is one the few days that the students are allowed to have some fun and let loose during their tedious day of 8am-6pm. On this day we also had our first German class with Professor Genner. She first started us off by looking at a German newspaper and finding twenty words that were similar to English. Surprisingly enough most words are very close or similar to the English language. We also learned new greetings from formal to informal, as well as how to say goodbye correctly. After this one class I feel a lot more confident in my German speaking; it also has helped me out greatly when I go to grocery store because I now know how it's all correctly spoken. After class this was one out of two days when the Theresianum's pool is open for our use from 8pm to 10pm. A few of us went down to try out the huge indoor pool and its diving board. The pool was not as warm as we thought, but once we got in we found out that its not as bad as we first thought. There is always a lifeguard on duty because it is mandatory for the Theresianum. There is a huge diving board and four lanes for people to swim. We had the pool to ourselves because about 700 out of the 800 students live at home. Later that night after the pool some of us went out to experience Mardi Gras in Vienna, and we ended up running into Professor Genner on the subway, which was actually pretty cool. She had previously invited all of us to a local gathering where older students would be if we were looking for a true Austrian place to visit. I think mostly all of us are getting comfortable with the city and the subway system, especially. Besides that, Tuesday was pretty eventful and a gave all of us a look at a yearly event that occurs here in good old Vienna, Austria.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday :(

After waking up and getting ready, I headed down the hall for class with Heinz Kroll. Vienna Across the Ages was much more interesting today because we learned about sculptures and how they have changed over time. The athletes that won the Olympic games used to be sacrificed and considered a hero. Years later they started to make sculptures of these heroes that started out as only a shape that looked like a person. They developed into very detailed statues that matched the person’s strength.

Heading into the kitchen from the class room everyone realized that the sink, the refrigerator, and the washing machine were broken. Since it was my day to do laundry I was very disappointed. Everyone had to put their food in the windows to keep it cold.

My scavenger partner and I decided to go out and take pictures of the ATM’s that we had already found previously for our scavenger hunt. We went into an H&M to check out some of the sales to find something that might make us look less American and fit in a little better.

When we were done shopping we headed back to the Theresianum for dinner. There wasn’t a lot of people in the dining room so I expected the students weren’t fans of whatever was going to be served. I understood why no one was at dinner after getting my plate of a cake with rice, apples, and raisins. It was the first time I had cake for dinner and thought it was interesting. I was hungry after not eating dinner and decided to take the microwave into my room (since the whole kitchen had no power) to try some Austrian bagel bites, which were much better than the dinner.

Martin had announced at dinner that the old gym would be open for all of us to use. I was excited to play basketball or soccer with some of the students. I got ready and headed down to the gym expecting to have someone to play with. When I got there no students besides for the ones that came from Franklin Pierce were in the gym. Not one of the students had shown up to play with us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, today was a late day for us all. Seeing that it is Sunday and lunch wasn't until 12:45 we all decided to sleep until 12:30. It was great, finally catching up on the lack of sleep. We have been in Vienna for a total of five days already! Its crazy how time passes here. Nothing is better than waking up and realizing where you are, In a huge palace that you are able to call home.

After I went to lunch I decided to go and explore the city more, especially since we now have the subway passes and I know how it operates. I love going into the city and seeing all the different stores and little cafes that are every where. Such a different atmosphere than back home in Massachusetts, but I am loving every second of it.

After roaming Vienna for an hour or so I came back to my room and all of the roommates just hung out and talked about how we are liking everything. In my opinion nothing is better than just being able to relax and communicate with the people you're living with; there is a sense of family already starting to be established with everyone. Around 5pm Professor Brezovec and his wife Michele took the whole group out to dinner at a small cafe up the street. The cafe was all German food, which is something we have not experienced yet, besides the food we are fed at the Theresianum (which is delicious). At the cafe I ordered the Beef Goulash with potatoes. It was Delicious! The most tender beef I have ever had in my life and the potatoes were just simply amazing. I was very pleased with the food there, and it was reasonably priced.

Overall, being here it has been a blast. Overwhelming at first because of all the scheduled events and meetings that you have and we were all very antsy too; but once everything started to slow down and finally get into a routine I think i can speak for all of us and say we all feel more at ease and comfortable. Carl and Michele do a good job keeping us busy, so there hasn't been much time to feel homesick.......I would just like to point out that I spent my first Valentine's Day in the past 20 years of my life in VIENNA :).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I love this city!

My Saturday started off a bit slow, but I eventually got moving after a shower and a quick skype session with my family. Once I was dressed, one of my roommates and I embarked to find the “nashmarkt.” This is an extremely large market filled with vendors and shops of all varieties. I think this is when it hit me most that I was finally in Vienna. There were many people there, all speaking different languages. One girl, I overheard, was trying to find a bagel. Something she clearly had never had. This shocked me, living your whole life without a bagel! I’m not sure if I could do something like that. Once we made our rounds, we met up with a couple of our friends from the group.

From there we took off towards the nearest subway station. We took two stops into the main part of downtown and spent the day trying to find something to eat and things on our scavenger hunt list. Downtown Vienna is very, very cool. There are a lot of people and lots of shops and cafes. The buildings and architecture are all very striking. It is a very cool feeling being somewhere that has been around for such a long time. Along this stroll through the city, we saw a man with a miniature pony, asking for money. Can’t say I had ever seen a pony in the middle of a city before! He denied us from taking pictures with it, but it was very cute.

The café that we went to is quickly becoming a favorite amongst the group. It is called “Café Bistro.” In one word it’s DELICIOUS. Today I ordered the brucshetta and Italian vegetarian soup. And trust me, this is not your soup and bread from your local Olive Garden. I demolished that meal in about .5 seconds.

As for the rest of the day, it was spent exploring downtown more and getting a feel for the subway stations. They’re different from the one’s I am used to in Boston. Just small things: like manually having to open the door when you need to get off. Or standing on the right side of the escalators for people who want to walk up the left side.

All in all it was a really nice day, I am starting to get a handle on moving about the city… all I need now is to learn a little more German!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

In my opinion, today was the busiest day we have had in Vienna with classes, museums, tours, and symphonies; it’s obvious now that I did not mean busy in a negative way although it is a struggle to get up at 8:30 am for statistics. With the morning starting bright and early at 8am, we went from sitting at a desk learning how to create a frequency table to traveling back to Vienna during the 1400s. We spent the morning at an art history museum learning about the history of the Theresianum and the changes the city of Vienna went through from the 1400s to present time. It was amazing seeing replicas of homes during this ancient period, tomb stones, paintings. It was also incredible some of the artifacts that were not so different from what we used today, such as keys during that time as well as safety pins for clothing. We spend about two hours in the museum. Even though I am sure all of us would have been happy to spend all day there we had to get to lunch. The dining hall here is something we are all still getting used to, but I would say we are all making progress. Today they had potato pancakes for lunch and egg salad and cold cuts for dinner, one vegetarian food selection and one regular selection; being a vegetarian unable to speak the German language well is a struggle. I do have a story to contribute that involves tears being shed over pizza. Today Mae and I went to get some more excellent vegetarian pizza that we discovered days before; there was only one clearly vegetarian slice left and another that looked like just cheese. After I failed at attempting to ask if there was any meat under the cheese I just bought it and hoped for the best. I then sat down with my fork and knife, mouth watering over this delicious slice of Austrian pizza I was about to eat until I discovered ham under the cheese. I sat there with my fork in one hand, knife in the other staring at the meat as my eyes filled with tears thinking of how hard I tried to ask if there was meat. I did not want to give the slice back so I went with trying to surgically remove this meat. As I was failing, and crying, the wonderful Austrian employee noticed, called me over, and gave me two free pastries…so not all was lost.

After dinner we all went to the Mozart Ensemble, “Konzerte im Mozarthaus” in the city. It was nice to see everyone dressed up and to hear these musicians play Mozart’s pieces of music. This ensemble was in the tradition of the Viennese classical period and included works of Haydn, Schubert, and, of course, Mozart. I enjoyed that the small audience made the ensemble seem more personal. There was wine to drink during intermission, but they were 5 Euro glasses of wine, so I decided to use the restroom instead which I had to go literally outside across a courtyard to get to. After the ensemble I, as well as the rest of the group, was exhausted from the day’s activities and decided to have a quiet Friday evening doing homework and studying; that is in fact why we are here right? It has only been days since our journey across seas to Vienna, and the anticipation for the rest of the journey grows tremendously each day.



First Day of Classes

Thursday, February 11th. Today was the first day of classes. It was very structured and we were busy most of the day. The first class, statistics, starts at 8:30am. All of the student made it to class which is pretty easy because it is just right down the hall. I’m not really thrilled with being up that early, but the trade off is we will have most afternoons free to get the most out of the city and trip. Carl described it as being “afternoon people.” Not everyone is taking Stats so it also allows some people to get a head start on the showers. I have to say they are awesome; the hot water turns right on and the water pressure is better than Franklin Pierce and my house, even though we are on the American 5th flight in the building. The next class started at 10, which was History of Math. It is usually a two hour long class, but it was cut short today so we could go on an 11:15am tour with Herr Fritz. We got to learn a lot of the history behind where we are staying and the art in the building. We are all very fortunate to have an opportunity to be staying in a place like this. We were able to have more of a grasp of where everything is after the tour. Herr Fritz showed us some normally locked rooms, too. They were the most interesting. He showed us the school’s old library. It looked like a scene from the movies of Harry Potter. As we were leaving the library, we went over to an encasement with a cover over it. He told us a story about how the school was given a gift from Egypt and pulled up the cloth covering one of them. There were two mummies lying there. One even had a pet crocodile mummified with him! Next came lunch. I can’t remember what we had, but I do know we are all trying to smile and be nice to the cafeteria ladies so with hopes in the next meals there may be a little extra on our plates. Between 2-4 we had our final class (thank goodness) of the day, Vienna Through the Ages with Heinz Kröll. He is a very smart man and knows a lot about Austria. We learned a little bit about the evolution of modern-day Austria. One word that might describe this class was: Maps. We were all pretty worn out by this time and were struggling to be attentive to all of the slides he was showing. After napping or going to the grocery store we had dinner. A meeting to just touch base with everyone occurred, and then we were off on our own for the night. As was mentioned in the first post, the boy from Texas, “Brother Billingsley” invited Ally and Chrissy to a café with his parent to keep the “family” connection going. They got some of the scoop on the town and had a great time. Others chose to go to a local establishment for some karaoke and the rest hit the books or just relaxed. I’d say it was a very interesting day, and I can’t wait to experience more of what Vienna has to offer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First day,
This is a little late but here we go. So today was the day we left for Vienna Austria, it was a very long day. We met at school at 10am Monday morning and weighed our suitcases, and thankfully all of mine were just under 50 pounds=]! After the weigh in we talked about our upcoming adventures and soon left for lunch. We met again after to hear about someone else's time in Vienna and before I knew it it was time for us to say our last goodbyes to our friends--that was the hardest part about leaving. Before I knew it we were off to the airport! Once we arrived my parents showed up for one last goodbye. We checked in and away we went. The plane ride was very full and it was my first time on such a large plane! To be honest the flight was pretty easy. We got dinner, which I did not like too much, but we got to pick what movies we watched. Everyone had their own t.v. on the seat in front of them; it was pretty cool. The flight seemed quick. It seemed impossible to sleep, though. Before I knew it we were landing in London, and even though it felt like 2:30 in the morning it was 7:30am. Once we landed it was like a maze to get to our next terminal. The airport in London was unlike anything I have ever seen--it was huge! Also there were so many different people from so many different places going everywhere in the world! When we started to look for our next terminal, one of the airport workers told us there was no such thing as a terminal 24, what it said on our ticket. So the next step was trying to figure out where exactly we were supposed to go. After what seemed to be 100 escalator rides and 2 bus rides we had made it to the next terminal. Once we got there it was time to exchange money. No more dollars, hello euros! I found out really quickly the exchange rate sucks. So then it was time for our next flight. At this point everyone seemed very tired and just grumpy. As we boarded it was a packed flight! So crowded, and the plane was not as comfortable as the last. It was cramped and stuffy, but thankfully I got on the plane and fell right to sleep. I don’t even remember taking off--it was so nice. Once we had landed everyone seemed to perk up a little bit. We got off the plane and got our luggage, and then were greeted by a camera taking pictures of us. I felt like we were famous! After a quick ride finally arrived at the school! It is beautiful. After a little unpacking it was time for dinner so we went down. I could not tell you what I ate, but it was delicious! Also, I found some student who goes to this school has the last name as Chrissy and I, and he’s from Texas. It is a very small world! So in the morning we are going exploring hopefully--it will be fun!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today was our first day in Vienna. We woke up refreshed from a long night's sleep, eager to explore our new urban environment. Traveling the past two days had everyone exhausted and ready to snuggle down into their new, warm beds. We met to discuss our travel plans, and means of transportation through the city for the next ninety days. Concluding our meeting in the morning, we experienced our second meal via the Theresianum Cafeteria. Everyone is still adjusting to the new taste and different texture, but expectations are still positive. We went out into the city to explore, and find anything that may or may not be interesting to see. Everyone successfully activated and added minutes to their cell phones. They are used for emergencies and to keep in contact to Professor Carl Brezovec and his wife, Michelle. We also have the luxury of having an experienced Residential Assistant, Janet, who has studied and lived here in Vienna. She has experience with the city, and an easy going attitude that makes her easily approachable for everyone.

Walking with a group of ten of the sixteen students studying here today, it was cool to notice silence amongst the group. Why, you may ask? It was obvious we all had the same thing on our minds; WOW. The city is different than anything I've ever seen. The buildings show all the signs of being old, but I am unsure which are, or are not. There are statues and other forms of art throughout the city, making it almost like a palace of new experiences for everyone here in the kingdom education. Some enjoyed the local flavor of a common cafe, while a few choice others, [Erin and I] had a small taste of our beloved homeland; The B.K. Lounge! aka Burger King. The city is filled with new experiences and different culture, and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we're all excited to get out there and start our new, amazing lives here in "The City of Music".