Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 8th, 2010 - Saturday

Blog to be done by Erin Drwyer

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 90.

I will always love you, Vienna. And I will always love all of you guys for making the trip everything it was.


Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010 Amusement Park!

Today was a very fun filled day in the great city of Vienna, as well as our last class of the semester! All of us awoke today this morning to take our last final, for Math and Politics. I was a little nervous going into the final because we have had so much information to study. It was relief when I got the test because I looked it over and it actually was not too bad! Hopefully Professor Carl will give me a nice A+ on this final.

After the final we ate lunch, and all of us planned on going to the local amusement park on the subway stop Praterstern, which is only four to five stops away from our dorm. It is not like typical amusement parks as we know from back home in America, because you are able to walk in and just pay for rides, more like a carnival scene, but the park is always there. The weather was kind to us until a few rides in when it started to downpour for about a good twenty minutes.

Before it rained we got to try out bumper cars first for two Euros, and it was a blast. We all had huge smiles on our faces the whole time. The next ride was a crazy one that flipped upside down, had techno music, and went extremely fast. A few of the girls tried it out, and it actually was an intense ride that lasted a good five minutes. At one point Ally and Steph lost change out of their pockets because the ride spins you upside down for a long period of time. After that ride we all went to this ride that is 117 meters high in the air, and you sit on swings while it constantly spins you in a circle! This ride was 5 Euros and was worth every penny. Once we started going up a 1/4 of the way we realized how high we were going to be in the air! It spins you around at a pretty decent speed, and once you reach the top you can see the whole city of Vienna. This ride was such a thrill and I loved every minute of it, and everyone else said this was their favorite ride. After researching about this ride Matt found out that this is the highest flying carousel in the world! None of us had any idea before we rode it, and it is awesome to find out about this. Its construction had only recently been completed at the end of April.

Here is a link about the ride if anyone wants to take a look at it: 23/22755/World%27s_highest_flying_carousel_set_up_in_Vienna

Overall, it was quite the fun-filled day!

May 6th, 2010 - Thursday

This is my last blog of the trip, and I realize that this is the end. This is the last time I will get to write about my feelings and experiences of my time in Vienna. I have gotten to know many of the people here, good and bad. I have experienced a lot of things that will impact my life forever. I have gotten to know the 16 people that we are here with, the good and bad characteristics of their personalities. This has been one of the most influential and most memorable experiences of my life.

I have come to realize that the people that mean the most in my life are the ones who have given me the resources to be here. I will miss the days when I could go to any country that I please and do anything I please. This is an unusual part of my life where I have realized the best in myself and what I do best. I have learned a lot that I will take to heart. I have loved every minute I have spent in Vienna and wouldn't take it back for the world. Even days where I felt homesick, I realized I will have the opportunity to be home whenever I want.

I am in Europe for one time in my life, and I'm going to make the best of it. I have done everything I have ever wanted and made memories that I will be able to tell my kids and that they will be able to tell their kids. I have seen and had the adventure of a lifetime. I recommend this program to everyone and tell them to take the chance to be able to experience the adventure and worries of everything studying abroad has to offer. I have loved the time I have spent here and couldn't imagine not taking this offer. Thank you Franklin pierce for giving me the time of my life.

Samantha Cooper

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5th, 2010 - Wednesday


I am so sad that this is my last blog, as this means the trip has come to an end. Words can't even explain the time I have had here and the things I have learned. I am so beyond fortunate to have been able to have this experience. Vienna is a great city that I will miss dearly! Never in a million years would I have guessed I would have the opportunity to live in Europe and go to school for three months. It is all still so mind boggling!!

I am leaving here, but I have gained so much. Not only life lessons, but I have learned so much about myself and what I can accomplish. I left America with 15 strangers by my side, and I am coming home with 15 close friends. Each person here has brought something different to our group. Erin brought all types of humor to the group. You never know what she will do or say or sing, hahaha. And I love her for it! Then we have Matt: he is the peace maker, a charmer and just a good guy. He always has a smile on his face and likes everyone for who they are. He is a talented musician who plays his guitar 24/7, and, to be honest, I loved listening to him play all the time. Sometimes I would keep my door open in the morning just to hear him play on his guitar. Matt is a very dependable person, and I will hopefully be keeping in touch with him. Then we have Bobby: Bobby is someone who likes to be in charge all the time. I love Bobby like a brother but we definitely have a lot of different views and opinions, which isn’t a bad thing because it made me learn how to deal with people different from me. Overall, though, Bobby is a good person, and I will miss hearing him and Erin fight.

Next is Murielle. Murielle is the oldest one, the senior, the math major. She is the quiet one and an observer. She is a very good person who just likes to watch the people around her, and I could only imagine how many good laughs she has gotten from our group. She never ceases to surprise me with the things she says and how she will just break out singing and dancing. I am going to miss seeing her in the early morning smiling and singing. Good luck Murielle in the real world!! Then there is Ryan. Ryan is kind of quiet, too, but just likes to have a good time--a good guy that I wish I had gotten to know better.

Then we have Mae and Cristina--I put them together because they are always by each others' sides, no matter what. Cristina is funny and loves to just go out and experience new things. Mae is the quieter one of the two, but in no way is she shy. Mae is a beautiful girl who also likes to have a good time. They won't let anyone bring them down from having a good time, which I admire. Even though at the beginning things might not have started out so well with them, I love them so much and am so happy to have met them.

Another pair that just makes me laugh thinking about them is Mike and Kunj. These two together are characters! Mike is the calmer one of the two and will always be there for you, no matter what. Then we have Kunj (kunjybear); he is the crazy one. You never know what he is going to do or say, but you know whatever it is it's going to be hilarious. Living with these two has given me so many stories to tell people. Being around them was never a dull moment, and I am truly going to miss them! I have to say thank you to them as well. They made me realize that its ok to kick back and do whatever, since we are only young once!

Then there is Sam Cooper, another person whom I wasn’t really close with or really talked to all that much. She is the tough one, the one who doesn’t take crap from anyone. I just started to really get to know her as the trip was coming to an end, but I will say she is a good person. I learned that she is someone who is there for her friends 100%, which I like about her. I know I'll be seeing her around next year.

Then we have my favorite twins in the whole wide world, Chrissy and Ally. I can't even begin to explain how much these two make me laugh. Even though they are twins they are so very, very different. Chrissy is the crazy one; the things that come out of her mouth are ridiculous sometimes, but she never keeps me from laughing. She can make the best facial expressions, too. Ally is a little quieter and not as wild, but also can make me laugh so hard. One of my favorite things about Ally is that she will say something that she thinks is funny and then laugh at herself. Put these two together and just watch them interact, and it’s a brilliant comedy. My favorite memory is watching these two have a fight, a loving sister fight. As they are yelling at each other they are laughing at the same time but just kept repeating how mad they really are. Then watching Ally tear through Chrissy’s closet and take clothes back is even funnier. I would have to say I have become the closest with these two and am excited to spend the summer with them. (They live only 10 minutes from me.)

Then there is the lovely Christina Gallo. She is honestly the nicest person you could ever meet and always has a smile on her face. Christina is someone that I love to be around because of all her positive energy. Christina is another one here that I have become extremely close to and will be staying friends with once we return to America. And then we have Kate. Kate is someone that you can trust and know that she always has your back. She is the one I consider the most dependable of the group and will defend any of us no matter if we are in the wrong or not. Kate makes me laugh with things that she says or comes up with. I love going out places with her because she makes me feel safe. I have always had trust issues with people, but I have to say that Katie has made me gain back trust for people. I will miss her dearly but know she won't let me off the hook that easily, hahaha. She has already told me that, because she won't be able to annoy me first thing in the morning when I am all crabby and hating life over the summer, she will be sending me texts saying “good morning sunshine” when she goes to work...can't wait for that.

Last but not least is Sam Bizon. I was fortunate enough to share this experience with my best friend. I have known Sam since freshman year when we were roommates, and we have been best friends ever since. Sam brought calmness to the group and nutrition, hahaha. She always has that “can do” attitude and is friends with everyone. I love her to death and being here has made our friendship even stronger. Overall, we have become one big, giant dysfunctional family, but I wouldn’t pick anyone else to share this experience with. I will truly miss every single one of these people. I love you all and I can't wait for us to share stories with everyone.

I would also like to thank Carl and Michele so much! You two should truly get some award for putting up with all 16 of us! Thank you Carl for everything, and I am so glad that you were the professor that I got to come on this trip with. Even if your jokes really aren’t that funny. Thanks Michele for all the hard work you put into everything. We never would have had such a good experience like this with out you. You two will truly be a part of all our lives now and forever, because we will all remember this trip and will be talking about what an awesome professor we had and how much his wife did for us.

I also need to thank my parents. Without them none of this would have ever been possible. I am truly lucky and so fortunate to have parents like mine.

To anyone who Is looking into studying abroad: don’t overanalyze, just DO IT! It is the best experience of your life. Yes it is scary at first, but believe me its worth the homesickness that you might feel at first, and it's defiantly worth missing a few FPU parties! JUST DO IT AND DON’T THINK TWICE ABOUT IT.

Well its cinco de mayo, so we are celebrating it by going to eat some of Vienna's Mexican food. Hope you all enjoyed reading our blogs. Here we come, AMERICA.

Stephanie Gilbert

May 4th, 2010 - Tuesday

If I were to begin to share everything that has happened to me and the people in this abroad program, I could probably write a book. This has been the best, dirtiest, most liberating experience of my life. I have had some of the funniest moments of my life here. I have met the strangest people and done some things that I will probably only tell a few people in my lifetime. I hope that everyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go abroad does it, and does everything that is thrown at them.

I'm left with a sense of accomplishment and can't wait to move onto the next chapter in life.

I want to thank my parents for giving me a bigger piece of the world that I ever thought I’d see or experience. And I want to thank Stella, Carl and Michele for all of the hard work and effort that it took to work with us. It’s been the adventure of my life! I will never go a day without thinking about something that has happened here.

I also want to say that I was lucky to be with a great group of peers. I am so happy to have met all of you and cannot wait to spend my last year at Pierce with you all.


Mae McGlone

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 3rd, 2010 - Monday

Our time here in Vienna is slowly coming to a close. Slowly, I notice people packing and tossing out clothes that have been worn to their last thread. Everyone is either crashing, finding they want to spend their last days here in Vienna focusing on end of the semester work, while others are out and about not wanting to waste a second of the time left here in Europe. It is sad to think that in only a week our time here in Vienna will be a memory that we can only talk about, look back through pictures and journal entries written. We have all experienced a truly once in a life time opportunity, we have formed friendships and memories stronger in the three months in Vienna than we have with friends from home and school.

Cristina Tyris

May 2nd, 2010 - Sunday

Today I went to Salzburg. It is one of the places that was on my top 10 places to go while I was over here. I’m so happy that I made the decision to hop the train in the early morning to see such a beautiful place. When I was younger, I had watched the “Sound of Music” and had heard that the tour was really neat to go on. So, I figured that I am only in Salzburg once, even though I wish and hope to be again, and I should just take the tour, so I did.

I had a bit of time before the tour started, so I could explore a little bit of the other parts of town. On my way to the bus stop, I went into the Mirabell Gardens. An orchestra was warming up for a show later that day, and it was really cool to hear traditional Austrian music while walking around looking at all the beautiful flowers and fountains. The bus tour was great. They took us to a bunch of different scenes from the movie, including the two places used for the front and back of the Von-Trapp residence, the gazebo and the wedding church in Mondsee. “One of my favorite things” about the whole day was going into the Lake Regions where some of the scenes from the beginning of the film were set. I grabbed a quick sandwich for our lunch stop and was able to sit on a mountain overlooking one of the lakes.

After the bus tour ended It started to thunderstorm. I walked in it for a little while trying to take in as much of the city as I could before I had to catch the next train back to Vienna. Riding on the 3 hour train ride in soaking wet jeans and shoes was not too much fun, but definitely well worth the wonderful day that I had.

Katie Dougherty

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to

Today was my birthday. It was a great day, all the way through. I woke up around 10 am and made french toast. It was great to sit in the room and enjoy a delicious breakfast at my window side, sun gleaming and birds chirping. Spring is in full bloom here.

After enjoying my breakfast, I took a quick shower and then worked on my History of Math paper. At around 3 pm Matthew and I went to Stadt Park [City Park] to throw the frisbee and enjoy the weather. We lounged for an hour or so, and then it began to rain. I had my camera with me, and Matt brought his guitar, so we met our French friends at a classic Viennese cafe for drinks. As a group of eight, or "acht" in German, we enjoyed cold beers, coffees, and desserts. It's really an experience to be around others who can speak upwards of four other languages. They all speak English, French, and German fluently, and some even speak one or two others.

Later that night we went to a social gathering at a city friend's house. It was great to meet new people, and make awesome memories with the people I've gotten close to here.

Today was such a great day, and it really makes me look back at how great of an experience I've had these past three months. The group as a whole has gone through a lot together, and we have had a great time sharing the experience with each other. As the semester wraps up, I wonder if I'll ever see any of the European friends I've made here again. This has been a true once-in-a-lifetime experience that I was fortunate enough to be a part of, so I'm just grateful for the time spent here. I look forward to returning home to my friends and family May 10th. It's been nice talkin' to ya.

Bobby Greggerson

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April 30th, 2010 - Friday

Friday April 30th

So this being my last blog I decided it would be a good chance to reflect on my time in Europe. Coming into this trip I would have never imagined all of the things I would see, the places I would go, but most importantly the bonds I would make with the people I came with. The past three months were not always easy, of course: people missed home, friends, and family, and people got on each other’s nerves here. But it always worked itself out. Looking back on all of the trips we took, it seems like Greece was years and years ago. I would have to say, though, that Greece was my favorite group trip. Everything about the trip was amazing, and everything about Greece was breath-taking! The sights, sounds, and it didn’t hurt that in February it was about 75 there(: As the trip went on travel became a large part of our everyday life. It was all about class and then travel--no down time--just see everything; it was amazing.

Places that I had never even heard of like Bratislava or places I never thought I would be to like the Eiffel Tower, everything was like magic. Sometimes the trips didn’t seem real: did we actually just spend 3 week exploring Europe?! Going to Poland, Prague, Berlin and Ireland, it almost seemed too good to be true. Sometimes it was hard being with the same 16 people all day every day, but I wouldn’t have changed anything about it except the long train rides.

As our trip is coming to an end, all I can think about is how lucky I am to have had this experience. I mean, some people live their entire lives and never see anything of what I have seen in these few, short months. I am a very lucky girl. So now it’s time to try and pack up 3 months worth of memories, gifts, and clothes, and back home I go.

Ally Billingsley