Looking Back ... After Ten Years!

"...The bonds that were formed with people who accompanied me on that trip were of the type that will last a lifetime. At the same time, I became more self reliant during that trip ... to this very day I think of that trip and I know that it helped shape me as a person and as a Christian ... I would definitely let [my children] attend such a trip ... [it] can shape their lives for the better and give them a lifetime of memories, a love of travel and history, and an appreciation of other cultures and people."   Patrick

"I credit Vienna as being one of the most influential experiences in my entire life. Actually, it has had more influence on my life 10 years past than it did immediately ... the immediate impact at age 19: I learned much about culture, language, arts, history, relationships ... but after all these years, it's continued to impact my views on government relations, and issues, global poverty and faith ... it helped me deepen my understanding that the world did not revolve around [me] but how I could impact the world."   Carrie

"While I was in Vienna, I recognized what a remarkable experience we were being blessed to have. It is only after ten years, however, that i recognize what a lasting impact the experience continues to have on me ... certainly I learned to become more self-reliant and to face my fears of the unknown with more assurance ... I learned valuable lessons in dealing with people and how to be a better listener, things I try to practice every day ... prior to our departure [to Vienna] I was given one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard ... it was simply to remind yourself that whatever you encountered was neither good nor bad, simply different. While it was useful for negotiating less-than-optimal situations in Europe, it has become a useful tool for evaluation without judgment in the years since."         Chris

"I definitely think I appreciate the experience more now than I did back then. I had a wonderful time ... but I didn't really appreciate it for what it was: a once in a lifetime opportunity. In those three months abroad, I grew so much more than I could have ever imagined. I still remember how proud I was being able to take my dad all over the city, and that I could communicate with [in German!] ... I would have to let my children go if the opportunity came up ... I learned so much in such a short amount of time, and most of it was about me and who I was. Thanks for keeping such a wonderful program going."   Susan