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The View from Vienna: Learning to make Vienna home

Global learning is an important part of the Lipscomb University experience as the city is our campus and the world is our classroom.

Kayla Gray  | 

The traditional group picture and visit to Schönbrunn Palace

The traditional group picture and visit to Schönbrunn Palace

This semester Kayla Gray, a sophomore from Springfield, Missouri, double majoring in film and English: writing, is studying abroad in the global learning program in Vienna, Austria. Gray will share the group’s experiences in a series of blog articles this semester.

As we prepare to embark on our second weekend of free travel, I find myself struck with the realization of how truly short our time here has been this far. It was just a little over two weeks ago that we touched down in London (where the very nice airport lady, sadly, had to toss a few of my travel-sized toiletries into the bin, I might add), and prepared ourselves for the moment we would set foot in our home for the next three months.

It has been just a short while, and yet it feels as though we could have been here forever. 

Kayla Gray in front of the Sound of Music gate.

Blogger Kayla Gray in front of the gate of the abbey from 'The Sound of Music' in Salzburg

Friendships are fast-forming, and everyone is falling into the routine of classes. The city is ours, or so it feels. The U Bahn, though daunting at first, has become second nature by now. We’re still getting the hang of the Eurail. But what would life be without a couple of mishaps to learn from? At least now we know for next time that trying to book a first-class reservation with a second-class pass will result in an on-the-spot upgrade payment when the conductor discovers your mistake. Oops.

But awkward transportation stories aside, Vienna has been a wonderful home to us all already. It is difficult to know how much history a place holds until it comes to life in front of you. Already, we have toured Stephansdom, a historic cathedral, as well as the Schönbrunn Palace. Here, we learned of how the Austrian empire dissolved, and at the cathedral, we witnessed firsthand the dedication that the Viennese people hold for their faith.

I know our experience has hardly yet begun, but I cannot help but look forward to whatever comes. Through the rough patches and the fantastic adventures, I have a great group of people to explore this journey with. 

And that, to me, is what study abroad is all about: Not only the great sights to see, but the people that you see it with.