Guten Tag from Vienna, Austria!

My name is Dione Del Signore and this fall I am studying abroad in the beautiful city of Vienna. I arrived September 11th and have already made so many memories and friends. I flew from Houston to London and had about a 3 hour layover in Heathrow Airport. I thought that it would be the perfect amount of time to sit down, rest, maybe grab a coffee, a snack and wonder around for a little. I of course wanted to try the over-priced coffee in the airport. I was so excited to try a latte I didn’t even realize that the barista didn’t push the lid all the way down so I spilled a good amount of my latte ALL over my white shirt. It wasn’t a drop or two, it was probably three tablespoons. I looked around and of course a few people saw me which was quite embarrassing. So I grabbed my backpack, my carry on luggage, my water bottle and my phone and went to the bathroom to try and get it out. After that failed, my only option was to buy an overpriced t-shirt. I then realized I had no money (pounds) after going to the restroom again I then had a realization that I had my carry on luggage with extra shirts. I laughed at myself for stressing over finding a shirt when I was carrying about 10 of them the entire time. After all of that my flight was about to board, so I didn’t get to grab a bite to eat. When arriving in Vienna I had quite a bit of culture shock right away. Trying to find my luggage, finding where to be picked up and even finding the bathroom was a struggle. After a few hiccups after arriving I was picked up by a driver who gave me my keys to my apartment and drove me straight there. The drive there was about 30 minutes. The car driver had no AC in the car and the driver didn’t even roll down the windows (even when I asked politely). I hadn’t eaten in about 7 hours and was running only on small the small amount of caffeine from my latte that I had earlier spilled all over myself. I was exhausted, hungry and was about to meet my new roommate!

I didn’t know my roommate going in to study abroad–other than a few Facebook messages and following each other on Instagram. Right away I knew that we were going to get along very well. She helped me bring my big suitcases up into our new apartment and we walked into our new little home together. The apartment is nothing spectacular, the kitchen doesn’t have an oven only a stove and a microwave. The cabinets are bright orange. Even though the apartment wasn’t the “Pinterest” board apartment we all dream of living in, I think I like it more that way. Because it isn’t the coziest or cutest dorm it makes us get out of our rooms and explore the city! Danielle and I promised each other right away that we weren’t going to be those students that spend all of their time in their room on their phones or watching Netflix. We were going to make the most of every second in this beautiful city! We have kept that promise so far. I am so lucky that Danielle and I are roommates, we get along so well and we are on the same page about everything. We want to cook at home when we can to save money (Vienna isn’t the cheapest place to eat, however we have found a few great cheap spots to eat when we don’t want to cook). We both like to workout so we went on a run together and did a mini-workout. We shopped at the grocery store together, using our Google Translate app to help us discover what all of the unknown German labels mean. We figured out how to get around the city together, getting a phone plan, finding our University together and much more. I don’t think that my transition to living abroad would have been nearly as easy if I didn’t have her by my side!

I have not been in Vienna for 15 days and everyday I still get giddy over the beauty of this city. Vienna was rated the #1 place to live in the world for highest quality of living., which I can agree with 100% so far. The architecture, the history and the weather are all things that Vienna is known for. However, a few random things that I noticed after a few days is how safe the city is. Coming from Houston, Texas it isn’t the safest city in the world by any means. Walking alone at night is pretty much the worst thing you can do. Here in Vienna I have never felt so safe in a city. Even walking alone at night I feel safe which is one of the craziest things being a woman from America. The public transportation here is amazing as well. We got a train card right away which is pretty much your ticket around the city. The ticket along with an app called MOOVIT has made it such an easy transition. I can get around the city quickly and it’s pretty much free (our public transportation ticket was $75 for the semester). My favorite way to get around the city is walking. I love discovering new beautiful streets, cafes and random little shops. Especially with the beautiful weather, its been in the 60-70’s. Vienna is also known for their coffee and pastries which makes it really hard to not stop everyday and grab a coffee. Every once in a while I’ll treat myself, but if I were to do that everyday I would quickly be broke.

Lastly, Vienna is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been to. I have yet to smell trash, see trash on the street or even just see someone litter. The subways are clean, the restaurants are clean and even the bathrooms are clean!

By the way, I am currently in a coffee shop with a beautiful view. It is currently 66 degrees and sunny. The weather is incredible and I don’t want it to change!


Last weekend I took my first trip to Budapest. I didn’t know too much about Budapest before going. We pretty much saw that tickets were 30 euros and hostels were $13 a night and booked our trip. It was one of the best and spontaneous trips I’ve ever taken!

Budapest is known for their thermal baths, we went to these baths for about 17 euros! It was one of the most relaxing experiences ever. It is kind of weird to be in a giant “bath” with hundreds of people but it was great. The baths were really hot and they had incredible saunas as well.  I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance. Especially after walking a combined total of about 15 miles in two days.



Fisherman’s Bastion and the Freedom Bridge.

If you ever get the chance go to Freedom bridge at nighttime, DO IT! You will be be amazed by the beauty. That view could never get old.

I don’t start school until October 9th, which is amazing. It’s giving me time to meet new people, explore the city, do the cultural program, and of course take weekend trips like this last one I did to Budapest. Vienna is a very central location so you can take bus/train/airplanes for quite cheap. I booked a ticket to Venice, Italy for tomorrow night–we’re going on a night train for 12 hours to Venice. It might be a little uncomfortable being on a train for 12 hours straight, but I know it will be worth it. Plus, we couldn’t pass up the price of bus tickets and the AirBnBs.

I look forward to writing more about my experience abroad, so far the past 2 weeks have been some of the most fulfilling weeks of my life. There have been a few hard times like missing our bus to Budapest by 2 minutes and a few unexpected expenses, but overall it has been an easier transition than I imagined. I am so glad that I picked Vienna as my home for the next 3 months, I can’t wait for all the adventures that this beautiful city holds.

Bis Bald!