These past 5 months have been incredible. I have visited 13 countries and 25 cities during my time in Europe. My exchange semester has been incredibly immersive. I have experienced the beautiful change of seasons and got to visit breathtaking places. Vienna has been an amazing city to live in and was perfectly located. Being central made it easy to travel between countries by train, bus, and plane. It is a city rich in history and I had an amazing time engaging in courses related to International Business with students from around the globe. Being able to learn from a global perspective made my studies engaging. I have made lifelong friends who I have shared many memories with. As I return to Texas, I remember the feelings I had when I started my semester. I was nervous about embarking on a new journey alone. I was also excited to experience new places and cultures. Eventually, Vienna started to feel at home. One of my favorite moments was getting to attend a traditional Viennese ball with other exchange students. I loved being able to meet different people from diverse backgrounds and exchange our cultures. I also met previous and future exchange students at Texas A&M from WU. These past few weeks, I have had many goodbyes. I am going to miss the historical architecture, cafe culture, picnics in the city, and the people. As I return for my last year at Texas A&M, I know these experiences will continue to shape and influence my perspective. I will treasure these memories and the connections I have made abroad. I am confident that I will continue to travel and build on my experiences. I aspire to work for a multinational corporation in the future and engage in an international business environment. I have gained important skills for my future and I will remember these months forever.

Categories: Austria


Vienna, or Wien as known by Austrians, is like a dream. After officially being here for a little over a week, I have been able to explore various areas of the city. In the first few days, we were welcomed by the incoming team at WU who introduced us to Austrian and Viennese cultural norms, foods, and history. The welcome events were attended by all of the incoming exchange students at the university, therefore it was a unique opportunity to interact with individuals from all over the world. I have met people from Canada, The UK, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, The Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden, The Bahamas, Italy, Ukraine, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, and many more locations. Within the first few days, I have already made many new friends. Additionally, we were able to be given a tour of the university by WU students. The campus is much smaller than Texas A&M but is extremely modern and well-constructed. You have the opportunity to sign up for a pre-semester cultural program in which 2 weeks are dedicated to exploring many of Vienna’s cultural landmarks and nearby cities. Next week some of our events include learning the Viennese Waltz, visiting the United Nations, touring Schönbrunn Palace, and attending a chocolate factory in Linz, Austria.

Overall, Vienna is a classical dream mixed with a modern touch. The city is incredibly well connected by public transport and dedicated towards sustainability. Although I have only been here a week, this experience has already been extremely eye-opening. This was my first time in Europe and this opportunity has allowed me to make connections with individuals who are incredibly diverse in nationality and thought. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about everyone’s stories of navigating life before and after embarking abroad. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and I cannot wait to develop my skills individually and professionally.

Lastly, the food has been amazing. Vienna is a coffee lover’s dream and the assortment of pastries and cakes is astonishing. It is the cafe capital of the world and one of the Viennese specialties is the melange. Some of my other favorite meals have been Wiener Schnitzel, Goulash, Appel Strudel, and Sachertorte. The grocery stores here are very reasonably priced and of great quality. My classes do not begin until early March, therefore I am going to visit Budapest, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Prague. I am currently missing Tex-Mex, my dog, and my family. However, I am grateful that I am able to video call them frequently and share my updates on life in Vienna. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead as I continue to navigate this journey abroad.

From Vienna,

Anneliese Cook

Categories: 2023, Austria

It has been over a week now since arriving in Vienna, and I am in awe of the beauty of this city. I had come up with ideas in my head of what my experience would be like before coming, and wow, has Vienna already exceeded my expectations. Every day, I wake up in what feels like a dream, but I quickly snap into reality that this is my real life. In only seven days, I have seen so much Austrian history and culture, which has been so fun and exciting.

My first two days in the city involved an orientation program at the Vienna University of Economics & Business (or WU for short). There, I was able to meet other incoming exchange students from all over the world and get integrated into the academic lifestyle in Vienna. With still a month before classes actually start, I have been able to explore so much in Vienna. WU is an amazing university with over 500 international students each semester, so it is nice not feeling alone being in a new place and new school. One huge culture shock of school life in Vienna is the academic schedule. Rather than your typical American fall and spring semester, Vienna has a summer and winter semester. So although I am studying abroad in the Spring 2023 semester at TAMU, it’s really summer semester in Austria, where classes begin in March and end in June. Also, classes do not extend for the whole semester period. Some classes are only half the semester, or are complete within two weeks or on weekends. Additionally, classes do not typically follow a consistent weekly schedule (ex: every Monday and Wednesday), rather they occur on random days and times, with some weeks having completely off from a course. So, creating my class schedule was definitely more of a challenge.

On another note, when exploring the city, everywhere you walk, it looks like you just walked into a fairytale or into some historical time period. There are gorgeous, historic buildings everywhere you walk. I have been able to see so much including the famous Vienna Opera House, Mozart’s apartment, the Hundertwasser House, the Schönbrunnm Palace, the city of Graz and the Zotter chocolate factory. Additionally, the Vienna public transportation is the best in Europe. For 75 euros, I can take public transportation all semester (which is the equivalent to about one tank of gas for me in the U.S.).

Another aspect of Viennese culture I have fallen in love with is the cafe culture. Actually, UNESCO added Viennese coffee house culture to the cultural heritage list for Austria. When you go into a cafe or restaurant, there is no rush or order more or move on. You can spend hours in a cafe without the servers hovering your table throughout your stay. If you need anything, you have to flag the waiter down yourself to get the bill. As that seems more rude in the U.S., it is completely normal here. I have already spent many hours enjoying a Melange (classic Viennese coffee) and Sachertorte (famous Viennese chocolate cake) in many of the cafes that line the streets.

I have absolutely fallen in love with Vienna, Austria. One reason I picked this location is because my mom studied in Vienna in college, so it has been so sweet getting to share some of the same experiences with her and even recreate photos. I am already having the time of my life and have met so many amazing people!


Categories: 2023, Austria

After 3 and a half months in Vienna, I’ve learned that many of my peers have much different cultures and mannerisms than I do. Though I knew how different people could be, it was much more than I had expected coming from someone who has only lived in Texas all their life. Throughout my time here something I have learned was the importance of “small talk”. I personally never enjoyed it, but I know the importance of it when it comes to building your community and getting to know people.

In my initial post, I wrote about how I wished the US school system was more similar to that of Europe. Though I still think this due to several reasons, I do appreciate the extra curriculars that are ingrained in the schools in the US. I personally could not imagine going through middle and high school without joining all the clubs I had including tennis and my business organizations.

Categories: 2021, Austria, Reciprocal Exchange

Howdy, my name is Zachary Schwertner and I am studying at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) for the semester. These past two weeks have been absolutely crazy but in a fantastic way. It has been a great change of pace getting out of College Station and making my way down to Vienna, the capital of Austria. My first few days were hectic, adventurous, and full of new lessons. I visited most of the tourist locations, like the famous Schönbrunn Palace, The Hofburg, and the massive Prater park. Still, I find it hard to believe that I will be spending my next four months here. Here are a few pictures:The Hofburg A street view of St. Stephen's Cathedral Schonbrunn Palace Gardens View of the Gloriette from the gardens of Schnbrunn Me in front of the Gloriette Friends and I in front of famous fountain

From my limited time here, I have gotten to meet some of the students that go to WU (pronounced VU). Mostly, they are all part of the Erasmus Buddy Network, an organization that helps incoming exchange students acclimate to life in their new environment. Everyone that I have met is super friendly and nice. Through meeting them, I have met several other exchange students from around the world. I have formed a close group with some people and we plan on traveling a lot and just doing a lot of things. I am looking forward to all that will come!

As for actual school, my university does not start until October 1st. It is weird seeing friends back home already in class and about to have their first test. However, I have still had the chance to go to the university, as it is only a 20-minute commute away (which is honestly not that much time at all in Vienna). The campus is beautiful, the people are lovely, and I am very much looking forward to the school year.


Reminiscing on the differences between my life at Texas A&M and my life here in Vienna, there are a lot of things to say. Firstly, while missing home, I am still so thankful and glad to be here exploring this amazing city, experiencing Austrian culture, and meeting these unique and friendly people. There is a whole other world out there than College Station, Texas, and the U.S.A. Every day, I find myself comparing Austria and the U.S., but truthfully, it’s really hard to put into words. Sure, everybody speaks German here, eats different food, does different daily activities, and uses amazing public transportation to get around. However, honestly, there is just a lot more than that. Some things just have to be figured out by actually going there and living. I encourage everyone who is reading this who has the opportunity to study abroad to do it. Go to new places, meet new people, and find out yourself how rewarding it can be.

Innsbruck famous houses



Categories: 2021, Austria, Reciprocal Exchange

When I first arrived to Vienna, Austria I first noticed how beautiful all the architecture was and how great the transportation system was to get from one place to another. The buddy program I signed up for through an EBN program helped significantly and made my move in process much more smoothly.  After a couple of days I noticed culturally, the people here are much more laid back and are able to split their work versus relax time very well. After talking with a few European students I also found out their schooling system was much different. For example, it is mandatory for almost all students to take three languages, English, German, and another of their choice. This was something that I personally wish the United States also did.

Categories: 2021, Austria, Reciprocal Exchange