I miss Wien (Vienna)!
Since I’ve been back in the U.S., I’ve kept in contact with many people I spent time with in Wien. Readjusting to the time difference has been the most difficult factor because I feel exhausted while everyone here thinks the day is still young, and then I am wide awake while everyone is sleeping. I would say I am in the stage of reverse culture shock that involves frustration and loneliness because my friends and family here don’t understand what I’ve experienced and how I’ve changed. It is astonishing yet frustrating how a student can leave their home for several months and build a new life elsewhere but without everyone they’ve always known. It is also frustrating because the closest friend I made in Vienna, Akilah, is about a 10-hour car ride away now, instead of a 40-ish minute train ride. It is easy to talk about Vienna with people here, but the more I talk about it, the more I wish I had spent the rest of my summer in Wien!
I absolutely miss Vienna’s reliable public transportation system. I miss the feeling of knowing I could get from point A to point B with little to no effort and with peace of mind.
I also miss the scenery and beautiful gardens. I miss the vibrant colors and the variations in each garden I visited while in Vienna. I firmly believe that a reliable public transportation system and well-kept recreational areas are great assets to a person’s quality of life.
Here in America, there seems to be an urgent need to be going to one place or the other, or to be completing a certain task. In Austria, people actually took their time to breathe and never seemed to be overwhelmed with any daunting tasks. That is something I brought back with me: I don’t necessarily feel it is important to be everywhere and doing everything.
The American food culture is also very different from Austria’s. I never felt the need to cook in bulk while I was there because I had a mini-refrigerator. My options were to either stop by the market and buy the ingredients to cook my meals or spend quality time with friends at a restaurant. The food was always fresh and the memories are unforgettable!
This fall concludes the final semester of my undergraduate studies at Purdue. I will be sharing my experiences abroad during the study abroad fairs in September, and I am super excited about that! I think my insights will influence students who are on the fence with their decision to study abroad. I am also looking forward to graduating in December. Some people say it seems like I have breezed through college, but I can say I have made the most of my undergraduate studies. I will be seeking employment opportunities within the field of agriculture, but I am open to any career that requires travel and the use of my global awareness and adaptability skills!
Bis bald, Wien.