Happy New Year!
As my friends are starting a new semester at Hope, I’m looking forward to my next chapter in Vienna. I spent the extra time I had over winter break finalizing the details of my trip, as there’s quite a lot that goes into planning a trip abroad!
Initially, I planned on studying abroad in right when the pandemic hit. So thankfully, I already have my passport ready to go. The next step in the process was to make sure I had my visa. IES sent me my visa letters and I made an appointment with the Austrian consulate in Chicago to get my visa application sent off to New York to be processed and approved. I missed a few days of class (sorry Hope College) in order to drive home to make this appointment. I rolled up to the Austrian consulate in Chicago with my plastic bag full of very important documents, had my fingerprints taken, and was on my way. When my Visa was approved, the consulate sent my passport back to my home address. All ready for me to take to Vienna!
Perhaps the most difficult aspect about preparing for Vienna was getting my medications approved by insurance for travel. Generally, insurance doesn’t love when you take 4 months of medication with you at once. In order to get medications approved, you must provide a list of your medications and dosages as well as your flight itinerary and proof of insurance. I completed this process quite a few times actually, as it was denied the first few times. So, my advice is to start early and call often for check ins!
Lastly, if you’re like me this is the fun part: preparing your class schedule. I went through two registration processes for my classes in Vienna. I pre-registered through the IES website for two courses I absolutely need for my major or degree. A few weeks later, I registered for the remainder of my classes with the exception of my German class. In order to be placed for my German class, I took an online language assessment. Once I arrive in Vienna, I will take an in-person speaking and listening assessment. After, each student will be placed in their German language course. But, for the most part I know what my schedule will look like and it’s starting to feel real! The next time you hear from me, I will be living large in Vienna.