Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Study Abroad

So you may be wondering what I did this summer. I spent a month in Europe as a participant of the Music, Art, and Language in Bregenz, Austria, Program. I lived with an Austrian host family and spent the week days taking classes taught by MSU faculty. I took an IAH class focused on opera and an Arts and Letters class that focused on Austrian and German art. The program was offered through the College of Arts and Letters, and both of the classes I took satisfied my IAH requirements through the use of Honors substitutions (as a member of the Honors College). We visited Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany, on the weekends as a part of the program. Some required class activities were going to art museums, three operas, and the concentration camp Dachau. We attended the world premiere of an opera and saw an opera set on a floating lake stage!

 Standing by the floating lake stage in Bregenz, Austria, where we saw Mozart's The Magic Flute performed

We even had a free weekend during the trip where we could travel wherever we wanted. I went with a group of four other students to Salzburg, Austria, and Venice, Italy. I really wanted to go to Salzburg because that was where most of "The Sound of Music" was filmed. I got to see the gazebo from the song "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and many city sites from the songs "Do-Re-Mi" and "I Have Confidence." It was just awesome standing on the stairs where Julie Andrews stood, which is pictured below:


One thing I found funny was that most Austrians have not seen "The Sound of Music," and when most Americans think of Austria, that is the first thing that comes to mind. None of my host family's friends had seen it, so they made sing the title song twice for them! After living in Austria with a family, I now see Austria as more than the set of one of my favorite musicals.

 At a lookout point at the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art with a view of the old part of the city

There are also some awesome engineering study abroad programs. Check them out here: http://www.egr.msu.edu/study-abroad/programs
The best way to learn about studying abroad as a student is by going to the Study Abroad Fair in the Breslin Center at the end of September. I'm so glad I went because that was how I learned about the program in which I participated. If you want more information about studying abroad through MSU, make sure to check out their website: http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/ It is definitely possible to study abroad as an engineering major, and the experience is life-changing!

 Sitting at the Gloriette at Schloss Schoenbrunn with Schloss Schoenbrunn and the whole city of Vienna, Austria, in the background

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