Why did you choose this particular location to study abroad?
When first applying to programs, I had my heart set on Ferrara, Italy. Throughout the following semesters, I was challenged with the stress of waiting for decisions letters, deciding between Germany and Italy, and it all came down to who I’d become in that time, what I’d learned, and what my ambitions for the future were. I had decided that BCA Marburg gave me the opportunity to learn a new language before putting me in a high-stakes situation abroad, which offered me a sense of security for the coming semesters. I took this trip as the first student from Susquehanna to offer insight and guidance on unexplored opportunities at Susquehanna. A lot of thought and deciding all went into this decision, but I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
What was the most meaningful interaction you have had with a local?
Every morning I get breakfast at a café chain that permeates Vienna’s culture, Kafe Aida. The waitress there has conversations with me in German and takes the time to correct my speech and grammar in a way that is productive for my learning process. She’s been very kind and I appreciate the time she takes to help me while also waitressing what is a rather busy Konditorei.
Have you had the opportunity to explore your city? Where have you ventured, and why did you select those places?
Yes, I have. BCA has built in excursions that are paid for through the programming fee. Through this programming, I have seen Schönnbrunn Schloß (a castle in Vienna that once served as the home to Franz Josef), the Spanish Riding School, and a café in Vienna called Café Diglas. Despite having these locations chosen for me by BCA, it gives us the opportunity to experience the tourist locations of Vienna in an academic setting. Beyond that, though, are the treasures that lie outside of tourist destinations, such as feminist and spiritual bookstores, small unknown cafes, and other incredible places that exist outside of the realm of tourism. These places speak to the culture cultivated in Vienna and offer more in knowledge and experience of the city than a tourist location ever could.
How does your major tie into your study abroad plans?
As a double major in Psychology and Sociology, my study abroad plans tie in well. These are academic studies that will follow you wherever you go. Sociology allows me to study society and culture while abroad in a way that’s enlightening to the structure of living in America. There is always something new to be learned through other cultures. Psychology was founded in Europe and the man most associated with the science, Sigmund Freud, lived and studied in Vienna. There is much to learn in Vienna about Psychology. When discussing credits, however, most of my academic credits relating to Psychology and Sociology will be earned in Marburg, Germany.
Because you served as a philanthropy chair for your fraternity, do you want to get involved in any community service while abroad? Are there opportunities for you to do so?
Even before joining my fraternity on campus, a large majority of my life had been centered around service and fundraising for a multitude of organizations and philanthropies all over the world. As a first-year at Susquehanna University, I was a member of Students Promoting Leadership and Awareness in Serving the Homeless. Swiftly following, was my promotion to philanthropy chair in Phi Mu Delta. Service is extremely important to me and runs deep in my familial culture and future. BCA has said that service could be arranged by request in Marburg once our language skills had proficiently progressed. It was one of the deciding factors in my decision making for the Study Abroad process. That being said, I do plan to do service while in Marburg if I feel that my language skills are far enough along to productively help the society, community, and culture that I am a guest in.