When I went to college I didn’t know what I wanted to be or even what I wanted to major in. I did know one thing though – I was going to study abroad during college. I never traveled much as a kid and didn’t get on a plane until I was 18, but I knew travel was going to be a big part of my life. I desired adventure!
Studying Abroad in Europe
I arranged to spend the spring semester of my junior year abroad. My semester abroad in Europe was a wonderful college experience and one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Sometimes now things remind me of the time I spent there. While I was looking through my pictures the other day I felt like I was right back there at some of my favorite places in Europe!
Ice caves in Austria. I’m a bit scared of heights but going up into the mountains to visit these ice caves was a very special experience. It was freezing but the view both inside the caves and looking into the mountains was fantastic.
Salzburg during the day. I spent my semester learning German and studying in Salzburg. It’s a great little city in Austria where there is a castle on a hill and a river running through the city. I loved walking all around the city and studying by the river! I totally miss this view sometimes.
Salzburg at night. This is one of my favorite pictures from Europe because it’s the typical view I had each day! Salzburg was incredibly pretty at night… and super fun! I spent plenty of nights walking around the city after going out.
Carriage ride. Is Europe not magical? This totally looks like something from a Disney movie but it’s just a castle and a carriage ride! I loved coming across little scenes like this in European cities.
Palace! What a gorgeous view of the palace with gardens and water.
Vienna at night. I went to Vienna several times both for classes and for fun. I enjoyed the experience of Vienna – amazing music and art and culture.
Memories of Europe
Some of my favorite European memories happened in Austria, where I lived for about 5 months. It was a magical experience living there during college and traveling each weekend to cities in other countries nearby.
Other things I loved while I was in Europe:
- Art. While I studied in Europe I took a class in art history so I was lucky enough to visit major modern art museums in major European cities. Visiting art museums and seeing some of the greatest works in history was completely awe-inspiring.
- Food. Food. Food. Food was definitely one of my favorite parts of living in Europe. There are so many amazing opportunities to eat delicious food. I loved the rustic meals in Italy and kebabs from street vendors and decadent desserts in every city.
- Walking. I walked everywhere in Europe. Most days I walked at least 2 miles and some days I walked closer to 10 or more! I explored cities by foot and I traveled everywhere in my home city by walking. Walking was a daily part of my life and I loved it.
- Languages. I love learning languages even if I’m not that great at speaking them. It was fun to learn German and poorly speak it while I was trying to get around Austria. More than once I ended up in the wrong place thanks to poorly speaking the language – but it was fun!
- Growth. I grew as a person so much while I was in Europe. I had to put myself into situations that were uncomfortable for me. I found myself in situations that were different and that made me grow.
- Clubbing. I’ve never been one to go to clubs – it’s just not my scene. But in Europe? It was fun! Dancing until the early morning hours with lots of strangers was super fun!
- Italy. Since I was in Salzburg I was very close to Italy and visited often. I even visited a friend from high school who was living there! It was my second favorite country in Europe.
- Public transportation. Coming from a city where it’s somewhat scary to ride the bus, I loved the public transportation system in Europe. It was reliable, clean, safe, and easy to use. Even in another language! I definitely miss it because it was great to spend time on the bus doing other things while getting to my destination.
There were so many things to love about the semester I spent living abroad and I’ll always cherish the memories.
For now I’ll just be content in my memories of Europe while planning another trip back there in the future! I can’t wait to visit again one day!