No more school!

Trip Start Jun 17, 2009
Trip End Aug 15, 2009

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's my last night in Vienna, so I thought I would finally get all caught up while I have a reliable internet connection.

My study abroad program ended on Friday afternoon.  We had 3 finals that day, followed by a dinner for everyone in the group.  I'll try to recap the week, and all of the craziness that came along with it.

We arrived on Sunday evening, after a relatively short 3-4 hour bus trip.  I can't tell you the exact driving time, because I slept almost the entire way (it was a rough 2 days in Salzburg!).  Anyway, after orienting ourselves a bit, and getting to our respective hotels and apartments, we heard that there was a soccer game between Vienna and Liverpool.  Needless to say, we had to go!  We got there late, so our seats weren't great, but they gave us a birds eye view of the field and all of the craziness that ensues at European futbol games!  Vienna ended up winning, which was an upset, so even if this was only an exhibition match, the crowd went wild!  I'm glad that we were able to see a real game, especially since I've heard so much about the crazy European fans.  Yes, everything that I heard is true! :)
On Monday night, we heard that there was a really great club next to the canal, so we headed down, of course after reading.  Little did we know, it was gay night at the club, but we still had a great time.  We had to stay in every other night of the week, to try to rest up and get ready for finals, so I don't have anything interesting to report from Tuesday through Thursday.  I got sick at some point between leaving Strasbourg and arriving in Vienna, and it turned into bronchitis (self-diagnosed), so I didn't do very much in the way of sight seeing.  In fact, on one day, I came home from class and slept until the next day.  

On Friday, as I said, we all had our 3 finals from 8:30 am until about 3:00 pm.  It was a pretty brutal finals schedule, but we were sure happy to be done with class and tests for a while!  After running home to nap/pack/shower/get ready for dinner/do any last minute errands, we all convened at the train station to catch a train, then a bus, to our dinner.  I don't think the bus driver knew what hit him when 60 law students (since not everyone attended the dinner) all tried to board the bus at the same time.  I think it's safe to say that he was glad to see us all go.

Dinner itself wasn't remarkable, but I thought it was cool that Beethoven wrote his 9th symphony in the building where we ate!  There were presentations made to the staff and students at the dinner, and several toasts were made.  Then the craziness ensued.  Cameras were flashing, people were hugging, people were rushing around taking pictures with each other, and the poor wait staff was stuck trying to do their jobs around it all.  

After dinner, a bunch of us decided that we had to go out and have fun one last time all together, so we went to a bar called Lutz in downtown Vienna, right near the Museum Quarter.  The club was a lot of fun, but because I wasn't feeling too hot, I went home early.

Today, our last day in Vienna, was spent half productively, and half sleeping.  We got a late start, but we made the best of what we had.  We went to the Belvedere, which is a castle-turned-museum.  Unfortunately, we got there really late and only had time to run through to see a couple of things.  We also had some fun in the gift shop!  After going through, we were able to walk around the beautiful grounds of the Belvedere and take some pictures.  I'm really glad that the sun stays out late here!   Anyway, we soon realized that we were hungry, so we headed out for our final Viennese dinner.  The food and beer were good, especially since everything was fresh!  The place that we went to, Salm Brau, is a brewery as well as a restaurant!  Yummmm!

I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning about the European Court system, is interested in seeing Europe, and is interested in meeting some really awesome people!  I would warn, however, that the planning on the part of Penn State is not the best, and not everyone is here for the same reasons.  At the end of the day, I'm glad that I came on this particular study abroad program, and would tell anyone who is interested in studying abroad anywhere in the world, that it's an experience that should not be missed!
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