Week 1 in Austria!

Hallo! My first week in Graz has been packed with making new friends on the program, meeting European students, pursuing great health based and historical opportunities to learn about Austrian culture, and of course trying the great food, from the original secret Sacher cake to the classic schnitzel. 

For the next 4 weeks of the program, I wish to accomplish learning more in depth about the European healthcare and insurance systems and healthcare delivery, so that I can have the knowledge to be open minded and have diverse ideas regarding global and public health as a future physician making decisions one day. Also, I hope to compare the strengths and weaknesses of both American and European healthcare. I plan to reach these goals by paying attention in lectures as we progress through the content and also by continuing to note cultural differences between Austria and the USA, relating to the public and health in particular. 

I have received a grand introduction to Austrian history and culture in this one week so far, in Graz as well as with a weekend trip to Salzburg, the city known for its history about its salt and fortress. I hope to continue to gain more knowledge and awareness of Austrian culture to obtain a thorough analysis of Austria. I am excited to visit other states of Austria outside of Styria (Graz) and Salzburg, such as Vienna and Carinthia to further my understanding of the country as a whole. 

Personally, I also want to explore more authentic Austrian cuisine, such as Spaetzle. As we get more comfortable with finding our way throughout the city and managing our time in the evenings, I can go to various restaurants with Austrian specialty foods. I also want to accomplish finding a balance in the study abroad program of being able to comfortably study and learn the information and gain knowledge while also being able to experience the beautiful places and locations we visit! I believe that I have begun to balance this so far, studying on the train ride back from Salzburg and in the evenings. 

I also believe that studying abroad in a unique country will provide me with a greater sense of independence and ability to function as an adult/ student in the “real world”, as the study abroad program immerses me in a place where I can learn through experiential learning opportunities in real time. We have done so many great tours of significant areas relating to public health as well as Austrian culture and history, such as visiting a hospital, pharmacy, church, horse breeding, agriculture/ farm, and more.

Graz Congress Square

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