Hi readers! Welcome back to my study abroad journey. Today, I want to discuss my living situation here in Wien. I live in a studio apartment in the 2nd District . Overall, I have enjoyed my living situation. My apartment is small but has almost everything I need. I have a bed, desk, closet, bathroom, and a small kitchenette all to myself. The building I am living in houses other IES students, but it is also a housing facility for local University of Vienna students. This is an excellent combination because I know many people in my building from my program, but it also allows me to interact with local students in German. My building also has study rooms, a gym, and a laundry room, which are lovely amenities to find in a European apartment complex. My apartment does not have air conditioning, though, which at the beginning of the semester, when it was 85 degrees on daily, was not very pleasant. Since the weather has cooled down, however, it is not something I notice as much.
I also enjoy the neighborhood I am living in. One of the best aspects of my housing is that there is a U-Bahn(Wien’s version of a subway) stop just outside my door, which makes getting to class very easy. It takes me about 20 minutes each day to get to and from class on the U-Bahn. A benefit and drawback of the neighborhood I am living in is that it is very residential. This is a benefit because it means that all of the restaurants and stores are visited by locals, giving me a more authentic experience. However, at the same time, that means that the language barrier is much more prominent here than in the 1st district of Wien. This pushes me out of my comfort zone in a good way, but at the same time, I only have three weeks of German class under my belt which can make interactions stressful. Another cool aspect of my housing is that it is right next to Prater Park, an amusement park with the longest operating Ferris wheel in the world! Other accommodations offered by IES include shared apartments in the 1st and 5th Districts and studio apartments with a shared kitchen. Overall, I am pleased with my accommodations and pleasantly surprised as I was warned before coming abroad that European apartments could be very different than what I was used to. While I did come abroad to experience new things, I appreciate having my own space to come back to at the end of the day, where I can decompress and have the little luxuries I am used to in the US.