Welcome back! My semester is quickly winding down, and as a result, I have begun reflecting upon my experiences here. Before I even came to Vienna, I knew that it was recently voted the most livable city in the world, and I was very interested to see if I found that to be true. I would definitely consider living full-time in Vienna in the future. However, my German would have to become stronger to live here full-time. If I could choose anywhere in the city, I would want to live in the seventh district. The seventh district of Vienna is aesthetically beautiful but also has an outstanding balance between being away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy first district and having accessibility to all the other great areas of the city. There are so many fantastic restaurants in the area, as well as impeccable shopping.
In terms of professional direction, I had the opportunity this semester to hear from a lawyer from the Austrian Women’s Shelter network. The agency works to create a safe network for women and children victims of gender-based violence and to give them all of the protections and resources they can to get back on their feet and out of unsafe conditions. This organization also works to try to help refugee victims of gender-based violence by having culturally sensitive and diverse employees. I would love to return to Austria post law-school graduation to use my law degree to help victims of gender-based violence and acquire information that I could bring back to the United States to benefit similar organizations.
Despite my almost four months living in Vienna, I feel like I barely scratched the surface of the cultural immersion I could have. If I lived here full time, I would love to engage in the fantastic dance scene here. I would learn how to do the Viennese waltz to partake in all of the balls during the Winter ball season in Vienna. I can also see myself learning how to bake some of my favorite Austrian sweets. I, unfortunately, did not have an oven in my apartment this semester, but if I lived here and had full access to a kitchen, I would love to immerse myself in the cooking and baking of Austrian treats. Finally, I could also see myself getting to explore more of the Austrian countryside. The countryside has fantastic hikes, spas, vineyards, and skiing which I only started to explore this semester. If I had a more permeant residency here, I could see Austria’s natural beauty in all four seasons. While there are certainly things I miss about the United States(CHEEZ-ITS!), I will miss Vienna very much and can see myself wanting to return one day to build my adult life here.