In the Center of it All

Two people standing in front of a sign that reads: AAIE since 1926
Kara and Delanie on their first day of school

The first weeks in Vienna were spent playing tourist. We went to most of the major museums, which we got into free through a card we got from our institute. We also spent this time at the Austro-American Institute of Education working on our conversational German.

4 people sitting behind a table with cooking supplies on it to make palatschinken
Learning a language the best way, through making palatschinken (Austrian crepes) 

Now, we have a whole month dedicated to German grammar, along with our main Austrian history, politics, and culture courses. All the German has been in preparation for our placement test, which we will take in October at the University of Vienna. From there, we will be placed in appropriate level courses to continue our German language learning journey. 

One of the perks of studying in Austria is its proximity to everything, it is in the center of Europe! The first trip we took as a group was a day trip to the nearby city of Bratislava, Slovakia. It was about a 1-hour bus ride, and it was amazing to see the difference 60 km east made.

Three people in front of a sculpture coming out of a manhole
Built in 1997, this “man at work” has been busy looking up women’s skirts, as told by our tour guide

When we got to Bratislava, the first obvious difference was the language, Slovak. I tried to order a latte and a chocolate větrník and somehow ended up ordering two of the pastry. But it was the best mistake of my life because they were delicious.

The most exciting thing about our trip was the traditional Slovakian food tour we had planned. It was a perfect mix of history and culture. We tried various dishes and drinks, although my favorite drink was Kofola, a cola-like drink now produced in the Czech Republic. 

A glass of kofola
Kofola, a popular eastern European drink

All the food was also amazing, but my favorites were bryndzové pirohy (pierogies stuffed with bryndza) and Kapustnica (cabbage soup). 

Three traditional Slovakian dishes on a table
The last course of our food tour was the biggest one, we were not able to finish it

Bratislava has definitely been added to our weekend getaway list, especially because of its close proximity. Up next we have a trip to Budapest and a study trip to Prague.

Tschüss (or as the Austrians say) Baba,