Like many other programs, while studying abroad in Vienna, you live with host families. These host families can range from single mothers or fathers to families with children or you could even be living with grandparents! Some families even have other host students like Thomas’s. But either way, living with a host family is an amazing experience.
“I have really enjoyed getting to know my host mother. At my host family I am not the only international student, I have other students living with me. One from England, Japan and Latvia.” – Thomas Foy
For example, my host mom is self employed after retiring, with two kids and three grandkids. She is absolutely amazing! While living with a host family I have had many opportunities to grow as a person, and its only one month into the trip! Many of us see our host families everyday and therefore have the ability to speak with in german which helps It is really an amazing experience. My host mom is big into fashion and all things Vienna. Sometimes she’ll give me tips on where to go and what to do. She typically gives me less touristy options and more Viennese options which has helped me acclimate to the city.
Each host family gives you breakfast, which lets be honest, is amazing! The breakfast isn’t your typical American breakfast of milk and cereal. You usually have bread with all sorts of toppings including marmalade, meat, cheese, tomatoes and even cucumbers! While living with my host mom I have had a different type of bread every day! Ana’s host family gives her a little piece of home every morning with an Oregon coffee mug. Along with breakfast you get one home-cooked dinner a week. Most host families take this time to share Viennese meals with you. For example, Thomas’s host mom makes a homemade Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel) during his dinners. And if you enjoy sweet dumplings then a Germknödel is just for you! These are dumplings usually filled with a fruit marmalade and taste AMAZING.
“My host family is very social and have introduced me to a lot of local events in Vienna. They are very sweet, always making sure I have everything I need and I also get to practice my German with them!” – Ana Alfaro
Overall living with a host family is wonderful and great for living in such a big city. The locations of each host family varies throughout the city. Thomas lives in the city center, while Vanessa lives near the Donau River. Michaela and I both live in the sixth district however, she is right across from the Naschmarkt and I am right next to a very popular shopping street. The locations provide everyone with so many great opportunities to explore the city. Even the location of the Institute is amazing. It is located right across from the Opera which is right in the center of the city. The institute is about a five minute ubahn ride away from everything! We’re basically located in Vienna’s 5th Avenue.
“My host mom is very active. she works from home but goes out during the day on her bike and takes her dog along with her everywhere. I also love hanging out with my host dog, her name is Adda.” – Michaela Adams
Everyone should experience living with a host family and I am so grateful to be experiencing it now. With only being a little bit over a month into this trip, I have grown so much as a person while living with my host mother. I can’t wait to see what the next three months have in store!