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Vienna, Austria: Intercultural Communication (Summer)
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Mary Heath

Liberal Arts Major(s): Anthropology, Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor(s): French
Hometown: Brewster, New York

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my study abroad experience was being able to connect with the students from the University of Vienna. Since we took a class at the University, we really got to know our Austrian counterparts and learned a lot about Austrian culture from them. Every day we got the chance to explore the city of Vienna through their eyes and learn so much about the history, culture, food, music, diversity, etc.

Not only have the classes themselves enhanced my understanding of communication and culture, but also the experiences of connecting with people from a different culture and living in a country that was completely new to me have been incredibly enriching.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this program helped to fulfill some credits I need for my major, but more importantly, it opened my eyes to different ways of thinking about how we communicate. One of the classes was taught by an Austrian professor, and we discussed the theories behind communication and media. They were complex and deeply theoretical concepts, but it gave me the opportunity to see things from a new and different perspective. The in-class discussions were paired with out-of-the-classroom trips to major Austrian media stations, and it was really interesting to see what we were talking about in action.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience has impacted my career goals in that it has opened my eyes to so many new possibilities. Not only have the classes themselves enhanced my understanding of communication and culture, but also the experiences of connecting with people from a different culture and living in a country that was completely new to me have been incredibly enriching.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program was essential to my study abroad experience. If not for the financial support I received from the Paterno Fellows program and the help I got in planning this study abroad, the trip would not have been possible. If not for this program, I would not have had this incredible experience.

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