Arrival in Vienna

Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
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15
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Trip End Jul 20, 2010


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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to my new home for the next 8 weeks!

After all that traveling, returning to Vienna was a bit of a relief.  My new home is a 2 bedroom apartment that I'm sharing with Rebecca.  My room overlooks the park and a cafe/bar, but as previously mentioned is on the 3rd floor, so I get my exercise going up and down the stairs, especially with groceries.  Our apartment also has a full kitchen – stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, coffee, pot, and fridge (although the fridge and freezer are a little small) – and more importantly my bedroom is HUGE and I don’t have a bunk bed this time.

Webster is about a 10 minute walk from our apartments and I had my first class on Monday evening (yeah, as in the day I got back from Budapest).  I will be taking Modern Middle East and Research Methods this term, as well as another professional seminar.  The MME class I think will be fun, although the professor could prove a challenge.  She seems perfectly nice, but we have a little issue with our books for her class, as in 2/3 of us don’t have them because the University is proving incompetent when it comes to ordering the right number of books, and she told us that, and I quote "when I was in school I never had enough money for books so I read at the library, and that’s just so conducive to studying anyway, so I suggest if you want to read the books you go to the library."  Okay, fine, but if I “want to read the books?” They are the assigned reading for your class!  I have to read them, and I’m sorry, 1 book in the library for 11 people, I don’t think so!!  Besides, I've already paid for them.  Grrr…….

Anyway, we are hoping the problem gets fixed soon.

I haven’t had Research Methods yet, we don’t start that class until next week, and our first professional seminar meets on November 12th.

Definitely going to have a lot of work this term, lots of writing and reading.  But I’m hoping to do some sightseeing too.  I already have tickets to the Opera (Tristan und Isolde) for Dec. 18th, and to the Nutcracker on Dec 20th, the night before I fly home.  I’m considering other shows as well, just have to figure out the finances and what I can afford to do, and of course I will be going to a training session at the Spanish Riding School to see the Lipizzaner Stallions perform!

Yesterday (Wednesday) we attended a Webster-sponsored seminar at the UN on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.  It was AMAZING.  Along with hearing from Academics and mingling with diplomats (I was sitting next to the Nigerian Deputy Ambassador to Austria during our afternoon session, very nice man, we chatted), we also heard from the Deputy Chief of US Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, and to Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian Ambassador to Austria.  It was a really amazing seminar, lots of high drama in IR.  The last session was a panel “discussion” but it turned into more of a debate and the claws were out and there were fireworks, not so much between Iran and the USA, but between Iran and everyone else and Iran and a former US diplomat, now head of an INGO.  Too much to describe here, so I’ll have to tell you all in person.

Otherwise things are good.  No snow yet in Vienna (hehe ;-) sorry CO people).  But I'm going out today to look for a nice winter coat and possibly some shoes and other clothes.  I need a little bit of retail therapy and I'm just tired of what I have to wear, so time for some additions.

Not much more to tell, I'll keep you all updated.

Love, Heather
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