University of Calgary


February 8, 2011

Postcard from Austria

Lisa Fabjanski, a Haskayne School of Business student at the University of Calgary, chose Austria to study abroad. Here is her postcard home.

Why did you choose to study abroad and particularly in that country/region?
I chose to study abroad because it has always been a dream of mine to study and live in a different country. I decided to study in Vienna, Austria, because I wanted to be in a German-speaking country that was relatively central in Europe for greater ability to travel. I love that Europe is full of different cultures and I was excited to meet many other international students as well as live in a vibrant European city.

Where and what are you studying abroad? What program was it with and why did you choose this type of program/experience?
I am studying International Business at the WU business university in Vienna, Austria. I went on the exchange with the Haskayne School of Business study abroad program and participated in English business courses in Vienna.

How would you describe the country and people to friends and family back home?
Austria is a beautiful country where each city is unique and vibrant. The people are friendly and easy to communicate with. Vienna itself is stunning, with so many historical buildings, and each street offers something different to see. The city is buzzing at all hours of the day. Austria has much nature to offer, including vineyards, lakes and gorgeous mountains.

Have you come across any interesting topics or findings through your courses/experience?
I came across several interesting topics through my courses, especially on Europe and the EU. Living in Europe, I found it interesting to learn a more in-depth experience about how it is run. Constantly meeting students from all around Europe helped me gain a greater understanding of individual countries and of Europe as a whole.

Tell us about an adventure/journey/trip/experience you have been on.
A great experience in Austria was going skiing in the mountains. The town I stayed in—Kitzbuhel—was my imagination come to life when I thought of a quaint Austrian mountain town. The mountains were endless and the snow was great. It was a big difference from our ski hills in the Rockies.

Have you experienced any interesting cross-cultural interactions?
I experienced cross-cultural interactions on a daily basis. There are so many international students both in my student housing and in my classes. We were able to overcome language barriers and get along. I met people from various countries including Montenegro, India, Hong-Kong and Australia.

Did you try or learn any new hobbies/sports/interests/food/language?
I did try to learn German while in Austria through the Tandem Learning Center. I did manage to learn basic phrases and words.

Upon reflection, what do you personally feel this experience has brought to your life and possibly career?
This experience has brought so much to my life. I have met many new people, made new international friends, learned so much about other cultures, and experienced a whole different life in a different country. As far as my career, I know this exchange will give me a foot up when applying for jobs after I finish my international business degree.

Tell us about your future plans.
Once I get home from the exchange, I plan on finishing off my degree then start looking for a job, hopefully internationally, or one that deals with international companies.

Would you like to share any words of wisdom?
Words of wisdom? Don’t hesitate to go on an exchange. It will be one of THE greatest experiences of your life, and you’ll never forget it the people you met, and the places you’ve seen.

For more information on study abroad programs please visit This postcard was supplied by University of Calgary International.

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