I arrived in Vienna on Saturday night after almost 30 hours of travelling from Dulles. Thunderstorms, delayed flights, and a missed connection in London meant a six-hour layover and an upgrade to first class to Vienna. Free access to the British Airways World Traveller Lounge goes a long way for forgiving nature’s inconvenience. Sadly, upon arriving in Vienna, the harsh wind and driving rain turned one of the world’s prettiest cities dark and dreary. But alas, the sights are still remarkable even through the rain. A quick walk through Stephansplatz and Stephansdom, a Baroque Church built in the city center, was magnificent.

Check out the pictures here. This trip was hosted by Claudia, a University of Vienna student. I must admit Claudia is very tolerable and patient. It was horribly cold and rainy and she stuck it out with us. We went to the Albertina museum which was showing Andy Warhol’s “Cars” display which was imaginatively creative. There were many black and white drawings of cars from Warhol which were impressive in their simplicity. The best part of the museum was the watercolor collection of “Peepbox” paintings commissioned by the Hapsburg dynasty to showcase the Austrian empire. Amazing detailed drawings depicting the same city and country over 150 years ago. They were phenomenal.

Monday was the first day of class at the University of Vienna. This course is being taught by brilliant professors whose knowledge and understanding is evident even through their German-accented English. Best part of class thus far has been learning the Austrian history and cultural differences among American, Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians. Dr. Bruck explained how Austrians are like Shrek, in that they have many layers. Apparently their outer layer is much tougher than Americans in that they will not be openly social. Once that barrier is broken however, you will find a strong friend and ally. This metaphor leads me to think that Americans are thus like Donkey, running around, asking tons of questions and annoying Shrek. Parfaits are delicious though. Today’s class has a visit to a local bank. It is going to be interesting to see how different banks are in Austria. I am looking forward to learning more about the Eastern European culture. I will keep you posted with future pictures and profound moments from class. Until tomorrow, tschuss!

 


The Vienna Spring Program draws from the broad expertise of WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business).  With Vienna being located in the heart of Europe, the program focuses on the specific conditions associated with conducting business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

During the intensive two-week program, experienced WU faulty members offer insight into how to successfully do business in the emerging markets of the CEE region.  In line with the strong practical focus, the program offers students an opportunity to complete a business project on market entry strategies.

The program spotlights the unique situation of the Balkan region within the CEE and, with keynote speakers invited, supplements the practical value of the program.  Students gain valuable experience in business strategy by participating in company visits in Vienna, the academic program at the Corvinus University of Budapest and a company visit in Budapest.

Cultural and social activities in Vienna, Bratislava (Slovak Republic) and Budapest (Hungary) augment the program’s aim of giving a broad insight into the CEE region.