Study Abroad in Innsbruck Austria
Innsbruck is a fantastic place. I studied there for 6 weeks over the summer on a study abroad program through the University of Georgia. The program had about 200 students on it from all over the country (mainly the South). It was a great time and wonderful way to get a crash course on Europe.
Since the program was through UGA, there were obviously a lot more Georgia students on the trip than students from anywhere else. Other schools that were represented were Alabama, UVA, UNC, Univeristy of New Orleans, and Ole Miss.
Overview of the Program
Rossel in de Aur – Alright place. Pretty basic but serves its purpose.
There was a cafeteria in the University of Innsbruck were you could go eat your weinnershitzel (sp?) if you were brave enough. Trust me, you don’t go to Austria for the food. The best thing we found was the Pizza Americana (you can guess what it is).
In general, all the classes that my friends and I took were pretty relaxed and somewhat interesting. If you are going and want to take an easy class, take drawing. This class is pretty much like advanced kindergarten. All you do is literally draw. Most days we were able to go and ‘draw’ wherever we wanted. Needless to say, we did a lot of ‘drawing’ back at the Rossel. I spent 4 weeks drawing a self portrait that ended up looking astonishingly similar to Jeremy Jackson (Hobie from Baywatch).
One great aspect of this program is that travel is encouraged. There are no classes on Fridays so that you can have the long weekends to hop on the European train system, which is basically like the American train system except that you are occasionally yelled at by extremely serious men in foreign languages who are usually brandishing some sort of semi-automatic weapon. This aspect brings an element of excitement to your weekend travels (do not lose your passport, they don’t like that).
Innsbruck: In one word, the town of Innsbruck is beautiful.
The town of roughly 100,000 is completely surrounded by the Alps. Additionally, the town is extremely clean. There is no trash anywhere. Trust me, this is not the norm in Europe. There are some great places to go and get a drink.
Hoffgarten: This is the signature bar of Innsbruck. It is literally located in the HoffGarten, a large park in the middle of the city. It has a great, relaxing atmosphere though the locals here are not extremely fond of Americans. If you want to have some fun, get your drunkest friend to go challenge the crazy old men in the park to a game of life-size chess. The pieces are 4-5 feet high and so it be amusing to watch him try to keep both his balance and his game face on as he lugs the pieces around the board.
If any place in the city caters to Americans, it is Novembar. This place is great. It is located near the middle of town and has great scenery. While we were in Innsbruck, the brought in an American chef, a hot tub (on the patio of the bar), and threw us a huge 4th of July party. I highly recommend this place.
This is a little bar near the Rossel. It is ok. There are a few dart machines (darts were popular on our trip as well as in Austria) and they have a relaxed atmosphere. Nothing too exciting but a good place to go relax.
This is my favorite bar in Innsbruck. It is only about 30 feet by 20 feet and there is nothing but a few tables, a few dart machines, and a bar. However, the sweet little old lady that runs it is the nicest person in the country. They are always open and she has a secret weapon. She makes the meanest grilled ham and cheese on the continent. If you are not careful, she will just keep making them and bringing them out to you. It didn’t seem to matter when we got there (usually after a night on the town). She would whip us up some ‘nightcaps’ and we could go to bed fat and happy. If you go there, be nice to this gal, she is fantastic.
Innsbruck Casino: Yes, Innsbruck has a casino. There are a bunch of great aspects of it. One, there is no music or really sound of any kind. The drinks are expense (no not free). There is only roulette, blackjack, and Caribbean stud poker. The odds are poor. You have to wear a blazer. Fun of any kind is discouraged. You should really check it out if you hate everything about Las Vegas except for losing money. If you didn’t catch the sarcasm (and I was laying it on pretty thick there) feel free to check it out for yourself. It is located beside the Hilton hotel.
All in all, Innsbruck is a great town to either visit or stay in for a few weeks. There are a lot of outdoor activities. The hiking is great. You can skydive over the Alps. There are plenty of local establishments were Absinthe can be purchased allowing you to have a really fun/strange night that will certainly be capped off by a long night of bed spins and vomiting up grilled ham and cheeses.
By Brent Blane