American Studies
American Studies

Education Abroad in Vienna, Austria, during May and June 2022!

Group Photo

This intensive, four-and-a-half week course is part of UT-Austin’s Maymester Program, beginning after the spring exam period and concluding prior to the second summer session. Drawing on the perspectives from history, geography, and urban studies, “Memory and the City” investigates the ways in which cultural memory has shaped, and continues to shape, urban life in one specific place: Vienna, Austria. With the city as our laboratory, students examine theoretical discussions of memory and the city in a provocative geographical setting. We will visit museums that house the artifacts and attend the cultural events so important to Vienna’s collective memory.

Students earn three semester credit hours for the course, but will receive much more. According to those who have previously taken the course, it can be a life-enriching experience. In addition to the study of urban history, the course readings, the instructor and guest lectures, the films, the class excursions, and the meetings with Austrian students and teachers, perhaps the most striking feature of the program is the personal development and intellectual growth it fosters.

Participants speak about their experiences in Vienna...

McKenna Richards

"It's difficult to put my experience in Vienna into words, but if I had to pick one word to sum up my month in this amazing city, it would be "magical." The experiences I had, people I met, and memories I made will always hold a special place in my heart. As a STEM major, I was excited to branch out and take this course, but was not sure how cultural memory would be relevant to life after Vienna. My uncertainty was absolutely proved wrong. I was challenged to think in different ways and gained skills applicable to any field of study, including my own of Neuroscience. As I approach my senior year, I can say without a doubt that Professor Hoelscher is the best professor I've had the privilege of learning from. While he certainly has a lot of knowledge to share, it's his passion for teaching and for Vienna in particular that made the course so engaging. He went out of his way to curate a program that is stimulating, educational, and interactive. I never felt like I was "going to class," yet I learned more than I ever thought possible, both about Vienna and myself. The amount of personal growth I experienced caught me by surprise, and with the independence and confidence I gained, I left Vienna a different person than when I arrived.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention that above all else, this program was FUN! Every day was filled with adventures with my classmates as we explored the city, both during class and in our free time. Bike rides on the Danube, trips to the Prater amusement park, and dinners at Heurigen in the Viennese countryside were all part of our daily lives. Afternoons consisted of walks throughout the city center, where a different site of history and culture lies around every corner. It sounds like something out of a movie, but for that month, it was our reality. I miss the Kettenbrückengasse U-Bahn station and daily gelato runs, but I will cherish my memories from that month for a lifetime. Even though I'm no longer in Wien, I have an incredible group of lifelong friends and I know that it's only a matter of time before I'll be back. - McKenna Richards (Neuroscience)."

Read more about student experiences, watch an amazing video about the Maymester created by alumnus Joseph Lam, or see Professor Hoelscher’s photo essay on Bicycling in Vienna.