Diana Do: MCI Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria

The program was 4 weeks long, with 4 days of class per week at approximately 8 hours per day. It was quite an adjustment from the Capilano structure. It felt like we were back in highschool, sitting in class from 9am - 4pm. Now don’t let this scare you, this was actually a big pro of this program. Think about it, after a quick 4 weeks, you have the rest of the summer to enjoy your travels (the program ends in June). Half of my classes didn’t even have exams. You show up for lectures, maybe do a group assignment, maybe do a presentation, and either a final assignment or exam. Also, because classes are only 4 days a week, this usually means a long weekend for even more travelling.

I took 2 trips on 2 separate long weekends, both to Italy. The first was to Lake Garda at Peschiera. Innsbruck is a mountain city, often compared to Whistler back home, so we were looking for a beach and ended up at Lake Garda. After a day at the beach we visited Juliet's house in Verona, which was a short train ride away. The second trip I took was to Venice and Rome. There were 3 main groups that came on the summer program: the Canadians, the Americans, and the Mexicans. We had such a great bunch and I was able find several travel buddies and lifelong friends because of this program. Before arriving, I hadn’t planned on meeting anyone to travel with but I am glad I was able to share the second half of my trip with a friend.
I had budgeted about $6,000 for my trip. I had planned to spend 1 whole month travelling. In actuality, I spent closer to $4,000 and this is including my tuition paid to Capilano university for the program ($1,200). The housing provided by MCI came to about $600 so really, my travel related expenses equaled around $2,200. My main takeaway for those considering study abroad but are unsure of the cost is not to stress about it. Be smart about your expenses and you shouldn’t have any problems. A big tip I can give for anyone who wants to venture on a Europe trip in general is this: overnight buses are your best friends. You save a night of accommodation by sleeping on the bus and you also save travel time. You arrive at your destination in the morning and have the rest of the day ahead of you.
It’s hard to sum up the last two months of my life in one rudimental blog post but what I can tell you is this: this trip was the trip of a lifetime. I had a trifecta of things I wanted to see/do when I went to Europe: the Vatican, the Anne Frank House, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I was able to complete this list. The whole time I was in Europe, I couldn’t believe I was there doing all the things I was doing. Each memory I made has become something I will treasure for the rest of my life. I have travelled quite a bit before this but never completely on my own, never for this long, and never in Europe. I will always think back to my first day in Paris, my first time in Europe, and the feeling that came over me when I first walked into the courtyard of the Louvre museum which housed the giant glass pyramid and the tuileries gardens. In closing, go.
My route:
  • Paris
  • London
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • Innsbruck
  • Peschiera (long weekend)
  • Verona
  • Venice (long weekend)
  • Rome
  • Vienna
  • Krakow
  • Budapest
  • Santorini
  • Athens
  • Barcelona
  • Marseille
  • Paris
Park Guell - Barcelona, Spain
Big Ben - London, UK

No explanation necessary? A perfect view of the tower at Trocadero - Paris, France

On a fieldtrip to the Innsbruck Mint, finishing off with beers with our profs - Austria

Standing by the 'Innana', the river which runs through the city - Innsbruck, Austria

Amsterdam Windmills - The Netherlands

Sitting by the Grand Canal at San Marco square in Venice - Italy

The infamous balcony at Juliet's house in Verona - Italy

The Trevi Fountain at night - Italy

One of the many beaches from the trip - Barcelona, Spain

Diana Do is a Bachelor of Business Administration student at Capilano University. Diana recently completed the MCI Study Abroad Summer Program in Innsbruck, Austria.


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