This summer, I had the opportunity to attend the International Summer University (ISU) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). This three-week session on international business featured a wide variety of academic and social programs, and the experience as a whole was one of the most memorable times of my life. I had the opportunity to meet new people, explore a country I had never visited before, and learn during the process. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it to any graduate business student.
The academic program at ISU WU was split into three different week-long sessions, each covering a different topic and taught by a different coordinator. The first week covered International Marketing, the second was Global Leadership and the third introduced Enterprising Behaviours. On average classes lasted about four hours each day and combined lectures, interactive sessions, and group projects. The diversity of the course material and the experience of the professors made the academic component of the session engaging and informative. Classes were held at the WU campus which was completed in 2013 and is easily one of the most impressive university campuses I have ever visited.
The social program was what made the whole session memorable. Every day, the program coordinators organized multiple social events for our whole group to attend. These ranged from visiting historical sites to playing sports to exploring many of the restaurants, theatres and museums in Vienna. Each day was planned out for us and these outings were a great opportunity for everyone in the program to relax and get to know each other, while also providing a chance to explore the beautiful city of Vienna. It was also a chance to explore some of the lesser known sites in Vienna that we would not have seen if we were travelling alone without a local guide. We also had an International Cultural Evening where students from different countries brought in food and drinks and gave some insights into their home countries. All in all, the social program is what made the program great, and while it was often very tiring to spend an entire evening exploring and having fun before getting up early for class the next morning, it was definitely worth it.
During the ISU WU program we also had an opportunity to travel on the weekends. A lot of us took this as a chance to get to know our classmates better and explore more of Europe as a group. For myself, I went to Salzburg, Austria on my first weekend and Budapest, Hungary on the second. Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, was a beautiful little town with a lot of unique history to explore and a huge fortress on a hill that made for a great hike on a rainy day. Budapest is one of the most interesting cities I’ve been to, as it blends both Eastern and Western European culture together and features some amazing architecture.
Participating in the ISU WU program in Vienna was a tremendous experience for myself and is one that I will never forget. If you want a memorable summer vacation in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all while getting school credit, this is the program for you.
Written by Qaasim Mian