Taking Vienna

When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.

This past week, I spent five days in Vienna, Austria with my European Clinical Psychology class as part of our long study tour. Overall, the trip was amazing! Not only did I learn a lot about the history of clinical psychology, but I also really bonded with my classmates and my professor. Here are further details of the trip:

Sunday

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My whole class met at the airport at 8:00, and we touched down in Vienna around noon! Excitement levels were extremely high as we were all curious as to what this amazing city would have to offer and how it differed from our home in Copenhagen. Sunday proved to be a pretty relaxing day as we checked into our hotel, had a group lunch, and did a group walking tour to learn about the history of Vienna.


Monday

Our first full day in Vienna! To truly begin our journey, we had two academic visits: a lecture at the Viktor Frankl Institute and a talk with a Neuropsychologist at Webster University. The topics of the visits were very different, but both helped to deepen our understanding of clinical psychology in some way. At the Viktor Frankl Institute, we learned about the life and work of Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who also spent three years of his life in a concentration camp before writing “Man’s Search for Meaning,” an inspiring book that we were assigned to read the week before. At Webster University, a professor and head of the Psychology department held an interactive talk about how psychotherapy changes over time, particularly in regards to changing technology.

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Thankfully, DIS does not just make the study tour all about studying and learning. They also planned some more fun and cultural visits for us. On Monday night, we all went to a wine tasting! A great way to end the night!

Tuesday

Tuesday was a long and hot day, with temperatures around 93 degrees. We rode a bus about 2 hours west of Vienna to visit Mauthausen, a concentration camp. Mauthausen is the concentration that Viktor Frankl was placed in, which deeply impacted our class considering we had just visited the Frankl Institute the previous day. Mauthausen was a very moving experience. It is difficult to communicate exactly what we saw and felt; instead, I can only recommend that everyone visit a concentration camp at some point in their life to experience it for themselves.

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Mauthausen

Wednesday

We visited the Alfred Adler Institute to learn more about this psychologist’s impact on psychotherapy. After listening to an interesting lecture on Adler’s life and his interactions with Freud and Viktor Frankl, we were able to grab lunch on our own before heading to another cultural visit at the Haus der Musik (Music Museum). This visit was one of my favorites! I’ve been playing music for 12 years now and to be able to visit this museum in the city of music was absolutely amazing! It was an interactive museum complete with musical stairs and a chance to conduct your own song. I conducted a piece that I once played in high school orchestra, and it brought back so many memories!

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After a full day, we ended the day with a group dinner at Cafe Central, an amazing restaurant where many famous people ate at – including Freud and Hitler. We ate traditional Viennese food and enjoyed each other’s company!

Thursday

By this point, the majority of us were exhausted and ready to go back to Copenhagen. Although it was our last day, it was still a busy one! We visited the Freud Museum, which was actually the place where Freud used to live and work!

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After another amazing lunch, we went to the airport, where our flight ended up being delayed for two hours. Although we were all anxious to get back to Copenhagen, the delay provided us with even more bonding opportunities. I feel as if I truly know so many awesome people in my class now! Eventually, we landed in good ole Copenhagen and went our separate ways to finally get some rest. We made it!

All in all, the study tour was an amazing experience to truly engage with the history of clinical psychology with numerous experiences to learn outside of the classroom. However, I will say that Vienna was not my favorite city in the world. Vienna is too extravagant for me! By Tuesday, I was already missing the cozy, quaint, and safe feeling of being in Copenhagen. I was also missing the 60-degree weather! Yet, Vienna was a wonderful city to visit and now….just one more week of class!

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