My trip to Vienna, Austria was nothing short of life-changing. Out of all of the countless insights I have gained, I will say the most important things I have learned through my time abroad would be trusting and believing in myself, and realizing the possibilities for my future are limitless. Unfortunately, throughout most of my Undergraduate degree as a French Horn Performance Major, I had been dealing with a prolonged lip injury. This past Spring semester, I was not sure whether or not I would be able to do the abroad program. Through my persistence and hope, I have continued my degree and had progressed enough to apply for the summer program. Through my program in Austria, I was fortunate enough to take lessons with a renowned horn player in the Vienna Philharmonic. My teacher was generous enough to allow me to watch rehearsals for operas and orchestra concerts and even let me borrow a Vienna horn! Through his teaching and guidance, I have made enormous strides in recovering from my past injuries. This truly was a huge revelation for me that has changed my outlook on my future. I was nearly ready to give up on being a musician all together after finishing my Undergraduate degree. However, through the help of my teacher and being in a city immersed with a love of music and the arts, I have gained more confidence and strength in my abilities than I ever have before. I realize now that possibilities for me are limitless and I am incredibly passionate about returning and studying music further in Austria! Without this life-changing experience, I may have already given up on my dream to be a professional horn player.
The IES program was absolutely amazing. The staff members were incredibly helpful, supportive and kind. I was nervous about not knowing German before arriving in Austria, however, I learned a lot of German through the IES courses and was able to speak at a basic level to natives! Not to mention, everyone in the bigger cities speaks English. Through the program, I was able to visit so many historical sites (such as seeing where some of the most famous composers in the world lived and were buried), and have made lasting friendships. I would recommend studying with IES to anybody! It truly changed my life, the staff is incredibly kind and wonderful, and I had the time of my life!