Mobility and international experience have become skills that any career advisor would recommend any student to acquire. A semester abroad has become an almost necessary part of university studies in our globalized world. But studying abroad is not just about improving one’s chances on the job market, or even becoming better informed. It is about education in a much larger context. Much has been written about the relationship between education and travel. Both terms point to an exploration of the world, a journey of self-discovery, and the broadening of one’s horizons. To recognize that the world looks different from other perspectives comes from the first-hand experience of immersing oneself in an unfamiliar cultural setting. Suddenly, things that seemed self-evident are called into question – thereby starting a challenging, but rewarding, process of discovery and education. For centuries, the possibility of combining university studies and travel belonged only to a priviledged few. Today, numerous European and international programs have opened up the world of travel and education to students from diverse backgrounds. After completing three semesters of study, all registered students have the right to apply for a study abroad semester through the ERASMUS program, to give one example. Other programs offer similar opportunities.
Students interested in studying abroad should begin to plan for that possibility as soon as possible, making sure that they have accurate information on study abroad programs and how these fit into their course of studies at the University of Vienna. Representatives of study abroad programs and the department’s faculty are ready to offer support and help in planning a semester abroad.