By Michael Hanson, Foster Undergraduate who is participating in an exchange with the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic.
I learned some valuable life lessons from traveling and talking to people from different parts of the world. Budapest is a must. It reminds you a little bit of Prague with some different types of monuments. Also pretty cheap if you do it right. The ruin bars are a blast, but the most memorable thing for me was doing the cave exploration tour. At one point we turned off all our helmet lights, and just sat in an open part in the cave and experienced pure silence. Then our tour guide sang a Hungarian song that stands for “Love” in English, which was easily the most serene moment I’ve had.
Barcelona is also a very cool city. The Sagrada Familia is the most impressive work of architecture I’ve ever seen –especially the inside. Met some great people on this trip, especially one man with tons of wisdom who spoke about the power of positivity and transferring it to those around you. It is a very big city though, and I walked more in those days than I have in my entire life, so try to use public transportation.
Bratislava is a cool city that is close by, and is small enough to see everything in a day. What made this trip so great for me was the people I was traveling with. In general, who you travel with can give you a totally different experience in a city because you spend a lot of time walking, so get to know the people a lot better. My roommate is from Bratislava and was also traveling there at the same time. He took us around some great lookout spots that only a local would know, so try to go with a local to as many places as possible.
Rome is a must visit, so much history. Also had the best wine there by far and never had a bad meal. I think I liked Florence a little more because it felt like an authentic Italian city.
I’ve been to both Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, and liked Salzburg more. Also have been to Berlin, which was a great city full of history (do the flat tire biking tour), and great night life. Did get a ticket riding the train though so make sure you buy a pass and validate it. I included pictures in order of country below: Salzburg, Munich, Budapest, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Berlin.