Author Archives: Alysha Vehre

Summer Night Concert in Vienna

Wow, talk about an event that could gather the whole city! The Vienna Philharmonic put on a free performance yesterday. If the opportunity to listen to one of the best orchestras in the world is not enough to spark you interest you have the added bonus of the Schönbrunn Palace gracing the backdrop illuminated in a myriad of colors.

It was really crowded and a bit hectic as you might expect for a free show but the crowds were surprisingly well maintained by security. They even used giant traffic signals to guide the hordes of people. It was my first time so I stood down on the ground level closer toward the stage which gave a nice yet obstructed view of the screens. Next year, however I think I will opt to sit hillside near Café Gloriette where many people sat on blankets while sipping wine during the show.

Spring in Vienna

Spring is fully underway and what better way to spend it than walking through vineyards and drinking wine! The 19th district is home to a number of Heurigen (plur.) and beautiful walking paths. What is a Heuriger (sing.)? Since there is no equivalent in English, it is basically a seasonal wine tavern. These establishments have a special license that permits them to sell wine and juices from the recent years supply for a given period of time. Most Heurigen are open for 3-4 weeks at a time.

To celebrate the Heuriger season I decided to hit up Feuerwehr Wagner in Grinzing. Feuerwehr Wagner is a nice classical-style Heuriger with great food and great wine. I got a white spritzer and some typical Austrian salads and tongue. Yes, you read that right, beef tongue to be more precise was offered on the menu and was surprisingly delicious. I highly recommend checking it out.

Breakfast in Vienna

How about a Kipferl? What I once thought to be an Austrian imitation of the lighter and flakier French croissant is quite possibly what inspired it. There are several variations of the Kipferl, all of which must have the iconic crescent shape. It is believed that the crescent shape was used as a way to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman’s during the Ottoman siege of Vienna in the late 1600’s.

Where can you find these delicious pastries!? Well, they are at almost any bakery that you could walk into in Vienna. I chose, however, to go to Kaffee Monarchie. This café is in the 19th district and is known for serving simple yet traditional Viennese style breakfasts including a Kipferl with bread, jam and honey. If you come early enough you can get one of their breakfast combos with the choice of a coffee, tee or hot chocolate.


My name is Alysha and I am about to embark on my first intensive German course and I am excited to do it at Deutsche Akademie! I am from the United States and moved to Vienna to study for my master’s at the university of BOKU. My knowledge of the German language before my arrival can be boiled down to a few lyrics that I remembered from listening to Rammstein when I was younger. After having been in Vienna for 6 months now I have managed to learn the basics.

The German class that I took through the university is what has helped me the most. However, as much as I enjoyed the course, I couldn’t help but feel a bit defeated by the slow pace of learning. Meeting only once per week over the course of several months to learn just one level would take me years to reach any level of proficiency! This is why I decided to start an intensive German course. Follow along with me to track my progress and learn about Vienna from a student’s perspective

Moving to Austria

I explained in a previous blog why I decided to take a German language course. So, I thought for this entry that I should explain why I came to Austria to begin with. I decided to come to Austria to study for my master’s degree. When I tell people this and where I come from a series of questions usually follow: “Is organic farming not offered as a course of study in the U.S.?” – it is. “How can you study here if you don’t know German” – the program is taught in English. “Why did you choose Austria?” – Good question! Usually I answer the last question by explaining how I wanted to be immersed in another culture, learn a new language and understand sustainable food systems from a more global perspective. All of which is true! However, one of the biggest reasons for me was that I couldn’t afford to study in the U.S. The tuition for one semester at BOKU costs less than my books alone had cost me for one semester in my undergraduate studies. I waited for 5 years after my bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s because I couldn’t financially rationalize it. That was until I saw that Austria and several other countries in Europe were opening up their universities with free – low tuition fees for non-EU members. So, with this I end by saying “Thank you!” to Austria for allowing me to study here affordably!