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!