Personal accounts from Inge Korber, Rosa Maria Mulser, the rare Johannes Bohacek, and Stefan Friedrich.
When I came to New Orleans as an undergraduate student in July 2002, I planned to spend two semesters there before going to Spain for a year. Since I was majoring in English and in Spanish at the University of Innsbruck, I saw New Orleans as a great opportunity to not only significantly improve my English skills, but at the same time get a glimpse of life in a city as diverse and contradictory as New Orleans.
I immediately fell in love with New Orleans (except for the heat waves, the hurricanes, and the mosquitoes during the summer) and finally decided that I wanted to stay instead of moving to Spain. I left to spend a semester in Innsbruck and came back in January 2004 to start my MA in the English Department. I graduated in August 2005, right before hurricane Katrina. After my MA studies, I was offered to enter the MBA program and work as acounsellor for the College of Business Administration. Curious about life outside Liberal Arts, I took the offer and started counselling, first at UNO, and then, after Katrina, at LSU for the fall semester.
Even though I was enjoying my work as well as my studies, however, I was forced to leave UNO and move back to Austria in January 2006 due to the difficult housing situation. Back in Austria, I am currently working as an English and German tutor in Lienz, and I will be taking my Diploma Exam at the University of Innsbruck at the end of April.
I have been offered full-funding for the English Ph.D. program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette starting in the fall of 2006. Inge also received the 2005/06 award for best M.A. thesis in the English Department.
Rosa Maria Mulser
I am Rosa Maria Mulser and I came to UNO in 2003 on the exchange program the University of Innsbruck offers.
Originally, I only wanted to stay in New Orleans for 9 months to broaden my horizons. But after I experienced the variety of research projects and internships the Psychology department offers, I decided to transfer my Innsbruck credits to UNO in order to finish my bachelor degree and to go on to graduate school. Grad school in the U.S. works quite differently than at universities back home. On the PhD level only a limited number of people get accepted
and those lucky kids receive a very intense education in research and teaching. Most often it is the case that the student will work together with one specific faculty member for 4-5 years.
I applied to different schools around the country last semester and I just received the final notice from Tulane University that I got accepted into their PhD School Psychology program. As of right now, I might be the happiest
person in the world!
the “rare” Johannes Bohacek
The splendid Bohacek is a rare species of Austrian ancestry. Although often erroneously associated with Innsbruck, his natural habitat is actually the lovely city of Graz. However, unusual nocturnal study-rhythms and an excessive need for warm temperatures have brought him all the way to the University of New Orleans. Records indicate that he started his 4-year Ph.D. studies at UNO in Fall 2004, in the field of Biopsychology. Unfortunately, little is known about this rare breed, because the Bohacek spends most of his time in dark neuroscience laboratories, examining rodents’ learning and memory performance, analyzing brain tissue, or hiding behind books that often weigh half of his own body weight.
The study of the rare Bohacek has been further complicated by his ungracious habit of persistently avoiding campus-life oriented or politically motivated meetings of any kind. Recent research suggests that the catastrophic events following hurricane Katrina have had a dramatic impact on the rare Bohacek, further endangering his existence. His living space close to UNO was completely submerged, hence he relocated to a new home together with his companion Luis, another rare species originating from Venezuela. Together, this disparate duo keeps each other sane in the face of natural disasters and overwhelming scientific demand.
Further, theflood has forced the rare Bohacek to temporarily move his research to Tulane University, causing highly unstable and demanding lifestyle changes. Only few sources report on the social life of the Bohacek, but it is believed that he maintains a close group of friends and only very occasionally puzzles the scientific community by intense nightly activities in the French Quarter and on Frenchman Street. These reports lack stringent scientific methods, however.
Characteristic of this rare species is the unusual high food intake while repeatedly screaming “FLEISCH!” in ecstasy, and his highly structured lifestyle with daily workout sessions and an elaborate and well-planned weekly work and research schedule. Since the rare Bohacek is now the only remaining Austrian student at UNO, he enjoys a special status at Center Austria and enjoys the fine pleasures of representing his beloved home country.
Nick Mueller Fellow – Stefan Fiedrich
I wanted to write you for a long time. The semester in Miami is successfully mastered and my very eventful stay in the US tends – with melancholy – toward an end. I believe no other group of Austrians ever had such a spectacular and miscellaneous exchange-experience as ours.
With my evacuation to Arkansas and Florida, the Spring- Break-Trip to California and Nevada, and my travel along the east-coast to New York at the end of May, I probably will have experienced a good part of the most famous sights and cities, as well as a very interesting and diverse academic change. I gained priceless experience of life in a somehow different culture under specially challenging circumstances.
I don’t really know how to summarize it... I think I learned much more for my life in this single year than in several at home. Besides lots of different points of view and cultural diversity, I also learned to value my native country more, and I am sure that there is nothing better to broaden ones mind and develop ones personality than to travel and get in contact with different people and opinions. I will for sure not stop doing that so soon, even though my next destination in Germany isn’t so far from home.
In any case, I am taking home a much bigger treasure of experiences than I ever expected and want to thank you and Gertraud for the extraordinary help through the Center Austria before and during the catastrophe.