Jessica Lonnes, M.Ed.               

Required Materials:

  • Coursepack (pickup at Wythken Printing, W. Grace Street - $14)

  • Laptop

  • Internet access

  • Skype Account

  • What’s App Account

  • Rampages Blog

Course Design

Provide students an overview of Viennese history and culture to paint the backdrop for their study-abroad experience. At the end of the course, students should feel noticeably more comfortable and aware of the city in which they will be spending an intensive month of learning.

In the weeks prior to departure, students will be expected to:
attend 2 scheduled class meetings (each 2 hours & 45 minutes) on-campus
complete all coursepack reading and written response assignments in Blackboard
complete an initial research project (individual Rampages travel blog) and present part of it at the final pre-departure class meeting (Wednesday, June 22nd ).

While abroad
While in Vienna, this class will meet 4-5 times a week, occasionally in a classroom, but primarily in conjunction with a number of activities pertinent to Viennese culture, past and present. Students will be required to participate in all mandatory excursions, museum visits, cultural activities and trips, and complete blog assignments specific to their experiences, both in Vienna and throughout Austria.

Post-Study Abroad
Students will be expected to complete a variety of reflective assignments within their blog.

The final blog will be due the last day of the summer semester (Friday, August 12th).

Competencies & Objectives:

  • Oral communication (both in English as well as German)
    Students will be required to make individual presentations to the class, work in pairs and small groups within classroom settings at VCU and abroad, and communicate daily with student peers, instructors, and program director. Pre-departure presentations and all discussions related to this course will be conducted in English. All other areas of interaction (German classes in Vienna; all excursions & cultural activities) will be conducted in German.

  •  Social responsibility as a “citizen of the world”
    Engaging in a study abroad program provides students an excellent opportunity to define for themselves what it means to become culturally competent. By preparing themselves through pre-departure readings on the history and culture of their destination, then being immersed for 4-weeks within that culture, participants automatically will be more alert to the pitfalls of ethnocentrism, monolingualism, and cultural apathy (very often inherent to individuals who have never ventured outside their own borders). While abroad, students will have daily interaction with a variety of non-English speakers, both Austrians as well as individuals from all over the world who are also in Vienna to learn German. Finally, through blog prompts, students will be required to reflect on their culturally inherited values, those that they experience differently in Austria, and think critically about the relationship between these values and their place in the global context.

  • Critical thinking
    Pre-departure assignments, discussions and individual research projects will provide textual familiarity with the history as well as present-day culture of Vienna and greater Austria. Students will be required to demonstrate cultural awareness not only through personal presentations (pre-departure), but also throughout the month-long program, and specifically in conjunction with final blog assignments. All discussions will provide students the opportunity to voice opinions of how they are experiencing, absorbing, and interacting with and within the foreign culture, engage in critical analysis of cultural contexts, and relate the experienced culture to the textual through comparative assignments. Students will collect and share their own interpretations and arguments in reading response assignments as well as journal blog entries.

  • Writing proficiency
    All blog assignments in this course require a significant amount of writing. Students will be expected to edit their work!


Professor’s Expectations:

This course is designed specifically to help students make the most of the study abroad program this summer. My expectations are that you take yourselves and your learning as seriously as your desire to experience a new culture and learn German while there! While abroad, except in our classroom meetings for WRLD 391, the language of interaction will be GERMAN!!!!
Be prepared for me to speak with you in German as soon as we meet in Vienna on Saturday, July 2nd !


Blackboard, VCU-email & Rampages Course Site :

Blackboard will be used in this course for announcements and posting grades.

Course Blog Site: will be used on a daily basis. All assignments will be posted there, as well as our Activities Calendar and additional resources. I will also share information with the group through email (

Make sure to check  VCU email at least once a day!



Students are expected to complete all homework assignments, and come to all course meetings prepared.


90% - 100% = A
80% - 89% = B
70% - 79% = C
60% - 69% = D
0% - 59% = F


Students are expected to attend two class meetings prior to departure:
1: May 18, 10am – 1pm
2: June 22, 10am – 1pm
All other pre-departure interaction will be conducted online, via Blackboard and the Rampages blog site.


Course Reader

Five written assignments in conjunction with the Course Reader will be assigned for completion pre-departure. The due dates are posted on the site, and span from May 25th - June 22nd. Assignments will be submitted for review via Blackboard.


Individual Research & Presentations Pre-Departure

Students will be expected to create a ramages blog site, research modern-day Vienna, selecting 10 "top finds" for inclusion on their blog site. Each student will present at least three of these “top finds” at the class meeting on June 22nd.
Students need to make sure that they put effort into finding Viennese places and offerings that would be considered “unique” or “off the beaten path” – anything chosen should be specific to his/her own interests, and exemplify a plan of getting to know and being involved in the new environment.



Students will be required to create a Blog to showcase modern Vienna. The initial blog assignment will be your personal space to highlight what you’ve found through researching the city. It is imperative to your pre-departure presentation! This blog will function initially as your portal to share what you’re most interested in discovering or experiencing while abroad.

The remainder of blog assignments (throughout the 4-week program, as well as a reflective component post-return) will serve as a space for:
capturing moments and impressions
making comparisons
finding and articulating one's own role in the new culture
in-depth reflection of expectations, reality, and  feelings about both
relating this experience to  future personal, academic, and professional development

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