What is a City?

My professor recently told me about a blog written by one of her daughter’s closest friends, Simon Horn. You can find his blog here: https://landscapeandcity.blogspot.co.at/. Simon is currently traveling around Europe in search for a deeper meaning: what constitutes a city and what even is a city. Here is an excerpt: Ultimately, here’s where we’ve […]


Weeks 6, 7, 8

The weeks have rolled by. I start to realize my days here are limited. The matter of fact is that, I have been reading on the weekends. Eight books in the time thus far. I hope that number surprises you as much as it surprises me. Some days, I spend in my room, opening a […]

A Day in Burgenland

Sometimes you sign up for these trips without an idea of what it will be like. This was one of those times.  The trip was to Burgenland, the Eastern and least populated state of Austria, and the company were other interns from IST (we are cleverly called ISTerns). Meet Nastia. She’s from Ukraine. The first […]

Week 5: Restful days and more

Just be yourself. When we were kids, it was so easy to do something. If we thought of doing it, we just did it. When we wanted to read a book, we just read it. I remember those days I spent in the library as a child, tilting my head sideways to read the titles […]

Week 4: A Workshop to Remember

This week, I attended a three day workshop titled Modern Trends in Solid State Quantum Physics. 13 highly cited and prolific professors in the field of quantum physics from all over the world gathered at IST to present, discuss, and learn from each other. I was lucky to sit in on these lectures. The opening […]

Week 2 and 3: The Happily Forward March

I remember the first moment I stepped foot in Vienna. I came out of the subway and had a moment of disbelief. I thought it was ridiculous I was in Vienna, in Europe, thousands of miles away from home. After my first day of work, I looked at myself in the reflection of the train […]

Prague in Black and White

I had decided to rewrite this into a more concise and polished form, but I thought why not just post the unedited free flow of thought. Before doing so, I wanted to give some clearer thoughts. On this trip to Prague, I realized I was doing something which I didn’t have a wholehearted desire to […]

Saturday in Salzburg

On Saturday, I went to Salzburg which was two and a half hours away by train, with another IST intern named Armaan. Armaan is a gentle, kind, and well-meaning individual. Immediately upon meeting our conversations raced around the meaning of life, the power of traveling in shaping one’s identity, and what really matters in the […]

Week 1: Living in Vienna

There’s a peculiar grace to living alone in a cosmopolitan city. Every night as I walk back home, my eyes wander to all the lights, signs, and historic architecture. My feet tread on cobbled pebble roads, each stone creasing my foot in a different curvature. My mind takes me into coffee shops where I unwind […]

Week 0: Moments before moments – Austria

My life is in a time of transition. I have just finished three years at a small liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon called Willamette University. Next fall, I will be starting at Columbia University in New York City for my second bachelor’s degree in Materials Science Engineering. In between, I will be going to […]