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From Austria With Love: A Letter ‘Home’ for the Holidays

Bhishmadut B. Contractor, an international student from India enrolled in business administration: management concentration, is completing a study abroad semester in Austria and has sent a few photos “home” to Penn College.

Bhishmadut B. Contractor
Bhishmadut B. Contractor
Picturesque photos from the Vorarlberg region of Austria
Picturesque photos from the Vorarlberg region of Austria

Contractor has been studying international business at Fachhochschule Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Dornbirn is at the base of the Alps, and is the largest town and economic center in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg that borders Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

“When I heard about the opportunity for a student exchange semester in Austria, I knew I had to go for it because I love to explore new places and meet new people,” he said. “I love being around nature and Austria is breathtakingly beautiful. I like to go hiking here on several mountain trails. This place is just perfect for biking and hiking. Also, I met other exchange students from all over the world. We are 60 exchange students all together and we became such good friends in such a short time. We are like a family.”

A group hiking excursion
A group hiking excursion

Contractor enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving in Austria with his newfound “family”: “Thanksgiving was special this year because all the exchange students celebrated Thanksgiving together as everyone prepared something for the dinner and we had the meal together in the common area. It was great! And I am still full.”

Climb ev'ry mountain!
Climb ev’ry mountain!

He plans to spend the upcoming semester break with an uncle who lives in London before returning to Williamsport in early January.

Upon return, he will resume work as a Presidential Student Ambassador.

A word to the west: Winter is coming!
A word to the west: Winter is coming!

“This is my second year being an Ambassador for Penn College,” Contractor said. “I wanted to become an Ambassador because it would push me out of my comfort zone. I am shy and public speaking scares me. But I have grown so much in the past year as being an Ambassador has improved my interpersonal, communication and leadership skills.”

Contractor is featured in a One College Family post.

For more on international opportunities, visit the Study Abroad page.

Photos provided