Hailee spent five weeks in Austria and comparing their healthcare system to America’s. She enhanced her understanding of how Austrians believed healthcare should work and who should receive it. She was taught and learned about the history of Austria and how and when insurance was brought into their system. By taking taxes out of the paychecks of everyone, all Austrians were able to receive healthcare, along with immigrants and people seeking asylum there. She was able to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and homeless shelters to seek how they differ from American versions. She found that nursing homes that were accessible to most Austrians, were only accessible to the richest of Americans. The care also provided for the elderly was different and more effective there. Hailee found that typically, the elderly did not suffer as much from depression and hopelessness as they do in America when they are in nursing homes. She found that in hospitals, nursing rarely were allowed to touch needles, and that they were there more to be a doctor’s ear and scribe, whereas in America, nurses do so much more.
When she had the chance, Hailee went exploring and trying traditional Austrian meals such as schnitzel and apple strudel. She had the opportunity to see traditional and historical Austrian garments and lean more about the history of Austria while in Vienna for the weekend. Hailee spent a lot of her time trying to immerse herself in the culture by learning a bit of German. Although she speaks it quite poorly, she tried and found that the citizens of Austria merely just appreciated that she was trying to learn and speak it. Hailee’s favorite part of the trip was creating strong friendships with Austrian students that she still is in contact with. She is very excited to return and reconnect with them all in person again.