Hello from overseas! It has been almost two weeks now being in Austria, and one week being in my new home, Graz. It was quite a journey getting here, but it has been amazing finally settling in. There are already so many things I’ve learned and can’t wait to share. Our first several days here, Lexi, Emily, and I spent time in Vienna to adjust to the new time and explore the city. We spent time figuring out public transportation and visiting the highlights, such as Hofsburg Palace and Stephanplatz. After our stay in Vienna, we were all ready and excited to start our new adventures in Graz. We took a train last Friday through Austria and saw beautiful scenery and castles (and snow!) that had us building up in adrenaline and readiness to see our next adventure. When we arrived, two local buddies we made through our program met us at the train station and took us to our stay for the weekend. They were very friendly and calmed our nerves with helping us get to our place. We took the day to settle in and then the next day we began socializing with mentors we had been paired with online.
That weekend, we began meeting our mentors and other people in buddy groups we had joined to start learning more about the city of Graz. We visited Uni Graz, where we will be studying, along with Jakominiplatz (the main square) and Schlossberg (shown below).
Along with exploring the city, I also moved into my dorm. I have a very friendly roommate from Germany who has been very welcoming. It felt great to finally unpack and not have to deal with my large suitcase for a very long time. Even though exploring the city has been great, there has been a lot of tasks I’ve had to do as well. I’ve had to figure out the public transportation routes (including a lot of getting lost), finding where my classes are located at the Uni, and finding the best place to get groceries. I’ve also been adapting culturally with the interactions I’ve had with other people from the city. This week, I also started my intensive German course and I absolutely love it. I already know how much my language skills are going to improve through this course, and I can’t wait to use them.
It’s been only a week in Graz, and I can already tell I am going to have an incredible experience here and fall in love with the city. I’m looking forward to sharing more about what I’m learning soon! Bis Später!