Servus! Ich heisse Lexi und Ich lebe in Graz, Austria! I have been in Austria for three weeks now and in Graz for two, and I am having the most magical time. As you can see, my German is sehr gut! Thank you, Martina, you’re a real one! (I promise that is what she has us call her and I am not disrespecting my teacher). Vienna was wonderful to have been staying in for a few days, but I am so glad to be in Graz now and settled into my flat. I arrived in Vienna on January 28th and was there until February 1st when I and two others from ATU travelled by train to Graz. I was very thankful to two people from my buddy group coming to meet Emily, Brett, and I at the train station to pick us up and take us to mine and Emily’s flat. Brett’s flat was not available for a few more days so he ended up crashing at mine and Emily’s for a few days instead of having to pay for a hostel. He still owes us some Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The first few days were a bit stressful to say the least. As exciting as it was to be in Graz again, there were a lot of things that I had to figure out how to do that I did not have to when I was here teaching last summer with the STARs program. Number one was how to do all the things that involved living in my flat. These things included: getting Wi-Fi, figuring out how to use public transportation to get places, where to do laundry, registering myself with the city of Graz, and much, much more. Overall, it was a good learning experience as to what it was like to be in a new area with extraordinarily little guidance and I feel as though I have learned a lot. Also, I will be sending formal apologies to two of the men who work for my housing complex as I spent an overwhelming amount of time in their office asking every single question that came to mind on things I needed to do and get done.
Since the time I arrived, I have spent a good chunk of my time with members of my buddy group as it’s quite a large group. Emily and Brett both decided to come along with the things my group had organized as they had not heard from their buddies quite yet. All the members of my group have been wonderful, and I continue to hang out with them still. Plus, as we have met more people, the group has vastly expanded thus creating one big family here in Graz. They’re always open to lost foreign ducklings. For all future students who are interested in studying abroad, I highly recommend joining a buddy group as it instantly creates an environment for making new friends.
On the 6th of February, I started German lessons. As I am sure to no one’s surprise by my intro, I started at the very bottom of the German knowledge pyramid. A1/1. This class is extremely fast paced as it is a full semester of German in only three weeks and very overwhelming at times as we are in class for three hours a day every day. However, I feel mildly more confident in my German capabilities and I have made it an effort to read all signs aloud to practice more and to repeat the announcement voice on public transport. My apologies Emily as I know it is quite annoying.
I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be here in Graz living and studying, but also growing as a person and experiencing all these cultures not only from the area but from the people I have met. We will talk soon blog, but until then I will be enjoying my time here so I can have more stories for you. Auf Wiedersehen!