Hello again, ATU! I have officially surpassed the one month point in my study abroad experience in Graz, Austria. So far this past month has felt like such a short period of time, but I also feel like I’ve been in Graz for months. These past couple of weeks I finished up my German intensive learning course (fingers crossed my final exam went well) and I am beginning classes this week. It was bittersweet finishing my German course, because my class had gotten to know each other very well and it was enjoyable to be with people from all over the world in a common study. I’m looking forward to starting courses and furthering my language skills in the next level of German.
So far, I’ve learned a great deal about life in Graz and how people go about their routines. For example, a huge adjustment I’ve had to make is that stores and markets close extremely early (no Walmart people!). People here tend to run all of their errands before 6:00pm. This has been a big change, because you have to be prepared to get everything you need during the day. Something else I’ve been improving on is how public transportation works within the city. Getting from point A to point B is very different than in the US and I’ve learned to appreciate the benefits of trams and buses. There is a main station here (Graz Hauptbahnhof) and a main transfer point (Jakominiplatz) that I have gotten to know really well. However, every once in a while I do miss getting in my car, throwing on some tunes, and enjoying a drive!
Along with being a part of the Austrian lifestyle, I also was able to travel to Slovenia this past week with a group to get our visas. We visited the capitol, Ljubljana, (still working on pronunciation) and Bled during our stay. It was an incredible time, because I knew nothing about the country, language, and culture. I saw a new place completely which really did enhance my experience. Since it is so close to the Austrian border, I am already planning on returning this weekend to attempt skiing! I’ll let you know how it went next blog!