This is a copy of my study abroad blog, moved here as a backup. The original post can be viewed here.
An update on events so far
February 9, 2015
Three hours of work later, and I finally have the blog looking (somewhat) like how I want it. I don’t imagine it’ll stay that way for long, but for now it’ll do.
So quite a lot has gone on since I left Nebraska last Tuesday. I’ve travelled thousands of miles and dozens of hours to finally arrive in Graz, Austria, home of over 300,000 people. It wasn’t an easy journey though, after landing in Vienna, I had a series of misadventures while riding the trains to Graz, including having to run across two sets of tracks to make a train in time, and nearly getting kicked off of a train for accidentally boarding the first class car, but I made it here in the end. That same day, I travelled around the city with my university-assigned buddy, going to IKEA and other stores getting supplies to last me through my stay. Finally at around 7 or 8 o’clock, I made it to my new apartment, only to find my new flatmate as surprised as I was that there was someone else standing in the living room. The two of us hit it off well, but they left a few days ago, as February is the Austrian’s winter vacation. So for the next week or two, I have the whole place to myself!
Thursday was much the same as Wednesday. I had a meeting regarding the German class I would be taking in the morning, so I planned on taking the bus to campus, as I live about 1.5 miles from campus. Naturally, I couldn’t find the correct bus stop, so I had to walk to the meeting, only making it there by the grace of a kind Austrian student I met along the way. The rest of the day was spent running around town again registering me with the city (I’m now officially a resident of Austria), and setting up my very own Austrian bank account.
I continued the streak of making stupid mistakes on Friday, when I arrived on campus for a meeting to set up my Austrian health insurance, only to find out that the meeting had been cancelled due to illness, a fact I would’ve known had I checked my email at any point that morning. All was not lost however, as I met a group of fellow international students while waiting in line to receive an international student ID card. The group of students were planning a get-together that evening at a local bar, and I joined them, meeting a number of the fellow students that would be learning German along myself. Among them were students from North Dakota, Texas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, California, Germany, Belgium, Australia, and many more that I’ve surely forgotten.
On Saturday, a few of the exchange students and I planned on visiting the Murinsel: a small coffee shop/amphitheater floating on the river that separates the two halves of Graz. They ended up postponing the meet-up until later in the evening, so I was free to explore the city by myself, which included a trip to the top of the mountain in the center of the city that serves as the main landmark of the town. Despite the stairs to the summit being closed off for the winter, a nearby guard assured any passerby that it was perfectly acceptable to scale the fences to get to the top, which I gladly did. The top of the mountain contains an old barrack and a clocktower, images of which I’ve included in the pictures posted in the ‘gallery’ page at the top. That evening, our group of students did finally make it to the Murinsel, and chit-chatted for a few hours before turning in for the evening.
Sunday and today were far less interesting than the previous days, apart from a trip down the street to do a little shopping, I spend most of Sunday spent in my apartment recuperating from the week’s events. Today marked the beginning of my German class, and now that I’ve mastered the Graz bus system, I arrived sharply at 9 AM as expected. German is interesting to learn, but difficult, as I haven’t gotten which letters you need to gargle on and which you don’t. Some of the internationals that I’d spent time with early this week are in my class, namely some of the students from Argentina and one from Texas. There is also a pink-haired girl from Nebraska in my class, but I wasn’t able to talk to her or ask her where precisely she was from.
That mostly concludes the events of last week. This next week I have German class from 9-12:15 every morning, so I may have time to post some pictures and a description of my apartment complex, as well as any events of the week. Until then, I’ve been assigned German homework that I haven’t even started on, and need to think about what I’m going to eat for dinner.