…Well, wrong, I guess! Nothing could quite prepare me for the shock of living in an entirely different country. Of course, this wasn’t helped by the fact that the airline (somewhere on one of the 3 flights and train to my destination; Germany is a long way from Adelaide!) lost my luggage, which I then didn’t receive until about a week after my arrival. This made it quite difficult to settle in; the culture shock of moving to another country, and without any of my belongings! My tutor and friends that I quickly made were very helpful in this regard though! The intensive language course I undertook was tough, but very helpful; and a great way to meet people!
Having completed this course, it was time to begin travelling with friends; I plan to do a lot of travel while I am here, and have already visited Brussels and Brugge in Belgium (where we sampled SO MANY beers, chocolates, and waffles!!!), Wittenberg, Berlin, and Munich twice (all in Germany; Munich twice for Oktoberfest and a Three Days Grace concert). I also have plans to go to Prague in the Czech Republic in the next few days, and possibly Paris with a friend (who lives there) next weekend! No plans for Christmas/New Year yet, but there are plenty of options!
I have met so many people from all over the world here too; I have given up on keeping track of everyone’s names and where I know them from! I have a particularly close group of friends from Brazil, Colombia, Turkey, and France; but am friends with so many others from Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, and countless other countries! Now that the language course is over, semester has begun in the last couple of weeks; it took a little bit of last-minute work to finalize all of my topics, and because of the way topics are run at this university (IBA topics are run in half-semester blocks) I unfortunately cannot undertake the next level of the language course, which I did particularly want to do; but at least I undertook the intensive course, which has been very helpful! And now I have a relatively light workload for the semester, so there will be a lot more travelling…and partying! That is the other favourite pastime of exchange students…there are at LEAST 2 parties every week; and sometimes 2 on the same night! I attend most of them (people are always surprised when there’s a party that I’m not at!); and this has also been a great way of meeting people – everyone knows ‘The Aussie’! (I am the only Australian here!!) It has also been great to meet some of the German regular students who have travelled to Australia before, and love and miss it (including one who did an exchange to Flinders University a few years ago)!
Ryan Parker, Bachelor of Business (Management) student is undertaking an exchange to the European University of Viadrina during S2, 2018
Read Ryan’s 1st blog post here.