My exchange semester is rapidly nearing its end, and I will (unfortunately?) be returning to Australia in approximately two months! I have had the most amazing experiences of my life in the past 6 months. I have met (and partied with!!) so many people, from all over the world (South America, Canada, Spain, Moldova, Romania, Germany, France, Turkey… so many more). I have made friends who are like a second family to me, and who it will be very difficult to part with!
I have also travelled more than I thought possible –I had planned a lot of travel, but not this much! By the time my exchange semester ends, and I am forced to return to Australia to complete my degree, I will have travelled to approximately 8 or 9 different countries (Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, France…the list goes on!); and well over 15 different cities!
More than this, I have learnt so much: from learning about different cultures from friends (and particularly at the University’s International Day), to learning languages; I have picked up some very basic Russian, revived my Spanish-speaking abilities – somewhat and completed a 3 week intensive course in the German language (which I hope to continue back home!), as well as undertaking 5 different IBA topics at the university.
I am spending Christmas and New Year here with friends, enjoying the beginning of the winter snow (my first time seeing snow!). I even went ice-skating with friends recently, and will soon be going to the Alps to snowboard with some other friends!! I have had the most amazing 6 months of my life: and to think that I wouldn’t have experienced any of it if I had decided not to go on an exchange!
For anyone considering a semester abroad, I could not recommend it more highly! And I would particularly recommend the European University of Viadrina: it has a particularly International reputation, with people coming from all over the world to study here (both for a semester abroad, or as full-time students); and it is on the German boarder with Poland, meaning you can have classes in both countries, or go just cross the border to shop in Poland!
Ryan Parker, Bachelor of Business (Management) undertook an exchange to the European University of Viadrina during S2, 2018