I have always had a strong desire to travel, although like many students this dream can seem almost unrealistic. That was before I looked in the USC Study Exchange Program. With a desire to adventure and an eagerness to challenge myself I decided to jump into the unknown.
That’s basically how I’ve ended where I am now, half way round the world in a country I had never been, surrounded by people speaking a language I did not know, two months into my exchange semester at Vienna’s FH Wien University of Applied Sciences and Communication in Austria. So where do I begin with explaining how my semester has been so far? Picking a starting point is almost impossible, so much has happened so quickly it’s difficult for me to fathom but getting off the plane seems as good as any.
After 24 hours of flying I was tired, jet lagged, and out of my depth to say the least, realizing very quickly that the three words I knew in German were certainly not going to be enough. However being greeted by 30 degree beautiful summer days, it felt very familiar. (An almost unbelievable contrast to the freezing cold 2/3 degree days I am experiencing now that winter is coming).
The first day of university has been one of the greatest highlights of the trip, instantly hitting it off with 83 other exchange students from all over the world was incredible. The next two weeks our group did almost everything together, exploring the city, swimming in the Danube (the river that runs through the city of Vienna), experiencing the amazing nightlife, the best bars and clubs Vienna has on offer, as well as even travelling to multiple countries for a weekend away.
Life here has not been without its challenges; the language barrier was a little difficult to begin with, as well as not being able to read anything in the grocery store! Though now, thanks to some German language lessons I manage to get around quite easy. And these things are insignificant compared to the amount of fun you can get up to, from ski trips, to rope climbing, incredibly wild nights out, hostel rooms full of students, breathtaking views, brilliant food and the best damn tap water I have ever drank.
I would encourage anyone considering applying to Study Overseas opportunity through USC to take the plunge and get out there! The team at USC International are more than helpful and will ensure you are ready when it comes to your adventure! I am only two months in out of the five I have in total and I really can’t even begin to considering coming home! This experience has broadened my horizons, given me a fantastic outlook on like and allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of coming across!