I am half way through my study overseas semester at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein and so far, it has been epic.
When I got here, everything was covered in the thick layer of snow. Before university started, I worked for 2 months as ski instructor at the ski resort is 20 minutes from the university. At the start, I had to wear 5 jumpers and a thick jacket so I wouldn’t freeze, but I slowly got use to the weather. Living in the mountains is amazing. Now the snow is slowly disappearing and I spent most of my free days hiking. Last weekend, I went rock climbing with some locals in the Alps. It was an awesome adventure. We got a little lost on the way up and had to walk through lots of snow but eventually we did find the crag and spent the rest of the day climbing surrounded by an amazing view.
We are here with around 100 exchange students from all over the world. It is great hanging out with people from all different cultures. The university itself is quite small, just like the city Kufstein. Everything is in walking distance and you often run into somebody you know. The people I have met so far are all very friendly, including all the staff at the university. Studying here is quite different compared to USC, since you have a different schedule with different classes every week. Some weeks you are busy and other weeks you have time to travel around.
The university offers a sports program. You can do things from self-defence to mountain biking. I spent my Wednesday nights at the indoor rock climbing gym with a group of local students. Besides sport activities, they organise other things as well. For example, last week I learned how to bake Apfelstrüdel and Knödel. Austrian food is quite delicious.
Austria is in the middle of Europe, so it’s perfect for trips to Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. I have been on some weekends trips to Switzerland and Slovenia and did a longer road trip through Italy. I have been travelling around with friends I have met here but also visited lots of friends who I met in Australia when they were there on their exchange semester. It’s so cool catching up with people in the other side of the world and get to see where they live.
I have only 2 months left. Time has gone so fast and before I know I’ll be in the airplane back to the Sunshine Coast. But before it’s over, there will be many more epic and unforgettable adventures.