A month into my travelling and exchange experience and I’d like to say that this has been one of the most amazing experiences! From travelling across five countries in the last month, to staying and mingling with people from around the world – my experience thus far has taught me many life skills and endowed moments that I would never be able to experience back home.
Furthermore, adapting to non-English speakers and really making an effort to understand how everyday things work, like public transport – it is an experience that makes you more aware of your surroundings and how things around the world function. Not only that, being able to witness iconic moments and diverse aspects of culture has been surreal. I had the opportunity to bask in the juices of tomatoes during the Tomatina Festival, indulge in the authentic sangria of Spain, hike on the islands of Portugal’s Azores, sightsee the incredible infrastructure of European churches and even witness the place the Queen calls home – Buckingham Palace. But this was merely the opportunities awarded to me prior to the actual study aspect of exchange commencing.
Whilst I am still settling in, it is such an incredibly challenging but rewarding experience. Living independently teaches you how to manage life on a day to day basis, from thinking about the timing of your laundry to doing all your groceries on Saturday because everything is closed on Sunday, to learning how to budget and interact with individuals from all around the world. This experience is truly eye opening and something I am already grateful for as I learn how to ‘adult’, be independent but most importantly have fun!
Being able to understand the similarities across cultures provides a sense of solace as you learn how connected and globalised the world actually is, from pop music to my favourite cultural foods, everything has been available beyond Australia. On the other hand, understanding the differences that exist beyond the global barriers of home has been an enlightening experience. Learning about the implications on the cost of living as a result of the exchange rate and the importance of religion that still infiltrates the mindset of Europeans is something you fail to realise in the confines of your home.
Whilst many of these things were theoretically understood by me before the commencement of Exchange, this experience has truly solidified this understanding as I witness these things play out in reality. I can’t wait to see how things change and how I evolve over the next coming months!
Bachelor of Accounting
Wirtschafts Universitat Wien