5 things I miss about life in Austria

My time in the land of the lederhosen and ski-high alps has drawn to a close.  After just three weeks of being back home I’m already starting to miss a couple things from my life abroad.  Here’s a few: 1.  … Continue reading

Caving under the streets of Budapest

One of the highlights of Budapest is literally an underground secret… the Pál-völgyi Caves.  After three days of strolling around yet another grand, centuries old European city (as fascinating and beautiful as they are), I was ready to escape the busy … Continue reading

Australian Slang that should never leave the country

I’ve collected a list of Australian slang words to avoid when travelling through Europe.  All words have been learnt from very awkward personal experiences: Mozzies/Sunnies Or pretty much any word we’ve shortened and added ‘ies’ to the end of… which … Continue reading

Day trip to Cesky Krumlov

 While in Prague, I took a day trip with my cousin to the picturesque old town of Cesky Krumlov.  Much of the town has not changed since the 18th century and as we wandered around it felt as if we … Continue reading

Eishockey: Graz 99ers v Salzburg

I went to my very first ice hockey game here in Graz.  On a lightly snowy Friday night 1500+ showed up to watch the Graz 99ers play Red Bull Salzburg. The field was less than half the size of a … Continue reading

Holiday Season in Austria

  While some of my Australian peers may still be on holidays, spending their days lying on their ass, lapping up the sun; the silly season has since ended here in Europe.  Unlike our extended end of year uni/school holidays … Continue reading

Reminiscing on autumn hikes

After a month of traveling Europe with my family for Christmas and the rest of the silly season, I returned to Graz for a few days.  I was disappointed to see the beautiful, heavily vegetated mountain range near my flat … Continue reading

Spontaneous Solo Slovenija Weekend: First stopover Maribor

Oh the joys of living in Austria:  After catching up for a drink with my Slovenian classmate, Katja, on Tuesday, I was inspired to take a trip down to the coast of the neighboring country.  So Wednesday night I booked … Continue reading

Arriving in Graz

Monday was moving day.  Moving to my new home, my new university and my new Austrian life in Graz.  I took the train down from Vienna to Graz.  I had booked in advance and scored a €9 train ticket (I love Europe). It was a pleasant two hour train ride in a quiet carriage with free wifi the entire trip.  It was difficult to make the most of the internet connection when the view outside was so incredible.  I watched through my window as we passed huge rolling mountains and deep green valleys, with gorgeous little towns popping up every now and then in the heavy vegetation.

Watch my view from the train: http://youtu.be/As-2hjNURJ0

FH Joanneum had paired me up with an International Business student, Nadine.  She picked me up from the train station and showed me how to get to Greenbox , my home for the next 6 months (see I live in a Green box post), by tram.   She is 20, speaks English very fluently and is originally from a small country town just over an hour outside of Graz.

Once I’d sourced out my room from the 100+ rooms at Greenbox, we headed out to buy linen or other super exciting essentials.  By then it was getting onto 4pm; and even though I had eaten far more than my fair share at breakfast (as you do at a buffets, I had taken it as a personal challenge to “eat as much as you can”) I was famished! We stopped at a cute little café ‘Coffee and Kitchen’ and I ate a delicious salmon salad in the sun.

We took the tram to Hauptplatz, the main square in Graz.  It was a bustling street lined with gorgeous old Austrian buildings, with shop after shop occupying the ground floor of each building. I was in awe of the Grazer Rathaus, the gorgeous town hall, a main attraction of the square.

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Hauptplatz (Grazer Rauthus is situated behind me when this photo was taken.  Sorry will update with a photo ASAP)

Here we met Nadine’s friend Sonja, who is also an International Business student at FH Joanneum, and her buddy Johan, an exchange student from Sweden.  He will be starting the German course at FH Joanneum with me next week.  I told him the only lie I know in Swedish “Jag talar Svenska” (I speak Swedish), something I had learnt from some Swedish guys I met in Melbourne last year.  Johan had wanted to stay at Greenbox but applied to late, so he is staying in an apartment downtown with a few other FH Joaneum students.  Nadine also lives in a private apartment nearby with other students, but Sonja lives in Greenbox, just not in my particular apartment.

I am picking up more and more German words as the days go on.  Most of the people I have spoken to speak English; but conversation is always started in Duetsch.  However it doesn’t take long before I am stumped for words or I start destroying their language with my terrible pronunciation and they quickly change to English.  I read the back of the milch (milk) carton to my flatmate during our first breakfast together, stopping at every second word for a definition or to confirm my pronunciation.  I think I may have given him some homicidal tendencies… he’s in for a long semester!