Hi everyone, my name is Abby Burke (instagram : traveler_007)and I am a Junior at Salve and I am studying at Salzburg College in Salzburg Austria. (Most notably the city where Mozart is from and where the Sound of Music was filmed). Salzburg College is made up of just 13 American study abroad students. I have been here now for almost a month.
Let me tell you living in a foreign country is very different (now you’re thinking well obviously) but I don’t think you truly realize that until your there. It obviously also depends on the country you are in too. The time is different, the language is different, the money is different, the food is different, transportation is different, rules are different, the customs are different, the windows are different…I could go on. This makes every little thing you want to do – buy shampoo, go to school, and even open the window take a lot longer and be more complicated than you are used to. Also living with a host family (which I highly recommend) takes getting used to because their customs are different and you are always trying not to be rude. On those same lines, the food took me awhile to get used too – mainly the fact that every single meal was something I had never tasted before.
This is what they call culture shock, though you may not recognize it. Oh and there’s the fact you are going to school and a new school throughout all this – so homework and long hours of classes is a thing. (And of course the Patriots lost the Superbowl and I got sick)
BUT… I wouldn’t trade this for anything!!! It is so important to learn how to live in another culture! You do not get this in a short-term study abroad program (or at least as much)
Almost every single thing I do here is MIND BLOWING – So far I have stood in important WWII sights, been in churches and fortresses that were built almost 1000 years before our country existed, been to mass in the same church Mozart was baptized in, met and spoke with a survivor of the holocaust, skiied and hiked the Alps, ate the worlds best food (sausages not included), met the most heartwarming people, and saw mountain lake and river views that are simply unreal. And this is in only a month and only 2 countries! (Also Salzburg College organized many of these events). ( I may post later with details)
I also love my classes even though each is 2 or 3 hours a few times a week – we have 3 day weekends. I am taking photography, violin, German, European Experience (basically European history and how to live in Europe), and Austrian literature. (Save your gen ed requirements guys some of the smaller study abroad programs like this won’t have specific classes for your major).
I can’t wait to see what the next month has in store!