Year Abroad Take Two…

And so it begins..! I hereby commence graduate life. Which actually means see you later, I’m off.. again!

Final year went by in a flash, quicker than any other of the past four years, that, in short, amassed to a very big sigh of relief on results day. Leaving Lancaster has become somewhat of an emotional affair and I’m not one to deal with goodbyes particularly well. It isn’t just a case of moving away from a place, it’s the end of an era with all it’s ups and downs, experienced with the best of friends and all within a tight knit community. Life at Lancaster was like having a second little family and I will miss it dearly. Maybe I’ll be back in the future.. who knows!

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Graduation Day 13/07/2016

Yet from endings new beginnings shall blossom. Everyone is going off in different directions and finding their paths in life, and though undecided about exactly what I want to do in the future, I’m attempting to try the ‘take every opportunity possible’ policy. Which translated actually means I don’t have a clue so I’m just leaving the country..again. Well who would deny the chance for a second year abroad?! Not me! As part of my degree I already did one year abroad studying at Graz University in the south-east region of Austria, and this year really gave me a renewed, positive outlook on life, which I really treasure. (All blog posts can be found by clicking here or on the third year abroad tab above). Some of my happiest memories and biggest adventures fulfilled this year which is why I decided to do everything in my power to get back there asap!

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Year Abroad Scrapbook

Therefore I am pleased to announce that mid september I will be flying back to the beautiful austrian city of Graz to work and live as a (kind-of) functioning adult! I will be working as an English language teaching assistant with the British Council and I’ve even managed to secure a room back in the same flat I lived in on my year abroad… I know you couldn’t write this.. I hardly believe it either in all honesty! It seems rather ridiculous, I mean, of course upon leaving I always said that I’d be back sometime, but never did it actually occur to me that this would work out how it actually has. A very bizarre state of affairs if you ask me! Anyway the job, as I said will be as a teaching assistant, and I have been placed in two schools pretty much right in the centre of Graz, which is fantastic and knowing the city so well already I really feel like I will just be able to slot back into the ‘Grazerin’ life with fewer hurdles than the first time! Of course it is going to be quite a different experience this time, but I’m so excited for it! I’ve been in contact with teachers at the schools and have already started planning some ideas and collecting bits and bobs to take over with me. Meanwhile over the summer I’ve also managed to get a job so it’s all systems go with saving and sorting for the next month and a bit.

Over the course of the year I will endeavour to post as much as possible about all my new, exciting experiences and travels. Sure I may have fit a lot into my last year abroad, but I’m certain there is much more I have left to tick off my list! Click the follow button in the sidebar to keep up with my latest ventures and updates.


Katie Louise

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Settling into Normality!

Hallo Alle! I felt like it had been a while since we I last posted, so I thought it was time for an update! Oh the busy life of an university erasmus student with all the work …exploring 😉

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Townhall Graz

No I’m kidding there is some work element involved in this year abroad lark!.. I promise! Though it would be foolish of me not to make the most of all the opportunities to do a bit of sight seeing!

I feel like I am getting into the swing of things now with university classes, in fact it is quite crazy to believe that I have been in Austria two months already! They did warn me that time would fly by, and they weren’t wrong! Although I do think I have managed to settle in well and discover some of Austria and beyond already!

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The Bittersweet Reality of a Year Abroad!

Whilst in preparation for the year abroad, the concept of culture shock was mentioned, but I guess you never really know what to expect from it, until you are actually experiencing it for yourself.

Whether it’s not being able to find your favorite food, changes in the way people greet each other, or even the local lingo; there are many challenges that test you when settling into your year abroad! Now of course, I’m not trying to say that I don’t still love it here, because I absolutely do; but I just really wanted to do a post to make sure that people, especially future year-abroaders, don’t get the impression that everything always goes to plan or that there aren’t any bittersweet realities to the year abroad experience!

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A day trip to Slovenia!

Evening dear readers,

Well it has been a busy few days indeed! First things first, Friday was the last day of my intensive German course, which meant only one thing – the end of course test! Which actually wasn’t that bad at all (surprisingly). We had a listening, grammar, writing and reading test first (then ‘Jause Pause’ break for coffee – as always), then finally a speaking test which was done in a group, where we had to pretend to be a family arguing over where to go on holiday! Interesting, but strangely got into it haha! Much more fun somehow when arguing in German! Overall think it went fine, and in all honesty as long as I get a fairly decent grade I will be happy, because just what I have gained from the course personally, outweighs any grade I receive for how well I know my ‘der, die, das’ declensions! It was a great three weeks though and I am so glad that I was part of it, to get to know so many lovely new people, who I really hope to keep in contact with! A few of us have applied to do the next level of the German course in the semester, so will definitely be seeing a few of them anyway.

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First Month of my Year Abroad!

In all honesty, I cannot quite believe that it has been a whole month since I tentatively stepped down from the plane and my Austrian adventure began! (And boy has it been a roller-coaster ride!)

There have been times when I’ve questioned ‘whose silly idea was this year abroad business anyway!?’, but there have been times where I can truly say I have felt like the luckiest person in the world! Sorry for the cheesiness.. 😉 but it’s absolutely true! This is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done, travelling just over a thousand miles on my own, finding a flat here, getting to know other students, attempting to speak the local lingo and most challenging of all trying to integrate with a new culture!

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Is this really happening!?

I am finding it rather hard to believe that I have been here nearly two weeks already! It has all been such a whirlwind of meeting new people, finding my way around and settling in to a new lifestyle. This last week especially has been a challenge in that I find myself constantly questioning if this is all really happening!? If I didn’t make the choice to pursue languages at school or further on into university then I would most likely not have this opportunity!

Earlier on in the week I got to meet my mentor who I have as part of the Erasmus/international student scheme here at the university. Last year in Lancaster I was a mentor for some international students from Hong Kong, and I found it interesting that in a strange role-reversal situation, I was the one requiring some direction! 😛 We met up by the university main building along with another Erasmus student who I have got to know really well, and we went on a mini tour of Graz and the university buildings, which are absolutely stunning! The university is the second-oldest in Austria, established in 1585, so many of the university buildings have such historical and architectural beauty.

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Introduction

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My name is Katie and I am a student at Lancaster University, where I am studying for my BA German and Linguistics. In September 2014 I am off on my way to Graz in Austria to study for my Third Year Abroad! I will be studying at Karl-Franzens University in Graz, on an Erasmus+ scheme.

Whilst preparing for my year abroad, the most useful thing for me has been reading about other people’s experiences, so that has inspired me to document my own journey in hope of being able to help others.

Whether you are a student yourself, heading on a year abroad or not, I hope that you enjoy following me on my Austrian adventure!

 

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