You know the routines have really kicked in when you no longer feel like everything that’s happening is the most exciting event and I have to write about it. But in these two weeks of silence has still happened a lot: uni life and courses started, I’ve travelled to three different cities in two countries and I’ve enjoyed my time with some amazing new friends.
On the 9th of March we had the first big exchange student party here in Graz. The theme was Disney and I decided to take the advantage of some leftover red in my hair and go as Ariel.
Most of the gals in our group wanted to go as Bambi and as the designated makeup artist of the group I sharpened my Bambi drawing skills on a buch of my friends. The party was crazy and fun, but the best part really was being with my amazing group of friends. Everyone studies something different and come from different parts of the world. It’s awesome.
And Cristina made a massive mojito bowl. Following her drink making I’m sure I’ll be making very tasty cocktails once I come back to Finland 😉
On the next day my neighbours downstairs had a big party on that same night and they had invited us to join it. So awesome that we have two student communes on top of each other! I had to leave early to sleep cos it was just impossible to stay up after the party on Thursday..
On Saturday 11th of March we had a trip to Maribor, Slovenia organized by ESN. I have to say the ESN trips are amazing opportunities to see the surrounding countries – the trip to Maribor was 20e including the bus rides, drinks at the destination, city tour, dinner and a wine tasting. If you went with Flixbus the trips themselves wouldve cost 25e.
The weather in Maribor was perfect and we were able to walk around the city for the whole day. It’s starting to get really warm in the sun. Maribor is kind of like the wine capital of Slovenia. The world’s oldest wine tree is situated there – it’s proven to be 350-400 years old and it still produces wine grapes. One brisk grandma, right?
Everyone was super tired from being outside the whole day and it was quiet in the bus as we drove back to Graz. In the evening I went downstairs to Janis’ and Sophie’s because they were playing charades! I tell you people, once you play charades (aka word explaining, pantomime etc. Vähän kuin Aliasta) in another language you really test yourself in it. I was really happy to see I was actually able to play it. It was also good that most of the group came from Germany so I didn’t have to try to play it in the Austrian accent haha. It was an amazing night since some were also playing the guitar
My sport courses have started and I’ve also tried to live my vegan life style as well as I can. When we go outside for dinner it’s sometimes hard, so I’m usually going vegetarian at restaurants. I’m taking a vitamin supplement to make sure I’m getting all the vitamins I should be getting. And don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that starting a plant based diet made my vitamin intake go bad, but actually following what I eat made me realize I might be lacking. Cronometer is a great website to check that you’re getting everything. I listed my food there for a couple of days to get an overview. Below is an example of my dinner at home: tofu, tomatoes, broccoli, couscous and LOTS of spices!
On 13th March we went to the second hand store with Janis to find a dirndl for me and lederhosen for him. Janis had no luck but I did find a dress! I still need to find a shirt for it, so as soon as I do that I’ll post a photo 😉 It’s so nice to talk with Janis since his boyfriend also lives in Germany at the moment, so we can support each other in the long distance relationship thing.
Not that it would be insanely hard to do this long distance thing on exchange. It’s been going actually really well, but I can write about that in another post.
On Wednesday I had my first sport lesson of power gymnastics. In other words pain and suffering. It had pretty much nothing to do with gymnastics but more with crossfit with the intensity of spinning. But well, you get a proper muscle workout. After that we went to have Italian food with Hayley and Alanna from Canada, their buddy and Suvi from Finland.
On Thursday I had to get a reeeally early (at 5 am) to make it to our bus that would bring us to Ljubljana, Slovenia and Trieste, Italy. This trip was particularly magical since it took me to Italy for the first time in my life.
First we rode the bus to Ljubljana to get visas for some of the American students. It feels funny that there are only a few places in the US where one can get a visa.. You actually might have to fly from the other side of the country to get your visa for a trip? Internet revolution, please happen faster.
We spent a couple of hours in Ljubljana to wait for the visa people to sort their things. In the meantime we visited a cute cafe, saw some cool old buildings and visited a magnificent old catholic church. And guys – it was SO warm. I love it. After that it was time to head towards Italy and Trieste!
Our hostel in Trieste was situated right at the coast and we were just a quick walk away from princess Sissi’s castle. Italy is breath taking, the views are amazing and the weather was perfect. I was so happy to finally visit this amazing land! Now I have to add a new language to my Duolingo language learning list.. Because when I grow older, get a good job and get enough money to buy a summer house in Italy, I will.
Did I mention Italian food yet? No, but I don’t think I even have to cos everyone knows it’s frekken AMAZING. I ate too much pizza and gelato
In the evening we had pizza (surprise) at a local student restaurant and after that went to have a karaoke night with the local ESN and exchange students. At this bar all the cocktails were 3,5-4,5e. Ssoo.. We had fun.
The next day we had breakfast at the hostel and headed back to Ljubljana to spend
the day there and acquire the visas that some had applied for the day before. As on Thursday, the weather was just gorgeous on that day, too. We had lunch, walked around town, visited the town castle and an art exhibition in it. Before the bus left, the other still wanted to walk around but I went for an ice tea at a cafe to read my book. I got it from Michi and I highly suggest it! The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k. It’s awesome.
On Saturday we went to a party at Dom im Berg in Graz! We had pre-drinks at my place with the girls and after that went to join the probably-coolest-club-Ive-ever-been-to. This bar is INSIDE the Schloßberg! It’s a massive cave inside of it and insanely cool. They only have parties there like once a month, but I have to go there again. And there we danced ’til we could no more.
Sunday night we had a crepes-party with the ladies. Lots of Kinder, Nutella, berries and laughter. I love it here.
I have had to do quite a bit of work for my four courses at uni and I did my first presentation in German yesterday! About my main subject I mean. It was insanely nerve wrecking to talk about the competitive benefits an industrial company can acquire through the use of IoT, but I did it. And it went well, and now I feel awesome. Doing things you’re nervous about doing and succeeding in them empowers you enormously.