October 19, 2013, by Guest blog
Post by Justine Volet
Has anyone ever seen the beginning of “L’Auberge Espagnole”? (A French movie depicting the adventures of a Parisian student in Spain) Yes? Brilliant! Because this is precisely what the start of my Year Abroad in Vienna has been like, minus the heat, unfortunately. No matter how “prepared” I thought I was, nothing compares to the brutal reality that is running from one office or meeting to the other, to get the right papers signed by the right person, at the right time, on the right day. Under the title “First Impressions of Vienna” please add the following caption: Stressy Blurry Rainy First Week.
“Don’t worry baby, everything will turn out alright…” (Great song by the Beach Boys…) was definitely playing on repeat, and slowly sinking in, until… course registration happened. Replay and amplify the previous week’s situation, add desperate emails to my (extremely) patient German Dpt. Coordinator and anxious Facebook conversations with my fellow Nottingham students abroad and you get my week 2 nervous break down.
In Vienna, there is only one solution to one’s problems: a coffee house. Goodbye real world and ‘Hallo’ coffee and Sacher torte (with an air of Mozart in the background). If you look out, you can get a glimpse of the Stephansdom, the beautiful buildings, you can even imagine Sissi walking down the streets… Yes there is definitely something atemporal to this city, something imperial and exciting too – and the same could be said of the main university building.
I was actually absolutely feverish at the idea of starting courses, terrified that I might not understand a word, yet thrilled at the idea of finally starting my courses at such a prestigious institution. Oh, you’re wondering how that first week of lectures actually turned out? Fine. It turned out fine because despite some stress and room finding issues, the lectures are awesome (but this doesn’t mean they are easy, don’t get me wrong!) and I’ve met great people.
The giant billboard in front the main building reads “The sky is not the limit since 1365”. I think this might be my spirit and new motto for the up-coming semester – and the new caption under “First Impressions of Vienna” is now definitely: The start to an amazing Year Abroad.
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