Having friends or family visit you while studying abroad is so refreshing and can change your perspective on the place around you. My dad just came to Austria for a night last weekend and it was great to see part of my family and help make me feel at home. We got to tour around the city and see all the beautiful landmarks Austria has to offer that I don’t normally go to see with other students. It was quite a nice feeling being able to show my dad around because he’s already travelled to over 70 countries yet somehow hadn’t spent much time in Austria so I got to show him something new. I also got to spend two days with my dad in Slovakia for my grandma’s birthday, which was a great family gathering since the food was delicious, the weather was great, and my extended family was happy to see us. People in Slovakia surely know how to have a good time just drinking and eating all night. Aside from celebrating my grandma’s birthday, I actually got to vote for the president of Slovakia. I had just received my first Slovak ID and passport just a few weeks prior so I was delighted that I was able to vote for the first female president of Slovakia, who was announced the winner just a few days ago. Some of the best parts of my exchange program have come from random experiences I didn’t plan.
Although I’m not much of a planner while on exchange, I have now been starting to plan my 3-week spring break because I really need to figure out to do with my time. I haven’t decided where to go yet but since I’m already familiar with majority of Europe, I’m focusing on wherever is cheapest and most convenient. And even though I have a 3-week break to plan in April, I also need to plan 2 weeks in May because my old roommates are coming to visit and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a bit overwhelming trying to plan about 5 weeks of travel to different countries but I’m so thrilled to have this opportunity. One of the bright sides of being on this exchange program though is that so many of the students are international, many of them from Europe, so I can easily get recommendations and have someone to visit in the future. Overall, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming weeks but do need to make sure I can balance my school schedule while here. It’s just a bit bizarre here because many course last less than 2 months and some courses only start in June. I even have a course in June that’s only about 10 days longs so theres so many gaps in my schedule to travel which is great but its also crucial not to forget about your courses and maintain your focus. Since this has been one of my busiest weeks, I should get going and will update you all soon!