I have spent four months in Graz now and I can’t say other than it has been the best time of my life. I have met amazing people, I’ve tried new things and learnt so much about myself. I’ve made friends for life from all over the world and built an Erasmus family around me.
Graz is a quite small city full of students. It means a lot of parties and sosialization. I have found it very suitable for me and being this social is something I want to have in future too.
Austria is pretty much in the middle of Europe, and that has given me a great opportunity to do short trips. I’ve been to Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, Maribor (Slovenia), Hallstatt and Grüner see.
The most amazing trip until now has been a skiing trip to Kaprun Zell am See. I love snowboarding and it has always been my dream to go to the Alps. We made a trip with ESN and spent a weekend skiing and having fun with friends. The weather was perfect and the slopes were incredible.
Studying in here has been more difficult than I expected. Courses are not harder, but my university doesn’t offer courses in English which was a surprise for me since I was able to do all the applications in English and also the choice of courses was in English. It means that I have had to do some courses to TAMK to make sure I get enough credits. I’m okay with that, but it means a lot of writing.
The quality of my university here is much higher than in Finland. The students of my professor are amazing and it gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration. I don’t even try to compete with them, just to learn from them. Two students of my professor came third in the biggest flute competition in the world. That tells something of the level.
One thing that has been really hard to get used to here is the unhelpfullnes of the people. If you go to an office and ask something that isn’t straightly in their field (for example where is the nearest post office) you usually get “I don’t know” for an answer. In Finland I’ve been used to that if someone doesn’t know but has a better chance than me to find out about it they’ll try to find an answer. I worked myself in a pharmacy for five months last year and it was perfectly normal to help people with somethig that had nothing to do with that pharmacy.
I can already say that going for exchange was the best decision I have made in my life yet. I’m so happy that it hasn’t been even half of it yet, and I’m going to enjoy every single minute of it.