HELLO! It’s been awhile since I last wrote but it’s been super busy and exciting here! This past week was Induction Week and I met a majority of the exchange students and got to know campus.
Induction Week in Krems was VERY different than at Laurier, or any university in Canada or the US. It consisted of meeting all the exchange students, getting to know campus, and Krems. We were introduced to the faculty members that assist exchange students, as well as ESN. ESN stands for Erasmus Student Network and it exists at a majority of the schools across the continent. This group of students plan trips around Austria, as well as popular spots around Europe! It’s really exciting to see all of the options that we have. My first ESN excursion I went on was on Friday, Feb 19th, and it was to a couple locations close by in the Wachau Valley. We first went to Durnstein and climbed an ancient ruin! The trek up there was definitely worth it because the view was breathtaking!
Next, we stopped off at the monastery in Melk called the Melk Abbey. It is over 1,000 years old and we were given a tour through the church, library and main rooms. It was so beautiful, and so well reserved. If you want to read more on it: http://www.stiftmelk.at/englisch/ It was worth the visit.
Induction Week was a great opportunity to get to know most of the exchange students before class start and familiarize ourselves with the campus. The student population for IMC is about 2,500 which is significantly smaller than Laurier. The entire town of Krems is about the same population of Laurier! When we tell people how big our school is they’re absolutely shocked! And to think Laurier is one of the smallest universities…Today, we had our meet and greet with our exchange buddies. A majority of them were dressed up in traditional outfits called Lederhosen and Dirndls! We will be wrapping up our induction week activities this Wednesday with the Krems Pub Crawl. It’s really cool to see so many people come together from different nationalities and have so much in common! Canada is very multicultural, but it is so interesting to meet and make friends with people who’s first language isn’t English, or have a completely understanding of a cultural aspect than you. It’s intriguing to compare your “normal” with someone else’s.
It’s funny when you explain to someone that you’re Canadian, they look at you with wide eyes and think you’re from somewhere so unheard of and unique! Many comparisons include
1)The time stores close on the weekdays and the crazy fact that we have almost everything open on Sundays. Remember that TD Bank commercial when the old men are sitting outside the bank in shock that the bank was now open on a Sunday? Those are the reactions we get! On weekdays, everything starts wrapping up around 6/7 and on Saturday about 2! And maybe 2 restaurants so far are open on Sunday.
2)When we go out, we pre drink EARLY, and get to the bar by 11 ish (depends if youre in Toronto or you’re going to Phils in the Loo…) when all the Europeans don’t leave the house until after 12 because bars are open until 4! You can’t help but laugh when you see the reactions you get when you say last call is at 1:45!
3)We have very little freezer/fridge space so you’re literally going to the grocery store every other day to get fresh food. Which is so different from when I’m at school! Usually we do a big Costco run or a huge grocery shop every other week.
I absolutely love it here. The weather today was almost 20 degrees for my first day of class and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m close enough to campus that I get to enjoy a beautiful walk but not have to wake up that early. However, I’m still on the hunt for a good coffee place, because coffee means espresso and Americano means espresso with milk and there’s really no in between. I either have to wake up earlier so I don’t need coffee (unlikely) or buy a coffee machine. The only real challenge I have so far…
This weekend brings me to Prague and I am so excited!!