Week 3 Reflections

*due to poor wifi connection for the second part of my trip, I am posting the remainder of blogs at home in the US*

Greetings from Graz! I just returned from our weekend trip to Vienna, where I explored huge palaces and museums. 

As I move into my last week in Graz before traveling to Slovenia, I would like to reflect on my expectations for my study abroad program before I departed and how I feel now that I have lived here for three weeks. 

At the beginning of the program, I expected that the small group of 14 students would become close knit during our many excursions and experiences together. This has stayed true, and we are a great group of students from different health profession backgrounds, such as premed, nursing, and physical therapy. I also expected that I would struggle to get back into the regular school schedule of doing work while also balancing exploration of what Austria has to offer. But, I have been balancing the homework and studying with the adventures. Studying in groups with my peers has been very effective and fun, which I did not expect to do as much here, as I normally study independently. Studying in a cafe, in the hotel lobby, and outside are all great spots. 

One aspect of the study abroad I did not fully expect was the constant busy atmosphere from doing the program excursions, class, plus wanting to explore as much as possible in my free time. I am usually tired and definitely getting my daily steps in here, but I know that it is temporary and I won’t regret making the most of my time in Austria. Balancing the busy lifestyle with yoga or relaxing in the park with my friends helps, as well. 

I also did not expect how strongly our many excursions with the program relate to healthcare or Austrian history and blend perfectly with our curriculum, making the knowledge we learned feel connected and complete. I enjoyed visiting the geriatric, disability, homeless, immigrant, and other organizations that provide healthcare for these marginalized groups. It helps to give us a look into how Austria tries to integrate various groups in their healthcare system. I also enjoy seeing  imperial history around the cities we visit while connecting it to the emperors/ empresses we learned in class here, such as Maria Theresia and Sisi. It helps to have this foundation of history to further learn more as I visit historical sites and museums. 

I also did not know much about Austria before I came, so I did not know what to expect. But, I  have loved every minute of living here in Graz, as it truly is a peaceful, quiet, and  charming city. 

Schonbrunn Palace
Belvedere Palace

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