Steyr, Austria - Jennifer W.
School in AustriaSchool here in Steyr is different. The class size is very small (with approximately 15 students in the largest classes and six in the smallest). Most of my classes are with other international exchange students, but I have a couple that are with Austrian students. Tuition is free here, which is nice because I am taking 11 classes. Only six of them are mandatory by BCIT and will transfer credits. The remaining five classes I am taking for fun!
I am learning two languages here: German and Spanish. The only Spanish courses offered are intermediate and advanced...so I enrolled in the intermediate class without any prior knowledge of Spanish besides "Gracias". To make things more challenging, the class is taught in German, not English. I talked to my instructor and we came to the agreement that I will offer her private English lessons in exchange for private Spanish lessons. Win-win! :)
The school is right along the Steyr River. Absolutely beautiful! In June, there is an event called "Boatmania" where teams of students build boats (without a motor) and race down a river.
Food in AustriaFood is very affordable here. I was shocked by how inexpensive the groceries are! In a month, I only need to spend €96 EUR on groceries!! Dining out is great too! I can find a main dish with a bowl of salad for under €10 EUR.
Outdoor ActivitiesI love hiking, so naturally, hiking was one of the first things I did when I arrived at Steyr. The first two hikes we did is on a little mountain about a two hour walk from the city and the trail itself was another four hours. Along the way to the trail start, we came across a herd of lamas. Everyone was so amused with their extreme cuteness!
My third hike and my favorite so far, is Schoberstein. It is a shorter hike, but the view is great! I learned that almost every summit in Austria has a "Summit Book", similar to a guest book, and a cross to mark the highest point on the mountain. I was very happy to sign my first summit book in Austria.
SalzburgA small group of us went to Salzburg for a day. We didn't see that much, but quality over quantity! My two favourite attractions: Untersberg Cable-Car & Red Bull Hangar-7.
This attraction is very similar to Grouse Mountain back in Canada. We took the cable car up the mountain to the top. It was very fun and challenging walking up in the snow. At the top, I was rewarded with a beautiful view of German mountains!
Red Bull Hangar-7
This attraction definitely won me over, not for the aircrafts or cars, but for the environment! The whole building looks very sophisticated. My jaw dropped immediately after I walked in. The building is made of glass, so you can see that it is dark outside, but it is illuminated by soft blue and red lights. The best part is the classical music playing throughout the building. This environment is a perfect example of a lifestyle I aspire to have.