My name is Mieke, I’m from the Netherlands and I am studying mechanical engineering. In my third year, we had a semester where we had to follow a minor of our own choice. Because Germany has a huge part in the technical industry, I wanted to improve my German language skills and searched for German courses in my own country. Unfortunately, there was no university that had German classes which also focuses on technical language. I spoke with the coordinator on my school and he suggested looking for a technical study in a German speaking country. It sounded crazy and incredibly difficult to me at that time, but I’m glad that I managed to arrange it.
The choice for a destination wasn’t that hard. I visited Austria many times with my family during holiday trips and I already loved the country. So when I heard my school had partner universities in Austria, my choice was quickly made. At that time I was so excited and scared at the same time. Excited, since I would live in between mountains in Innsbruck, which felt like a dream come true (our highest ‘mountain’ in the Netherlands is only 320 meters tall). But scared, since it would be my first time living on my own, and I chose a place over 800 km away from my family and friends.
The best part about a study abroad is meeting many awesome people. As I had my courses in German, I was the only exchange student in my class at the time. This way, I got to know a lot of locals there and could learn a lot about their
culture. I also joined the Erasmus Student Network in Innsbruck so I met a lot of internationals as well. With every event they had, I made new friends. In that manner, Innsbruck is a great city to choose for your study abroad, since about one third of the people who live there are students. There is always something to do there and it makes the city feel very alive.
During my time abroad 5 months had felt so long. But when I look back now, I would almost say that it was too short. It was long enough to make me feel at home there, but being back home in the Netherlands it almost feels as if it never happened. I really want to go back there sometime or travel to the countries of the internationals I have met. I would definitely recommend everyone to go abroad. It simply is a wonderful experience. Especially in Austria that keeps amazing me with her nature and culture.
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure” – William Feather