Balancing Act

One of the definite perks of being on exchange in a place such as Graz is the endless opportunities to travel easily and affordably. I have traveled three of the past four weekends, returning to Budapest, which I first visited ten years ago, and visiting Bratislava and Kiev for the first time. Each trip was different in its own way, both in terms of who I was travelling with, how long I stayed, and of course the different vibe of each city. Kiev was by far the most interesting of the trips, mainly because I had never been that far East or to any part of the former Soviet Union for that matter. Unlike my other trips, I was also hosted by my friend Ashton, a fellow graduate student at UofT who is on exchange in Kiev. The wonderful thing about international experiences is that you quickly acquire a group of friends living in different places, and visiting them is a much more enriching experience than being a tourist and doing the hostel scene, which is far from my favourite. Here are some pictures of my trip to Kiev.

One of many beautiful churches.

Kiev

World War II Museum

While I love to travel and visit new places, it is definitely a challenge to balance travel, school, a life in Graz and managing the aspects of my life back in Toronto. Just to give an indication of some of the things preoccupying me at the moment: I am registered in a required course for my Masters at UofT which involves doing course work almost every week. I also will be graduating in April, and am busy trying to figure out what internships and jobs I will be applying to, which is a very time consuming affair. At the half-way point of my exchange, I am realizing the added challenges that come with an exchange–being a graduate student at UofT is enough work, and an exchange only adds to it. That being said, I think the experience is totally worth the extra work and stress, and I am really trying to make the most of my time here and striking a good schoolwork/travel/life balance. So far so good!
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About Emily

Hi! I'm Emily, a second year Masters student at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian studies. Check out my blog to read about my semester at the University Graz, all things Austrian, and the daily challenges of being lost in translation.

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