Hi everyone! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve last been here, but I’ve got something I’d love to hear your opinion about so please do leave a comment if you feel like it.
So I’ve been at uni for a while now and since my bachelor studies are slowly coming to an end my mom is kinda pushing me to do a semester abroad, which I have been thinking about but I am that kind of person that WANTS to do all the things but basically never does them until someone pushes me to do them. I know that this could be a really great opportunity for me to grow, become more independet and get out of my very comfortable comfort zone more.
Now my first instinct and thought was to go to Saint Petersburg, Russia. I have never been there but have always had a huge fascination with the city. I think you could call it my New York City. It migth be because of my favourite childhood movie Anastasia that plays partly in St. Petersburg, but ultimately I do not know the reasons, it’s just the way it is. So, their State University has an agreement with my uni and offers courses in classics, which is my major. They are however in Russian and requier a level of at least B2. Although I am starting Russian as a minor this fall, I’ll only reach level A2, maybe B1, by summer next year. There is however a possibility to visit a Russian course in summer that will prepare you specifically for the Russian courses at the St. Petersburg State University. To conclude, St. Petersburg has always been a city that’s been on top of my list and if I’ll be there for one or half a year it will be a great spot to discover lots of other places I haven’t been to before, like other cities in Russia, Finland or the Baltics. It would have benefits for both my major and my minor. However, I feel like classics, especially the latin and ancient greek classes are hard enough in my native tongue, and will be much much harder in Russian.
Now however, last week I’ve been to Innsbruck, Austria. It is about 4 hours away from Zurich, where I currently study. And I have absolutely fallen in love with the city. I never would have expected it and honestly I haven’t felt this way with any other city or place yet. So naturally I went to check out their uni and they do offer courses in classics too as well as Russian. So again I could do my major and minor. Another plus is of course that it will be all in German, my mother tongue. At the same time of course it is a great possibility to learn and improve another language while staying in the country, but the already challenging courses will be a lot more manageable this way. There would also be no Visa troubles in Austria. I have been to a lot of places in the region already, like Switzerland of course, several places in Northern Italy and Germany. So there will be less to discover than from Russia, but there should still be more than enough. Especially since the tyrol region offers breathtaking landscapes and mountains. And a last point is after falling in love with Innsbruck I have actually been thinking of maybe moving there after my studies. I have always thought about moving to another country but haven’t found a city or place that I truly felt like I wanted to be there for more than a couple weeks. With Innsbruck I feel like I might have found just that and studying there for a year or a half would be a little test for me to find out if this really could become a home to me.
I feel like Russia would definitely make me come out of my comfort zone a lot more and would do for a spectacular time. Austria on the other side is so close to home that I feel kinda weird about chosing it for a term abroad but then again I thought to myself it doesn’t always have to be far away and my choice doesn’t have to impress other people.
So what do you guys think? Where would you go? What pros and cons do you see? Have you been in similar situations?