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Exchange Journal
Vanessa Hoban has embraced old stereotypes and learnt some new ones in Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, pouring rain, fashionably covered with garbage bag come poncho;

Sitting with friends from Spain, France, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany;

Listening to the Austrian philharmonic orchestra play Strauss.

It is so clichéd to say that exchange is the best thing that you will do at university, but undoubtedly, this is a definitively true statement.

In eight months I have visited twenty three countries, accumulated hundreds of memories and thousands of photos.

Choosing to study at University of Vienna, Austria was a superb idea.

Not only was their international law program interesting and challenging but Vienna was nicely positioned so that I could country-hop to Eastern Europe for the weekend.

Vanaessa has made friends from around the world on exchange in Austria

"Choosing to study at University of Vienna, Austria was a superb idea," says Macquarie student Vanessa Hoban

At times I found it difficult not being able to speak German but I came to be very good at miming.

This coupled with knowing the important phrases such as 'please', 'thank you', 'where is the bathroom?' and 'I'm sorry', meant that life wasn't so taxing.

One suggestion I have for would be exchangees is to live up to our Australian stereotypes. I can not count how many times people believed that I have a kangaroo as a pet and that I swim with sharks. Mind you, I fell for a few European stereotypes as well so at least it was an even playing field.

Vanessa Hoban,
Studying at the University of Vienna, Austria for One Semester.

Macquarie University students who are enrolled in a full degree program are eligible to apply for a travel grant for international studies.


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