By: Katlyn Bieber, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.
Since arriving home for the summer at the beginning of July, I have been keeping myself busy in order to transition back from my exchange life to my normal life here. I am working at the Visitor’s Centre in Clearwater, B.C. where I am still talking to people from around the world every-day (including some Austrians)! It definitely feels weird to be back in Canada, separated from my new friends. There are days where I wake up and I feel a pang of sadness that I won’t be riding my bike to school in Graz or hanging out with my awesome roommates and friends. The time I had with them was so short and yet I made relationships that I know will last for the rest of our lives! I am trying my best to stay in contact with my closest friends from my exchange. I am so thankful for the amazing technology that we have today such as Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, etc. which really makes it easy to stay in contact with people from around the world.
I am also planning on proudly wearing my “dirndl,” which is a traditional Austrian dress, that I bought during my last day in Europe before coming home, as often as I can! So far I have worn it at my Grandma’s 80th Birthday Party, my Uncle’s wedding, and many other times just showing it off to my friends and family! It will be something that I keep and wear for the rest of my life!
This year I am renting a house with two of my friends, but also with a German exchange student. I am looking forward to this opportunity to continue learning and practicing my German!