Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the adventure begins... (Und das Abenteuer faengt an)


I don't even know where to start. I guess the title says it all--this has definitely been an adventure so far. First off, you might have noticed that I hadn't posted anything until now, and you might have thought that strange since I have been here for more than 24 hours. Well, I just got an ether-net cord today (what student dorm doesn't offer wireless internet? Seriously.) Then when I finally did get the internet, I discovered that my power adapter/converter thingy doesn't work for my computer, so my computer was about to die. Luckily, I met a girl from Oklahoma (what are the odds). She lives two floors down and lent me hers, so I could at least charge my computer. A new converter should arrive in the mail in a few days. (I can't write as much as I would like since I am now running on battery power). All that to say, that is just one small facet of the great adventure I seem to have embarked on.

Whew. So, yesterday was a very long day. And by "yesterday" I mean that it began at 7 a.m. on Sunday the 31st (Central Standard Time) and ended at 9:00 p.m. Austrian time or 2 p.m. CST on February 1st. Yes, it was very long. Luckily, I was able to nap on the 8-hour flight and for a little while on the 2.5 hour train ride from Vienna to Graz. Needless to say, though, I am quite jetlagged. :/ No fun.

Overall, however, my experiences so far have been very positive. I have a "buddy" named Lisa (for the OSU students, it's like Cowboy Cousins). She picked me up at the train station and has shown me around the city and helped me do various things, like find the office where I had to sign my housing contract, buy a "Handy" or cell phone, and other essential things. She is really sweet and comes from Germany. We've been speaking German the entire time and, while my German is far from perfect, I can feel myself improving. I'm starting to think in German, though not all the time, but I think that is definitely progress. :)

Tomorrow I have my first day at the University. It's called Karl-Franzens Universitaet, and it is more than 500 years old. And it's absolutely beautiful. Tomorrow morning I begin my intensive German language course, which will last for 2-3 weeks. I'm crossing my fingers (or in German "pressing my thumbs") that I do well!

I am living in an apartment or "top" with four other students. They are all girls, but only one of them is here already. Her name is Marta, and she is an Erasmus (European exchange program) student from Spain. She is really sweet, and I think it will be nice having her down the hall. She introduced me to two of her other Erasmus friends, one from Spain and two from Hungary. They are all very friendly and nice, and I am glad to already be plugged into the Erasmus group, even though I am from America. :) I found out that my roommate is Korean, and the two other girls are Chinese. Hopefully, they speak German, or this could prove very interesting...

I wish I were able to write more excitingly, but I can feel the jetlag coming on again.... :/ No fun.

Honestly, I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed. The city is so big, the language and culture seem so foreign. It's also proving to be a challenge to find gluten-free food to buy; I haven't eaten much because of it. *sigh* Luckily, I haven't had much of an appetite. Anyway, I have so much to figure out and everything seems so confusing right now. I know I will eventually adjust to it all, but as of this moment, it's easy to feel apprehensive. I know I'm not alone and that God is here with me and that countless other students have done this before me and will do it after me, but as of right now, I'm feeling a little discouraged. I have to keep reminding myself that I can do this. I can because He is. (That's the English translation for the blog's title, in case you were wondering). If you think of it, though, I'd appreciate your prayers. If the last 48 hours are any indication, I have a lot to learn.

This is certainly going to be an adventure. And it's only just beginning....


  1. Steffi! Do not be discouraged at all! You will start loving it so so soon. I promise! Erasmus students are the best people you can meet...the very best. You will have your own little family among them and you pretty soon you will be distraught at the thought of coming home. :) Let me know if you need anything....and that's so fun that you met someone from OK!

  2. Wow Steffi. All of that sounds incredible. Already getting plugged in and everything. That's pretty awesome that you're adapting to the language so quickly. Secondly, we just learned about the ERASMUS scholarship the other day, basically for kids who are smart enough to go anywhere in Europe and study...nice. Anyways, as far as feeling a little discouraged I can completelllllly understand what you're saying, 100%. It happens to everyone, but I think you'll bust out of it quicker than most. I just got out of my funk a few days ago! Anyways, love the post, keep em' coming!

  3. Steffi Marie, I am sending you a HUGE hug and kiss on the cheek :) What a great blog title!! I knew you would come up with something amazing - you are so wonderful <3 I'm praying for you, bfoat. The first few weeks are hard as all get out, but cling to Him in the awkwardness, frustrating-ness of it all. He has been faithful - and He will be again. So excited to see pictures! And I'm so glad that you have a community to plug into! Woohoo! Szeretlek muuuuucho!

  4. Hey (or Servus) Steffi! I've just noticed from Facebook that you have a blog! I've read only the very first post, but it was really interesting to read! And what was pleasant for me is that you had begun your blog on my birthday :-)

    Dmitry from Russia in Graz.