A great update from our Outbound student Caitlin Norvil, who is in Austria on Rotary Youth Exchange.
 
September was an eventful month from spending a week in Salzburg with my best exchange friends, to hiking in -3 degrees, to switching host families and starting school again. 
 

 

 
September
 
September was an eventful month from spending a week in Salzburg with my best exchange friends, to hiking in -3 degrees, to switching host families and starting school again. The realisation has kicked in that I am going home in three months and reflecting back on the memories I have made and stories I have collected is surreal. I can see how far I have come and how much I have learnt. I also have realised that even though my exchange is ending soon the story never ends.
 
Salzburg Week
 
I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Salzburg just before I had to go back to school. I spent it with my best friend from Australia and we also had exchange students filtering in and out throughout the week. Throughout the week we visited the Sound of Music filming areas as well as watching Mamma Mia here we go again in German. We also explored the old city and had brunch with our Austrian friends next to the Wolfgangsee (one of the great lakes in Austria). Spending the week with exchange student made my heart so full and I never imagined how strong the bond is between exchange students.
 
Hiking Weekend
 
Hiking weekend was so much fun. We started out Journey in the Planner-Alm in Steiermark which was in the lower half of Austria. This was the first time my group (the oldies who arrived in January) met the newbies (the new exchange students who arrived in august). Overall 70 exchange students gathered together for a weekend of fun and tramping. It was a lot colder than we expected ( -3 degrees) and the wind was brutal. But overall, I wouldn’t change it at all. The hike was strenuous, and I realised I am so unfit and should start running or something because getting winded after 10 minutes of walking is shameful. On the last night we lit some torches and did a night walk, unfortunately my hair was set on fire but that’s ok, no real damage was done. We only spent 3 days together, but I was still sad to leave everyone on the Sunday.
 
Brewery
 
I visited the Eggenberg beer brewery with my Roteract  club. Free beer and snacks with a tour of the brewery, I think yes. Ten out of ten would recommend, Waikato draught compared to Eggenberg beer is dirty water.
 
Vienna
 
In the last few days of September I went back to Vienna and spent the time with some of the newbies. We visited secret passageways and old buildings while listening to street buskers and dancing through parks.
 
 
Moving Host Families
 
I love my new host family. My host mum is from Peru and then she lived in Japan and now in Austria, so the food she cooks is amazing! I have two host sisters, one who went to New Zealand last year on exchange. My host mum also teaches sushi classes and caters for big businesses. This host family is lovely and we bond over food.
 
This month has been refreshing and I can’t wait for the next three to be just as exciting. I have my city tour coming up which I can’t wait for and I also have some other plans up my sleeve. It couldn’t get better right now.
 
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