The second week consisted of intense classes. The longest day was on Tuesday where it seemed like a 12-hour day! We covered a lot of material from the lectures, readings, video clips and revised our basic statistics knowledge. Most of the novelty of exploring Graz was grinding to a halt as we became more focussed on our studies and began to visit the same places for a second or third time. We had quizzes on a daily basis and enjoyed our movie nights. We were all invited to the 'Psycho Party' and a few of us headed to an apartment for pre-drinks. The Psycho Party had some awesome music. The Austrians were all pretty welcoming and friendly. It was funny that some of us had Austrians approach us with a bow and a formal request to dance. It seemed very out of place but perhaps not when your country is renowned for the Viennese Waltz!
On Thursday we had our history lecture. It was quite a comprehensive lecture but delivered in, let's just say, a traditional way! The lecturer was a nice guy but it was clear that he was the lecturer and we were the students. By the time we reached the end of our last lecture on Friday, we had covered all the examinable content. Most people then planned to travel across the border to explore Germany, Italy and Slovakia. When everyone got back, we loved hearing their stories and experiences.
[caption id="attachment_5761" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo taken by Riley Scott (Griffith University)[/caption]
One group travelled to Langenfeld in Austria but they had to drive the rental car across Germany for an hour. It was a terrifying experience because the police were rather serious and not very friendly. Nevertheless, the girls were all blown away by seeing amazing picturesque scenery. They also decided to stopover in Hallstatt that was described as a beautiful little gem off the beaten track. It was quite cheap to hire a diesel van as it cost about 1 EUR per litre. A few of us remained in Graz to study and work on our assignments. Most of us have been invited to some gatherings on Monday to enjoy some cross-cultural bonding with a Christmas theme.
[caption id="attachment_5762" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo taken by Brittany Hall (Deakin University)[/caption]
"Reflecting on my placement in India I am flooded with good memories and unbelievable experiences, both osteopathically and personally. On an osteopathic front i truly believe that l don't, and won't for years to come, fully understand the amount that I learnt from this experience. I have already noticed a shift in my osteopathic thinking to a more holistic and sustainable process and this to me is better than any amount of techniques I could have learned. It is an experience that will still keep teaching me for years to come."
"I believe this program provides a great opportunity to see how sustainability principles and theories are being put into practice. Every place is important, with its own culture and resources. Minnesota is a unique place. It is the birthplace of the mighty Mississippi River, and home to prairies, woods, lakes, and abundant wind, sun, and productive soils. We are creating a low-carbon future here in Minnesota with our state policy and our renewable energy implementation. Students will get to see many renewable energy technologies up close. We are also home to unique people, including the Native Americans who were here long before the first Europeans settled in the state. Students will get to see how all of these ingredients mix together to create sustainable stew. I believe students will be inspired by their visit to Minnesota and will leave with many ideas about how they can create change in whatever place they call home."