Guten Tag everyone!
My name is Georgia Macrae-Otten and I am a second year Communication Design student about to undertake a semester in Mainz, Germany.
I wish I could start this off by telling you some sort of crazy story from some sort of adventure I've had! But sadly I am still in Melbourne. I don't arrive in Mainz until the 26th of September, which is cutting it quite close as the semester starts October the 1st! I will have had almost 20 weeks holiday since the last Swinburne semester finished, which is extremely boring but gave me a great chance to work full time and save up some money!
However, getting prepared for my exchange departure is an adventure in itself. There are copious things to research and organise, such as: passports, visas, insurance and cards (including student travel and financial) to name a few.
Through reading and e-mailing past students who have done the same exchange, I have some sort of idea of what is to come but at the same time I am extremely nervous, as I have no idea what to expect! This will also be my first solo overseas travel experience without mum and dad!
I have constantly been looking up maps and things on the internet to try and get a rough visual of where I am going, rail transportation and the actual size of my destination. I hope that some of my research helps me in getting settled. The FH Mainz has set up most international students into a 'buddy system' called TOM (Tutors of Mainz). My 'buddy' is a really nice girl called Stefanie. Even though she is not a fellow design student, I have been in contact with her via email, which is really helpful as she will probably be picking me up from the station when I arrive and can show me around her beautiful hometown!
I am really looking forward to having the freedom of taking different subjects and taking all the classes in German. Thank God I learnt German in high school and took some classes last year, otherwise I would be even more nervous! I am also looking forward to doing some extensive travelling. I really want to visit: The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark, Poland and Spain. Another amazing thing about Europe - the snow! I've been skiing since I was four years old so I will definitely head off to Switzerland and do some 'skifahren' as well. It also seems to be a great time to travel. I will know a couple of people overseas around Christmas time, so I won't be eating a turkey all alone!
It's not long until I depart, so I'm getting less sleep than I should be and getting sad about saying goodbye to my friends. But all in all, very excited about my travels and time to come in Mainz...