I am writing this blog post from my parent’s patio back in Austria. The sun is shining bright, birds are singing and the scent of freshly mowed grass lies in the air. A few meters further down the road I can hear my cousin’s three-year-old son playing in the garden. Spring is here and with it the end of my second semester at Alliance Manchester Business School. The last time I saw this place was four months ago, when everything was covered in snow and it was almost 40 degrees colder. Now I am back again, thinking where time has gone.
The last four months were a challenge, stressful at times but also exciting and inspirational. During those two semesters at The University of Manchester, I have most certainly learned more than ever before: from an educational and cultural perspective, and also from a personal point of view. I have made new friends, explored different places, developed new interests and hobbies, beaten deadlines and constantly surprised myself. Who would have thought that I will ever refer to my room in Manchester when I tell my friends that I am “flying back home” on Tuesday? Who would have thought that some of my closest friends come from Australia, the Netherlands and Paraguay? And who would have thought that I will develop a passion for climbing in the UK although I was born in one of the best countries for climbing?
Deciding to pursue your Masters degree in a different country will change a lot of things, and often you cannot prepare for what is about to happen. Having friends and family that are always here for me and support my decisions is more than I could have ever asked for. When I arrived back home one week ago, it was almost like nothing has changed while for me everything has. You learn to appreciate the little things at home and although I have never been properly homesick since I moved to England, I was happy to eat Schnitzel, wear my Dirndl, drink Radler and enjoy the company of my parents when we sat on the patio, watched the sunset and talked about this and that.
This new chapter in England sometimes makes me feel like I am living two different lives but I don’t think that is a bad thing at all. It shows that I can learn new things and develop myself while still appreciating my origins. And that’s something we should never forget.