Every year, there will be about 20 MCM students coming from China and spend their 4 months in Salzburg. Every year, the Chinese students will experience something different and something similar here. However, in this year, a big event in Europe makes us suffer from a sense of worry even before the beginning of our journey. And the event is known as the Refugee Crisis in Europe.
It is nature for any exchange student to be a little bit worry about his future life in an unfamiliar place; nevertheless, it can be uncommon when most of the worries are focus on the possible inconvenience and even the safety. However, in this year, I and my fellows and families just talked a lot on this, especially when we have seen a sea of refugees flooding into European countries like Austria from the news agencies.
The first time I felt the influence of the refugee crisis was when Caro told me that all the train from Munich to Salzburg would stop at Austrian border and I have to transfer from train to bus for the last 20 minutes of my travel. And, for the first time, I really realized that this crisis may influence my life in Salzburg.
And the first time I saw the refugees was on my way to Salzburg. There is a big refugee camp with many tents just outside the Salzburg, near the border of Austria. Instead of the “expecting” chaos, I saw several soldiers guarding the camp, well-armed but with relaxed expressions. When I arrive in Salzburg, what in front of me is a small city with citizens living peacefully. “The situation may not be that bad” I began to think about this.
After a month in Salzburg, I have seen how a small city survives in the big event. It is true that the refugee crisis have obvious influences on this city: big refugee camps, crowds of refugees in the train station expecting to further their trip to Germany even in the late night, dozens of armed police and soldiers in the train station through day and night, buses full of refugees waiting for their journey to Germany with soldiers checking everything carefully. It is also true that everything is just as right as rain here: the supermarket in the train station opens everyday with citizens and tourists along with the police and soldiers shopping inside, people go to work or school every day just as usual, on Sundays and holidays every shop except the supermarket in the train station closes and people enjoy their leisure time in cafés and bars (bad days for shopping).
Compared with Shanghai, Salzburg is definitely a small city. As a transportation junction, it cannot avoid getting involved in this big event. For an exchange student like me, Salzburg is really a safe and wonderful place to enjoy my time even during the global-attention crisis.