By Zhang Ran

It is destined to be an extraordinary experience, especially for those who never step out of China, like me. Salzburg, Europe was always been a remote dream, but now I have come into this dream.

Like a newborn baby, everything seems so fresh to me that even a street souvenir shop or café can stop my steps for a while. The blue sky, the western-style architectures and sculptures, or the trams running in the street, everything shows a different feeling from China, that you can only understand after you see it.

Often, the people of Salzburg are leisurely and quite. You seldom see people on the street walk very fast as they have urgent things to do. Even the cars are polite, which always give way to you and never ring the bell to you. All of these give you a peaceful and civilized feeling.

Various things need to be done before I really start the life in Salzburg. First, I should get used to the new lifestyle here, for example, to learn how to read the bus schedule, to distinguish beef from chicken in supermarket, to remember where the campus and classroom is. Then I try to live a Salzburg’s life, to speak more English, to make new friends here, to climb a mountain or dive into a forest, and also to enjoy the party and drink more!

Market in SalzburgExcursion spread over the whole semester: Munich, Brussels, Vienna and Salzburg local. The institutions include TV station, radio, newspaper, association, EU and so on. Though it’s a short stay every place, we can have a basic understand of the western media or political situation. And the speakers are very nice and kind, happy to answer the questions from ours.

School class begins after we arrived. We have 5 classes this term. It’s hard to say if the classes are difficult to me, because I have never really had so many classes taught in English completely. I like the class which introduces the Salzburg and Europe in different perspectives. It invites many teachers who come from various fields. And we have 2 classes which require us to cooperate with foreign students. I’m very grateful for them for they help a lot when we go out for travel.

As a freshman in Europe, I spend a lot of time to travel around the Europe. I think the best way to learn the European, is to visit and live in their city, experience how they live. However, it’s still hard to spare plenty of time to realize it. Maybe in other words, never enough time to enjoy the travel. The European has different characteristics. I like Greek’s simple, German’s gentle and serious, Italian’s freedom, Austrians’ urbane. What’s more, I try to taste different food, enjoy different culture, to the museum, cinema and opera.

Life is not always full of happiness .I have troubles and upset as well. For example, the language may be a problem sometime. Secondly, it’s hard to arrange time efficiently between study and travel. Too much of them only make you tired. Moreover, the living trivia and relationships can add worry. But, Zero sweet without pain. It’s part of experience of life.

Grouppicture of Austrian and Chinese students on top a green mountainBuddy is really a good part in the program. During the period I learn nothing about here, there is a person who help you a lot. My buddy Monika, she is really a nice and kind girl. She listens to my questions and words patiently, and answers them carefully. In the first week we arrived here, she invited my roommates and me to her house for a dinner. It is the first time we tasted western family food. Then she and her roommates, who are also the member in MCM program, drove us to one of the Salzburg’s mountain Gaisberg. We had a wonderful time on the top! Also, the other members in MCM programs are as nice as them. We went to party together, had meal together, visited the Christmas market. Thanks to them, I have a deeper understand of Europe and the people here.

Unforgettable memories can be told for a whole night. I just pick 2 of them. One is during our journey, where we got lost in a beach with few tourists. We asked a local farmer how to get to the city centre, he seemed not speak English well but finally understood us. To our surprise, he just put down the work in his hand, and said “Come! Get on the car! ”And we were driven by him to the destination. He even wanted to send us free water. It really made us moving. It’s a pity that we don’t know his name and take a photo with him.

birthday cake and presentRest one is in my birthday. I just had a class with the Salzburg students in my birthday. Before, I never wanted to let too many students know, because I prefer a low profile one. But when I stepped into the classroom, my buddy’s roommates gave me a big hug. (Because my buddy weren’t there that day, she wanted her roommates to give me a hug to instead her.)Then the girls started to lead the whole class to sing a birthday song for me! I was happy though a little shy. They even prepared a cake and a gift for me. It was really a surprise!

Goodbye but never farewell! I still have two months to enjoy my life here. Even after return to China, I can soon see the Salzburg students there. I’m sure the program will leave a beautiful memory in my life.