Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Negatives of my Exchange

I did not have many negative experiences during my exchange but there is one I would like to talk about.

In January of my exchange I was getting prepared to switch host families. My current one was small, It was only my host mother, my host father, and me. My host father had a job within the military and every three days he would go to the military building and have a 24 hour shift. Leaving my host mother and me alone for a day. I was really excited to switch host families because in my next host family I would have a host brother and I would not be so alone all the time. My host mother held off the switch for a month because she had to go to Germany as a representative for the insurance company she worked for, for 3 weeks. She did not want the other boy (who didn't really speak Croatian) to be stuck with my host father (who didn't really speak English) for 3 weeks trying to learn the rules of the apartment and such.

So from February till I left in June my host mother spent 3 weeks every month in Germany, and I would be home alone with my host father. Then every third day I would be home alone completely for 24 hours.

At the time I saw nothing wrong with it. It was a chance to get even more out of the apartment and spend more time with my friends. My host mother was very strict about my curfew; even if I was 5 minutes late in the door (on time at the building but we lived on the third floor), she would threaten to send me home. Which did happen on a couple of occasions. To be home on time or to do as she'd like me to do I would spend 4 hours just commuting from my apartment to the part of town my friends hung out at and back which did not leave me with much time for hanging out and establishing relationships. So her being gone, and me being home alone was less stressful for me. Even though my host dad did not talk to me much, he was quite funny and it was simple to spend time with him.

It wasn't until I was back in the states I saw what commotion it caused.  I realized how it was wrong that I was alone so much. But, I felt very safe in Croatia and it never even crossed my mind that I could ever be in any danger there. The only problem it caused for me was that I was a little lonelier.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Country: Germany

City: Dresden
If you happen to find yourself in Dresden, Germany and have some free time, I suggest going to their colossal mall. In there you can try out some kayaks in a pool inside some sport shop. Or go to the food court and order some döner in a box or wrap. You must also see all their pretty snazzy looking churches and museums. If you've seen all the scenic streets and all the churches and museums that you can; head over to the trade center building. They have this really cute market in front of it where you can buy fresh produce. And if you want a view of the city and you are in a small group, you can quickly go into the trade center building and go to the top floor. Maybe if you are lucky you will get the glass elevator on the way up or down. 
City View of Dresden

Some baby fountain 
Famous Döner ft. Martin

some weird baby fountain

I mean, all these look really classy. 

Before you go to Berlin, I suggest you look up what to do there and have a plan how to get around. I suggest bus tour first and renting a bike if its a nice day. Of course the Berlin wall is a must-see and is instagram worthy. There are a lot of important looking buliding around. Going up to the Fernsehturm Berlin (television tower) to get your City View of Berlin. Natives are very proud of the Ampelmännchen (the green man that tells you when you can cross the street) so get some thing with that little guy on it. Berlin is one of the biggest shopping capitals in the world, so go to the mall, hit up Primark, spend some Euros. Just kidding the only thing you are required to spend money on is Currywurst. 
Berlin Wall

Fernsehturm Berlin

Angie and Ashley wearing their required red scarfs to mark themselves as Canadians, not Americans

Some weird sculpture I climbed outside at a bank at midnight
City View of  Berlin

Czech Republic:

Now I only got 4 hours here but I do have some tips. Take a walking tour to get some info on the city. Spend some quality time in the candy shops, gift shops and churches. Get some Trdelnik (chimney cake) cause its so pretty and good ( pull parts of the cake off, scoop the ice cream with it and eat). In the center you can go to this tall cathedral climb up to the top and get a City View of  Prague (I don't really know if you are allowed to or not but some kids in our group did get some pictures up there). Also watch out for gypsies, especially ones with purple beards. If you touch whatever they are trying to sell, you buy it. Also laughing at their hilarious facial expressions will make them not go away even if you keep saying no. I have learned from experience

see.. soo pretty

ah yes. the blurry candy shop pictures

People rub this statue for good luck (for some reason everyone rubs the dog)

main cathedral 

inside cathedral


We were in Linz for about 4 to 5 hours waiting for our train. I learned that train stations have lockers that you can keep your suit cases in and you can fit a lot of stuff in one. I recommend going to Burgerista, its a high class place with wonderful pink lemonade  and a cow near the bathroom that you can sit on. Now in Austria most shopping places close at 6pm or 7pm so get your shopping and souvenir buying done by then. I highly recommend getting caramel roasted almonds that they sell at stands on the main street.

Must-sees: Mozart's birthplace, hills where the Sound of Music was filmed, and Hohensalzburg Castle. At the castle you can get your City View of Salzburg. There are a lot of good shopping streets throughout the center of the city.

Federico and I 
One of the many Salzburg City View ft. Bri


Mozart's Birthplace
Hohensalzburg Castle

quality time at McDonalds
Christkindl market

Christmas market for Advent

Croatian Inbound Group 2016/2017 eating Chinese food 

Austrian and Croatian Inbound Class 2016/17


Osijek: It is really easy to get around and really hard to get lost with the trams cause there are literally 2 lines. Trvđa is really where to be. It has 5 schools within its walls, 3 museums, at least 11 cafes, 6 clubs and on the first weekend of the month there is a antique market that goes on in the middle. There are plenty of cafes all over the city. So many parks, shopping is mostly near the center or you can easily go to Portanova or Avenue mall.  

Aza planking on the edge of a bridge

Beer fest

Antique Market with Kristina and Luckrecija

Local football club

Rare photo of Miley cyrus getting inspiration for Wrecking ball

Promenade on the Drava River

One of my first times going to Fort Pub for "coffee"
One of the 6 churches 

Center of Trvda without the market

Another Church

One entrance to Trvda