With the closing of the summer semester, I am writing my second article to share my experience of studying during the COVID-19 outbreak in Salzburg, Austria.
It was quite a shock when the pandemic had stricken. We never suspected that things would escalate so quickly and that our lives would take such a turn. Schools and universities alike, along with the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, had temporarily closed before transferring their courses online. Being as such, many students, including myself, had decided to return home until the situation calmed down and universities decided to open again. It was not the case and a decision was made to have the rest of the school year be held online. It was a while before the boarders opened again and students were allowed to return.
Having courses online was an interesting experience. I adapted well, so classes and projects went on without a hitch. Not that there weren’t any setbacks. Technical problems would arise and not being in a professional setting could become distracting.
Colleagues and I turned to each other for support. Professors of FHS were quite accommodating and understanding, adapting their classes to be very uplifting. I must confess, however, that I wouldn’t be opposed to taking exams from the comforts of my room again.
I returned to Salzburg to finish my program. The city felt quite different comparing to the last time. Altstadt wasn’t bursting with tourists as it should be in this season, many public spaces were closed and nighttime gatherings were banned. Not that all was doom and gloom. We took this opportunity to explore nature and stroll alongside the river Salzach to see more of the city.
Being in Salzburg was a wonderful experience, to meet so many new people and to learn so many new things. I am sad that so many cultural and music festivals were canceled, along with events that FH Salzburg had planned. I am grateful to the university staff and the managers of this project for making this exchange possible and making my transition easier. This exchange was quite momentous and I will always hold it dear to my heart.