Moving Abroad: Life in Austria

Telling us about her BIG move at a young age, Nikoleta shares how she handled the move from her childhood country (Slovakia) to the place she calls her home now, Austria.

Nika v BA

Nikoleta is an author from the Bonfire Dream. She comes from Slovakia and she moved to Austria at the age of 13. She has learned three new languages during her stay in this beautiful country.

You can find her at the following links, be sure to check them out;

http://bonfiredream.wix.com/wanderlust
https://www.facebook.com/bonfiredream/?ref=bookmarks
https://twitter.com/thebonfiredream
https://www.instagram.com/thebonfiredream/

 

I remember the day I was told I was going to move. At that time I was 13, young and passionate girl who just started in her grammar school in Bratislava. As probably everyone would be, I was super excited. Yet I knew that saying goodbye would be hard considering how many amazing friends I had in my hometown, so I ended up isolating myself. Not on purpose, it was unconsciously. I refused to do much with my friends, instead I enjoyed LONG walks with my doggie on the shore of Danube dreaming how it will be like.

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Of course, it was not like I dreamed it (dah, mind of a 13 year old girl can be pretty wild, and does not usually notice a such a tiny detail like making it realistic). It had its ups and downs. But overall, I made unforgettable experiences from this event in my life full of happiness and great adventures.

 

The first shock that I experienced was the language barrier. Suddenly I was not the child running around the grassland, screaming at others in a fluently spoken language. But I tried hard to learn it and by the time I started going to school, I could hold a normal conversation in German. And then the school began…. knowing how to speak German was not an advantage as it turned out, because the school that I was going to was “international” school with one language that united us – English. Sure I was able to write extremely simple sentences, say “Hello, my name is Nikoleta”. But I was not able to use the language at efficiency required.

 

Language became a huge barrier for me. Not only could I not understand the lectures, but I could not make any friends, I felt lonely. The lively girl that I used to be changed into a shy person who had problems saying a word. That changed quickly though and now I am speaking like a pro!

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As I was growing up, I experienced also cultural difference. Unlike in Slovakia, Austrians have a culture full of “partying”, alcohol and cigarettes (or at least the Austrians around me), mainly due to the fact that it is legal to do all since the age of 16. That created lots of tension between me, my parents and even my friends. I felt excluded from my friends because the school ended at 15:15 (or later) so nobody really did anything until nine or ten when I was usually already showered and ready to go to sleep. Only few people were willing to change their customs because of me, or I just hung out with people who were raised in the similar manner. Yet it was still pretty problematic, until the issue got solved because I took the time to understand my parents point of view, they took the time to understand my point of view until we reached a compromise that suited both of us. This did not involve alcohol and cigarettes but mainly “partying” and socializing with my peers.

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Most of my experiences in moving to another country and living within people who were raised in different manner were however very positive. I learned lots about different cultures and even about myself. I sure feel like this experience has given me more than anything else, it has opened my eyes, thought me being free and myself. I became much stronger, yet able to admit my own mistakes and change them.

 

If I were to give an advice to anyone moving abroad, it would be simple: “Embrace it.”

 

Moving abroad can be scary, terrifying experience.
You are all alone in the world, you do not know anyone from the country, you might not even know the language(s)!
Yet it will be an amazing experience that will teach you a lot. I promise!

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Travel Pray Love

Canadian travel & immigration blogger.

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