I've been proud of myself for taking this experience a day at a time. Usually, it's quite easy for me to get caught up in the flurry of being busy; to live in the moment is a process of constantly reminding myself to do so. However, I promised myself that I only had four months here, and that I would take each day as it came.
That is, perhaps, one of the things I am most grateful for: living in the moment; being grateful for each day that comes.
Of course, I am in school while I am here, and life still happens -- you have busy days and easy days, and some days may be more stressful than others. The bad comes with the good, but at the end of the day, to put it simply: I am studying abroad, and for that I am grateful.
I am surrounded by talent, passion, wisdom, wonder, love, and curiosity. Sometimes, I am surrounded by unfamiliarty, confusion, and miscommunication. Cultural difference. Language barriers. But I think the beauty of studying abroad cannot exist without this balance of the good and the confusion. It helps all of us grow; to become better global citizens of this world.
I am thankful for each passing moment: the big ones, where I am experiencing the thrill of a Mahler symphony in the Musikverein; and the small ones, where I am maybe fumbling in German while trying to speak to an Austrian person, or laughing over a shot of strong coffee and a shared piece of cake while trying to study for midterms. All in all, I am grateful. And there is no better feeling.
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<p>Erica is a senior at Appalachian State University, where she is double-majoring in Flute Performance and Music Education at the Hayes School of Music. At school, she is heavily involved in performing and teaching, at the university and in the surrounding area. Erica has a fairly global background, having family worldwide and being raised as a bilingual speaker (English and Japanese) but this is her first time abroad in Europe. She is looking forward to immersing herself in Viennese culture and embracing all of the art and history that the city has to offer. In her spare time, she enjoys running, yoga, cooking and baking, hiking, dancing, various creative outlets, and being introduced to new people and activities.</p>