Hallo again!

Still having an amazing time here in Austria! Over the months Iíve been here, Iíve seen some amazing sights, met some incredible people, and have tasted some delicious food! Just a few days ago the school put on a Festival of Nations and it combined all three. The international department asked students from every country represented at the school to cook a food special to that nation and/or present some sort of show or musical performance. It was a great opportunity for the students to share their culture with fellow students and friends. The outcome was truly amazing.

Each country was asked to bring a food special to that nation. The other U.S. students and I had a little trouble of thinking of what we could bring. While other nations had multiple traditional dishes, the only thing we could think of that is truly an American tradition was Thanksgiving dinner. Let me just say we were in no way prepared to cook a full on dinner with our very limited kitchen setups in the dorms. After talk of hamburgers, BBQ, etc., we decided on chili. While we thought it was nothing special (donít get me wrong; it was delicious), the other students loved it! They did think of it as an American staple, so I guess it worked out! Below is a slide show of just a few of the amazing friends we have made through out the semester and the countries they represent.

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After stuffing ourselves with samples of traditional main dishes and sweets from around the world, everyone gathered around the main stage for the highlight of the festival, the performances. Our extremely talented friend from Greece, Zoe, performed a traditional Greek dance while Amaryllis sang for the entire community of Leoben. These amazing women, showed zero signs of stage fright and blew everyone in the crowd away. I wish I had filmed the performance, because this picture does not do it justice!

I think it is a great idea for the school to put on the Festival of Nations. It only occurs once every two years, so we were very lucky to be in Leoben this year. It was an amazing opportunity to learn more about the cultures of the friends I have made through out the semester. Learning about new cultures and meeting new people is what drew us all to study abroad in the first place, so it was great to share this experience with everyone.

That being said, Iím glad that this blog has allowed me to share it with you all as well!

Until next time,

Alex