My name is Ainslie Mulholland and I am 22 years old. I am studying Journalism at Griffith University in Brisbane. This would have been my final semester but I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to study in Krakow at Jagiellonian University for a semester.
In my whole life, I have never travelled outside of Australia and so when this opportunity was presented to me, I jumped at it with all guns blazing. Even after I was told several times in both text and speech that I had been selected to study in Krakow, I was still in disbelief. I was the person who had not even planned on getting my passport. So I rushed off to the post office and made sure that all the formalities would be in order.
Once I arrived in Krakow after a 30 hour flight (with a brief one night stop-over in Paris), I instantly fell in love. I would walk down the cobbled streets aimlessly just to look at the architecture and see what this city had in store for me. I found castles with tales of virgin eating dragons, horse drawn carriages and the warmest and kindest people I have ever met (apart from Australians).
However, as all love affairs do, my desire for Krakow began to fizzle. I missed all of the comforts that I associated with home (hanging out with my friends having lunch on Sunday’s, my dogs and my cats and of course my own bed). I was incredibly angry for feeling this way (How could I travel half-way around the world and be depressed?). But I realised that for someone who has clear and very set routines and lives for continuity and regularity, this was a big and life altering experience.
I may still miss home but I am learning to accept Krakow as my new home (well at least for the next five months) and I made some great friends, had some challenging experiences mixed with a lot of laughs and a hell of a lot of vodka. All in all I would say that this is a good start to my time in Krakow.