A Love Affair…. of sorts

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.

About Ainslie Mulholland

My name is Ainslie Mulholland and I am from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. I am studying a Bachelor of Journalism specialising in Film and Screen and History. I am an exchange student at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. This is my first time overseas and I am excited, scared, happy and homesick all at once. I hope I can convey this in these posts and provide some insight for people looking to study overseas as part of this program.
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10 Responses to A Love Affair…. of sorts

  1. Liam says:

    Oh, Lisa, you and your stories … Bart’s a vampire, beer kills brain cells. Now let’s go back to that … building … thingie … where our beds and TV … is.

    Seriously, great honest write up and it’s natural to have mixed emotions when you are taken out of your comfort zone, but enjoy it because before you know it the 5months will be up and you’ll be wondering where the time went…

    • Ainslie says:

      Haha I like The Simpsons reference. I think I am going to have to include one everytime that I blog now lol.

      I may not have believed you last week about the time flying but now that I am getting more involved in the social aspect, I feel like the time is just disappearing. I will have been in Krakow for a month soon. That is pretty crazy stuff.

      I am glad you liked the blog and I will try to keep them as honest and up front as possible (well as honest as is allowed in a social medium lol).

  2. Anna Singhateh, Malmö University says:

    Hi Ainslie,
    The feelings you are experiencing are extremely “normal”, we always talk about the “S-curve, U-curve or W-curve” (it has many names, but the meaning is the same – I reccommend to google it1) with our outgoing and incoming students. It explains exectly what you are going through, how you fall in love with your new country and then start missing your home. Don’t worry – it will change again.
    I apperciate your transperancy and honesty – it was makes a blog post great!
    Keep it up!


    • Ainslie says:

      Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your comment. I am glad you liked the blog.

      I have started to see the pattern you are talking about now that I have reflected on my previous behaviour. At the moment, I am in the midst of loving Krakow and my life here. However, I can guarantee that in the next few weeks, a whole new bout of homesickness will hit. I never thought I would say this but I may actually get homesick for the sweltering summer heat if Krakow lives up to its reputation.

      I will google this phenomenon further as I am quite interested to see what is in store for me! Thank you for the info.

  3. Michelle says:

    Hiya Ains!!

    Are you allowed to talk about how much Vodka you’ve had to drink? Lol

    Well done on writing such an open and honest blog about your feeling associated with being away from home and in a new country for the first time.
    I know that you’ll love it there though and that once you’re back in Brisbane, you’ll be relishing your memories and not regretting it one bit.

    Love Mish. xx

  4. Ainslie says:

    Hey Mish,

    I think drinking vodka in Poland is part of the experience. I would not be a true exchange student if I did not do that at least once lol.

    I do love Krakow and I am glad that I have being given the opportunity to experience a semester abroad. But I will love to come home and get to see everyone again because I am missing all of you guys like crazy! Of course I may come home, save up and then come back and see Europe all over again.

    I am glad that you liked the blog and I will do my best to continue to be honest and up-front about my experiences.

  5. Resa Zekants says:

    Hi Ainslie,
    I’m glad to see that you are having a good time in Poland!! It is normal to get home sick, especially when you are so far away from home (I even felt it when I was in Melbourne for only two weeks lol). Just remember that you have a great opportunity to fulfill and ultimately this will add to your successes and experiences in life. Just think this is part of your journey to becoming wealthy and successful!!! Can’t wait to read your next blog and see some more pictures of Poland! Be careful, have fun and live life!!! Love from Resa. xxxooo

    • Ainslie says:

      Hey Resa,

      It is great to hear from you. I am really grateful for this opportunity and I can not wait for more of the amazing experiences I am having. I have been really slack but. I am more pictures but I have not posted them. I will have to get on to that. I am going to Warsaw from Thursday- Sunday so I will have lots to publish then!

      You will have to convince Arron to come travelling with you because I think you would love it.

      I am looking forward to coming home and seeing you all again. Although this experience has made me travel crazy lol so I may not stay home for long. I hope life is well back home. How is your internship with the radio station going?

      Ainslie xxoo

  6. Andrew Pelechaty says:

    Hey Ainslie,

    great to see you’re having fun, despite the homesickness. Don’t worry about feeling guilty and concentrate on making the most of your time over there. I expect to hear plenty of cool stories when you get back lol.



    • Ainslie Mulholland says:

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for the comment. I am sure we will have plenty to chat about when I get back and lots that we will need to catch up on. Keep in touch and we will chat soon.


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