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Europe: Eastern From Russia to Croatia, the Danube, Iron Curtain era vestiges, Pilzner beer, Czech it out!

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Old 09-23-2007, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default In for the long haul

So I haven't been on here for a while, and I'm looking forward to meeting some new people and seeing some of the old guard that I remember looking up to tremendously in high school. How is everybody doing?

It's a lovely early-autumn day here in Styria. I'm studying for a year at Karl-Franzens University in Graz (about two hours south of Vienna by train) and I'm sorta curious to see if anybody has hit this place up yet. It's the definition of student town (during the school year, one in six residents in this city is a college student) and there's some beauty to be had here. There's a small mountain in the heart of the city where the old castle stands, a crazy spaceship/art museum near the river and a handful of sweet cafes and restaurants that seem to cater to both the splurging tourist (hella schnitzel) and the nigh-starving student (three pieces of pizza for two euro? I'll take six!).

But where backpacking really comes into play is this: first semester is from
October to January, second semester from March to the end of July. That is to say, the entire month of February is entirely up to me. Graz is the bridge between east and west europe, and Vienna is (from what I understand) the gateway to all things eastern European. Anybody out there got any sweet tips on where I should start planning to visit? I'm just a little overwhelmed with options (Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany all in the general area!) and I can't even begin to know where I oughta start. . .
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:34 PM   #2
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hey, glad you're having a good time with your studies and travels. when I get back to school next fall I do plan on studying abroad because the school I am going to is much bigger than my old one and the study abroad opportunities are amazing. did you go through your university to coordinate it (like a direct exchange) or did you go through a place like ISA or USAC? just curious.

anyway, take care and be safe!
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:15 PM   #3
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Wow, your town Styria is one letter away from being "Syria". Interesting...

About travel options - I would suggest Turkey! Germany had lots of low budget options to TUrkey, and I would suggest exploring the Western coast... things have calmed down since the election, so it's also a good time to do so!

Istanbul is awesome...

Your town sounds cool, I'd like to visit a European university town.... and compare it to the North American university towns here...
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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Yeah, my school (Hendrix College) has a pretty direct program with the University of Graz (Karl-Franzens) that they've had for twenty or thirty years. As for Turkey, that's something I really hadn't thought of but I don't know why. I've only ever been to Europe when I've left the states, but that's no reason not to try it out, huh? As for the Syria-Styria thing, I'm not really sure where we got Styria, because they call it Steiermark. I guess it's just more of that München-Munich/Nihon-Japan kinda deal. I really wanna hit up Budapest, though, and I'd kill to see Prague again, that was a hellofa town. I'm curious about Croatia, too, but I've heard some rumors about land mines that are a little off-putting. It just seems like it'd be a shame to be so close to Diocletian's palace in Split and not get to see it (plus the Dalmatian coast in general).
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