Not was I was Güssing!


I realise it’s been way too long since I last blogged and you may be, but probably not, wondering how I have been getting on. It’s been the busiest, most stressful but equally most insightful few weeks ever.  I have seen new places and I have started my new Job as a British Council teaching assistant. I apologise in advance for the boring standard update of this post, so I shall leave it up to you to read on!

After my two weeks back at home it was time is set off on my next European adventure in Austria. I did not feel ready at all to go again but there wasn’t a lot I could do about it really. The second part of my year abroad has now begun and I must make the most of this while it lasts. For the next 3-4 months I will be a British Council teaching assistant at the two schools in Güssing (yep, I’m guessing you have never heard of this place either!). Well it’s a small town situated in the region called Burgenland, very far East of Austria.  If you type the town into google you’ll find out that it has a very small population, no train station but it does have the oldest castle in Austria! So it isn’t really a happening town but it is beautiful and I almost feel like I am living in a fairytale- accept that I am not living in the castle unfortunately. To get here I flew from London to Bratislava in Slovakia, then an hour coach journey to Vienna before the 3 hour coach journey to Güssing. Needless to say I was very very tired because I had been up since 2am. However, I was kindly greeted by one of my teachers Renate, who was very helpful taking me to my apartment and also taking me and my mum for dinner. What is great is that I do get a whole apartment to myself, however its not as fun when you can’t invite anyone round,  and seeing as though most of the people I know in Güssing are students or teachers this will take a bit of working on!

The fact that Güssing appeared to be a very small town with limited transport links certainly did concern me, and this was not made any better by the fact that many of the teachers at the school refered to Güssing as ‘the end of the world’. Also, last week at my fitness class a member joked about how I have been sent to Güssing as a punishment- It’s lucky I saw the funny side of this really. I guess you just have to make the most of what you are given and I may rather be in a bigger city like Vienna, however I can’t change it. Being in a smaller town is good because you soon get to know the place, the people and the school , like any small town. So in this sense it was less overwhelming at first. It also means  that I will make the most of travelling at the weekends which I have made a good start on.  I went to Graz the nearest big city two weeks ago to meet some other British Council assistants and also one of my uni friends. It was great to meet other people in the same position as me and to also hang out with people my age again! Also I had a great tour of Slovenia last week visiting Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Maribor. I was pretty lucky that I meet another girl on the train going to the same place as me, so I had some company and it was the first time that I had properly traveled solo.

Being a teaching assistant has been a very interesting experience so far. I was just thrown in the deep end without any observation lessons, but I’m sure that I am not the only one that’s had to do that.  I have mainly just done introduction lessons telling my students about where I come from, where I study and some stuff they may not know about the UK.  Other than that it’s mainly been lessons on Tourism and advertising. However, I am looking forward to doing my St. Patrick’s Day lesson this week and next week too! Most of my classes are lovely; however I am still yet to learn how to deal with silent classes.  Some classes it’s like trying to get blood out of a stone, but I am hoping that this will get better with time, it’s still early days!

I have had a very quiet weekend this week but next week I am of to Vienna to see some uni friends and then I hope to do Budapest-which is next on my list!

Until next time,