It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this blog. I originally stopped blogging because I accepted a teaching assistantship in Austria. I had to focus all my energy in meeting the demands of teaching at two schools. I didn’t realize that I would be entering into a position supervised by someone, who would never be happy with what I did. The teaching assistantship didn’t lead to a teaching career for me, and I was burnt out of the teaching field because it ended up that one of the schools I taught in had a toxic work environment. The unreasonable demands and conflicts with scheduling at my main school took far more of my time than it should have. This left me with minimal time for my other school, which displeased my supervisor there. Therefore, my first impression of teaching in secondary schools was extremely negative. (It would have been nice if someone from the other school would have listened to me, though, when I explained my concerns.) The director of my teaching assistantship ended up pulling me out of my main school before my contract was up, due to the toxic situation.
The following year, I moved to Vienna to do the entrance exams for the transcultural communication Bachelor’s of Arts program at Uni Wien. I had originally wanted to do their translation Master’s program. However, higher education in the U.S. is a bit outdated on the standards that students must meet to do translation Master’s degrees in Europe, or in general, since I can’t find an affordable, quality program in the U.S. either. I suppose it’s my fault for not knowing exactly what I wanted when I was 18. But the Bachelor’s degree I received is not sufficient for me to do a translation Masters anywhere I’ve looked. I kind of regret not double-majoring in communications, because not having enough credits in my comm. minor to do a comm. Master’s in Europe has also hindered me in my search for Master’s degree programs taught in German, since Communication Management was my backup plan. Either way, it looks like I have to do a second BA if I want to switch fields. I don’t want to take out anymore loans to do in the U.S, since it’s my goal to study in a German-speaking country.
While in Vienna, I did open WordPress several times and stare at a blank document. I didn’t know what to say. As time went on and I stayed away longer from blogging, it became more difficult to think of “interesting things” to write about. Not to mention, my time in Vienna was extremely turbulent as well. I ended up trashing the idea of studying at the University of Vienna, as I was not happy with the translation and interpreting faculty. Not only were the amenities very bare-bones–but I was not happy with the quality of assistance and feedback I received. I have colleagues in the Master’s program, who have recently expressed to me their unhappiness with that program that I would be putting 3 years into a second B.A. in just to reach. One person I know recently left the program completely and is looking at other options. I don’t want to waste three years of my life only to be dissatisfied with the M.A. program too.
That semester I started my studies (in 2016), the transcultural communication entrance exams and the entire program itself also changed. What’s resulted is an increase of negative student reviews on studycheck.at and confusion in the student-run facebook groups. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one leaving the BA program dissatisfied. I’m not the only one, who seemed to be presented with an impossible situation. I could not even sit for my entrance exams, which I worked so hard to study for that winter semester. Previously, the faculty had students register for STEOPs and exam via a paper system in the office–you’d fill out a form and leave it in a designated mailbox. That semester, they switched to the electronic registration system the other faculties used through the uni portal website. However, there was no way to check to see if your registration went through, except that it would show up on your page. My STEOP registrations did show up on my page. But during the holiday break, they suddenly disappeared and there was no one in the office to assist me. By the time holiday break ended, it was too near to the exam dates for anyone to do anything for me (or the staff then just didn’t want to be bothered *casts shade*). So I will become a translator some other way, I suppose.
I am reviving the blog to write about travel tips I have amassed over the last 8 years. I sure don’t have much to show for a career, but I do know how to make your travels around Central Europe easier and more interesting. I would also like to write more in-depth about university student life in Austria and some concerns I had that are shared with other students I’ve encountered.
I’m frustrated with myself for being too depressed and stressed out to continue blogging while I had such a great opportunity in Vienna. This could have been a means of getting myself out of my student apartment and experiencing more than I did. I was often upset or ill, though. There was too much stress in my life from trying to pass those exams, and then later trying to build up a freelance career in something else so that I would have enough evidence to apply for a residence permit as self-employed. Obviously, that didn’t work out either.
I would also be happy to take requests from readers–if I can figure out this SEO thing and find more readers–if you have any questions about:
- Life in Austria
- Technical immigration stuff (since I did all that crap by myself and managed when many do not–Austria is a difficult country to legally migrate to)
- General travel tips for Central Europe
- TEFL programs for young people, etc.
Hit me up in the comments.