„How on earth did you end up in Iceland for your internship?“, “Where is it even located?”, “Is it not extremely cold there?”, “Will you be able to see trolls and elves?”, “Are you not afraid of the volcanoes?” and “Do Icelanders really only eat fish and whales?”
These are just a few questions I was asked when people found out about my decision to leave Austria and move to the small northern country of Iceland for my mandatory BA internship. But why did I actually decide to come to this isolated island? Well, there are few reasons for that, but there is just not enough time to go into detail in this post. Long story short, I previously spent my exchange semester in Iceland and experienced a typical Erasmus story. I fell in love with a local student and surprisingly our “love story” lasted even after I finished my exchange and went back to Austria. Although, this played a big part in my decision making, it was not the main reason why I decided to come back. Ever since the day I arrived to this beautiful country, I have more and more succumb to Iceland’s breath-taking landscapes, interesting culture and lovely people. I have traveled all around Iceland, explored numerous waterfalls, relaxed in hot springs all over the country, hiked up volcano craters and I got to see the northern lights, an astonishing natural wonder. For all these reasons, working for GJ Travel, which would allow me to share and combine my passions and love for traveling and Iceland with my major in Marketing & Sales just seemed like the perfect fit for me.
After finding the ideal internship, there was one problem left to solve. Money. Internships in Iceland and many other Nordic countries tend to be unpaid and considering the high living costs, I had to find another solution. This search did not take me long because once again, the Erasmus program by the European Union offered a generous amount of money to support my goal of completing my internship abroad. This now meant that there was nothing left that could stop me from fulfilling my dream.
Time flew by and in late December I finally started packing up my belongings and let me tell you one thing. It is not easy trying to cram your life into two suitcases and a small backpack and I am saying that as somewhat a professional packer having done Interrail around Europe and an exchange year and semester abroad before. It took some time but after planning and creating a 5-page long check list, I was finally able to close the zips of my two over-sized suitcases and after a goodbye party with my family, I made my way to the airport. At 7 a.m. on December 27th, 2018, I boarded my flight and took off on my new adventure. Iceland I’m coming back!
Part 2 will be coming soon!