“Nächster Halt: Schwaz.” (in English: “Next stop: Schwaz”). I wake up from my day dreaming to a sharp, German speaking female voice and take my gaze away from the scenery outside the train. Although the voice has become familiar to me during the last four weeks when traveling between my new summer home and work place I can never get enough of the landscape flashing by the window: blue mountains glimmering in the morning dawn, frisky swallows playing in the air, traditional Tyrolian houses that looked like the witch’s hut in the children book Hansel and Gretel. Once again I remember how lucky I am to be selected for a traineeship in Tyrol, Austria. Before I started studying I spent most of my gap years abroad. My only fear with studying law was that it might be hard to travel as law is quite specific to each country. However, after studying law for just two years in Finland, I found myself participating in the traineeship programme STEP run by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) and working in a district commission (in German: Bezirkshauptmannschaft) in Schwaz, Austria.
It was also beneficial to go abroad via ELSA: the local representative for the STEP programme has been in contact with me since I was selected. It made me feel comfortable to know someone was waiting for me in Austria. She also introduced me to my employer on the first day and would have organised the accommodation for me too. Luckily I had a good friend in Tyrol whose parents hosted me for a month. All in all, it was a great choice to participate in the traineeship programme via ELSA because I know whatever happens, I am not alone.
And how do I spend my free time? I enjoy the mountains, of course. Hiking, climbing, paragliding… “Emmi, the world is so beautiful,” a father of a good friend of mine tended to say. “You’ve better go and explore it!” And that’s exactly what I am doing now.
Bezirkshauptmannschaft Schwaz in Schwaz, Austria. 1 month, June-July 2016.