Another great perk of studying abroad is being able to experience different seasons in different places. For example: experiencing summer in Europe. Summers in Europe can provide quite the culture shock for Americans from the south. The weather can vacillate between 50 degrees and 95 degrees within just a few short days.  However, when the weather is hot it’s really hot, even for a seasoned southerner. I spent most of my summer in Germany and there is little to no air conditioning no matter where you go. It’s quite the change from Alabama’s usual hurricane force freezing winds that blow in every classroom, grocery store, and mall. You really have to learn to adapt. It’s easy to complain about how hot it is in the subway or the school but it’s just something you have to roll with and embrace.

I had the awesome opportunity this summer to take a cable car up to the top of a mountain in Innsbruck, Austria. The weather was scorching and the small cable car was packed tight with fellow tourists with only one small window, but at the top of the mountain the winds were blowing and you could walk over the last remnants of the winter snow. The absence of something as simple as air conditioning makes you appreciate nature’s own methods of cooling and actually pushes you to enjoy the outside more. In Berlin, when the temperature hits 80 everyone heads to the lake or to the river. In places like Berlin and Innsbruck, enjoying summer has a much more communal feel. It’s an extremely cool opportunity to experience different seasons in different places like these.

At the top of the mountain in Innsbruck, the “Nordkette”

Looking down from the mountain in Innsbruck