Tag Archives: Austria

Vienna – Life Around Palaces

Liebe Grüsse aus Wien!

Vienna is a beautiful city full of history and nice sceneries, and the exchange has been a great experience. The city is divided into 22 districts, which all have their own distinct air. My Praktikums (= internships) have taken place in Wilhelminenspital, a big, old hospital in the 16th district. The atmosphere at work has been great, all the physiotherapists are friendly and I have been able to take part in many different things: Laufband-training with neurological patients, Heilgymnastik for traumatology patients recovering from surgeries or accidents, pool therapy groups, mobilizing patients at hospital wards etc. In the beginning my German was quite rusty, but everyone has been very understanding and helpful with the language.

I have met people from many places, Vienna is quite multicultural. My first flatmates were from Ukraine and Hongkong, and there are have been people from USA, Latin America and all over Europe both at work and elsewhere. Cafés are an essential part of Viennese culture, people sit in them for hours working, socializing or just relaxing with the daily newspaper. There are all types of cafés, and the prices are quite affordable for a Finn. A must to try is a coffee speciality called Mélange, which basically is coffee with milk and sugar prepared in the Viennese way. The cake variety is endless, Sacher Tarte naturally being the most famous, but there are so many other great options that it is always hard to choose.

Austrian culture does not differ too much from our own Finnish one. The city is tidy and feels fairly safe. The public transport system works amazingly well: metros, trams and buses run often and usually on time. However, Austria is a very traditional, conservative country. People quite generally fast before Easter, and shops close usually by 6 pm. After Saturday 6 pm the grocery stores open the next time on Monday morning (a bit problematic  for a foreigner arriving in the city on Saturday evening). In addition to doing the internship I had a chance to spend a week at the FH Campus observing the local physiotherapy teaching. Practical classes and lectures were very similar to the ones at our campus at home, only the topics differed slightly, so I learned some new techniques.

All in all, I can sincerelly recommend choosing Vienna as an exchange destination! 🙂

Schloss Schönbrunn

Grüß Gott aus Österreich

Grüß Gott aus Österreich

I spent my 4 months of exchange in a small but lovely city; Wiener Neustadt. Wiener Neustadt is located about 60km south of the capital Vienna.

I studied in Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt (University of Applied Sciences). It is located on the outskirts of the city center. The dorms where I lived at were really close to the school and it took around 5-7minutes to walk to and from the school to the dorms.

The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt was founded as the first of its kind in 1994 and counts among the top educational institutions in the state. More than 3600 students are enrolled in a Bachelor or Master programme at one of the campuses: Wiener Neustadt, Wieselburg, Tulln and Vienna.

FHWN provides extensive and future-oriented educational and research programmes and at present, they offer 34 Bachelor and Master programmes in five faculties: Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Security, and Sport. More than 300 employees and 1300 lecturers provide for a modern and efficient practice-oriented education.

Studying at FHWN was a great experience. I would say that the quality of the education is about the same as in Finland. The teachers were really professional and I enjoyed their classes. The facilities were in good shape and there was a brand new building as well. Classrooms had everything we needed and the IT side also worked perfectly.

I had all of my classes in Wiener Neustadt but I got to visit the facility in Wieselburg and it was brand new.

All of my courses happened to be on Mondays and Tuesdays so I had a lot of free time.

 

At the dorms we became one big family with the other exchange students and we had a lot of activities together at the dorms and also managed to plan many memorable trips together to Budapest, Prague and other beautiful cities abroad and also in Austria.

Budapest

I will visit Austria again soon!

-Kenneth Lundström

Du bist meine kleine schwarze Katze

I spent my 5 months in a beautiful, small town called Krems an der Donau, in Austria. At first, I was a bit nervous to go abroad all by myself, because I had never travelled alone. The other fact that made me a bit nervous was, that I wasn’t sure how good English people speak in Austria. All I knew about German was “Du bist meine kleine schwarze Katze”, and that wasn’t really helpful in my daily life. And yes, there were times when people didn’t speak (or just didn’t want to speak) English, but still I somehow managed to survive.I studied in IMC Krems, which had two different campus areas in the city. All my classes where in the international campus, which was in the old town. The building was an old monastery, so some of the classrooms were really beautiful. The professors spoke quite good English, and the international relations office was always happy to help you with your issues.My classes were with the regular students who studied Export Oriented Business in English. There were many nationalities in the group, as only about a half of them were from Austria. I felt like most of the professors gave good grades way too easily, but otherwise most of my courses were pretty good. Some of the courses I took were HR, Export marketing and German for beginners. I have never learned a language as fast I did with German. It really helps when you hear and see it everywhere. And also the fact, that you must learn it to survive in your daily life, or a t least make it more comfortable.Maybe the best course I chose was “Austria Business, Politics and Culture”, not just because I learnt about the country I was studying at the moment, but because the teacher was so nice. At the end of the course she invited our group to her home for an Austrian dinner. We spent the evening with her and her family, eating, drinking a local white wine and sharing stories about our lives at our home countries. At that point I was so happy that I was prepared for moments like these, as I brought a “Finnish gift bag” with me from Finland, containing a small Moomin towel in a Marimekko cosmetic bag. It was a perfect gift for a moment like that.My spare time I spent traveling across the country. I got to see amazing views, hike in a sunny autumn weather and snowboard in the Alps. I loved the nature and the historical buildings and old towns. Austria was a good choice, and I’m sure I will go back there someday.

 

 

 

 

 

Grüß Gott & Tschüss Papa!

 

My name is Ilona, and I’m currently spending my exchange semester of my studies in International Business in Vienna, Austria and more in detail in FHWien der WKW. I chose tourism as my majoring path, but since this University of Applied Sciences is mainly focused on management and communications I took this opportunity to broaden my knowledge and studies towards marketing and other business courses such as Social-Media Marketing and Marketing Strategies & Decision-Making.

During my studies here, I have enjoyed getting to learn from different kinds of teachers. Vienna is a very multi-cultural city, and our partner university has chosen teachers from all over the world such as Canada, Australia and Germany. Especially in the degree of International Business, this aspect is a very interesting and important part of this degree.

The university also offers German language courses for different levels. Surrounded by your Erasmus family, English is pretty much the only language you’ll hear and because of that I personally think it’s good to know at least something also in the language of your destination country. So, I recommend taking advantage of the language courses. Needless to say, I have definitely learned and continue learning lots during all of my seven courses that I have chosen.

The school system is a bit different, and that is why I might have had time to travel so much during one period of time, but the next on the other hand might be a bit busier with group and individual assignments and exams. Luckily, I have found a good balance in this kind of schedule. One difference hasn’t stopped making me laugh a little throughout the semester, and that is how the classes end in Vienna (and also in other sides of the world I hear as well). Once the teacher has said the final words of the class, the students (and sometimes teachers too) knock on their tables instead of clapping or like in Finland, just leaving. I think this is a funny thing to do, and every time a class ends, I’m excited getting to knock, knock, knock on the table haha.

Overall the lifestyle in Austria is a lot like Finland. People like their personal space (except on the metros, they are used to the big crowds) but unlike Finnish people, if they caught you from doing something wrong they will let you know, such as talking on your phone too loud. Austrians might at first seem rude, but once you realize it’s just another different culture and actually get to know them and their ways, you’ll realize they have a great sense of humor and they are very helpful whatever it may concern.

Since back in Finland, I had been doing two things for quite a long time: working and studying at the same time, I feel like I have had plenty of spear time during my semester here (even with 29 ECTS). Vienna is a big and vibrant city full of various activities and interesting places to see and choose from. It is full of beautiful culture and architecture, that I personally can’t seem to get enough even after over three months.

If you find yourself in Middle-Europe, don’t miss the chance of visiting the cities and countries nearby! I have learned that Vienna has the greatest location to travel from in a very affordable way. I myself have visited Bratislava, Budapest and Brno, which are all maximum couple hours away. Not to forget Austria’s own gems such as Salzburg, Graz and last but not least Zell am See, where I got to experience skiing in the Alps (Bucket List!).

Coffee and café culture are a big thing in Vienna. There are numerous cafes and restaurants that me and my friends have explored throughout the semester on our free-time. I have also made sure that in a historical place like Vienna, I needed to catch up with the cultural side. There are many different kinds of museums, theaters and operas to choose from, whether you like it historic, drama or musical kind of way. I would say, anything is possible in Vienna, and there will not be a dull or boring moment in a city like this. I can highly recommend Vienna as a destination and going for an exchange in general, it will give you more than you could even imagine!

 

Grüß Gott! Greetings from Vienna, Austria

SCHOOL & STUDIES

I´m doing my exchange in Vienna, Austria. Our partner university here is FH Wien University of Applied Sciences. The department is mainly focusing on management and communications, which means I could not really choose tourism courses, but have rather been focusing on marketing, management and general business courses.

All my courses are mainly with other Erasmus students and in english. We have a lot of group projects and presentations but also individual essays depending on the course. One thing that differs from TAMK is the fact that my timetable changes practically every week, so I do not have the same courses at the same day and time every week and the length of the course depends on the lecturer. I have really enjoyed my studies here in Vienna so far!

 

FREE TIME

I have school only 2-3 times a week which gives me plenty of time to travel. During the first month I spend my free time mainly exploring Vienna and getting to know the city better. Inside Austria I have visited Salzburg and Hallstatt. I have also made trips to other countries such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.

I had never been to Austria before my exchange, but I have not regretted my choice for one second! Austria is such a beautiful country and Vienna is definitely one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. There is so much to do and see here!


LIFESTYLE

Overall, I would say that Austrian people and the way of living is pretty similar to Finland. People might seem a little cold and distant at first, but they are really nice and helpful once you get to know them. It has been relatively easy to adapt to the culture and the only difficulty has been language, although I´m studying German here. The Erasmus community here is huge and I have got a lot of new friends from all over the world. I would recommend everyone to go abroad for a semester if you have the chance!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Emmiina

 

 

 

Grüße aus Salzburg, Österreich

The city of Salzburg

I am a second year nurse student and I’m completing two mandatory internships in Salzburg. The internships are clinical nursing and homecare, and the first one I had at the University Hospital of Salzburg on gynecological ward.

Festung Hohensalzburg from Kapuzinerberg 

Working with the nurses was more challenging than I expected: I was hoping to get guidance in English, like I was told back in Finland. Soon I realized that this was not the case. Nurses on the ward spoke very little English, and few of them only used German while speaking with me. There was an opportunity to improve my German skills (even though the local dialect is very different from the common German we were taught at school), but regardless of this opportunity I really feel like I did not receive enough guidance to improve my nursing skills.

Mirabell Palace and its gardens

My working experience in Finland is not very vast, so it is hard to compare the working cultures between Austria and Finland, at least not in detail. What I can say is: working days here are longer, most of the time twelve hours, and on my ward nurses only had one break a day. I had a belief that the laws concerning the breaks during the working hours were very similar to Finnish ones, but once I got here I was told nurses on the ward didn’t have time to have any more breaks.

Nordkette, Innsbruck

All in all, the first internship was not the most enjoyable of experiences, but I have high hopes of the second one. I’m enjoying my time a lot more in the homecare. The work is more relaxed in here than at the ward, and my colleague speaks excellent English and gives me consistent guidance that I need to become better at my work.

River Inn, Innsbruck

On my spare time I’ve tried to travel as much as I can. Austria is a very beautiful country, and there’s so much to see. Salzburg itself has a rich and long history, which I am interested to explore and learn about. The city lies between two small mountains and Festung Hohensalzburg, an iconic castle on one of them. Salzburg is a small city, it doesn’t take too many days to see more than one side of it, thus I have to use every free weekend traveling in other Austrian cities and near regions.

Dawn in Salzburg

Graz, a city in a valley

Hello!

I’m an exchange student at University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria. I study singing as my main subject and I’m here for 6 months, the summer semester 2017. I love my school and the city. It must not come as  a surprise, but this country is a dream for a student of classical music! I was so lucky that I got to take my boyfriend and our 2-year-old son with me, so the 3 of us are experiencing this all together.

I have been planning to travel more on my spare time, but life has been quite busy with school.  The only places I went to were Salzburg and Vienna. It’s very handy with Flixbus! Though always when we have a little chance to do something, we have been getting to know the city more. Especially after getting to know some local friends, we have found amazingly beautiful places, mostly on tops of some mountains. Well, like the topic describes, Graz is surrounded my mountains. There is also one in the middle of the city called “Schlossberg” with an amazing view of course, and places to have a beer… And because of the mountains the city itself gets very hot at the beginning of June and lasts for long! No air-conditioning trough the mountains 😀

Between TAMK and here.. we can see that in Graz the school can afford more different kinds of courses. Of course it’s a fact that people around the whole world want to study classical music in Austria, it’s very popular. Singers get 2,5 singing lessons per week, they learn French and Italian for all 4 years. They have individual lessons with correpetitors twice a week and on the side of a big opera project each year they offer high quality opera-class projects. They even have individual weekly classes with professional opera directors. The level is so high that I can only listen to my colleagues and learn how they do it all!

I’m so happy to have had this experience. And Graz is so magical !!! <3

Yours,

Piia

Grüß Gott from Austria

 

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The entrance to the old city of Wels

What did I know about Wels beforehand? Nothing. A small city in upper Austia, 60000 inhabitants. That was what Google said. Still it turned out to be a much more than that. Nice old buildings, a university of applied sciences and events going on. In total, beautiful and lively city.

I studied one semester in Upper Austria University of Technologies in Wels, Austria. My study program there was Innovation and Product Management, which was a bit different compared to mechanical engineering back in Tampere. Still this period gave me different overview about management field, especially when all my courses were in master program. At the beginning, I thought would it be doable but it turns out that the courses were not impossible. If you are thinking is something possible, it is, just jump into it!

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The Alps

Manners

Daily living in Austria is not so different compared to Finland, except there is some more traditional habits. All shops close early and are closed on Sundays. Besides, cash is still widely used and credit cards work just in supermarkets or bigger shops.

What comes to manners, Austria is more masculine country than Finland. In Geert Hofstede’s analysis Austria got 79 point out of 100 in masculinity, when Finland got only 26 points. That means that Austria’s society is more driven by competition, achievement and success. In Austria, people live to work, unlike in Finland where people work to live. That means in Austria people are more career-oriented than in Finland. I didn’t see the difference every day, but generally people were very oriented in school and wanted to achieve big things after it. For my opinion, this kind of attitude at least in the school was just positive. (https://geert-hofstede.com/austria.html)

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Hallstatt

 

Travelling

In middle Europe, everything is near. Trains work perfectly (no delays because of snow or electric failure..) and you can reach cities and different countries just in couple of hours. That is why the best thing was travelling: ski resorts, capitals, small cities, everything! In every trip, I also tried to explore as many different cuisines as possible. Especially in eastern Europe you get very good dishes with reasonable price. Berlin is also heaven for a gourmet, totally recommended.

In conclusion, if someone is thinking there do I dare to leave out of my comfort zone and do something new and exciting, I have only one tip: definitely. It will gain something that you did not know even existed. Be open-minded!

 

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Berlin food

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Berlin TV tower

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Brno

Greetings from Austria

It´s now almost my third month in Krems, Austria and what can I say… I love it here! This city is a rather small place with only 20 000 inhabitants but that’s one of the reasons why I like being here. Compared to Tampere there is not much fuss all the time and its nice for a change. In here you get to know to the people well and places come really familiar because it´s not a big city. The center is beautiful with its old buildings and many churches.

Krems an der Donau
Krems an der Donau

I live in this kind of student dormitory which is called Stuwo. It´s a bit far from the university but at least you get exercise when you walk to school and back. A lot of people have bought a bike and at first I was going to do the same but then I decided that I want to spend my money on something else, for example travelling.

IMC University of Appiled Sciences Krems
IMC University of Appiled Sciences Krems

What else is great is that Austria is in the center of the Europe and in few hours by a bus or a train you can go to different countries and its extremely cheap. I have already been in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland and later I might go to Germany as well.

A picture from Zakopane, Poland.
A picture from Zakopane, Poland.

What came as a bit of a shock for me when I arrived here was the fact that basically everything is closed on Sundays. Austrians are mostly catholic people and that why Sundays are resting days for them. Not even during the week’s shops are open late. Everything closes at eight at the latest. Another thing which I don’t like is that you can smoke inside bars and clubs. There is no fresh air anywhere and when you get home all your clothes and hair smell like cigarettes.

The original Sacher Torte in Hotel Sacher, Vienna
The original Sacher Torte in Hotel Sacher, Vienna

Despite those things I do enjoy being here. I have made a lot of friends and most of them live in this same place as me. My friends from Finland have come to visit me and my parents are coming in the end of May. Then we are going to travel around Austria. I´m going to stay here in Krems until June and I´m looking forward to see what this exchange has yet to offer me!

Cultural Vienna

I have been doing my exchange in Vienna Austria. First of, the city is really clean, there’s lot’s of cafe’s and a lot of culture. The city is a nice blend of old tradionatiolism and rising alternative youth culture.

Schönnbrun
Schönnbrun

 

Studying in Vienna is quite similar to studying in Finland, except there are no food breaks. There are breaks between classes but there is no food break, and people do not usually eat at the university. At first I ate at the cafeteria but quickly stopped, since the food there wasn’t that special. There are many restaurants so it is actually better to explore and eat elsewhere.

The classes are a bit bigger with more people attending and a bit longer. I’m studying Management in Vienna. I can say that I am pleased with the quality of the education, we have english speaking lecturers that are really good. Also the student office is really helpful and great in the university.

National Library
National Library

In my spare time in Austria I hang out with my ERASMUS friends and with my girlfriend. We tour the many museums of the city and visit restaurants and cafes. I used to go to the gym but I stopped since it takes too much time. Exchange is one of those “once in a lifetime” moments and you should make use of the time, there’s plenty of time to go to the gym when you get back home to Finland. From Vienna it’s really easy to go to other countries. I have gone to Prague and I plan to go to Slovakia, Bratislava.

It’s quite hard to make a comparison about studying in Austria vs studying in Finland since it’s so similar. We have equal amount of group work and independent work. It’s really the same. The Austrian way of doing things is quite similar as well, except Austrians want to be well ahead of deadlines, also they spend too much time setting this up so the whole group is present when tehy could just divide the work and do it independently.

But I can say that this exchange has been one of the best experiences in my life and that I recommend going to Vienna and Austria, it’s totally worth it.