I started my exchange studies at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (FH Salzburg) three months ago and I couldn’t be happier about the decision. The landscape here is unbelievable and I’ve met amazing people from all over the globe. Luckily I have still almost two months left here before heading back to Finland in February.
Studies in the FH’s Business Management Degree Program have been interesting and I’ve achieved most of my study targets. FH has a great variety of business courses in English and I’ve get to known also some local students since the groups are mostly mixed with regular students.
Besides studying I’ve also had time to travel. Together with my new buddies we’ve explored Venice, Prague, Linz, Munich and Innsbruck so far. January will be reserved for exams, Vienna and skiing.
My 4 month exchange semester in Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt is almost in the end and I’m heading back to Finland next week. Time here has gone really fast and it has been so amazing. I have met a lot of new people from all around the world, made longlasting friendships, travelled in three different countries, and not forgetting, the studies.
Our faculty FHWN
I have been in Austria several times before, so I have known something about Austrian culture, but now of course even more. Wiener Neustadt is a small city, with 43 000 inhabitants near Vienna. It takes around 30-40 minutes by train from Wiener Neustadt to Vienna, so basically you can visit there every day.
Austria-round-trip and beautiful Hallstatt
Wiener Wiesn-Fest in Vienna with my Dirndl-ladies
Here we have around 30 exchange students from different countries, for instance Finland, Ireland, the USA, Portugal, Italy, Peru, Taiwan and South Korea. I have learned a lot of different cultures and improved my English and German skills.
The best experiences in last months have been travelling new places, meeting awesome people, hiking and rafting in beautiful landscapes and -of course- cheap Austrian wine.
HC Slovan Bratislava – SKA St. Petersburg hockey game in Bratislava
Hiking on the top of Steinwandklamm
Exploring sunny Budapest
Rafting in Wildalpen
Christmas market in the city center Wiener Neustadt
This place is starting to feel like home and I wouldn’t even want to leave back to Finland. I could definetely see myself living in Austria or somewhere else abroad in the future.
First of all, I want to recommend Austria for students who still think about where should I go to do my exchange studies. A lovely country, beautiful views, amazing mountains and friendly people. But I also want to recommend to choose better than me. If you have two options: Vienna or Wiener Neustadt. You should definitely choose Vienna. Wiener Neustadt is a nice city but in here the only option is to live in Wihast Dormitory. Actually this student dormitory is located in the middle of industrial center (middle of nowhere). Only good thing in here is that you can spend time with other exchanger students but actually we have only 30 exchangers here. Up to this point, we have had a lot of problems. The company Wihast, who owns this dormitory, doesn’t care at all. Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt itself is good but it doesn’t compensate that. Anyways, if you still want to come here in Wiener Neustadt, I really recommend to rent a private apartment in the centre of Wiener Neustadt or try to get someway an apartment/shared room in another dormitory (FH Dorms or Orange dorms).
Time runs here so fast. I’d just realized that it was over 2 months since I arrived in Vienna International Airport and started my journey to Wiener Neustadt city. The Wiener Neustadt city itself is quite small. There are 42 thousands inhabitants. But if I compare this city to my hometown Nokia in Finland where there are living 33 thousands people, the difference is so huge. Here is nice old town in very nice atmosphere. Actually, there are so many shops and restaurant and even a huge shopping center that I was quite shocked at the beginning. I really thought this should be a small town.
In my opinion, local people are more purposeful, sometimes even aggressive, they actually say what they are thinking, but also they really respect and love their own country and other people. Austrians are proud of their homeland and this is something that I want to bring home from here. Finland is also a great place to live and we have so many good things. Unfortunately, often you have to travel first outside to Finland to realize these facts. We Finns can also be proud of our country.
Before this journey I decided to travel as much I can. I have had the opportunity to explore 4 countries and 8 different cities. Most memorable moment was in Prague. Marvelous city, which offers possibilities to get known to Prague’s history, feel the passion of city itself and taste some local food and of course local beer. We are planning to go to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia at the end of November and on December but time will be the biggest problem so we have to leave some of those journeys for the future.
Until now, amazing journey behind and lots of experiences and knowledge from other countries and cultures! There are still many awesome moments ahead.
Wünsch eich no an schenan November!
Alles Gute euer Sami
At the moment I am having a study exchange in Wels, Austria. Wels is located in Upper Austria, which is one of the nine states of Austria. The biggest city within the state is Linz, which is reachable in around 15 minutes by train from Wels. In Wels there are approximately 60,000 inhabitants and it is the third biggest city within Upper Austria. Just for comparison, Linz has around 200,000 inhabitants.
Wels is located on the Traun river
I am studying in the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, which is the largest University of Applied Sciences in the whole Austria, since it has 4 campuses: one in Wels, one in Linz, one in Steyr and one in Hagenberg. Wels’ campus provides education in the fields of Engineering, Environmental Science and Renewable Energy Studies. I study Mechanical and Production Engineering at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, but now I am specialized in Machine Automation. In Wels I am mostly taking courses from Automation Technology- study program.
Exchange students gathered together in the Orientation Week in Wels
I have to admit that I disappointed a bit after my arrival to Wels. Wels is not that spectacular city and everything is reachable by foot. In the other hand the location of the city is just perfect, because the connections are so good to travel within Europe! I’ve spent 1,5 months here so far, but I’ve already been in Vienna, in Bratislava and High Tatras-mountains Slovakia, hiking in Gmunden and Hallstatt in Austria, in South Tyrol area in the northern Italy, in München, Salzburg and Budapest 😉 Especially the trips to the High Tatras Mountains and to the Dolomites (in the Alps) to South Tyrol have been magnificent!
High Tatras-mountains in Slovakia
South Tyrol, Italy
Even though Wels is not the most interesting city to live in, the friends I’ve got here have been sooo nice and we’ve had a lot of fun together! So the main point is totally to have great people around you although your homecity/hometown wouldn’t be so amazing! Yes, I also study every now and then alongside all the fun we’ve had. The studies have actually been really complicated and I’m a bit worried about the upcoming exams on January and February…
But now I’m truly enjoying my moments here! Haven’t regretted at all that I decided to go for exchange over here. Looking forward to the rest of my stay 😉
I’ve been here already 5 weeks, but it feels like I’ve just arrived, as every week is full of new adventures.
The school is actually only about to begin properly, so I have not so much to tell about the studies. We’re having mostly lectures and it turned out to be a lot easier to follow the lessons than I assumed beforehand. Our school has two locations: a newer campus with brand new buildings and modern equipment (picture above) and the other campus, that I’m studying in, is an old monastery with totally different environment and atmosphere.
On my spare time I’ve explored some bigger cities, but also plenty of smaller towns in the nearby area by bicycle. I visited Bratislava in Slovakia, but I’m also planning to travel elsewhere abroad. ask women I love this region, where the river Danube flows through the valleys full of tiny towns and hundreds of vineyards.Austria and especially the Wachau area with the wide range of cheap local and imported wines turned out to be the promised land of a wine lover like myself. For anyone travelling nearby I would recommend to pay a visit to a Heuriger, wine tavern, and enjoy a glass of heuriger, recent year’s young wine, with a plate of meats and cheeses for an affordable price.
If you ever have a chance to spend some time in capital of Austria – just do it any doubts!
You’re going to fall in love with a beautiful city full of castles and palaces, narrow streets smelling with fresh pastry and coffee, will take a horse ride instead of a cab, start saying «Broost» instead of cheers and meet a variety of amazing open-minded people.
Exchange semester in Vienna is full of activities. We started to ice skate on Rathaus square in winter, traveled to Austrian Alps in Salzburg, visited open classical music concerts, listened to modern music sitting on Dunauinsel, went to the World’s highest chained carousel, tried Austrian homemade wine in a nice atmosphere in a wine yard, had dinner in typical Austrian restaurant (yes, we are in love with schnitzel, huuuge schnitzel),
and of course we’ve partied a lot.
I mean..A LOT!
By the way let’s come back to studies 🙂 FH Wien university has a great organized system of «buddies». Each incoming student gets two or three tutors that are extremely helpful during the whole exchange semester. Starting from meeting you at the airport, picking up the keys, solving all the administration issues to showing you around and advising the best grocery stores in the city. Most of the lectures taught in English are intense courses. This fact allows you to concentrate on new information more easily and pass the exam at the end still having in memory information learnt at the beginning of the course. FH Wien invites a lot of teachers for giving their lectures from abroad: We’ve met professors from USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and Slovakia. All of them are highly experienced in own path and gave us clear understanding of business features in their home countries. Moreover innovative ways of teaching and organizing group work make the learning process effective and diverting.
It is hard to describe the whole Vienna experience, enormous amount of emotions and positive memories that we all have made during exchange there, so my advice for everyone –
Vienna- now or never!
P.S. and please remember : There are no kangaroos in Austria! 🙂
Servus, and greetings from Austria! What comes to the question in the headline, even a year ago I couldn’t have agreed more with it. I had seen the Alps, heard the music and tasted Red Bull and for a such a small country as Austria is, I basically thought that was it. Well, as I arrived to my current city of Wels in Upper Austria province to study as an exchange student in FH Wels, I immediately realized that I had been wrong; the whole city was flatter than a dead man’s cardiac function curve!
After the initial shock of the lack of mountains and lederhosen, you’ll find Wels a quite charming place. It’s a small city in European scale with roughly 60 000 people, but there’s a small old town, lots of restaurants and shops and some nice parks. During the winter months, the city was dead quiet. Like really, really quiet. That made the studying here more relaxed as you didn’t have much else to do, although the timetables (or the lack of them) give you something to be nervous for. Teaching methods vary a lot from course to course, as does the level of English – from good to adequate at best.
And as with the rest of the Austria, on Sundays everything is closed so you have plenty of time to do your homework. Or explore the surrounding towns and Austria in general, as some of us did…
Wels is a shopping town, there’s no denying that. Also the restaurant scene here is quite good, but you will get a lot more out of Austria if you travel a bit. By train it’s easy , and pretty cheap, to move around. Also by train you can reach Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy… You name it. Traveling around really is easy in Central Europe, and it’s definitely worthy to take some time and see the neighbouring countries.
Living in general in Austria does not differ much from Finland, although as a Catholic country everything closes early. So you can all stop complaining about the alcohol selling ban after 9 p.m in Finland… Country is cheap-ish, but not as much that you would feel like a millionaire here. It’s easy to get along with, except in smaller places some German knowledge is a must as the amount of English-speakers is not that high.
All in all, Wels and Austria in general are really nice places to spend your exchange. School is okay, food is eatable, language might prove useful and the weather is great during summer. But these are not the reason why the country is visited by millions of tourists every year.
The reasons are nature, landscapes and culture. Those are the answer why I came here, and the reason why I most certainly will come again. Tschüs!
Grüss Gott! Greetings from Salzburg! Salzburg is the 4th largest city in Austria. It is very idyllic city surrounded by mountains. Salzburg is well known as a birthplace of Mozart. You can buy souvenirs with Mozart print and of course “Mozartkugels” everywhere. The city is also famous for being Sound of music filming site. Although the movie is not well known by locals, it brings lots of tourists to the city.
There are lot to see and to do in Salzburg. The old town (Altstadt) has beautiful baroque architecture and little alleyways. The river Salzach runs through the city. Many castles to visit. And I am amazed every day when I walk out of my dormitory and I see those beautiful mountains. I know I will miss that sight.
I am a nursing student and I do 2 internships here. I have only German lessons at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule). So I don’t spend much time at the school and see other Erasmus students there. But we have our own Facebook-group, so party and other activity invitations come through that. International office has arranged us things to do. We had a group trip to see a woodturner in his workshop. We were also celebrating tradiotional Maibaum fest.
My first internship was in Caritas Altenpension. It provides living support for people with psychiatric problems who also need some physical assistance. I was there my first 4 weeks. It was a really good place to learn more German and get used to the local dialect. Patients/residents didn’t change so I learnt their habits and needs.
My second internship is in a neurological ward in Christopher Doppler Klinik. The ward is a good place to learn widely from different neurological illnesses and their treatments. During my first weeks there was one nurse on my ward who could speak Finnish, her roots are in Finland. That was a very pleasant surprise and helped me to adapt things quicker. Some of the nurses don’t speak any English at all so I have to try to cope with German too. All the staff are really nice and they try to understand my “broken German” and encourage me to speak “auf Deutsch”. Luckily many of the patients understand English, some of them have been pleased that they can practice their English.
We (my Finnish classmate and I) have done several trips to explore the surrounding areas. It is a perfect way to “recharge the batteries”. It is unbelievable how easy it is to be in such a gorgeous scenery by a train or by a bike. We bought our own mountain bikes and we have used them a lot. I cycle to the hospital by the river Salzach. I think I’ll go and enjoy a pint of Radler and some sun! Tschüss!
Greetings from Austria! At the time I’m studying in University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria as exchange student and life here is going well. As a country Austria does not difference so much from Finland although the weather is much warmer here in Austria. Still in daily life it does not difference much from Finland and when you travel with a train trough the woods it even looks like Finland some times.
To be more accurate I live and study in Wels, which is located in the middle of Austria approximately 200 kilometres west from Vienna. The studying in here is not so time-consuming as it is in Finland, but usually the subjects are harder to study so sometimes I have to sacrifice my own time pretty much for the studies. Still there is plenty enough leisure time to travel and see places.
Here it is easy to travel with train and there is plenty to see in Austria even though it is a small country. You can find beautiful lakes and plenty of mountains (The Alps) from here and there is many beautiful cities pretty close Wels in which you can visit. For example train to Salzburg takes 1 hour and train to Vienna takes 2 hours. Also there are many big cities around Austria that are easy to visit from here e.g. München, Bratislava, Passau, Brno and Prague.
Wels it self is not so big city (only around 50 000 inhabitants), but it’s the Outlet City of Upper Austria, as they call it here, so at the weekends you can find plenty of people from the city centre and it’s also easy to get rid of your money by shopping in here.
The people in Austria are very friendly and it is easy to manage here with only English. Usually if you try to stumble out something in German people change immediately to English when they realise that you are a foreigner.
My first month in Vienna has passed so it’s time to recollect some things which happened already!
Austria became my home for five months on February 4th. I arrived in the evening and my erasmus “buddy” was waiting for me at the airport. She had also collected the keys for my apartment so she drove me straight to my new dorm. My dorm is located near some old gas tanks, which are now used to inhabit students and there’s a big shopping center and a cinema as well.
My school, FHWien der WKW, is very small with just about 2 500 students. But the majority of the courses are taught in English so a relief for me there. The orientation week was very wearing time with all the information and the new people, I was exhausted after each day. Now when the normal school hours has started and I have some good friends here, I know I will enjoy this semester greatly!
Obviously we have lots of stuff to do in Vienna, because the city is so huge and beautiful! I’ve now seen few places and for example went to iceskate in Rathaus which was so awesome. But I still need to see more and fortunately I will have time to do that. And because Vienna is in the middle of everything, I need to travel now more than ever! We went already to Bratislava and Budapest, which are just in 50min and 3h buss drives away.
Key words/phrases used during my time here are: würstelstand(place that sells sausages), leiwand (cool/awesome), “ein Bier bitte” and “but first,let me take a selfie”. It has been great fun and still four months left! Auf Wiederhören!