Tag Archives: Austria

Greetings from Graz


I have spent four months in Graz now and I can’t say other than it has been the best time of my life. I have met amazing people, I’ve tried new things and learnt so much about myself. I’ve made friends for life from all over the world and built an Erasmus family around me.

Graz is a quite small city full of students. It means a lot of parties and sosialization. I have found it very suitable for me and being this social is something I want to have in future too.


Austria is pretty much in the middle of Europe, and that has given me a great opportunity to do short trips. I’ve been to Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, Maribor (Slovenia), Hallstatt and Grüner see.















The most amazing trip until now has been a skiing trip to Kaprun Zell am See. I love snowboarding and it has always been my dream to go to the Alps. We made a trip with ESN and spent a weekend skiing and having fun with friends. The weather was perfect and the slopes were incredible.



Studying in here has been more difficult than I expected. Courses are not harder, but my university doesn’t offer courses in English which was a surprise for me since I was able to do all the applications in English and also the choice of courses was in English. It means that I have had to do some courses to TAMK to make sure I get enough credits. I’m okay with that, but it means a lot of writing.

The quality of my university here is much higher than in Finland. The students of my professor are amazing and it gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration. I don’t even try to compete with them, just to learn from them. Two students of my professor came third in the biggest flute competition in the world. That tells something of the level.

One thing that has been really hard to get used to here is the unhelpfullnes of the people. If you go to an office and ask something that isn’t straightly in their field (for example where is the nearest post office) you usually get “I don’t know” for an answer. In Finland I’ve been used to that if someone doesn’t know but has a better chance than me to find out about it they’ll try to find an answer. I worked myself in a pharmacy for five months last year and it was perfectly normal to help people with somethig that had nothing to do with that pharmacy.

I can already say that going for exchange was the best decision I have made in my life yet. I’m so happy that it hasn’t been even half of it yet, and I’m going to enjoy every single minute of it.



No kangaroos in Austria


A Finn greets you all with a hello from Austira!

Time flies and it has flied for over 3 months already. I’m been spending my time in a little city called Wels in the upper Austria studying electrical engineering. The School is called Fachhochschule Ober-Österreich (Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences).

With me there came around 30 new incomings from all over the world (mostly mexicans and french) and 4 from Finland. The whole time I’m been here I’ve been living in a student dorm called Schulerheim.

The studying has gone really well with free time events almost every week. People are really nice here and are ready to help if you just mind to ask. The teaching in here has been really good and there has not really been problems with what comes to the school.

Wels, Austria

Living in Wels has been really different from living in Finland. Most of the free time is spent with other incoming and friends I have made from just going around Austria. There has been so much stuff going on in these past few months that it is hard to put into one blog post.

Hiking in Hallstatt with friends

There has been traveling to other cities and countries, skiing, student events, partying, sports and all kinds of activities all the semester and I’m happy I went to all of them. The biggest trip was with my dorm neighbors (Gregy, Ivan, Jose, Jose 2) to Prague -> Bratislava -> Budapest and back to Vienna. We had a lot of fun on that trip and saw a bit of the neighboring countries as well.

Here is some photos from there

Left to right – Jose, Jose, Gregy, Ivan and me in the middle
Budapest, Trainstation

By the way, I was disappointed not to find any kangaroos here but I still recommend Austria for a place to visit in Europe!

Austria: country for nature and history lovers

I have spent a little bit over 3 months in a beautiful small town called Krems in Lower Austria, situated next to Danube river. It is located about 70 km west from Vienna and 270 km east of Salzburg. The town itself is rather small, it has only about 24 000 inhabitants and everything is in walking distance. There is no need for using buses or cars because you can get anywhere on foot or by bike!


Founded even before 1000, Krems is a very historic town. On almost every step, you pass by beautiful old buildings and churches. Also our school, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, is located in a building belonging  to Piaristen church. Some of the classrooms are even in former wine cellars.

The most famous building in the town is Steiner Tor, which is this gate located in the historic centre. The main street of the old town beggins from here.

Krems - Steiner Tor

This area is famous for its vineyards as well. Above the town, there is a hill with vineyards where you can walk and see a view of the whole town and also Danube river.

Krems 3

I have been staying in a student hostel (or dorm), which is very high quality standard compared to some other student facilities in Europe. We have single rooms in 2 rooms flats and common kitchen. There is also sauna, gym and music room. Living here is very comfortable and I have met really great friends here in the dorm!

Our school is one of the top quality schools in Austria and has the best student satisfaction. The school environment is a bit more formal than in Finland but still it remains really friendly and the teachers appreciate some interractions and dialogues during classes. The student life is also very nice and friendly. Since Krems is rather small, you have a feeling of closeness and it’s not a problem to meet new people and make close friends.

Many student trips are organized for us here. However, I only participated in two of them. The first one in the very beginning to surrounding Wachau valley – visiting nearby towns Dürnstein and Melk:


The second trip I participated in was a skiing weekend in Kaprun in the Alps! Austria is a great country for mountain and skiing/snowboarding lovers. The weather was beautiful and the atmosphere so peaceful up in the mountains, up to 3000 m above sea level.


If you like nature and history, come to Austria, you are not going to regret!

Servus! – Greetings from the Austrian Alps

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.


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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.


Prague, Czech Republic.

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.

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Frohe Weinachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Herzliche Grüße aus Wiener Neustadt!

Greetings from Wiener Neustadt, Austria!

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

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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.

Liebe Grüße,
Anniina xx

Griaß eich aus Wiener Neustadt!

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.

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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

Servus aus Wels!

Heyyyy everybody !

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.IMG_20150917_165303

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 😉

Greetings, Mikael




Vineyards, heurigers and monasteries – Servus aus Österreich!





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.

20150930_14113320150930_140549On 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.20151003_163638IMG_4071Austria 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.20151002_212734  20151003_170957

Vienna – now or never!

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.

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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),

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and of course we’ve partied a lot.
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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! 🙂




Austria is just about the Alps and classical music, right?

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.

View from Marienwarte Tower
Stadplatz Wels

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…

View from Marienwarte Tower
View from Marienwarte Tower





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.

View to Grossglocker, highest mountain massive in Austria

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.

Some random monastery in some random town
Some random monastery in some random town



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!