Travels & Wiener Schnitty

The past 2 months for me have been an absolute whirlwind, I’ve made so many new mates and have so many beds to crash in all around the world if I ever need it. I arrived in London on July 5 and have not stopped since then. In my travels I have been teargassed in the Euro’s final under the Eiffel tower, been only an hour earlier than the horrific incident in Nice. Continue reading “Travels & Wiener Schnitty”

Life in Dornbirn, Austria

It’s been roughly 2 and a half months since I arrived in Dornbirn, Austria and after months of deciding where I should go on exchange, I honestly couldn’t be happier with where I’ve chosen. Time had flown by so fast, and I never thought I’d be this comfortable in a small town which is quite the opposite of our Sydney lifestyle!

After a solid 25 hours of travelling, arriving in Dornbirn was pretty… anticlimactic. A solid 24 hours sleep is definitely needed upon arrival! On my first real night in Dornbirn,  the exchange students were already interacting like a big family, going to one of the more popular bars in the city centre. If you’re thinking about going on exchange, you definitely don’t need be worried about making friends especially if you’re living with other exchange students, everyone because very close very quickly. Also, despite being a small town, you’ll always find something to do in Dornbirn with your new family whether is be skiing (badly), going for walks in the mountains, going to the markets in the platz on Wednesday & Saturday or going out on the weekend.

Dornbirn is an incredible place to be positioned in Europe as well. It’s 4 hours from Munich, 1.5 from Zurich, 5 from Milan and 6 from Vienna. I’ve been lucky enough to do some travelling because of this and it’s been so wonderful exploring new cities with a new group of friends.

As well as this, Fachhochschule Vorarlberg is an amazing university with great facilities and very helpful and hands on professors. Studying print design, I’ve found that I’ve really been able to push myself. You work on a lot of projects in groups as well which helps make connections with the local students which has been very interesting.

If you’re even slightly considering FHV/Dornbirn, I would say go for it! You might be hesitant thinking about it, but it’s a great area and a beautiful town and the university if very supportive of the international students. It’s been amazing making new friends and having the time to travel and having the opportunity to make new experiences with them. And don’t worry about being able to speak German! The course here is amazing and helps you with the basics.

Here are some pics!

Cassie Ciccarelli

11998150 – Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication

 

Vienna Pause

I pressed pause on a seven year long finance career to move abroad for a year and complete my postgrad. It was a bucket list item to live overseas and learn another language, so when I was offered the chance to live in beautiful Vienna and study in an area close to my heart, the decision to pack a suitcase was easy.

I landed in the cold of winter at 6am. My bags had decided they wanted to vacay in Abu Dhabi, the trees were bare, the streets grey and to be honest, I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into.

Austrian efficiency came to my rescue. My landlord was on time, letting me into my apartment and showing me how to work the thermostat (very important when it’s less than 10 degrees outside). The airline delivered my bags straight to my door. I was ready to go.

SkiingAnd go I went, straight on the university ski trip. It’s not the best ski season this year, but when you’re skiing over the Austrian alps to have a pizza lunch in Italy, there is not much to complain about.

University here is a little different to home, but adjusting is easy. Most classes are run entirely as group projects with almost weekly presentations. Instead of just getting up and going at the end of class, you knock on the table to thank the lecturer. And Germglish (German-English) is a thing! “Are you going to do that, or no?”. “You should think through it”.

By far, the best thing about Vienna is the people I’ve met. They are almost too nice! I’m constantly off dancing with my classmates, wine tasting with my German class or meeting up with Australian expats for a meal. As the weather gets nicer, and the grey landscape turns to green, I simply can’t wait to spend summer here drinking in the culture, history, language and friendship.

Karina Harley 11771779

Egypt, England, Italy, Czech Republic and finally Austria!

I am undertaking an exchange to Vienna University of Economics and Business. I left Sydney on a chilly August evening just over a month ago now…..and still haven’t had one lecture yet! I start my studies on October 2nd. So, what have I done for the past month? Travel! Which is the whole point of exchange isn’t it? Besides studying of course…

So I began my travels departing Sydney and living a childhood dream by heading straight to Cairo, Egypt. I travelled down the Nile from Cairo in the North all the way south to just 20km from the Sudanese border, it was a phenomenal 10 days. The following is a link to a video I made which will do a much better job than any photos I paste in this blog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkbHFqAZhPQ

DCIM100GOPRO

After Egypt I kicked on to London for a week which was obviously of great contrast to the Pyramids of Giza but nonetheless very exciting! I spent way too much time in the English pubs and met some awesome people along the way. The highlight would be heading out to the middle of nowhere, on a typically freezing English summer day (the weather seems to suck all year round) to check out a pile of rocks, known as Stonehenge. It literally is just a pile of rocks in a farm but the whole place has this aura about it purely because IT IS STONEHENGE.

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

After my week in England I kicked onto Italy, flying directly to Naples and staying in the amazing Mediterranean town of Positano, I really don’t need to say much more, the following photo should do the talking for me.

Positano, Italy
Positano, Italy

I stayed there 4 days, then kicked on to Rome, which is one damn amazing city, every street has something worth seeing on it. You can picture the Ancient Romans walking around and going about everyday life, Ancient Rome is still very present in the modern city. From Rome, I headed to Florence, which to me felt the least touristy part of the touristy cities of Italy (does that make sense?). Florence to me was the most beautiful city I had ever seen….yet!

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

Venice was packed with tourists which sadly takes a bit away from the uniquely beautiful city, however the whole place just seems so strange and ready to sink at any minute, it is quite unbelievable that it actually exists. I was lucky enough to be there when the main square (St Mark’s Square) flooded at high tide! No problem! Before you have a chance to even think about how you are going to get to the other side, the locals have already constructed a temporary boardwalk which sits just above the floodwaters.

St Mark's Square Venice, under floodwaters
St Mark’s Square Venice, under floodwaters

After Italy I kicked on briefly to Austria but I’ll come back to that at the end of the post, so after Austria was the Capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. Wow. Note above when I spoke of Florence, i said it was the most beautiful city I had seen….yet. That is because I think Prague may take that title, it is simply perfect. Left virtually untouched by the war, unlike the majority of its European neighbours, Prague is simply beautiful aesthetically and culturally. While it had a lot of tourists it still feels like it is only just being discovered by the majority of the world, and it could become a MAJOR tourist destination within Europe the more attention it continues to get. I snapped this photo at the top of the old clock tower in the main square, which gave the most amazing view which highlighted that Prague is as beautiful from above as it is on the ground.

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic

Alright so, Austria. I am studying at WU, which is somehow an abbreviation for Vienna University of Economics & Business. I am only on my 3rd day in Vienna as I am writing this blog post. As I said before I don’t start studying until the 2nd of October. The city seems like a really nice place to spend the next 5 months. I haven’t done too much exploring yet as I have been moving into my apartment and rushing around buying necessities but I did get down to my uni and snapped some pictures of it. It looks ridiculously modern, pretty cool and in some parts weird! (not as weird as UTS paper bag building). I’ll sign off on this post with some photos of the Uni, I am eagerly looking forward to studying there, meeting some more students, and just soaking up this once in a lifetime opportunity. 🙂

WU - Vienna University of Economics & Business
WU – Vienna University of Economics & Business
Library at WU
Library at WU
Another average building at WU
Another average building at WU

Eric Mort, student ID: 11694472

Hello from Vienna!

Hi All,

Well it’s been two weeks into my one year masters and it feels like I’ve been living here for months (barring the fact that I have terrible German and I get lost almost every second day in the city). So much has happened in such a small space it’s hard to capture it all in one blog!

For anyone who doesn’t know Vienna there is one word that sums up the city… Culture!! There is so much culture here it may even leave an impression on the countless Americans in the exchange programme… Then again maybe not! But speaking of which I would say that the different cultural activities are the best part of the city… Already I’ve drunk spritzer in the sun while watching a classical concert, attended an modern art gallery opening, and watched a human beatbox perform at a buskers festival. Key thing for all of these things is ‘Free’!

I have also come up with conclusion that I will be adding 20-30kg to my weight after seeing the type of food and drink I’ll be consuming this year. I have to warn all vegetarians… pack a lunch. In Austria if there is anything better than meat, it’s meat stuffed with cheese followed closely by a thick german pancake drenched in marmalade and honey!! So bring those fat pants!!

But these Viennese do know how to live. Be prepared to spend hours in cafes contemplating the meaning of life, drinking good wine amongst the vineyards; and enjoying all the music, architecture and art that you can take!

As for university… It hasn’t started yet but already I have met the best people from all over the world and here in the city. The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to come here is, get to know people. Not only are you going to make some of the best friends, but you will experience more of what these locals see as just normal living… And I’m only in week 2! Can’t wait to see how things are going to look in week 52!!

Matthew Pearce- 11844267

It's amazing the things you find at a modern art gallery!
It’s amazing the things you find at a modern art gallery!
Sometimes it's cold!
Sometimes it’s cold!
The Naschmarkt has everything!
The Naschmarkt has everything!
What's better than drinking wine... Drinking wine in a vineyard.
What’s better than drinking wine… Drinking wine in a vineyard.