Bachelor of Arts/Laws
Bachelor of Arts/Laws

I’m a fifth year Arts/Laws student, and I went on exchange to the University of Graz, Austria, in semester 1, 2013. Graz is the second largest city in Austria, but not many people have heard of it. This isn’t surprising considering that its population is only about 280,000 - it is basically a large student town.

I took courses that counted towards my law degree, as well as a German language course. The law courses I took were Space Law, The Law of Armed Conflict (Humanitarian Law), International Intellectual Property Law and the Development of Private Law in South-Eastern Europe (which was really a course focussing on specific parts of EU law). When choosing subjects it can be quite difficult to find a timetable where there are no clashes. This is because the law courses are mostly a mix of semester-long courses and shorter intensive courses. Just check with the professors to make sure that missing a small part of the course is alright, which it generally is.

Being a student town, there are a lot of student accommodation options available. I stayed in the WIST dorms at Ghegagasse which I enjoyed. The rooms are pretty basic, but the rent was very cheap (and you get given 400 euros to help!), and it was close to the main train station which made travel very easy. When staying in the student dorms you can request either a single or a double room. I shared a room with an American girl - it was a great experience and we became good friends.

I would also really recommend signing up for a sport at the uni. Although the process can seem quite complicated (get your buddy to help you!), it will be worth it in the end. It is a great way to meet Austrians as well as other exchange students.

Tips for Graz:

  • If you live on the same side of the river as the Hauptbahnhof I recommend buying your fruit and veggies at the Turkish shops on Keplerstraße. They are super cheap, especially if you buy the things on special. Plus, they have Turkish Delight!
  • Take the pre-semester German language intensive course! Whether you already have some German knowledge, or just want to learn some phrases to get around, this is a great way to meet new people and learn some german at the same time.
  • Buy a Vorteils card - it will save you heaps of money if you travel by train around Austria, and into other countries (It will only work if either the destination or place of departure is in Austria though).
  • Ginkos - a vegetarian restaurant which you have to go to. It is buffet-style and you pay by weight. The food is amazing!
  • Buy a bike!!! Graz is a flat city and it is quite small so having a bike makes it so easy to get everywhere. There are trams and buses which run very regularly but they are quite expensive (although there is a student semester pass which you can get which is cheaper). Its a safe city to ride because it is very bike-friendly - there are lots of specific bike lanes away from the traffic, and cars are used to there being bikes on the road.

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