Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science

Academic experiences

I studied at the University of Vienna in semester 2, 2014.
Founded in 1365, it is the oldest university in the German-speaking world.
Most undergraduate courses are conducted in German – English is used in postgraduate courses.
As I have only done beginner’s German, I ended up doing master-level biology courses which were quite difficult.
I could register to attend as many courses as I wanted and choose to take the exam for a few courses among them.
There were usually three exam chances for each course that may extend into the end of the next semester.
The campus buildings are scattered around Vienna (and even other cities), so I often had to commute with public transport in between lectures.
There were many animal specimens on display in the Biozentrum (biology centre) which was very cool.
Studying in a different university using a different system and language was very interesting and challenging.

vienna

Personal experiences

It was a curious experience to get along with students from all over the world.
The contrast between our cultures and habits were most interesting to know.
I explored a few countries but was unfortunately stopped by the theft of my passport which took months to replace.
I took up German and Japanese at the university.

Austria

Accommodation

I stayed in a student dormitory in the 11th district.
Though it took up to 50 mins to reach the biology building, I quite liked the place.
It was quiet, right beside a metro station and a shopping mall was right across the street.

Expenses

Living was convenient and relatively cheap.
Vienna has many different types of public transport and you just need to pay once at the beginning to get a student ticket.
The service is frequent and reliable.
The airport is easy to access and international coaches are located in Erdberg in the 11th district. There were plenty of markets around to get groceries.
It was easy to get cheap food anywhere for 2 to 5Euro – fried noodle boxes, sushi, pizza, kebabs, bakeries.
Another option was hotdog or panino at a würstelstand which opens into the night.
English movies are available in a cinema in Mariahilf.
I used a 9Euro/month mobile plan.
Budget is about half compared to living in Australia.

Academic development and employability

It was rewarding. I explored courses ahead of my level, the content was more specialized and in-depth.
I got a brief idea about the research projects the lecturers and my course mates were engaged in.

Highlight

My passport and things were stolen in Italy.
I went to the police station to file a report.
When I returned to Austria, I had to follow up with arrangements for a new passport and visa issues throughout the rest of the semester. It was quite stressful but I learned a lot.

Top tips

-DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT
-get the best insurance you can afford and check carefully what it covers (covering lost property is preferred)
-get your student (local) travel ticket AFTER you have registered at a municipal office. Show them the document and you'll get half price
-check the level and language of your courses carefully

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