Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts

Don’t let a lack of German put you off going to Graz! The second-largest city in Austria is surprisingly easy to integrate into and the University has a truly fantastic international department to help you find your feet.

I’m a third year Arts student, studying Ancient History and Writing, but I ended up taking electives in literature and European history while on exchange. Graz has a good selection of English taught courses, and being a native speaker can be a big advantage sometimes! Lectures were a lot less demanding than at home—we had no tutorials or contact hours and just one final exam. That being said, don’t shy away from the more intensive block courses: four hours on a Saturday might seem a bit much, but it’s a great opportunity to really get stuck into a subject, and to work closely with your Austrian classmates and teachers.

As a UQ student, housing was organised for me, and my rent was brought right down by a scholarship. It appears that the housing organisations don’t seem to take rooming preferences into account very much, but in the end I was thrilled to have a roommate and we became good friends.

Graz itself is a fairly small, easily navigable city, absolutely stuffed with beautiful and fascinating things: from the peacock-filled Eggenberg palace, to a bakery older than Australian Federation, pumpkinseed oil ice-cream, and a ‘friendly alien’ art gallery that hums on the hour. I felt totally at home within a week, and fell absolutely in love with the city. Then, if you want something a little more lively, there’s always the train to Vienna for the weekends. Austria is surrounded by neighbours, and travelling around Europe is astonishingly easy. In six months, I saw NYE in London, Carnival in Venice, Eurovision in Sweden, and Bastille Day in Paris.

It’s becoming a UQ Abroad cliché, but exchange is one of the most rewarding, exiting ways to spend a semester or two, and I highly recommend taking the opportunity!


PROTIPS!

 

  • Sign up for a buddy—when you’re getting off a bus in dark, strange place the best thing you can find is a friendly Austrian with a welcome sign! While you’re at it, sign up for the German Intensive course too. It’s a great way to learn some phrases, make some friends and (in my case) accidently become a hockey fan. Grazer!
  • Get a Vorteils card ASAP. They entitle you to discounts on Austrian trains, and you can buy one from the main station (Hauptbahnhof). It’ll pay off with one trip to Vienna.
  • Be aware that shops shut early and all day on Sundays. Make sure you have your milk by Saturday afternoon. Or, if you live in Ghegagasse, rejoice at being next to the only Spar in the city to stay open till nine!
  • The air raid sirens go off every Saturday, at 12. Don’t worry about it. Croatia’s not attacking. Probably.
     

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