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Vienna: The capital of all things exquisite

Qiran – Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU), Austria

Semester 2, 2019
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Creative Industries

I am going to start off by saying – wow. What a journey exchange will give you. As many ex-exchange students will tell you, your semester abroad is going to be the best time of your life so far. I am here to tell you; they are absolutely correct.

The City

I chose Vienna for two main reasons; the language and its location. The main official language is German, but don’t be misled. For those who have previously studied German and perhaps are quite good at it, the Austrian-German dialect takes a bit of getting used to. For those who don’t know any German, Austrians speak brilliant English in the popular districts. Secondly, the location is incredibly ideal for those who want to continue their travelling throughout the semester. I had so plenty of time during the semester I would randomly decide to travel to other cities like Budapest, Prague and Barcelona.

Accessibility

So what’s getting around the city like? Honestly, one of the biggest things I am already missing about Vienna is the public transport. There are five main Metro lines and they come every 4-7 minutes.

Iconic Landmarks

Many. There are many incredible landmarks in and around Vienna. It all depends on the time of year on what you are going to see. In the Summer months, Schönbrunn Palace is absolutely extraordinary with a large ornate garden begging to be snapped for your story. In the Winter months, the Christmas Markets are an absolute must.

Food & Café Culture

Vienna is thriving when it comes to food. If you like to wine and dine, this is going to be heaven. Unlike some other European cities and countries, Vienna is highly international and embraces different cuisines. This means you’re going to be able to explore non EU cuisines like Vietnamese, Mexican, Japanese and Israeli whilst of course being treated to Austrian, Italian and other Eastern European foods. In terms of Vienna’s highly complimented “café culture”, for me it did not impress much. Coffees were never anything incredible (also expensive around $6 for a small) and the service was just adequate.

Night Life

You don’t go on exchange to party, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t happen – a lot. There are many events created by the two main university student unions; the Erasmus Buddy Network (EBN) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). The events are usually pub crawls held at the beginning of the semester that aim to build new friendships and connections through hilarious and quirky challenges. I made my best friends from one of these welcoming nights so I highly recommending checking Facebook to find the details of the events and meeting your new exchange family!

Accommodation

Lastly I would like to talk about accommodation. Most students went with a company called OEAD Housing, which I definitely recommend. I, however, went with a company called STUWO, which I preferred over OEAD but only suits if you have a decent understanding of the language. I could talk a lot about all the accommodation possibilities, but I’ll keep it simple. Go for OEAD Housing in either Molkereigasse or Gasgasse. Otherwise try find housing in either the 2nd, 6th, 7th or 8th depending on which university you are at.

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