Jasmin – Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration – Austria
Semester 1, 2023
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws
Studying and living in Vienna was an incredible experience to say the least and I could not
recommend this program more. In the paragraphs below I’ll be sharing some of the highlights
from my exchange.
Vienna is a student-friendly city and is home to over twenty universities in a range of disciplines.
There are always events happening, whether it be a gathering in a park, library, or bar. Parks
are in abundance in Vienna and are a lovely place to catch up on some study or have a picnic
Before arriving in Vienna, I was welcomed by WU’s student union. The union offers a buddy
program where an exchange student is matched with a local student. My buddy was so friendly
and by the end of my first week we had caught up a few times to take a tour of the university
and go bowling with other students. In terms of WU courses, I chose to use my QUT electives
while on exchange. This gave me a wider range of options from which to choose. In Vienna, I
studied European Law and Economics, Advanced Issues of European Law, Civil Society and
Corporate Governance. I also took an extra-curricular German language class and a
language-exchange project with an Austrian student. The language-exchange project was
designed to match native speakers with fellow students who are learning that language. I was
able to work on my German and my partner was able to work on her English. The language
class I also enrolled in was hosted by WU but open to the general public. This gave me the
opportunity to practise alongside a range of language learners from many different
All my teachers at WU were engaging and experienced in their field. My EU Law teachers were
especially so, as they had industry experience with the European Union in policy and legal
matters. The opportunity to study EU Law alongside students from all over the world was such
an informative experience because I was able to benefit from so many different perspectives on
international matters during class discussion.
I was initially drawn to Vienna by the culture, history, and high standard of living. Visiting
museums, palaces, and the theatre were activities I did on an almost weekly basis whilst living
abroad. As the seat of the Habsburg dynasty for more than 600 years, there is certainly no
shortage of impressive buildings and museums to discover. I felt really spoiled for choice in
Vienna and particularly loved the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum) and
Austria’s national theatre, the Burgtheater, is another must-see. Many performances are only
available in German however, a select few are available through the Burgtheater translation
app. I saw a performance of Dostoevsky’s ‘Demons’ at the Burgtheater and would recommend it
to anyone. The affordable student tickets make going to see a show an easy option.
A highlight for me was the architecture in the city. I sourced accommodation privately in the fifth
district (a neighbourhood known for its art and design culture) and the view from my window
included rows of gorgeous traditional Viennese buildings. Living in the fifth district meant I got to
commute through the city centre to get to the WU campus. I had around thirty minutes of
commuting each way on the subway to get to class. I found the public transport system safe and
efficient. It is also quite cheap for students if you buy the semester pass. I also had access to
fresh and affordable groceries near my accommodation or from grocery stores on campus.
Austrian’s have amazing taste in bread and there is usually a selection of fresh bread in any
store you walk into.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the coffeehouse culture. This is an essential part of life
in Vienna, and this simply means the practice of enjoying a warm drink or snack (such as their
renowned apfelstrudel, sacher torte or kaiserschmarrn) in a café at a leisurely pace. This is
usually accompanied by a peruse of the paper, chat with a friend or intellectual discussion. This
is different to the hustle and bustle I’m used to in Brisbane and the “culture shock” in Vienna
was very welcome and remains one of my favourite things about living there.
My class schedule differed from the consistent weekly structure I was used to at QUT. Some of
my classes were intensive, and I finished them in a few weeks and some classes had sporadic
timetables which were group work based. This was useful for blocking out time to travel.
I found having Vienna as a home base made travel to other places in Europe quite convenient.
Vienna is geographically located in Central Europe, making it well placed for travel to many
countries. The trains in Austria and many other places in Europe provide a cheap and
sustainable way of travel. I often caught up on classes and wrote assignments whilst travelling
by train. Austria’s national train service, the ÖBB, offers a discount card called the Vorteilscard
which makes travel between cities more affordable. I made use of this many times. My favourite
of which was travelling across the country to Ötztal, a region in the Alps, to go skiing in March
and April. If you’re not interested in skiing or are travelling in the summer, I would recommend
this region for its gorgeous hiking opportunities too.
The city, university and sightseeing opportunities surpassed all expectations I had for the trip.
Even though it was only a short time, I really settled into the city and life as a WU student. My
semester abroad was an incredible adventure, and I would recommend it to anyone!
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.