Wow what a month! I honestly haven’t stopped! I could write a novel on all that has happened in the last month but I will sum it all up for you in a few paragraphs. Unlike at other universities I STILL haven’t begun classes yet – I have however had intensive German for three hours every morning and orientation activities every afternoon, both of which I would thoroughly recommend!
The orientation programme has taken me to corners of Vienna which I would never have explored myself and into other Austrian cities; through the vineyards, chocolate and beer factories and Austrian history archives! Fortunately I have been able to experience this with lots of new, exciting friends.
As for the nightlife in Vienna– it is very different to Sheffield, we take the metro to bars and clubs which stay open till 6 or 7am. Our flats are made for just three people – we have large bedrooms and the rent is much cheaper than Endcliffe, there are many OEAD international halls but the largest and most central is Gasgasse – it gets booked up early, so I would recommend applying as soon as the email comes through!
The German language course has vastly improved my lack of German skills and I have managed to give directions to tourists in German so am feeling like a true Viennese citizen! I try my best to order in German and have set up a tandem partner through the university which forces me to learn more and more.
With Vienna being in such a central location, you can travel very cheaply to other countries – I just arrived back from Oktoberfest in Munich and last week I went to Prague. I remember arriving back in Vienna and for the first time it really felt like my home. In my mind the Euro conversion happens automatically and I always say ‘entschuldigung’ rather than excuse me.
I have also become accustomed to piling on to the metro every day, making sure I have food in before Sunday (when everything is closed) and accepting that good customer service is not ‘a thing’ in Austria – even they deem themselves ‘a tiny, weird nation’ but there’s a certain charm in that.
In terms of classes – I can’t wait to have proper lectures next week and experience the Austrian format for teaching. My time here has already whizzed by really fast, but, as they say in German ‘so weit, so gut!’