Leonie Braks in Austria

Field of study in Wageningen: Molecular Lifesciences (Biotechnology)
Study period exchange 15-2-2018 until 30-6-2018
Country (exchange): Austria
City (exchange): Vienna
University (exchange): Boku

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go to Austria?

Austria is a country with high level of education, which was an important criteria. It was also important for me to experience living in a big city to have some contrast to Wageningen.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

I used to walk to campus. I lived in the Co-Op (definitely recommend it! Read section 5), which was about 15-30 minute walk to get to campus. The campus is huge, so the walking distance depends on where your classes are. The neuroscience department is at south campus, which was closest by!

4. University and studying

How is the study formalized?

There are a lot of small courses (2-4 ECTS) throughout the semester, which makes the schedule very complicated and overlap of courses is almost unavoidable. The workload depends a lot on the courses you choose, as the time spent on a course is not always proportional to the amount of ECTS it is supposed to be.
Oral exams are more standard at BOKU then at the WUR. In general this is very relaxed as the professor wants to give you a good grade and will help you to come up with the right answer. It is not uncommon for a professor to just decide to give everyone who joined the course the highest grade (which is converted to a 9)

What is the culture of the university?

For the small-scale master courses the professors are really approachable, very similar to the WUR. The welcome days are nice, but not comparable to the AID, it is more to introduce you to the online systems etc. It is possible to register for a buddy, I would strongly advise to do this as next to being very helpful in the first days it started a really nice friendship and it gave me the opportunity to meet more Viennese people.

 What does the university offer the student additionally?

There are several mensa opportunities to have lunch. All the universities of Vienna together offer sportcourses for affordable prices.


What are the possibilities for housing?

The housing is more expensive than in Wageningen but still affordable (no Amsterdam prices). Rooms can be found using OEAD or via various Facebook groups. I would advice to find a room for subrent, because then you will have a room with everything included. Many of the OEAD rooms don’t have sheets, pillow or even kitchen supplies included and it will cost you a lot
of money if you have to buy those seperately.

What is the culture of the country like?

In general the culture is very similar to Dutch/Western-European culture and I don’t think Dutch people will experience big troubles with this.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

The living is a bit more expensive compared to Wageningen, but for such a big city quite reasonable. In the end I just needed my Erasmus grant to compensate for the extra money I was spending there.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

Public transport in Vienna is amazing! You can buy a semesterticket if you have
registered yourself as a Viennese citizen and use all of it unlimited, during the welcome days at the BOKU it is very well explained how this works.

6. Free time

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

The standard big clubs are very expensive so you might not want to go there every week. There are a lot of events throughout the year that give free entrance to some of them on certain evenings or before a certain time, so keep track of that using facebook. One of my favorite free clubs was Rockcafé Chelsea (at U6 Josefstädter strasse).