Exchange in Vienna

Field of study in Wageningen: Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
Study period exchange: 01/10/2018 until 01/02/2019
Country (exchange): Austra
City (exchange): Vienna
University (exchange): Boku Wien
Faculty (exchange): Landscape Architecture

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I decided to go on exchange, because I really like my field of study and I am eager to see different aspects of it. In the third year we are also expected to start on our bachelor thesis. Therefore I was also hoping to get ideas for my thesis during the coming semester. Spending it in Vienna will certainly help gather information, building knowledge and to develop skills in research methods to enrich my future work. The possibilities that are offered by my home university and BOKU combined give me certainty that my “horizon” will expand.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

The reason that I choose this country was partly becuase of the city Vienna itself and because I am fluent in German, therefore I thought it would be interesting to see the Austrian culture and experience having courses in German.

3. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

Education is organized very differently from Wageningen University: upon arriving in Vienna you had to register your studentcard in order to be able to register for courses(if you wanted specific courses you had to be on time: otherwise the courses would be full). Once you had entered  your courses (from the learning agreement) you would find out that most courses were overlapping and you would have to search for new courses, which was not so easy since most courses where either full or overlapping again. But once you had a well managed schedule everything was fine and the study year could begin. The academic level differs from course to course, but most of the courses were harder and other easier than in Wageningen. Since I had (in the end) to do ten courses the workload of the courses was very high and not always easy to handle and since all the written exams were at the end of the semeste

What is the culture of the university?

The culture of the university is individual: students manage their own schedule and the teachers are only as much involved as they teach during the lectures. It is by far less personal than in Wageningen: for example during the landscape architecture course they expected you to work much more at home and alone on your projects (you could work together but that was at own account and not expected).

What does the university offer the student additionally?

The university does have a canteen since December last year and offers a few sportscourses (the sportfacilities are of the city itself and are not from the university: also the courses offered there are not from the uni); you have to join a sportclub of the city.


 What are the possibilities for housing?

The university itself doesn’t offer any housing: you have to search for yourself on housing websites or via Facebook. The rent rates are between €400 up to €600.

What is the culture of the country like?

Although the people speak German their habits and personal ways are very different from people in the Netherlands or Germany: for me the Austrians were very traditional and conservative, but still the people in the city were very friendly (especially when you told them you come from the Netherlands).

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

€700 per month for food rent etc., in Wageningen it’s around €500.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

The semester ticket cost about €78 for three month (including all public transport in Vienna). You could walk to university or take the metro and bus (metro being the fastes way).

5. Free time

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time? 

You can go out at random places in the city ( but if you want cheap drinks and free entrance the Loco is the place to be (heterobar)), but mostly you have to pay 10 Euro or more to get into a good place to dance. If you want to try something interesting try the Käsekrainer in one of the stands at the street and a really nice place to eat and sit is the restaurant OBEN (nearby the Burggasse) and the Wiener Deewan (where you can eat as much as you want of the Pakistani food and pay as much as you want).

What are must-sees in the area? 

Budapest (1h) and Bratislava (30 min) are really interesting places to travel to by bus (also cheap around 10 Euro) and the city itself has also a lot to offer: you can just walk around and find new churches, musea and stores. There are also nice places to drink coffee (just getting lost in the city). Look for Schönbrunn, Belvedere, Museumsquartier, Heldenplatz and the Opera. And don’t forget that the mountains (to go skiing or hiking) are all around you.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

The MAK Lesesaal to study and the restaurant Bar in the Museum.


6. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

Leaving everything behind that you have in your home country. I have an busy social life at home and missed sometimes those activities and the people a lot. I had more spare time and less social responsibilities. Although I made some good friends in Austria and got to learn a lot of people, but I missed home sometimes.

What was your best memory abroad?

The best moment was probably going to Vienna in the first place: to experience the city, meet new people and discover what it feels like to live in a big city so far away from home. But also seeing Budapest and Bratislava!