Exchange in Vienna

Field of study in Wageningen: Food Technology
Study period exchange: 10/01/2018 until 02/11/2019
Country (exchange): Austria
City (exchange): Vienna
University (exchange): Boku Wien
Faculty (exchange): Food Technology and Biotechnology

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I think going on exchange is a great way of exploring new culture and a new city, but also to meet people from all over the world. I chose to go on exchange, because I wanted to study in a big city for a change, but also to get completely independent.

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

Vienna is a city that caught my attention. I have history in Austria, therefore the choice to go to Vienna was quite an easy one.

3. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

The education is organized in a very different manner as at WUR. For some courses, the workload for the amount of credits is rather high, as for other courses the workload for the amount of credits is low. Outside of the lectures, there is very little reading material available for many of the classes. Whenever one misses a lecture, there is no way of getting the information besides asking for notes from classmates. Also, there is overlap between the courses. Sometimes I had to leave early from a lecture, to attend the next one. What is also different, is that all the courses I took lasted over the entire exchange period, with an insane amount of exams at the end, whereas here in Wageningen only 2 (on average) courses per period are taken. In my opinion, the academic level in Vienna was quite a lot lower than in Wageningen.

What is the culture of the university?

The culture at the university is quite nice. The lecturers are friendly, and they are approachable. However, it is difficult to get in touch with some of the teachers as they are very slow in responding to emails. It is best to ask your questions after lecture. The contact with local students is very low, most of the friends I made are all from different places, and not from Austria.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

There are some opportunities to join events, which is nice. There are also some sporting teams, e.g. basketball, which you can join if interested.


 What are the possibilities for housing?

There are some Facebook groups which have housing, that is how I found my room. There are also some organizations which work together with the uni, but you have to apply early to get a room somewhat close to the university (otherwise you travel for +- 40 min every morning).

What is the culture of the country like?

The country culture is very similar to The Netherlands, I have not noticed any significant differences. The only thing that is quite a bit different from The Netherlands is that in Austria they tend to run a bit behind, think about the fact that in certain bars you cannot pay with card and only with cash (even in some restaurants this is the case). The local cuisine is quite famous: Wiener Schnitzel, worth a try at Figlmüller.

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

My residence in Vienna was about the same price as in Wageningen (I do have a studio here in Wageningen, so that is a bit more expensive than shared facilities).

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

For students a semester card (unlimited travel) costs 78 Euro. You could use this for night busses and all forms of public transport in the city. The university can be reached via different busses.

5. Free time

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time? 

Figlmüller is the most well-known Schnitzel place, they have the original Wiener Schnitzel one. Here you have to book in advance though. Also hotel Sacher, at which you can eat the famous Sacher torte, quite nice (but quite expensive). Going out wise, the universtity organises a Stammtisch every week, here you can chat and drink a beer. Also there are plenty of clubs and nice bars in which one can go out.

What are must-sees in the area? 

There are some bigger cities nearby, e.g. Bratislava, Budapest & Prague. These can be reached via Flixbus (quite a cheap option, some tickets cost 16 euro for a retour).

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

The vineyards just outside the city, here one has a great view over the city. Definitely worth it!

6. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

The language barrier, my German is not great and in Vienna a lot of people still do not speak English.

What was your best memory abroad?

I have so many!! Definitely all the trips I took to other big cities, but also simple things such as learning new cultures from different friends. One of my favourite ones, was that we took a trip to Salzburg to ski, that was amazing!!