As the pilot called the cabin crew for landing my heart pounded, this was it, five minutes from landing in Vienna Austria where I would spend the next four months. On arrival in Vienna my host University the Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt had a buddy waiting for me. 'Hallo Sarah, Wie geht es Ihnen?'
The host university provided German lessons for all incoming students which I think helped us all. I had never studied German before and was looking forward to learning the language. It enabled us to buy grocery shopping and to be able to understand small bits of German.
The subject list to choose from was immense and had lots of courses that looked not only useful but interesting. Courses such as Client/Brand management, Intercultural aspects of business, Principles of Marketing/Management and my personal favourite Arts and Cultural Management. The class situation was a lot different in Austria as opposed to my home university. In Austria classes are nine to five most days and on occasions I had a class on a Saturday, classes were intense and there was a lot of information to take in. There was lots of material used in class that I hadn’t heard before which the class was expected to know. With encouragement I stuck at it and managed to pull my grades up. By the end of the semester I had good knowledge of business and felt confident about passing all my subjects. I have gained so much knowledge about business and all different aspects of management and law that I feel confident about working in any of these areas. It gave me an in-depth look at things I had never even thought about in terms of business. I do feel my experience in Austria will help me in my future career choices and will look excellent on my CV.
Being in Austria enabled me to go to surrounding countries and to travel to destinations within Austria. It was hard to juggle the time between study and travel but it can be done. The Erasmus experience has given me the confidence academically to go into my third year of study and to sit my exams without worry. Erasmus has helped me in so many ways - personally and academically. It has enabled me to grow as a person, meet lots of new friends and feel academically confident for my future studies. Completing the Erasmus programme is perhaps one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. It has opened so many doors for me in my future career, I am not saying it was all plain sailing I had my ups and downs. I was determined to have a brilliant time and experience Austrian culture while working toward my degree. If you were to ask me now should I do an Erasmus exchange, I would say ‘yes definitely’!. It has changed me for the better and I would not hesitate to go on another exchange.
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