It has been a fantastic experience to have the possibility to live in a foreign country. When I moved here to Vienna, I had never visited Austria before and did not know much about it. Looking back feels bizarre, since the country and culture, which I did not know much about at the beginning of the year, feels almost like a home to me and is part of my everyday activities. I can not say that I feel like a “local”, but I have felt very comfortable in this city, since day one.
The courses on my campus FH Wien Der WKW have been great and the lecturers have been professionals in their fields, with interesting real-life examples. The work amount in the courses has been approximately the same as in Finland at my university. Also, teamwork has been playing a major part in most of the courses, which has been a great way to get to know new people! A bit confusing thing has been that lectures can be held very late in the evening. I have had a few courses that end at 21:45.
Austria is well known for its beautiful nature and I have had great opportunities to experience it. During my exchange, I got opportunities to go skiing in the real mountains, which was really the highlight of my visit. Experiencing the real mountains for the first time is a feeling you will not forget! A great thing also is that you can go to any of the larger ski resorts with public transportation, which was a surprise for me how well it functions.
In addition to the winter sports, nature in Austria is as breathtaking during the summer. If you have a possibility maybe to rent a car and go see the smaller villages in Tirol, I would highly recommend it. Having done this road trip to the countryside gave me really a more authentic Austrian experience with the locals, compared to living in Vienna or visiting tourist locations.
Vienna has offered a huge amount of different cultural activities from opera to concerts and numerous interesting museums. Thanks to my university we had a program offering different activities to the exchange students and this way I also got to meet many wonderful people.
All in all, I do think that my study culture has been quite the same as in Finland, however, the Austrian punctuality and formality are noticeable and it takes a bit to adjust to the Austrian culture.