Studying Abroad – Bringing the World Together

When I studied abroad in Austria, I had such an incredible time there. With its unique culture and central location, there was always something to do or explore! Are you considering Austria as your study abroad destination? Here are some reasons why Austria is fantastic place to study abroad! 

  1. Travel opportunities and cheap transportation 

Austria is in central Europe and it is surrounded by many other countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Italy. Because it is a small country, it is easy to travel within the country as well as visit neighbouring countries. This is easy to do because they have amazing train and bus systems. I took a weekend trip to Croatia which was a six-hour drive return and it costed me the equivalent of $35.00 CAD. In Canada, it costs that to go one way from Kamloops to Salmon Arm!  

There is also a European bus system called Flixbus that travels all around Austria and other European countries! Just download the Flixbus app on your phone or tablet and then you can search tickets for your desired routes. I found tickets as cheap as 7.50 euros from Graz to Vienna. The buses are comfortable, and there is even complementary Wi-Fi onboard! 

It is also cheap to travel by train or by plane! While in Europe, you can purchase a  

Eurail pass which gives you multiple flexible days of travel by train between countries. For example, I bought a four-day Eurail ticket between Switzerland and France that I used to visit a friend in Bern, Switzerland and then friends and host families from a previous exchange in France! You can also find incredibly cheap plane tickets; I have found flights for as cheap as 9 euros! I spent $80.00 on a return ticket from Paris to Vienna, which is still cheap when you consider how expensive it is to fly anywhere in Canada! 

Students studying abroad in Austria can also purchase a student card (jugend) for the Austrian train system for 20 euros, which then gives you discount rates (50% off) for train tickets travelling around and out of Austria! You can download the ÖBB app and sign in with your student card information so that when you search train routes, your discount will automatically be applied to the ticket price! This card is a great investment if you are planning on travelling a lot by train!  

Meet like-minded interesting people!  
When you study abroad, you not only get to meet people from your host country, but also people all over the world! I was lucky to live with 4 amazing roommates from Austria, Italy, and Kusovo. I also met Americans, Mexicans, Finns, Swedes, and people from many other countries. These people became my travel and study buddies, and I remain life-long friends with many of them

  1. Beautiful, beautiful nature! 

Studying abroad may seem like a huge commitment, as you will be away from home for several months and you may worry about feeling homesick! Rest assured that when you go to Austria, you will feel right at home. The Austrian countryside is rich with mountains, trees, lakes, and other beautiful nature! I felt relaxed and at ease when travelling by train through the beautiful countryside. There are also lots of opportunities for hiking, which helps relieve stress while keeping positive and in shape! 

  1. Learn another language!  

Austrians speak German. When I was in Austria, I took an intensive German course the month before the semester started! It helped me get a general knowledge of the language, and I learned a bunch of useful day-to-day phrases! I liked it so much, I continued on to take a second German course during the semester!  

It was really nice to have a basic level of German, as it helped it day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping and navigating around the city. I found that after travelling away from Austria for a few days such as when I visited countries where I did not know one word of their language, like Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia, it was always comforting to know I was returning to Austria, where I could understand road signs, words at the grocery store, and ask for help if I needed it!