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Marina Berntz on exchange in Vienna! | 04 september 2018

Marina Berntz, international student from Brazil, went on exchange to Vienna. Read about her great experience in the blog.

On exchange to Vienna

At the Hotel Management School Maastricht, when students are in the 5th semester, they get to choose whether they want to do minors in the 6th semester or go on an exchange instead. I wanted to experience another way of studying so I decided to go to Vienna and study at the FHWien der WKW for my 6th semester.

It was a good surprise to know that the University in Vienna is well prepared to receive the international students. They have a separate department only for incoming students, which is called CIEM (Center for International Education Mobility). Even before arriving in Vienna we received a Welcome Folder, with all the details and procedures about getting to study in Vienna and all of the paper work involved when you move to a new country. In addition to that, they offered us options for accommodation in Vienna, which I took immediately since it was shared apartments in buildings made only for students.

Introduction week at FHWien der WKW

When arriving in Vienna, the CIEM department prepared for us an Introduction Week, to inform us about registering in the city, getting a student ticket, how to use the university’s online platform as well as the house rules. The students spent the mornings and afternoons at the university, also to get to know our buddies and in the evenings, they organized social events for us in order to get to know each other better. We were in total 90 incoming students coming from different parts of the world. It was an intense first week but definitely worth it. The organization of the University made the students feel included and prepared for the classes to start as well as have a smooth beginning of a new life in Vienna.

Learn about other cultures

During this semester I had the chance to get to know even more people from different countries as well as from Austria, since some of the classes would also be with the “local” students. This experience continued to open my mindset to learn and understand even more about cultural differences. Coming from Brazil, I could broaden my horizons more and experience a new country, that will definitely stay in my memory forever. 

Trips to other countries

Not only have I had the chance to meet new international people, there were also several trips organized by the Erasmus Student Network of all the universities in Vienna. In this way, I was able to travel not only in Austria but also to neighbouring countries such as Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Going on exchange opens doors

I have opened many doors to my future by travelling to many different places and getting in touch with people with several cultural backgrounds. If I could go once more on exchange, I would! I definitely recommend doing the exchange program for students who are not sure about which minors they want to take and who want to experience being in another foreign country, learning a new language and sharing your daily life with so many international people, I definitely recommend Vienna!

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