English Pages has already covered several different topics such as the introduction of foreign Erasmus students or some other interesting facts regarding different nation’s habits. We have written about our fellow students’ participation in Erasmus programs in different countries. It is time now for Szofi Szávai to share her experiences and memories about her stay in Austria.
She spent her Erasmus semester in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, studying Health Management in Tourism which was a completely new field compared to what she was studying in Veszprém. She lived in a dormitory close to the university in a beautiful location surrounded by nature. She loved to be there because her roommate was also very helpful and nice with her. They had several trips together, like visiting Graz, Hallstadt, Salzburg, Vienna and the Zotter chocolate manufacture, as well.
When asking about her motivations to study abroad, she explained that her sister and her boyfriend have also participated in Erasmus program before and they recommended her to do it, too. Apart from that, she also wanted to improve her German language skills and it seemed to be a really good idea for it. Thus, she wanted to go to a German speaking country and she looked at the facilities in Germany and in Austria. Considering the fact that her sister lives in Vienna, her first plan was to study there. However, courses were available only for engineers. Eventually, , she found other opportunities in Austria and was able to attend economic courses, too. It was very comfortablefor her as she also wanted to be close to her home.
As for the application process, she confessed that it seemed to be really difficult at the beginning. After asking those students who have already participated in Erasmus it became a little bit easier. She also had to get in touch with the hosting university where a lot of paper had to be signed by different people. Fortunately, the host university was very helpful and she could always ask for help anytime. In spite of all the difficulties, she confirmed that it was really worth making those efforts for all the experience gathered during the semester abroad.
During her studies in Austria she came across some differences between the Hungarian and the Austrian education systems. She said that schools in Austria operate under a very regulated and strict system. Students can only miss the courses when they are really sick and they have to inform their teachers in all cases. Additionally, students in Austria do their internships after the third semester and then they have two more semesters to complete later. The lectures are more practical than they are in Hungary because beside the professional excursions, there are plenty of workshops and projects. As for the foreign languages, they study minimum 4 subjects in English in every semester. They have to choose from Arabic, Chinese or Russian language, too.
She also encountered some funny situations due to the language difficulties at the beginning. For example, when her roommate told her that her boyfriend broke his leg, she reacted joyfully, because she understood that something good happened with her boyfriend. Another funny story happened to her when she was in a gyros bar and she ordered the gyros without twins instead of onion, It sounded awkward as they mean almost the same thing in German. Overall, she really liked the experience she gathered during her Erasmus semester abroad and she encourages everybody to participate in it, too.
Fotók: Szávai Szofi