I definitely had a great time in WU and im sure you will too haha ok where do i begin. firstly since you just got your offer i suppose you’re going there in sem2 or the winter semester, so it’s gonna be cold. dont go overboard with the winterwear when packing – you only need 1/2 coats, a few sweaters and a few heattech inners. but dont worry bc you can buy pretty much everything you need in vienna – except for uniqlo stuff.
wu wien. pretty cool campus. the exchange committee will offer you the orientation programme (€250) and the intensive german course (€400). i joined both, only to meet people bc i havent heard much good things abt them haha but tbh it was a waste of time and money. you can skip them completely and you’ll still make friends eventually.
ebn. the erasmus buddy network, which is like the student council there offers you a buddy programme where you’re paired with a local. go for it! they’ll pick you up from the airport – which is a nice thing coming to a new city. they’ll also help you settle the red tape matters like registering yourself with the town council, getting the apartment key, buying the semester ticket etc. ebn also organizes events (parties, night sledding, wine tasting, dance classes etc) and trips (zell am see ski trip, amsterdam, budapest, krakow) – their trips will involve party ever night – plenty of opps to make friends and get drunk. also, alcohol here is dirt cheap so
food. food in vienna is unfortunately not great. you’ll learn how to cook and to transition into that phase, i’d suggest you bring plenty of prima taste noodles and premixes (laksa, chicken rice etc for when you miss sg food) there are asian markets wihich stocks indomie and all the general asian food things, dont worry.
transport. vienna’s public transport is amazing. there are fast trains, metro and trams (s-bahn, u-bahn and strassenbahn respectively) in vienna connecting just about every meter of the city. one u-bahn station to the next is barely a 1min ride, so chances are places are nearer than you think. you’ll get a semesterticket for €75 (after registering yourself with the city and make sure to put vienna as your main residence) which gives you unlimited rides for 5 months from feb-jun.
accommodation. i’m not sure what oead hostels WU reserved for you guys this semester, but for mine it was gasgasse, sechshauserstrasse, tigergasse and kandlgasse.
i stayed in gasgasse and it was awesome…for the first month. gasgasse is the party hostel. it’s the nearest to travelshack which is where all the exchange kids hangout and so they predrink in gasgasse. it’s fun when you’re new and trying to get to know everyone and go for all the parties but these angmohs are mad – trust me – they party everyday and wake up hungover, go for class and talk abt how wasted they got the prev day and the cycle repeats. gasgasse is almost always noisy but if you dont mind it then it’s cool. gasgasse flats usually have 3-4 rooms so you’re sharing the kitchen with 2-3 other people. it has a big common room with kitchen dining tables and sofas which you can rent for your gatherings. that aside, gasgasse is great bc it’s literally 1min away from the westbahnhof u-bahn (mrt) station (u4 and u6 line) and mariahilfestrasse which is like vienna’s orchard road with lots of shops, supermarkets, english cinema, gym etc.
kandlgasse is located 5mins away from burggasse u-bahn station (u6 line) cheaper, quieter than gasgasse. rooms arent as modern but more spacious and cosy. flats have 2 rooms so youre sharing your kitchen with just one other person. kandlgasse is near a big asian market and a popular club called chaya fuera. kandlgasse is also near mariahilferstrasse, and is a 10mins walk to gasgasse, 15 to travelshack.
tigergasse is pretty rundown. it’s located at rathaus (u2 line), wont really reccommend living here.
sechshauserstrasse is located 7mins from landstrasse u-bahn (u6 line). the building is new and is pretty nice. also near an asian market. not as great as gasgasse/kandlgasse imo.
linked living. located 2mins from Krieau u-bahn station (u2 line), this hostel is amazing! super modern with the best room design, better than gasgasse. they only offer studio so you have your personal kitchen and dont need to worry about sharing anything with anyone. it’s €590+/month, making it the most expensive option
wohngemeinschaft/WG. for if you want the real experience of staying with local students and improve your german. you have to find these wg through the various listings – mostly in german, and mostly want a minimum 6 months contract. wgs are usually cheaper than oead residences and dont charge exorbitant deposits
academic stuff. courses in vienna are easy, coming from nus we wont have trouble passing even when we cram the whole syllabus in a few hours the night before the exam. very few classes in the sem for the courses, especially when you take block courses where the mod only lasts a week. i took management accounting and 5 other finance courses.
travel. vienna makes for the best base for traveling. bus/train takes you to southern germany, switzerland and eastern europe. further cities are easily reachable from bratislava, the slovakian capital €1 bus ride away. ryanair.com will be your bestfriend.
people. the bulk of the exhange students in wu are americans (60%), europeans (20%), and the rest of the world. i cant talk much abt people bc it will vary with every batch. i made some local friends, russians, americans, dutch etc from the orientation programme and the ebn trip. but i ended up being closest to the asians bc i felt most comfortable with them. i traveled with them too and it was great fun.
lifestyle. i probably spent half the time traveling, the other half when i had classes and had to be in vienna i still had so much free time to wake up late, gym, cook, netflix and chill, dinner with friends, predrink and club – all in a day. somehow in vienna it always feels like i had so so much time in hand, which is a nice change from our hectic life in sg.
vienna is one of the best cities in europe to live in. it’s quite safe, people are ok, quaint cafes and pretty buildings everywhere. but like most european cities, nothing’s open on sunday. you can always go to bratislava where the mall stays open til 9 on sunday – but you’ll probably spend those sundays away traveling anyway.
i personally chose vienna bc i was studying german and wanted to learn it further there, which i did but not as much as i thought i would due to the extent of traveling that i did haha. you should pick up some german too, it helps but dont worry bc most austrians speak english well
ok wow i didnt realize ive written this much but here goes, hope it helps! if you have any question just let me know 😊