Alice's Adventures in Austria
Posted on: 5 November 2018 in 2018 posts
Alice, a third-year German and English student at the University of Liverpool, provides an update on her year abroad adventure in Vienna, where she'll complete a work placement with 3D printing company Lithoz.
My name is Alice and I am currently working in Vienna, Austria, for my year abroad. I was extremely nervous about the move — worrying about understanding the language, meeting people, and undertaking an actual work placement in German! But having been abroad for 2 months now, everything has gone so much better than I ever thought it would. I’ve settled in, adapted to the language, and had some of the best times both in Vienna and also in other cities with new and old friends.
Vienna truly is a beautiful city — there’s a reason it was voted as the most liveable place in the world! Whether walking around Karlsplatz and looking at the historic opera house, exploring Stephansplatz and taking the typical tourist photos in front of Stephansdom, or heading down to the Danube, you can’t help but be struck by the grand architecture and the view over the river. I have visited many different spots whilst living here, such as the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, gardens and zoo, the Museumsquartier, which is home to over 60 cultural institutions within 10 minutes of each other, the Hofburg, one of the oldest palaces in the world, and have even had a swim in the Danube! But I still have so much more to discover in this city.
As I study English and German at university, a big part of my role in my work placement is translation. I work for Lithoz, an innovative 3D printing company that develops groundbreaking new technologies and ceramic materials for engineering. I think a work placement has ended up being the best choice for me; my German skills have improved massively from constantly speaking, hearing and reading it. I have learned all about Austrian culture, such as the friendly way everyone wishes you ‘Mahlzeit!’ at lunch, and the way everyone bakes cakes and treats to share in the office. Everyone’s been so friendly and accepting of my German level, and I don’t worry about making mistakes during conversation anymore — I’m here to learn after all!
A final important part of my experience so far has been my travels. I visited Munich for a classic German experience — Oktoberfest! The atmosphere was so friendly and happy, and of course we had to wear a Dirndl — everything just added to the fun! I’ve also just returned from visiting Budapest, have visited Graz (another major city in Austria) and am planning to visit Germany, Slovenia and Salzburg in the near future. It is incredible to me that so many places are just a few hours away, and that a trip costs so little. All these plans and experiences have made the past two months fly by, and I want to make the most of living abroad this year by travelling all over Europe!
Overall, I am still settling in to my life abroad — the culture and people are very different to England, and of course you do not know as many people here. It can be hard seeing friends at home continuing their university lives, but this year abroad is a great experience and will really be an amazing time in your life as long as you make the most of it!