Joao Paulo de Melo Cardoso, Pontifical University Catholic of Paraná (PUCPR) – Brazil
"Being here in Dornbirn is a great opportunity for personal and professional growth. When I got here, I was sure I made the right choice.
First of all, I would like to thank all the team of the International Office, which were very important so that I could come here, providing me with all the information needed long before the arrival and during the stay. When I have arrived here, i felt like I was on another planet. Almost everything was, and still is, new for me: the lifestyle, the food, living on my own, stay in another country/continent/hemisphere with different customs, meet new people and studying in English. For me, it's been a great opportunity for personal and professional growth and I am so happy with. Even being away from my country, I feel at home here."
Tannu Yadav, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management (BULMIM) – India
"Going to Austria was one of the best decisions I had made in my life. Studying in Dornbirn was like a dream come true to me: It's a pleasant & peaceful place full of mountains & greenery, even the scenery from the classroom was captivating. It's a place where you just not only gain experience & friends but make great memories and family for life.
Well, there were some challenges too which made it even more exciting at times, like not knowing German language. Don't worry, for that the college provides with German learning course which will be a great help and the people here are super friendly, so it's not that big of a challenge. For me, it was my first trip alone ever and it was totally worth it.
I would suggest more students to come to FH Vorarlberg to study, as knowledge will just be a part of your Erasmus with lots of adventure, excitement, learning, fun, breathtaking experiences and lots more which all awaits you here.
I fell in love with the place, give it a chance and you will too."
Laura Manninen, Lappeenranta University of Technology - Finland
"I wanted to come to Austria because I like the Alps and nature. There hasn't been a day that I would have regretted coming here. Every week is a new adventure and I have enjoyed my time.
Hiking in the mountains is awesome and every day I learn something new about Austria or other cultures while spending time with other exchange students and local people. I can warmly recommend studying in Dornbirn for everyone."
Monika Cukor, University of Ljubljana - Slovenia
My name is Monika Cukor and I spent my spring semester in 3rd year of my studies studying on a wonderful FH Vorarlberg. This area of Austria is well known because of the Lake Konstanz, but you have to see the mountains – they take your breath away!
Me and my studyfriend Urška decided to be the first ones ever from our university who will go on Erasmus to Dornbirn and therefore we didn't have any information, but hey you have to risk it to take a biscuit!
I have to say, first impression – I am in Heaven! Small city, mountains and hills all around and university campus, NEW. I fell in love immidiately. To be sincere, I fell in love already when I found out how nice and organized the International Office staff is. We got all the information needed before we came, the emails were relied to immidiately and you literally had no care in the world, because they let you know that if you face any problems just contact them and they will help. I will never forget that and I will be forever grateful for that.
When we arrived to FH Vorarlberg Vanessa met us and gave us a welcome present, which I think is extremely thoughtful. Vanessa took us to our Erasmus home and we met with the landlords, which were very nice, they had coffee and a very good homemade cake prepared for us.
First week upon arrival they organized WelcomeWeek for us to get to know eachother and connect. Everyday involved interesting activities, we went for a trip to skiresort, visited town market, had an austrian breakfast and a campus tour. At the end of the week we had an international party!
The school campus is practically new altogether and you have access to school 24/7, literally. Classrooms are very modern, there are multiple relaxing spots, a mensa, school caffe, computer rooms and when the weather gets warmer you can chill outside.
About professors, they are amazing. Friendly, nice and extremely well educated. The lectures very interactive, they wanted us to talk, think critically and express ourselves as we felt. We had multiple guest professors and so the ability to see/hear multiple perspectives. I am grateful to every professor and staff member with whom I had contact, because every single one of them taught me something new.
Peter Niedermaier, professor for Innovative methods organized a garden party for us, took us to painting and ceramics class and on a cave excursion, do I have to say something else to express how great that was? Sharon du Plessis – Schneider took us to two excursions to Ravensburg and invited so many people to expand our views from around Europe. Matthew Randall gave us the opportunity to be a part of an extremely interactive and wildly interesting course Gender and Diversity Training, which showed us the crazy differences sexes are subjected to in todays society. The head of the Social Work department, Michael Himmer, was to us more a friend and a comrade then an authority. He gave us the macro perspective of Social Work in EU and he helped me find out that I want to be a part of EU in my career path, most importantly I learned that EU does amazingly good things for Europeans and we are not aware of them. In this semester I learned soo many things that would stay in shadows for me if I wouldn't go to Dornbirn and I sincirely think this semester was one of the best things I did on my lifepath.
Not to forget, Austrian students are very nice. They may be a little shy or they are not comfortable with speaking English, but once you get to know them, you can build friendships that will last forever.
Dornbirn is a small city and if you are a naturelover, believe me you have to come to Vorarlberg. Austria is known for the mesmerising mountains, don't even get me started on all the mountain lakes and waterfalls, you could literally suffocate because your breath is taken away so many times by the beauty of it. You may think I'm blowing this up, but I dare you, come and see this amazing country for yourself!
I could say so much more, but I don't want to spoil it, so for real, come and experience it!
Jasmine Marie Hoerter, Minneapolis College of Art and Design - USA
On the following link you will find a great interview with Jasmine Marie Hoerter about her exchange semester here in Vorarlberg: Interview
Ismien Vervaeke, HOWEST - University College West Flanders - Belgium
"I am Ismien and 'ich komme aus Belgien' - how many times I said that ... Even thought many people do not speak a lot of English, it seems that everybody is your friend, especially here in Kolpinghaus. I have built friendships here, which I hope will last forever. But also short contacts I have with other residents are so valuable, it almost gives you a replacement for home. And that is not the best thing of my Erasmus experience ...
I fell in love with Dornbirn and everything around. Wherever you are in Dornbirn, it seems that the mountains are always embracing you. I can't explain it well. Perhaps it is not possible to put in words but the life that nature radiates is every moment of the day different. I just want to advise to do what I love to do: Get lost once in the beautiful nature that Vorarlberg will offer you and realize that the road that you are getting lost is the same road towards yourself.
This is a picture at the first moment that I fell hopelessly in love and I hope you will do that too!"
Kayla Dawn Land, University of North Alabama - USA
"Austria was the best place I could have chosen to study abroad. I have always loved the mountains, but nothing compares to the beauty of those in Vorarlberg. Also, Dornbirn was a perfect city for me because it wasn't too small nor too big and it has a lively city center to hang out and enjoy your time.
I would definitely recommend for other students to consider studying here mainly because of the reasons above, but also because the location of Dornbirn makes it very easy to travel around Europe efficiently and in non-expensive ways.
I also loved staying in Sebastianstraße because of its location to the school and the area around the house is great for just walking out the front door and going on great walks and hikes. The people I stayed with slowly began to feel like family and allowed me to enjoy my time in Austria. I know the students that stayed in Kolping feel the same way about their home as well.
Although there are many challenges, such as the hard-to-understand German dialect or the different food, give FH Vorarlberg a chance. I fell in love with the city, the people, and the mountains and I am sure you will too."
On the following link you will find a great blog of Kayla about her exchange semester here in Vorarlberg: Blog
Sarah Corneillie, Howest University College West Flanders - Belgium
"My home university only had connection with two other institutions in two different countries. One of them was FH Vorarlberg, Austria. So I didn't have so much choice. I chose Austria because I never have been there and it seemed to be a very interesting and beautiful country.
Austria is an interesting location to study because of the diversity the country offers. I studied in Dornbirn, which is not such a big city. But you can also travel to Salzburg and Vienna, which are bigger cities. Students who love the nature should definitely come to Austria, it has beautiful nature with mountains. That will be the thing I will miss the most.
During class you have an amazing view of the mountains, really wonderful. I really liked the way of living here, people are not so hurried and do a lot outdoor activities together. It was really nice that people on the street say “hi” to you. Actually I didn't face many challenges, trying to speak German could maybe be one. But before I came here I already knew German, so it wasn't that hard for me. The life here is comparable with the life in Belgium.
Another challenge was taking care of yourself and manage the thing by yourself. For me it was the first time I lived alone, without my family, so that was a challenge. I'm really glad I took this wonderful opportunity and came to study at FH Vorarlberg in Dornbirn. I learned a lot about this semester and I really enjoyed the country, only the weather could have been better."
Hung-Che Lin, Taiwan Tech - Taiwan
Why did you choose Austria? First of all, Austria is a beautiful Country full with mountains. The second, I would like to go to a German spoken Country. The last but not the least, the culture is remarkble.
Why would you recommend Austria as an interesting study location? First of all, people here are so nice. Besides, people don't pay a lot to study in Austria but the quality is quite high.
What did you like about Austria? Good people, nice scenery and clean environment.
What were the challenges you had to deal with? Not a lot of people here speak English and the food here is so different with Taiwanese food.
What else I would like to say? I would like to say thank you to all the people in Vorarlberg.
Kyeungun Kim, Sungkyungkwan University - Korea
Why did you choose Austria? I wanted to study in one of the countries in Europe because I thought I could experience many different kinds of cultures of many countries in a short time. On the other hand, there were few universities which offered mechanical engineering courses in English and Austria had the cheapest living cost among them.
Why would you recommend Austria as an interesting study location? There were not many students comparing to my home university. The number of students in a class was about 20 while there are generally 70 to 80 students in my school who take the same lecture at the same time. So it was very easy to concentrate on lectures and I could easily communicate with lecturers.
What did you like about Austria? I had never felt that healthy during my whole life. I could breathe fresh air which I can never in Seoul and I worked out several times a week. I spent a healthy and relaxing time in Austria.
What were the challenges you had to deal with? Before the exchange semester, I had never faced the situation that I was alone in a strange place where people cannot understand Korean or English. After some weeks in Dornbirn, I became brave and I could do many things for myself.
What else I would like to say? Thanks to the international office of FH Vorarlberg, I didn't have to do difficult works to prepare for my exchange semester. For example, I didn't need to find a private accommodation from advertisement or somewhere.
Joseph Guy, Missouri State University - USA
Why did you choose Austria? I chose Austria because it is located in the middle of Europe and would easy to travel to all the places that I wanted to go.
Why would you recommend Austria as an interesting study location? I would highly recommend Austria as a study location because there is a lot to do and is one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. The Alps are beautiful and the people are very nice/friendly.
What did you like about Austria? I liked the Alps and the spirit of the Austrian people. There are festivals and other fun activities scheduled there all year around.
What were the challenges you had to deal with? The biggest challenge I had to deal with was I didn't know any German. Most of the residents there did speak English, however.
What else I would like to say? I was surprised at how much I liked Austria. It was easily the nicest place I was able to stay. The natural beauty of the place was amazing.
Birkan Kayi, Yildiz Technical University – Turkey
"I want to say thanks to the people who work in the International Office at FH Vorarlberg, they made my semester unforgettable. Like I always say, they are really good in their job. Thank you so much again and again!
I chose Austria as an engineering student because I know that Austria is very good in engineering. I also thought this is a good chance for me to learn German. After the classes began, I realized that I made a really good decision. Classes were so interesting, especially it was so good to be allowed to study in the laboratories and use the machines. This is the biggest difference to my home university. Lecturers always are trying to help you, tirelessly! They make you feel comfortable in the classes.
Another thing that makes life beautiful in Dornbirn is friendship. I met so many very nice people here. I am really happy I met all of them. We had a great time together in the crazy parties, travels, etc. We benefited from the location of Dornbirn and surrounding area. There are so many beauties e.g. you can go hiking or visit lakes right at the top of the mountains! Dornbirn is located right in the middle of the Europe and it is so easy to travel anywhere from Dornbirn. Also events that are organized by the school are good and they always informed us about upcoming events."
Blanka Novotna, IBA International Business Academy – Denmark
"My semester in Austria was a perfect experience and I am really happy that I decided to go for study exchange.
I am grateful for all the people I have met here, for getting to know the Austrian culture and food and for visiting all the new countries, towns and villages. And I shouldn’t forget about the school, I’ve learned so many new things.
Here you can find a detailed report regarding my exchange semester with comments about Dornbirn, FH Vorarlberg, studies, German language, accommodation, people, daily life and traveling."
Erin Hisle, Eastern Kentucky University – USA
"I would recommend coming to Dornbirn to anyone and hope to visit again one day! I am a Social Work major and my program was really interested in forming a partnership with FH Vorarlberg. I was really excited to learn about social work from an Austrian perspective so I decided to study here.
Austria is pretty centrally located so it was easy to travel other places during the semester. The mountains were beautiful. The country's commitment to the environment was really nice to experience as well. The waste sorting was unique and it was also reflected in my social work studies.
Vorarlberg was a great space to grow as a person and offered beautiful landscapes as well. We felt like we had our own little community in Dornbirn as exchange students and that was really special. It was laid back and easy going.
My personal challenges were from such a difference in culture from the United States. I am used to things being fast paced and long hours so the closing hours of businesses was hard to adjust to. The class scheduling was also a shock. At home we have the same classes on the same days at the same time in the same room every time. But, the timetable system was really helpful.
This experience will stay with me forever. I made a lot of really great friends that I am struggling to be without! FH Vorarlberg and the International Office really allowed for great opportunities for all the exchange students to connect with each other as well as students at the school. The fact that Dornbirn is not a huge city was perfect for our group. We had plenty of places to hang out together and we always had a big fun group because the area was not so big that we would get lost or scattered."
Anita Pronina, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics – Russia
"This exchange semester is an unforgettable experience for me. I didn’t expect that it will be so hard for me to say 'Goodbye' to everyone.
An exchange semester is a very good opportunity to explore another country, to feel it's culture and to find new friends. I’m so lucky that I had such a chance! Moreover, I’m happy that I chose FH Vorarlberg, because it is a really wonderful place where you can combine studies and travelling as well. This university became a second family for me, where everyone was always ready to help me. Beside this, Dornbirn is in the 'heart' of Europe, so I have visited a lot of different places: Milano, Munich, Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna, Liechtenstein and so on. Student life was full of adventures: We started with orientation week, then awesome pub crawl, Octoberfest and finished with visiting the ski resort in St. Anton. I will never forget the people I met here and the time I spent with them. I hope we will keep in touch after returning home.
I had a great choice where I could spend my exchange semester. But I decided to go to Austria, because of its unique culture and very good location. Moreover, I got a very positive feedback about FH Vorarlberg from previous exchange students.
The most surprising and unexpectedly good thing was specific structure of classes: instead of having classes every day during the whole semester students have intensive week courses and then a lot of spare time. Of course, we had to prepare our pre- and post-assignments, but still we had the chance to travel. Moreover, this university provides opportunity to choose the subject you are really interested in.
I liked everything here, because it was something new for me: a lot of new people, interesting culture, great number of parties, wonderful places for hiking, travelling, sport activities, good facilities at our school, deep knowledge of chosen subjects, training of our language skills (German and English) and of course “opening hours of Spar” ;-)
Firstly, it was unusual for me to communicate with everyone in another language, but then I got used to it. Cross cultural experience was quite complicated for me. Besides it was difficult to be without my friends, but now I have a lot of new friends, our 'dream team'.
I hope that I will apply the practical knowledge I gained at this university in my future career."
Sergi Capo del Nido, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Spain
"FH Vorarlberg is really a good university, it has every little thing you need to make your studies a better experience.
I have chosen Austria for my exchange semester because I was looking for a country where the weather would be nicer than northern countries like Finland, Sweden, etc. Moreover I wanted to live in a city that isn't too expensive and that offers something interesting to do, in this case the beautiful natural places of Dornbirn.
FH Vorarlberg and Dornbirn is a great place to be, the culture and geography are interesting. What I liked most was the mountain culture that a lot of people have: Hiking around the great mountains from Austria is one of the greatest activities. Beside this I liked a lot the opportunities that the country gives to travel: It is located in the middle of Europe and therefore you can easily go to other countries like Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, etc.
Dornbirn has been a nice place to be, the views and nature are really amazing, the city is very safe and full of very kind people."
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