Jelle van Beuningen, Fontys University of Applied Sciences – Netherlands
"What an adventure this is. I am so happy that I got the opportunity to experience all this.
Surrounded by beautiful nature, every day feels like a vacation. The mountains are so close, that you can start a new adventure whenever you want.
I still can't believe I live in this beautiful place, surrounded by the most beautiful people.
Thank you FH Vorarlberg, and the team of the International Office, for making our semester one to remember forever. Dornbirn really feels like a new home. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Shaelynn Waseka, Minneapolis College of Art and Design – USA
"Dip One’s Toe in the Water
To tentatively begin or get involved in a new experience. Likened to gently placing one's toe into water to test its temperature.
The moment I chose to study abroad, I actively chose to not only “dip my toe in”, but to “dive into the water”. I chose to pack my bags, leave my friends and family behind, and jump into a new world. Each and every experience I have had while studying in Dornbirn, Austria has been life changing.
This opportunity has forced me out of my comfort zone. I have had to figure out how to communicate differently; make new friends; adapt to another environment/surrounding/culture; use different currency and so much more. The night before I left, I thought I made the wrong decision. I remember asking myself, “why would I leave everyone and everything I know to start new?” The moment I arrived in Austria and finally settled into my dorm, I knew that I had made the correct decision.
The main focus of my studies is creativity. This opportunity to live in a different place has helped the creativity process flourish in many varied and some unexplainable ways. The scenery; the people; and the experiences will influence my ideas forever."
Hannah Seeto, University of Technology Sydney – Australia
"Coming to Dornbirn for my global exchange semester has been one of the best decisions of my student life. You could say it’s been the peak of my uni experience! Not only did it exceed my expectations with its constant awe-inspiringly beautiful landscapes, I’ve come to really appreciate the people, culture and peaceful lifestyle of Dornbirn. All of us exchange students shared an instant connection and I'm glad to have made some long lasting friendships with wonderful people from all around the world. I feel so lucky to be studying at such a beautiful area with such friendly people!
Thank you FH Vorarlberg!"
Tatiana Shchankina, Russian Plekhanov Academy of Economics Moscow – Russia
NEVER come to Vorarlberg! Never!
If you come here, believe me, it will be impossible to leave it, because this place is amazingly perfect.
Surrounding nature makes life in Dornbirn a magic fairytale. People living here are so kind and hospitable that you will always get help in troubles, or even will not have any problems at all.
Studying at FH has changed my life upside down because the teachers are non-locals as well as students. Try to imagine, what a valuable and applicable knowledge you will gain!
I am also inspired by the outstanding students I have met here. I'm sure that such connections will warm my heart through the whole life, because these people, now my close friends, are incredible!
So, if you are willing to try skiing or skateboarding, to practice German (and a lot more languages :D), to travel, to participate in comical parade with locals, to meet fantastic people, to have parties, to see a 60 meter high burning Funken falling down, to stare at beautiful mountains all the time and tons of other things... Then you are MORE than welcome to Vorarlberg!
And today, when I have experienced only half of the exchange semester, I can already claim that Vorarlberg is my HOME and people here are my FAMILY!
Please, do not miss this! Vorarlberg is marvelous!"
Daria Antoniuk, Vistula University – Poland
"My exchange in Austria was definitely special.
Even before coming I was already used to living in other countries, having international friends and so on. I thought that nothing can impress me that much. But Erasmus exceeded my expectations.
It would be fair to say that it was different and somehow hard at the very beginning. It took me some time to get used to the peaceful style of life of a tiny Dornbirn coming from lively and never-slipping Warsaw, to get used to saying "Servus" to every stranger on the way, to change subway for a bicycle and gym membership for Sunday hiking.
But it was only beginning. I was coming to an unknown country where nothing matters and where I don't know anyone. But just in a couple of months, everything changed. Now Austria is a place of memories and the people whom I met here became a significant part of my life.
My Erasmus exchange gave me many lessons. But the most important one is: Dare to cross the borders of your comfort zone to open the doors to new experiences and opportunities."
Camilo Gálvez, Universidad del Desarrollo – Chile
“Since I arrived to Dornbirn, I felt like home. It is the perfect combination among peace, good weather, landscapes and beautiful people. I have learned a lot of the Austrian culture and it is worthy to imitate. I'm going to miss this amazing city and all the people that I met. It was for sure the best experience of my life! I just want to say thanks to FH Vorarlberg for let me be a part of this and the International Office that works everytime for us.
If you choose FH Vorarlberg, you won't regret it. You will find a great human team that always cares about you. Giving you the best tools for learning and be a great student.
Undoubtedly, I'm going to tell this wonderful adventure to my children and grandchildren and probably someday I'm coming back in here with them to tell them all the stories that I had.
Finally I want to say thanks to all the international students! They were my family for one semester and I will never forget them. Without them this would not be possible.
Hanna Sandström, Jönköping University – Sweden
My name is Hanna and I have recently returned home from doing an exchange semester in Dornbirn, Austria. This fall I’m starting my fifth semester in the social work programme, meaning I did my fourth semester abroad. I studied at a really small and friendly university called FH Vorarlberg- University of Applied Sciences.
In hindsight, going abroad was the best decision ever. Before leaving, during the coldest and darkest time of the year, I was really skeptical of whether I should go or not. I thought about the fact of leaving my family, my friends and most importantly, my boyfriend. As I thought I knew myself best, I was convinced that I would regret the decision as soon as I got to Austria and that the semester would feel like an eternity. But it turned out that I didn’t know myself at all. The second day in Austria (I can’t count the first one, because I was just sleeping all day after all the travelling and new impressions), I had already forgot everything about regrets or being homesick.
It took me some time to get used to the Austrian school system, and the way they do things. Since we did all our courses over a span of the entire semester, it was sometimes hard to keep things apart and so. I did six courses, covering subjects such as human rights, the EU, methods in social work, and much more. Instead of having written exams, we had a lot of presentations and/or papers. We had classes about 1-2 days a week, and the rest of the time we had self-studies. All the professors were really inspiring and taught me so much about social work, and not just about their subjects but also about being a social worker in general. Since it was a really small university, the professors knew all of their students, creating a totally different social environment compared to the one in Sweden. After class, the professors and the students would go down to the cafeteria and share a beer together and just enjoy the company. The best part about the school: the panorama windows facing the amazing alps! Because I was truly living in the middle of the mountain range, with a thirty-minute walk to the wilderness.
The International Office at FH Vorarlberg was so helpful and gave me all the info I could possibly need. They even arranged the accommodation for me, so the only thing I had to do was choose a room number. The costs of living in Austria is about the same as here, and therefore also the rent for the apartment. I paid 399 euros (approximately 4000 sek) per month, for a private bedroom and a kitchen+ toilet that I shared with two others. The apartment was newly renovated and was therefore in really good condition.
After just a short time I had made friends that I knew would be for life, and just writing about it makes my heart all warm. The funny thing is, I was prepared for my semester abroad consisting of 5 months of studying, and nothing else. In reality, my semester abroad consisted of meeting amazing people from literally every corner of the world, sharing crazy memories such as mountain hikes that where way to dangerous, parties that you never knew how they would end, baths in beer, street carnivals and so much more. I lived in a house with 24 other exchange students, meaning I was constantly surrounded by my friends. Life was never boring in Austria!
This has brought me such a deep desire to travel the world, not only to meet all my new friends but also to visit all the places they have told me about, that I six months ago, wouldn’t even consider going to. And the best thing is, now I have local guides from all over the world who are ready to give me the best travel tips! Living in Austria also meant having so many countries just a few hours away; Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic and probably more. So of course, I took the opportunity to travel as much as possible!
Even if the school is what I came there for, I have to say that the best part about my semester abroad was the life outside of school. It was always something going on, and something to look forward to. I’m so happy I pushed myself to do this because I know this is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life!
If you are thinking about studying abroad, no matter if it is Austria, South Africa or Canada, or even Denmark- Do it!! And please feel free to write to me and I will give you as much info and tips as I can. And also, I can give you the best pep talk if you are feeling doubtful!
Stefania-Iulia Popa, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen – The Netherlands
“When I saw pictures from Dornbirn and its surrounding I fall in love and I knew I have to come and study here. The courses offered by FH Vorarlberg were also very interesting and I've heard great things about the city and the university from my fellow students.
So my mind was set and I couldn't wait to come. I try to think of something I didn't like here, but I can't: the Vorarlberg region is just wonderful, people are very nice and welcoming, and the Erasmus semester was one of the best experiences in my life so far. I got to meet and become friends with so many different people, from all over the world, and I know it will be difficult to say goodbye.
If you want to learn but at the same time have fun and explore some beautiful place in Austria, I strongly recommend you to come here, because you won't regret it!”
Owain Lewis, ESC Rennes School of Business – France
"This semester in Austria made me change my eyes on the rest of the world, pleasures can be so simple, you just need to walk for a couple of hours, and you can easily end up in an amazing place, without anybody, just yourself, and then you realize what is really important."
Filip Sigemo Harging, Mälardalen University – Sweden
"Filling out the application form to study abroad at FH Vorarlberg is by far the best decision I’ve made in my life.
I had some doubts before I booked my flight as probably most people have and thought “What am I doing? Going to a country with a language I don’t speak, to study with a school system I’m not familiar with, in a country I barely could point out on the map” But ever since I arrived I haven’t had anything but good experiences. Interactions, I’ve met so many kind and interesting persons, not only other exchange students but local students and natives as well. My interactions with the school has also only been positive as everyone you talk with is trying to make everything in their position to help you out. The surroundings that Austria and especially Vorarlberg has to offer is just surreal. To have the privilege to hike in the Alps is incredible.
If my description is not enough to persuade you to apply for an exchange semester, please look at some pictures and let that convince you. Once thing you can be sure about is that you won’t regret it."
Ryan Hart, Missouri University of Science & Technology – USA
"I initially choose FH Vorarlberg as my study abroad destination because of the unique way the schedule works, and how it coincides with my home schedule. When I got here, I realize that I would be getting way more than just a schedule that fits my school's semesters at home.
The mountains here are breathtaking, with every peak leaving me more in awe than the last. The people are wonderful, even though I don't speak German very well. The culture and the community have made a massive impact on me, and it's going to be hard for me to leave.
I think it's impossible for a frown to form on my face here because of the beauty of the landscape and the phenomenal experiences that I get every day. Dornbirn has welcomed me like a friend, and every day I spend here feels like home."
Franziska Gabriele Dorsch, Hochschule Coburg – Germany
"The exchange semester in Dornbirn is a little bit like going to the neighborhood because actually Im from Bavaria. But it was the best decision to delete my original place in Copenhagen and come here. The landscape, the mountains are so stunning and amazing. FH Vorarlberg is very personal and my studies are intensive and informative. The small groups are very good, I feel more productive in such a setting.
This picture is just one of thousands I took here. But probably the funniest one. We built our first snowman this season up at Lünersee. After a nice group picture, we decided to destroy it. And because Im a hockey player, I had to do this like a hockey player - with a bodycheck. That was the moment before I hit!"
Evi Marechal, Karel de Grote Hogeschool – Belgium
"I really enjoy every moment in Dornbirn. Each day feels like vacation when you are surrounded by mountains. There is no way you will not fall in love with this beautiful area. I am so happy that I jumped into this adventure!
Thank you FH Vorarlberg!"
Jawdat Yacoub Joudeh Shweiki, Istanbul Bilgi University – Turkey
"I believe that this is one of my best semesters in my life, especially because it's my first time in Europe. Dornbirn is so perfect and peaceful. After a tough years in a big city like Istanbul I needed to live in such a place like Dornbirn. People are so helpful and kind. The city is so beautiful and so green. I love the fact that I live in a place surrounded by mountains and amazing people.
Thank you Austria and thank you FH Vorarlberg for making our semester amazing!"
Michael van Ingen and Mark van Hoeve, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen – The Netherlands
"This photo represents all our adventures during our exchange. This photo represent to us, funny and making new friends and having a good time with each other.
We don't take everything in life too serious and the photo represents it perfectly. too us this photo means a lot because we love the mountains and the snow and also our new friends and this photo represents all of them.
This photo is taken on a hike to the winterstraude. This hike took us 5 hours and we went with a group of 9 exchange students. we also had some students with us with less hiking experience because in Holland there are no mountains. The fact that everybody made it to the top shows real comradely."
Theresa Lena Angl, Libera Università di Bolzano – Italy
"Hey there, I am Theresa and I am an exchange student from South Tyrol. Since I love the mountains, there was no way around Dornbirn and I needed to come here. Almost every day was an adventure and there are still so many peaks to discover! Even after my semester here I will probably spend a lot of time here!
The people here are all absolutely friendly and always happy to help. I think I didn`t meet one person who was unreasonable unfriendly! I will try to bring that attitude to my University!
This Picture was shot on my first proper mountainbike tour in Vorarlberg. We went up the Kanisfluh and suddenly had an awesome view of the almost white peaks around us!
Winter is coming and I will hopefully still enjoy almost every day in the mountains (Not on wheels but on skis from now on!)."
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."