Carla Haget, Saxion University of Applied Sciences - Netherlands
"From the very beginning I felt welcome and reassured.
It has been my first experience abroad, so I was a little bit nervous and insecure about how to proceed with everything. But the team at FHV was always there to support me and to answer all of my questions. In the first week after arriving in Dornbirn, all the international students at FHV were invited to a welcome week. There we got an introduction into the culture of Austria and how our studies would progress.
During the welcome week we got familiarized with living and studying in Dornbirn in a variety of ways. In addition to the Karren mountain excursion, we got information about studying at FHV, got a tour of the campus and did some general German food shopping at the Dornbirn Farmers Market and had an authentic Austrian Breakfast. All the international students connected during the activities - so I made new friends from all around the world.
At the moment, all I can say is that studying in Dornbirn – a place where people normally go to on their holidays – was the best decision of my life. Everyday there is a new and exciting adventure with lovely people, something you can´t describe in words – you must feel it!
I am looking forward to the rest of the semester, this will be the experience of a lifetime!
Anouk Kramer, HAN University of Applied Sciences - Netherlands
"I arrived in Dornbirn just 2 weeks ago. From the moment I came here I was welcomed with open arms.
These weeks have been so great, I made new friends from all around the world. Some of them come from Finland, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Chile or Hungary. I love to get to know Austrian culture, but with this many people you will also learn something about the culture of your fellow students. During the welcome week we explored the surroundings, we went to the food market, hiking to the Karren and ate Schnitzel. Just last night I went to an ice hockey game of the Dornbirn Bulldogs. Every day that I am here, I enjoy it. I am looking forward to the rest of the semester!"
Nora Östman, Linköping University - Sweden
"I arrived late in the evening to Dornbirn where my buddy picked me and my two Swedish friends up. She drove us to our accommodation where three of the other people living at Ernas house helped us with our luggage. This made me feel very welcome!
Of course I was a bit nervous to meet new people and to speak in a language that I am not used to. But this feeling disappeared as soon as I met the other exchange students and the people here. The international office has giving us a lot of useful information which I know my friends in other countries are missing. This is something I have appreciated.
I would definitely recommend you to go to Dornbirn to meet wonderful people, to see the amazing nature and to have fun!"
Victória Valentini Anschau, Universidade do Vale do Taquari - Univates - Brazil
"Since the first contact I had with the responsible staff of the International Office of FH Vorarlberg, I felt that I would be very well received and that I would have all the support I needed during my journey here in Austria.
As it was my first experience abroad, I was a little insecure of how to proceed about everything, but it all went really well. The Welcome Week was very important to meet exchange students and make new friends.
Dornbirn is a beautiful city, with a very beautiful nature and very welcoming people. I adapted very well to my routine here and I'm happy to be able to live this experience in this unique place. I can only thank you for the opportunity and all the support so far. This will be an experience of a lifetime!"
Nette Nordberg, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences - Finland
"My arrival to Dornbirn went smoothly and easy. I was overwhelmed by the magnificent view and everyone was so nice and helpful.
The day when I arrived here, I had a meeting with Daniela and other international students who arrived at the same day and since that day we have been friends. Welcome week was a useful and good way to get to know everyone.
Seven weeks behind in these views and every day has been good. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I have already fell in love with Austria."
Allan Rodriguez Coto, TEC Tecnológico de Costa Rica - Costa Rica
"My arrival to Austria was easy and safe, even when I have never being on this continent before. It is always a bit scary to take on an adventure alone on the other side of the world, but the people at the International Office helped a lot on getting me to what I will call my new home for the following months.
On my first days here I begun to know many of the sights and commerce the local town has to offer, as it is very easy to get around the whole area. But above all, it was on the first days of the exchange that I got to meet all the new incoming students, which as time went on, meant on new friends as well as new countries and cultures to learn about.
When the Welcome Week arrived it helped a lot on getting to know all the services and facilities FH Vorarlberg has to offer, on meeting even more people from around the world, and on learning some local habits and dishes. The mountain excursion is a big highlight; the sheer presence of a huge natural forest, lakes and waterfalls is something I never expected to see on this side of the world, and not to mention the amazing view from the top of the mountain; it all makes me regret not packing my camera.
If it were not for all the information and guidance the International Office provided, this whole new journey wouldn't have been possible for me. I can't thank them enough for helping me be a part of this experience."
DelsyDeepak Choudhary, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management - India
"Applying for the exchange program for me in Austria was like taking a leap of faith. It’s not very common for colleges in India to have such an exchange program and I now consider myself very lucky to have been blessed with such a great opportunity. As I got off my flight at Zurich, I luckily met a guy from FH Vorarlberg who was in India and my college for two weeks for his project and he dropped me from the Zurich airport to Kolpinghaus, I would always be grateful to him as I did not know German and it would not have been that easy for me to get here alone even though the International Office team had done a great job in providing me with each and every detail of how to get to my accommodation.
The day I arrived here I had a meeting with Corina, Carla and other international students staying at Kolpinghaus and in no time we all became friends. The welcome week started two days later and it helped us bond even better. For me the highlights of it were when everyone had to tell about their countries and cultures, the excursion to Bödele mountain which was my first snow experience and I would never be able to forget that in my life, next was the day when we were given a short German lesson and were sent to the farmer’s market to buy some typical Austrian food, it helped boost my confidence that even after knowing only a few German words I could buy everything I and my team were asked to, the scrumptious Austrian breakfast and last but not the least the “Party of the Nations” to celebrate our new beginning here in Dornbirn.
Overall the International Office did an incredible job at making the Welcome Week truly feel welcoming for all of the incoming students. Kudos to the entire team and the efforts they put in for us each day."
Michal Charvát, BRNO University of Technology - Tschechien
"Vorarlberg and FH Vorarlberg made a very good first impression. I admire its clean enviroment, kind people and natural order of things which was also reflected in the welcome week. It was extremly well organised and managed by the International Office. Everything was clear and precise, we received plenty of information about everything which has made me never have doubts about anything.
Courses seem to differ when compared to my home institution which will hopefully result in gaining different perspective and new experiences. But the most important thing about exchange programme is meeting people from very different countries and cultures which greatly improves general world overview and helps people to figure out their true values."
Bente Johanna Francisca de Reus, Fontys Hogescholen - Niederlande
"Even before I arrived, the International Office of the FH Vorarlberg made me feel welcome. They provided me with all the information needed to arrive safely in Dornbirn and I am very thankful for the well-organized Welcome Week that made all the exchange students get to know each other.
To have the opportunity to stay in Austria for a semester is amazing, but it is mostly due to the friends I have made that I can say that Dornbirn feels like home. Being surrounded by new friends from all over the world, teaches me a lot about their cultures and countries. Opening our minds to new experiences will give us memories that will last forever."
Yijia Chen, Shanghai Tech - China
"Austria is a country that really gave me an exceptionally good first impression. I was on the train to Dornbirn, and there were people who voluntarily helped me with my heavy luggage all the way. And the train ride was extremely worth a try as I was stunned by the beautiful scenery along the way.
We arrived and met upon with the international team staff. Corina and Vanessa were so helpful regarding our stays and studies in every possible way. I am very thankful to the International Office for making our stay in Austria feel like home. It's been two weeks now, and looking back, I am still a bit shocked realising that everything around me is new. New friends, new dorm, new environment ...
And I am very grateful for this chance that I am able to live at the other side of the world, experimenting life from another vision. Not many people have this chance after all, I am one of the few lucky ones."
Somya Vyas, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management (BULMIM) - India
"'Insane’ is the perfect word for my exchange experience. I’m ecstatic how much I have achieved till now. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! I had celebrated my first snowy experience!
It all starts somewhere. You pack your suitcase, you say goodbye, you forget at least 3 things that are important, and you get on a plane to fly away from what you have known as home your whole life.
For me, Austria would be what I call home for the next 4-5 months. Student exchange has impacted me greatly, as I have become a lot more open to new things. I always thought when I had a problem at home, that was hard. But here, having something go wrong, feels 500 times worse. You still have the support from your host family and friends, but you don't have the comfort of what you've always known. Instead, you need to think of new ways to overcome these things.
A big shout out to the International Office people! You guys are the backbone to us. The Welcome Week made me so relaxed and comfortable about the stay in Dornbirn for the coming days. The International welcome party worked as a catalyst to have more fun and excitement at this place. Thank you for everything! I am having a great experience, and I am looking forward to what comes next. More fun filled times, more excitement, and more challenges. BRING IT ON!"
Joey Berkhoff, Hogeschool Zuyd - Niederlande
"When I arrived in Dornbirn I was blown away by the nice view. We drove past the Lake of Constance and I knew immediately that I wanted to go there! Furthermore I really liked the mountains, because we don’t have them in the Netherlands.
I have only been here for 4 weeks now but I met a lot of great new friends, it is nice to meet people from different countries and cultures. The Welcome Week was a great opportunity to get to know new people. The thing that I liked the most was the hike to the Karren, it was a beautiful hike and I met several new friends while we were hiking.
Fachhochschule Voralberg is a very nice school and the international office is always there for you when you need help. If you have the chance, I recommend anyone to go on an exchange! It will be an experience of a lifetime."
Maciej Wendler, Lodz University of Technology - Polen
"It is my first Erasmus programme and at first I didn’t know what to expect. I was quite excited because I knew I would face a totally different environment, meet new people and taste a mix of cultures.
The Welcome Week did a great job! We had a plenty of fruitful discussions and shared presentations. However, we did not spend the whole week at the university! After classes we went to the river to enjoy free time together. We also had a trip to Karren mountain area. At the end we had “Party of the Nations” in the city centre and, like everything else here, it was great! I am sure upcoming 4 months will be special! I’ve already met awesome, positive people and I encourage all of you to study as Erasmus students – it is worth a fight ;-)
PS: People from International Office - without you, I wouldn’t study in Dornbirn – thank you a lot!"
Naomi Chan, Minneapolis College of Art and Design - USA
"My experience with FH Vorarlberg was kind of mysterious at first: How is the school actually like? What are the people like? What is the culture like? Will I be able to adjust?
Traveling to Austria and arriving was a very bumpy ride, as expected - being such a far travel. But once settling in, with Welcome Week meeting all the other international students, learning a little more about the school worked, everything went fine. The excursion to Bödele was my favorite part of Welcome Week. I met friends quickly and Dornbirn is easy to understand.
When I arrived to Dornbirn, it was night. A friend of the girl who came from Austria to my home university picked me up from the train station. It was terrifying being in a new country, with no cell service, no one to contact and not 100% confident that your ride would come to bring you to your new home after 30 hours of traveling with no sleep. I got to my place and Brigitte briefly showed me around and I was extremely overwhelmed. I was going through bit of a culture shock. I connected to the wifi on my laptop and called home to tell them I arrived ok. The next few days were so much better. I got to see the beautiful mountains and meet new friends also in the program. Of course being alone in a new place is scary, but you get comfortable after a while. Some girls from Kolpinghaus and I hooked together and explored around Dornbirn. The Welcome Week just made me feel so much more secure after the first week being in Dornbirn. They secured most other questions I had about FH Vorarlberg before school started and really became a helping hand in any situations that may come up. Its nice to know they will always be there for the international students during their stay."
Troy Halpin, University of Florida - USA
"The International Office did an incredible job at making Welcome Week truly feel welcoming for all of the international students.
Throughout the week we learned more about each other as a group and developed a strong bond. They helped us adjust to life in Dornbirn, gave a few lessons to those of us that don't speak Deutsch, and helped us sample the Austrian cuisine. Thanks to them, Dornbirn feels just like a second home now."
Dorel Hajdari, Technological Educational Institute of Crete – Greece
"First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you to the International office team. Application, arriving and also my stay here until now was so well organized, due to the hard work of this amazing team.
Secondly, Dornbirn is such a beautiful place, I could never imagine a place so peaceful and with so many nature until I saw Dornbirn. Also people in Dornbirn are very polite and respectful, even if I do not know many people in Dornbirn I can say that I feel so safe living here, and I am making day by day new and good friends in Dornbirn.
Thirdly, the Welcome Week was a great idea, it was one of the best experiences I had until now. I could never be able to meet all the exchange students, and learn so many things about them, without all the activities that we had together during the Welcome Week.
And finally, I am very glad that I am part of FH Vorarlberg and also a member of the staff at mechanical laboratory. It is such a pleasure that I will do my internship with this well trained and high experienced staff, and of course in such a High Tech Lab, I am really sure that my internship here will be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge."
Denis Ivanov, ESC Rennes School of Business – France
"I would like to thank all the team of the international office, who provided me with all the information needed long before the arrival to Dornbirn, and during the stay now, I know that there are people in the university on which I can rely on with any questions.
The welcome week was full of unusual and enjoyable activities, which was a good surprise for us, because, usually, we don't expect such a warm welcome in the university.
Dornbirn itself is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and a lake just 10 km away. A real place of dreams!
Now looking forward to spend a wonderful semester - courses are enjoyable, also, there are 3 countries around within literally half an hour reach - perfect place to travel!"
Noelia Rodríguez Escobar, Universidad Complutense de Madrid – Spain
"One month ago I came to Dornbirn and I have to say that everything is new for me: living on my own, stay in another country, meet new people and studying in English. For me everything is so new and I am very glad because people from Dornbirn are so polite, kind and they help you with everything you need.
The orientation week for me was something very useful because it helped me to know people, to know about them and the places where they belong to and how the life is here. I remember that during this week we went to the farmer's market where we bought some typical food and afterwards we ate it. Also, we went to the Bödele mountain and some people were skiing while the others went for a walk.
One of my favourite activities was when we had to bring something that was special for us to school and show to our classmates. They could ask you to explain the story about this. With this activity we got know us better and could practise our English!
So, thanks to all International Office team! Finally, I have to say that I really enjoyed the orientation week and if you have the possibility to come to Dornbirn, please, take it and come here!"
Kate Ma, Shanghai University School of Management – China
"I've been in Dornbirn, Austria for a whole month, though it seems that I just arrived yesterday. Everything here is fresh to me, all the research done before could never compare with the real experience I have here. Life here is peaceful in the daytime and sometimes it gets a little bit wild when there is a party at night. Also, the view from every window here is gorgeous. I've never imagine a world full of nature can be in such a short distance.
The orientation week, with no doubt, never ceased to amaze me. We've got team buildings, party nights, Austrian breakfast and hiking trip. I can't even tell which was my favorite because I enjoyed every one of them. I met people from all over the worlds and soon we will study and have more fun together.
I'm glad to become a part of the whole exchange program and I feel I'm the luckiest one to possess such precious memories and the following 2 months' time in Dornbirn and in FH Vorarlberg. Thank you for everything I saw, I heard and thank you, everyone I met here, I love you all <3"