Welkom on our page! We are Amber, Laura and Renske, we are Dutch students and from February till June we are studying in Austria.
On this blog we will post about our study abroad!
6.00 Bad Bentheim
Today is the day! Our big adventure starts today, studying in Austria for half a year. Our family’s waved us goodbye. We got in the train to Rheine, here we had our fist switch to the train to Hannover. But this went almost wrong, the train stood next to us for 10 minutes and in the last 2 minutes we realised this was our train. This was the train to Hannover
In Hannover we needed to get on the train to Augsburg. This was an intercity, so we had reserved seats. The seats were in carriage 9, so we counted the carriages and got in the train at 9. But this wasn’t carriage 9 it was 20. We found out when the train was already driving. Now we had to find the right carriage. Laura and Renske went looking for our places, while Amber stayed by the suitcases. After 20 minutes we had found our places, now we still had to bring our suitcases there. And believe us, this was quite a big task. Our suitcases were too big and Laura's suitcases didn’t roll at all. After an hour of towing our suitcases through the train we finally sat and could enjoy the ride.
The train from Hannover was supposed to bring us to Augsburg, but at Donauworth the train stopped and we all had to get out. On the other side of the track stood the train to Augsburg.
Half an hour later than planned we arrived in Augsburg. This was the only stop where we had time to buy some food, so we went to the McDonalds. Renske was very happy, because she saw they sold the Röstiburger. You can’t buy that in The Netherlands. In Augsburg we took the train to Lindau.
According to the schedule we would go directly to Lindau, but the train stopped in Kempten. We had to get out (again). The train track was flooded so the train couldn’t go through. In Kempten we had to take the bus to Immenstadt, but this was impossible with our 6 big suitcases, so we called a taxi. The taxi took us to Immenstadt, here we had to take the train to Lindau.
The very last train of our journey. This train took us from Lindau to our final destination Hohenems. In Hohenems we were warmly welcomed by Akiko. She already did some groceries for us and brought us some typical Austrian food. Akiko took us to our house. After a very long long journey our half year abroad can really start.
When we came here we started with our internship at the primary school for three weeks. It was very normal for us to do the internship, because in The Netherlands we had to do an internship as well. Only for now it was a bit different. School starts here at 08.00 and ends at 11.40 or 12.30. We were surprised about this, because in The Netherlands they have school every day from 8.30 till 14.00.
Monday 3th of February we came here in Austria and on Wednesday we started our internship in the third class. The first days we had to get used to the class and school. We sat in the class with the three of us and didn’t had a clue about what we could expect. So the first days we just observed and watched how the teacher gave the lessons. The children were very interested in us and they were helpful when we didn’t understand something.
The children went ice skating and we went with them, we liked it a lot. The children learned a bit more about us and they were open to us. Every Friday they have the first two hours’ crafts/technic. The children made a face with hair or a hat. They made the face by crocheting and sewing. We were very interested, because we don’t know how to crochet. In The Netherlands we have crafts or technic with paper and paint.
In the second week the teacher of the third class had arranged that we could have a look at lessons on the middle school. We watched a German, math and first AID-lesson. It was interesting and we also got a picture about the education in Austria.
We did a lot of exercises with the children, one of them was reading an English book, called The Gruffalo. The kids loved it and afterwards they had to draw their one monster. We also read a Dutch book, called “Kikker en Eend”. Because there were only a few sentences in the book and the pictures were very clear, it was easy for the group to understand. The children were very curious about how we pronounce some words in Dutch. They asked us how we pronounce words like: school, sausage, their own name, pencil, bike, etc. When we came to Austria, we had three small Dutch books with us. They read it and they also were trying to speak some words in Dutch. There were also a few children who were going to write the story over. This all went amazingly well.
In the third, and last, week we did some presentations about The Netherlands. We told the children about our King, what The Netherlands looks like, the typical Dutch food, what our school and our class of the internship looks like. We told that the children in The Netherlands don’t get a lot or don’t get homework. The children thought this was very strange, because they get a lot of homework. In this week we also celebrated carnival. We showed them what carnival in The Netherlands looks like and how we celebrate it. During the presentation, when we told about our King, we also told them that we celebrate his birthday every year. Everyone is dressed in orange and on the primary school his birthday gets celebrated by games and music. We let the children listen to a song from last year and the children wanted to learn the dance. We got the opportunity to teach them the dance during the gym.
We really liked to do our internship at the Praxisschule, we learned a lot and felt very welcome!
The first week in Austria we had our internship. We were surprised that the school ended at 11.40 of 12.30h everyday. So every afternoon we had time to do something. It was really warm this year so was no snow in the valleys of Austria. But we wanted to see some snow. So we planned a little trip to a little village up in the mountains. The town is called Ebnit. We figured out that we could travel there by bus. We took the bus but we didn’t thought of a bustrip like this. We drove past high abysses and through narrow tunnels. It was a little bit scary, but it was also really beautiful. The sun was shining and there was so much snow and ice. When we came in the village we made a beautiful walk and took some pictures. And after that, we took the scary, but very beautiful, bus-trip back.
In the first week we also wanted to see the town Hohenems and the area where we live. We live next to the Schlossberg, a mountain with a ruin on top of it. We wanted to see this and walked up to the mountain. It was a walk of an hour. There we took a look at the ruin. We climbed a tower and there we had a beautiful view over the valley and over Hohenems. We walked back to Hohenems at the other side of the mountain. We came back on the other side of the city, so we explored new things of the city Hohenems.
The second week we were in Austria, we had a week off. So we had time to explore the area. Unfortunately the wheater was very bad this week. It was raining everyday. So we spend some time at cooking. We needed to find out how everything worked. It was not that easy at first. We had to get used to all the new stuff. Also we needed to figure out what everyone liked. There was one sunny day during the week. This day we went skiing in Laterns-Gapfohl. It is a pretty, little, skiing area not so far from Hohenems. We took the train to Rankweil and the bus to Laterns. We rented some ski’s and shoes and took the skilift to the mountains. In the beginning we struggled with skiing, but it was getting better and better. We ate something in the restaurant on the mountain in the sun. It was very nice.
In the week off we also went to Innsbruck. We took the train. It was a little bit rainy that day, but it turned into snow when we came into the higher mountains. It was very pretty. The city of Innsbruck was also very nice. We saw the beautiful, colorful, houses of the city and everywhere around the city are mountains. We shopped in the city and ate typical Austrian specialties. We took pictures of the beautiful houses and buildings in het city. There is one special building with a roof of gold. Look at the picture below.
It was March and we wanted to enjoy the snow before it all melted. So on a sunny Sunday took the train to Sankt Anton. We wanted to go skiing and sledding. In Sankt Anton there is a beautiful toboggan run through the woods. It is about 4 kilometers long. It was a really pretty day and we enjoyed our time at the mountain. We ate ‘kaiserschmarrn ’ , a typical Austrian specialty. It are kind of thick pieces of pancake, it tastes really good. At the end of the afternoon we wanted to go sledding. We started on the top of the mountain and went down very fast! Steering with your legs was difficult at the beginning, but after a while we got the hang of it. We had so much fun!
In het last week of February it was Carnival. In Austria it is called ‘Fasching’. We participated in a parade in Dornbirn. All the incoming students of the FH-Vorarlberg participated. Everyone had to dress up like his/her own country. So we were dressed up like typical Dutch girls in orange and Delfts-blue. It was really fun to participate. And of course we ate a ‘Krapfen’. It’s a typical kind of cake that everyone in Austria eats with Carnival. There were little decorated wagons and people who dressed up. There was also a lot of candy. It was nice to experienced this.
Of course in the studentships also include parties. In our fourth week the international students from the FH-Vorarlberg arrived and the university arranged a welcome week for all the students. We were also invited, because we follow some courses at the FHV. We went to the 'Party of the Nations' there was music from every country and it was a big party. This was really nice, because we met a lot of international students.
We went to different parties and clubs, we really enjoyed this!
Because of the coronavirus all the universities closed and Austria went on lock-down. Our home-university Saxion required us to go back to The Netherlands. This is why we are back home. After we left, the government decided to close the borders for people from The Netherlands, this is a reason why we can't go back now. Nobody thought this would happen, so we left all our stuff in our apartments in Hohenems.
Our adventure will continue when the borders open again.Hope to see you soon Austria!
Because of the Coronavirus we weren't able to continue our half year abroad. This was a big bummer, because we really liked it in Hohenems. We had live in a nice dormitory with a lot of other international students, had a great time exploring Austria and liked doing our internship in Feldkirch. After 4 weeks at home we decided to pick up our stuff from Hohenems and definitely end our exchange. But because we're here we still did some nice things and visited some beautiful area's.