I've never written a blog, so this is my first time doing it, but I'll try my best!
For starters, this is a blog post where I will compare Austria and Norway from my point of view. That includes that I will write about how I live in Norway and how differently it is compared to Austria. I will also write about other relevant things that has to do with an exchange in Austria. Before I go on to write about my experiences, I will tell you who I am and my hobbies.
I'm David Bergsagel Møller, a 25-year-old student from Norway. In Norway I study to become a teacher at the University of South-East Norway, campus Vestfold. Originally, I'm born and raised in Sandnes, Rogaland, Norway, which is at the west coast of Norway with many mountains and hilly terrain. Because of the alpine landscape my hobbies are hiking in the summer and mountain skiing in the winter with my friends. (To the right you can see a picture that was taken a cold January day. ) So, one can say that the landscape is quite similar in Austria and Norway, except of the big coastline we have in Norway.
One of the reasons I chose Austria was because of the nature. As I described in the paragraph above, I like to do outdoor activities, and as of now I've been on one hike to Hohe Kugel. It was further than expected, but as an experienced hiker I managed to get to the top without any troubles. I have to say that the tracks and paths to the top were very good. First class. What I also observed was these shops on the way to the top where you could buy food and things, and my favourite, beer! I will talk about beer in another post😉
This is my first post and there will be many more to come. I have many topics I want to write about, and I have so many nice things to say about Austria. This is such a beautiful country that everyone should visit or take a semester as an exchange student, and it reminds me about home.
See you soon!
Last weekend I visited Vienna with my best friend from class, Marie-Louise, and her friend Nermina. She has some friends that are studying in Vienna and asked me if I wanted to come along, and I couldn't say no to that. It's not every day you can visit such a great city as Vienna. I didn't know what to expect, so I was open to do as much as possible when we got there. Marie has been there a couple of times, so she would show me the important things to visit. We took the train from Vorarlberg to Vienna, and it took us between six and seven hours with one transition in Salzburg.
Vienna is the capitol of Austria and has about 1.9 million inhabitants. My first impression when I arrived was that Vienna is quite flat and windy, so even if the weather forecast showed 15 degrees, the wind made it colder. So, if you are going to Vienna in the autumn or winter, remember to bring warm clothes! Even tough the city is huge it's easy to get from A to B with the public transports. As many other big cities, they have a trams, metros and trains going trough the city.
The first thing we visit was Schönbrunn, Austria's largest castle. It is beautiful, and it has its own zoo, botanical garden, fountains, and other building, like Gloriette which is a huge pavilion with a great view of the city.
The next place we visit, and this one was I excited to see, the Butterfly House. The Schemetterlinghaus is an indoor palm house with hundreds of butterflies flying around you, and some of them will land on you if lucky, but you can't touch any of them of course.
We were also at the natural history museum in Vienna. Here you can see one of the biggest collections of precious minerals, rear fossils, dinosaurs, and a lot more. It has 39 showrooms, and because of that it is smart to set aside some time to admire it.
On the last day we were at Wurstelprater, a big amusement park in the middle of the city. Here you can take different kinds of rides. It was a lot of fun!
We also did other thing than visiting museum and landmarks. We ate a lot of great food, and Vienna has a lot of different cuisines to offer. I noticed that Vienna is not more expensive than other cities in Austria, after what I have experienced. And of course, we did some shopping in the big shopping street, Mariahilfer Strasse.
I love Vienna, and I had a great time with my friends and I made some new friends. I will certainly visit Vienna again and I will recommend everyone to take the trip. Its one of the must-see cities if you are doing an exchange semester in Austria.
Finally, I want to thank Marie-Louise for asking me to join and taking care of me and making it a wonderful weekend with great memories!
When I first came to Austria I couldn’t speak German, and I was hoping it was going to be ok. In Austria, German is the official language or Austrian German as someone would call it. Like other countries, Austria has different kinds of dialects that is spoken across the country. For instant, here where I live in Vorarlberg, they have a dialect which is difficult even for Germans to understand. That’s what I’ve been told, so I don’t have any proof of it.
Since I don’t speak German, I had to rely on my English skills from high school. In the beginning my English was out of practice, but I wasn’t alone in that. I remember my first day in Austria and my first meeting with the students. Many was uncomfortable talking to me because they knew they had to talk English to me. For me it wasn’t important if they spoke good English, had the right pronunciation or the right grammar. The thing that matters to me was that they dared have conversation in English even though I was the only English-speaking person in a group. Just so I could be included in a conversation. In the beginning that wasn’t easy, but after I while the students got more confident talking and that made things much easier for me.
At PH I have like 2-3 courses where we generally talk English. I also have some other classes where the language for the lessons is primarily taught in German, but the teachers has been kind to me and held the courses in English, and I’m very grateful for that. It would be hard for me to get thru with the courses if I didn’t understand them.
I have learned some basic phrases in German or in the Vorarlberg dialect. The most important is how I order a proper beer. But I have discovered that many words in German is similar in Norwegian, and that means I can understand some words in a sentence and then know what the conversation is about.
I think my and the other Austrian students’ English skills has improved very much. Every day I must talk English, either if I’m talking with the other exchange students at the apartment, if I go to the store, at school, or writing on social medias with friends. I’m very glad that my English has improved, and I get many positive feedbacks on that. And that has raised some question why Norwegian is good in speaking English. The only thing that comes to my mind is how we watch TV-series and movies. In Norway we don’t dub foreign TV-series or movies into Norwegian, but I’ve heard it’s common in Germany to dub foreign series and movies into German.
I wish I could speak German, and hopefully I will be able to speak German in the future. Because I like the language and I have made so many friends here in Austria, and it would be nice to stay in touch with them in the future. One day, I will visit this part of Austria again and hopefully I can impress them with my German.
Yeah, it's been a long time since I have written a post, but here I go again!
I'm going to give you an update on the latest I've been up too.
Since last time I have been to Lichtenstein with a friend from class. Lichtenstein is only a short drive from here, maybe 30 minutes from Hohenems. We had schnitzel Gordon Bleu for lunch, and after that I was given a guided tour in the country. The country is small, so it didn't take that long to explore it all! But we had a stop at this viewpoint. The sky was clear, so we had great view over Lichtenstein and the mountains that surrounded us.
It has also been a lockdown for everyone in Austria that lasted 20 days, even for vaccinated! It was necessary, because the numbers of people who got infected of Covid-19 was increasing every day. Almost all of my classes went online, but I had one class where we could meet up and do practical things. The lockdown didn’t affect me to much because I have such great friends back here at the apartment that loves be social. As I’ve told before we make dinner and play games every day together, so I got a good portion of socializing during the lockdown.
Back in Norway I love to do skiing, so I'm very lucky that I do an exchange in Austria! The last two weekends we have done some skiing in Montafon and Damüls. The season just started so there isn't that much snow, but enough to do skiing and having fun! I have approximately one moth left here in Austria and I'm going to spend as much time as possible skiing. I have purchased the "3 täler pass" (3-valley pass) which is a ski pass that I can use on several ski locations in Vorarlberg. And since I'm a student you get a discount on the purchase. The pass cost me ca. 380 euros, but as long as I go skiing more than six and half times the pass will pay off! I also had to buy second-hand carving skies for 150€, and I'm going to sell them when I leave.
That was it for now, and maybe I'll see you in the slopes!