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Our Erasmus semester abroad in Villach

 
A semester abroad does not only mean to study in another country, it has many advantages: you experience a foreign and new culture, improve your social skills and make new friends. With the study abroad experiences from our students from foreign countries you can get a glimpse of what life and studying is at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences.
   
  Get inspired by the experience of Fabienne and Dorothee!

Carinthia University of Applied Sciences

First of all, we simply have to praise the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS). The entire course of the semester abroad was incredibly structured and well organized. Before our arrival we received a lot of information about the city, about the accommodation possibilities but also about the university of applied sciences itself. In addition, we were regularly informed about current Corona regulations and the measures taken. The responsible lecturers and administrative staff were very friendly and helpful. Alexandra Maurer in particular put an incredible amount of effort into it and provided us with advice. The university is also technically well equipped. In addition to the public computer workstations, the CUAS also has its own app, in which the personal timetable, the grades and the most important data are displayed. The CUAS works with Moodle, a learning platform that offers not only the documents for download but also the possibility to submit tasks and even to write tests or exams. This was especially important due to the Corona limitations. During our time, there was no examination in presence. The lectures were then mostly held by the lecturers on MS Teams, which in my opinion worked very well. In the first days after our arrival we completed the enrolment at the university, payed the student fee of 20,20 €, had appointments with Alex Maurer from the International Office and Georg Jeschke, the study coordinator, but also registered our residence at the registration office in the city centre of Villach. The CUAS offers the opportunity to participate in a Buddy Program. The program is a great idea to make it easier for exchange students to settle in. He/She helps you with problems concerning the CUAS or other administrative tasks or gives tips for the time in Austria. Our Buddies were really helpful. They helped us in the first days and showed us the city.

Courses

We studied at the School of Management and we chose courses out of Public Management and Business Management. Even though all classes were held online the teaching style was varied. The teachers tried to integrate the students and motivated us to participate. In some courses we had guest lecturers, so it was very interesting to get to know different views.

Apartment and roommate

The student dormitories are quite nice, but they are usually only rented for at least six months. As we only stayed 13 weeks in Villach we had to look for another option, so we decided to look for a suitable apartment. Although Villach is a tourist region, it was not easy to find an apartment that suited us and was affordable. But in the end we found what we were looking for: the holiday apartments at Silbersee. The landlord made us a good offer and we decided to rent the apartment „Gerlitzenblick“. We immediately felt comfortable there. The apartment was well equipped, clean and simply great and idyllic in the district of St. Ulrich. In three minutes you could reach the Silbersee and you could reach the CUAS in 15 minutes by bike. As the apartment is located in the outskirts of Villach it takes about 45 minutes to walk to the city centre but there is a bus station directly in front of the apartment.  

Free time

Luckily, there is never boredom in Carinthia, because there is simply an indescribable amount to discover. Here are some examples of the many possibilities:
  1. Hiking on the Falkert, Schoberriegel, Dobratsch and Goldeck
  2. Mountain railway ride to the Gerlitzen Alpe
  3. Trip to Venice
  4. Excursion to the beautiful lakes Laghi di Fusine in Italy
  5. Hiking through canyons
  6. Bathing in the Maibachl thermal spring
  7. Enjoy wonderful views on the Pyramidenkogel
  8. Visit the monkey park and eagle arena at Landskron Castle
  9. Enjoy the sun at Lake Faaker See
  10. E-boat ride on Lake Wörthersee
  11. Visit all lakes (Ossiacher See, Wörthersee, Millstätter See, Weißensee, Silbersee, etc.)
  12. Make a trip to Salzburg
  13. Riding a sleigh and going on snow hikes
In addition to the great nature, the city of Villach itself also has a lot to offer. There are many nice restaurants and bars that unfortunately were closed most of the time because of the Corona restrictions. We found the Salud, a Mexican restaurant, particularly recommendable. There were great snacks and great cocktails for good prices.  

Conclusion

Our conclusion is quite simple: We would do it again any time!!! The time in Villach was simply beautiful, entertaining, instructive, exciting, breathtaking, unique and irreplaceable. We can only recommend to everyone to do a semester abroad as well.

Tipps

  • Bike: By the way, you can rent a bike from the International Office for a deposit of 50.00 €. The bikes are nothing special, but they serve their purpose.
  • Car: Owning a car is definitely an advantage in Carinthia. The public transport is not bad, but especially the hiking tours would hardly have been possible without a car. By car you are simply more flexible and you can also make trips to more remote areas. However, note that there is a toll obligation on Austrian highways.
  • Vaxi:Between 20:00 and 05:00 you can also order a “Vaxi” instead of a taxi. The travel costs are independent of the actual route and are calculated according to fare zones. The Vaxi is much cheaper than a taxi.
  • Carinthia Card: For around 70,00 € you get the “Kärnten Card” as a season ticket at the tourist information office but also at other shops in the city centre of Villach. With this card you get free admission to many tourist attractions. These include some panoramic roads, canyons, many museums but also cable cars.
Our international programs https://blog.fh-kaernten.at/international-programs/
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