1. Where are you spending your exchange semester and why did you choose that university?
In the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. I was looking for a town and uni that would be considerably bigger than Tallinn and EBS to get a different experience compared to my home environment. It’s difficult to describe the campus and Vienna but I think it’s harder to find a better exchange semester experience than these two combined.
2. Give us 3 tips on what to consider when moving to a new country?
Firstly, I advise you to take some time for getting used to the new place and settled as soon as possible. You should definitely prepare yourself for the cultural surprises – you can’t predict them even if you tried hard enough. Respect the local rules and take new things with a light heart.
3. What have been some of the local foods you’ve tried?
You can smell the pastries on every corner. I try to not give in to the temptation but the traditional restaurants and cafes always offer great food – from schnitzels and potato salads to the well-known Sacher cake.
4. Erasmus is a great chance to make new international contacts. Have you noticed any cultural differences?
I’ve noticed some of the stereotypical ones. The exchange has given me the opportunity to spot them in daily situations. Overall, the biggest differences occur with students who come from places far from the Western culture and have very traditional families.
5. What has been something you wouldn’t have learned if you hadn’t had the Erasmus experience?
That’s a tough cookie. Usually everyone has a hazy imagination of the places they’ve never been to. Without Erasmus, I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience and understand what living in Vienna is all about. I don’t really know if it made my world smaller or bigger.
6. In your opinion, how will Erasmus affect your life in the future?
I’ve gained a lot of experience and made friends who are irreplaceable from my personal perspective. Academically speaking, it’s the first time I have had the chance to really only focus on my studies which has made the experience even better. I believe, this is a great new beginning to achieving my future goals.
7. You’ve been studying abroad for a few months now. Is there anything you’ve started to do differently in your daily life?
I’ve started incorporating my sports habits into my studies. I haven’t changed the way I do things that much. However, I have changed the things I do.
8. What was your greatest expectation for Erasmus and has it come true or is it yet about to?
Interestingly enough, I didn’t really have any expectations. The first time I imagined my life in Vienna was the night before I flew there. The experience has offered me much more than I could’ve imagined.
9. What would you say to those who are still doubting whether to go or not?
I only have one question for the entrepreneurship students: why not use the opportunity when you could gain a lot but lose nothing? In that situation, saying no would be a bad investment decision.
Written by and pictures by Janar Toomet
Edited by Kärt Mättikas
Translated by Triin Tikk