My name is Ivan from Croatia and I was an Erasmus student at TU Graz for WS2020. At the time of applying I had no idea what will happen at the end.
The first few days were lonely but soon, after arrival, my ESN buddy group and TU Graz orientation sessions began. Therefore, I met so many interesting people from all around the world.
For the first time I was part of a global group of friends, from Argentina to China, and it was amazing to find out how we differ and how similar are we.
Unfortunately, all my classes were online so it was hard meeting people from my field of study in person, but professors of TU Graz make a great online teaching community and I was really impressed with it. I learned a lot and never felt out of touch with the professors.
In February 2021, my Erasmus experience ended. I cannot say it was the best Erasmus experience you can get, but I will remember it for my whole life. I grew as person and met many people, who will be my long distance friends, hopefully forever.
Ivan Vrsalović, Erasmus+ exchange student, University of Rijeka, Croatia
Hi! I am Rosh from Hongkong. I have been in Graz for 6 months already at this moment. I always wanted to stay in a place far far away from home, even since I was in middle school. And here I am in Graz, making my wish come true.
I have never heard of Graz before I came here. But these 6 months have already made Graz one of my favorite places on Earth as I explored and fell in love with this city and the people here. I saw snow for the first time in my life, I hiked more than ever, I saw stars in the clearest sky I have ever seen, I got to finally practice my German, etc. But the most amazing thing is, I met people from all around the world, and some of them became important friends.
I will never forget the warmth of the sun and the breeze of wind on my skin, while I was sitting in Stadtpark. I will never forget the moment in Schlossberg when I looked up and saw a sky full of stars. I will never forget walking down an empty street and seeing tiny snowflakes falling onto my palms. I will never forget every moment spent with my favorite people in this amazing city.
I can’t be more grateful. Thank you, Graz.
Chui Ting Cheung, overSEAs incoming student, Chinese University of Hong Kong, academic year 2020-21
23. März 2021
In February, the new students of all exchange programmes arrived to spend the summer semester at TU Graz. Despite these uncertain times almost 70 students from all over Europe, Asia and both Americas decided to take the risk and stand up to the pandemic. We think that´s great!
Not only the courses take place online at the moment, but also the German Intensive Course, the First Orientation Sessions and the Academic Advising according to their fields of study have been held online. The Campus Survival Tour had even to be postponed – who needs to be familiar with a campus without having any access? Well ... right.
Nevertheless, the Intercultural Awareness Sessions could take place in real life, in small groups keeping the distance needed and all precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Therefore, the incomings could at least meet a few co-students and we are confident, that they will meet in classes at some point during the semester.
Up to then please keep a safe distance from others, stay healthy and safe.
My name is Inês and I arrived here in September. Thanks to ESN’s buddy programme and to TU Graz’s orientation sessions I had the opportunity to immediately meet a lot of people and experience new cultures. During this month, I got to know the beautiful city of Graz. I was also able to visit other Austrian cities as well as some of Austria’s many mountains and lakes. Graz is the second biggest Austrian city, being mainly a student city. Famous for the Schlossberg, it is common to see here people from many different countries.
In October the classes started and I experienced different teaching methods. Unfortunately, in December the classes became online, but the professors were already prepared and the rest of the semester went well.
Five months of Erasmus, five months of amazing experiences. During this time, I could not only grow academically but also personally. Getting to know other cultures is a priceless opportunity to learn from each other. It was one of the best experiences of my life!
Inés Araújo Martins da Costa, Erasmus+ exchange student, Universidade de Aveiro, WS 2020
I’m Pati! I come from Portugal and arrived in Graz to experience one of the greatest adventures in my life: to live and study in a foreign country…during a PANDEMIC!! What was I thinking, you can ask… I still don’t know, but I’ve only been here for eight days (not that I’m counting them). When I arrived, I had to undergo a quarantine, which was really hard. I used to look outside the window just to try and figure out when my energy would pop out… I could see life, but I wasn’t feeling it yet.
And then…THE DAY arrived!
I could go out and get to know the city of Graz and the city offered me the greatest present: SNOW! What a beautiful scenario! Can you imagine the happiness inside my heart? Everything covered in white: the buildings, the trees, the gardens… it really did something for me, it was as if the city was saying: Hi Pati, welcome to your new home! I will be here for you; will you be here for me? - and I answered - Yes! I’m ready to be a part of this city, let’s give it some energy and be a part of this magical landscape, of this new home.
Ana Patricia Silva Varao Moreira, Erasmus+ exchange student, Universidade do Porto, SS 2021
Architecture student Lisa Schmidt came to Graz from TU Berlin as an Erasmus+ student. In her blogpost she writes about what it's like to study abroad in the time of corona, specifically at TU Graz.
Click below to read the full “Talking About” Article where Lisa talks about the reason why she has decided to do her exchange at TU Graz, how COVID-19 influenced her exchange and what she learned during her time in Graz.
Talking About Article: My semester abroad at TU Graz despite Corona
Lisa Schmidt, Erasmus+ exchange student, TU Berlin, WS 2020
My exchange journey began a year ago within the Erasmus+ ICM programme and continues until today. My whole stay had a lot of adventures for me!
Honestly, I have never heard about Graz before, but I immediately fell in love with this city as soon as I arrived! I started my exchange in a time, where nobody has heard about the virus: we had a lot of parties, planned trips over the semester… But everything was canceled in March 2020… These memories about crazy days still make me happy every time!
When my first semester was over, I was able to prolong my stay in Graz within the bilateral exchange program overSEAs.
In the winter semester 2020 I had some wonderful classes and a magnificent Studio in Building and Energy Institute (unfortunately only in a digital way), found a job and improved my German skills. My last semester in TU Graz, which I will spend as an intern student in a commercial firm, is soon starting. And hopefully it will be just a next stage in my relationship with this beautiful city!
Ivan Dmitriev, overSEAs and E+ ICM exchange student, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, SS20 – SS21
The winter semester 2020-21 is soon coming to an end. It has been a turbulent semester with distance learning and many restrictions due to COVID-19. Despite these challenges around 100 exchange students decided to start and complete their exchange semester at TU Graz. It was great to see some of our exchange students again at the online farewell session and to recap this semester.
Especially the first 1-2 months from September to October with fewer restrictions were precious because students could get to know each other during various Welcome Events in small groups and make friends for the whole semester. The months from November to January were defined by COVID-19 regulations and more distance learning. However, the time in Graz was well spent by our students: with a busy and self-organized schedule of courses to complete, small hikes in and around Graz, sportive indoor sessions and some online events organized by the International Office.
We are happy that we could support you along your exchange journey and we wish all our exchange students who go back home all the best for their future!
your incoming coordinators
Gitte, Natalia, Lena & Karin
December 16, 2020
Hi to all! The opportunity I was given to be an exchange student in Graz is invaluable! Even at the time of the virus. The opportunity to get to know the cultural city and learn what I love was really something for which I am grateful. Due to the introduced measures, there was a possibility of socializing only with people from the same household, so the limitations affected the society, so walking and socializing with roommates is certainly great. The first week as I came my goal was to see the famous Schlossberg, it is really an amazing place to visit as well as the view of the city from it. There was no lockdown during that period, so I took the opportunity to visit the museum as well. What thrilled me after a month was a visit to Eggenberg Castle. The castle preserves a historical story, and its surroundings are the most beautiful. The nature is beautiful in Graz and it definitely makes the weather easier during this period. Every part of Graz can be experienced by walking and it is easier to overcome the measures, which is why I would always choose to spend that period in Graz, in the city of students. If not a walk, then run.
Dragana Kovačević, CEEPUS exchange student, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, WS 2020
October 20, 2020
The International Office – Welcome Center at Graz University of Technology proudly presents the first of three videos that were filmed to celebrate the #ErasmusDays2020. As this year is different to previous years and offline activities are not possible, we decided to ask students from all over Europe, who are currently studying at TU Graz, to give us an interview. The students we asked arrived in September, so their time here in Graz has just begun. See for yourself what our incoming students have to tell. Enjoy watching it and don’t miss out the second one!
Gerlinde Müller-Reinisch, International Office - Welcome Center
September 23, 2020
The exchange semester in the winter semester 2020 starts a little bit different than in the past semesters. After the Online Orientation Sessions, our Incomings participate at the Welcome Activity - a guided City Tour through Graz in small groups. We had our first tours yesterday: we met outside of the main building of TU Graz (Campus Alte Technik) to start the tour.
To support them as best as we can we do not just provide them with useful information about studying at TU Graz, living in Graz, behaviour in COVID-19 times, but they also receive a mouth-nose-protection mask. Certainly an item that will be a really useful companion during their exchange.
The last three days we held our Orientation Sessions for exchange students. Due to COVID-19 we restructured our Welcome Events and held the sessions online: no matter if students already arrived or will arrive soon, everyone had the chance to participate and receive valuable information about TU Graz, registration matters and living in Graz/Austria, Austrian culture and cultural adaption in order to be well prepared for the exchange at TU Graz. In small break-out rooms we also talked about what everyone brought from home and the expectations students have about Austria.
However since social interaction is an essential part of an exchange stay we also have planned on-site activities in small groups to enable students can get to know each other and make new friends.
An overview about our Orientation Events can also be found in the section Welcome Events.
When you start thinking about exchange studies in a foreign country, chances are probably high that you envision meeting an almost absurd number of new people and forming friendships to be remembered fondly in the years to come. Likewise, chances are probably low that you envision yourself lonely in a large apartment and thanking the gods that your mother suggested you bring some toilet paper. Whilst improbable was this exactly what happened to me upon my arrival in Graz and the bad guy of this story is, not that surprisingly, the current pandemic. As the customs demand, this story also has a hero and it happens to be the team of the international office. They, together with ESN, ordered it so that a local student picked up the key to my dormitory in advance and met me there directly when I arrived and they also provided quarantine support by offering to buy groceries and all other things one might need to have a comfortable self-isolation. Thanks to the warm welcome, the quarantine, and therefore my entire semester here, became possible and I am sure my time in Graz will be well worth a few days in solitude.
Meisingseth Fredrik Emanuel, Erasmus+ exchange student, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, WS 2020
I heard about the opportunity to do research/study abroad in Austria in early February, so I decided to apply for the program hoping to travel, meet new people, and expand my knowledge. To my surprise, I was accepted into the program in April. Unfortunately, before I realized it, COVID-19 already caused travel restrictions. However, I am grateful to receive tremendous support from both program’s coordinators, as they helped make my participation possible via an online research stay. I am also thankful that the research team that I assisted online allowed me to explore their work and expertise. I am glad that I learned various concepts and tools along the way. There were undoubtedly challenging times during the experience where I ran into problems but tried to figure them out on my own. Most of the time I was able to solve them only to realize I might have complicated the work. Nevertheless, they were momentous in representing both my strength and weakness. As I continue my study, I hope to improve my drawback by taking more initiative to reach out for help. On a final note, I would like to thank everyone who had supported and given me tips and advice. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Vo Thien Tri Pham, online overSEAs research stay, University of Kansas, USA, SS 2020
As a foreign student I arrived here in the 2nd of February and thanks to the wonderful arrangement of the orientation, I got used to living and studying here soon and fell in love with this lovely city. By hearing that the whole semester will be online, I was really sad and this bad mood lasted for a week. Actually, I chose Austria as my destination of the exchange semester mainly cause of the wonderful music. Thus Lena and Gitte, these two warm-hearted ladies from the International Office, lent me a violin, with which I can play my favorite songs and found my inner peace. After the cure of the music, the sad feelings went away. I began to think things positively; for instance, due to online classes I didn`t need to commute and I could study more efficiently. And with the help of the platform Tube I could easily gain access to my courses, such as Computional Intelligence (really useful) and Machine Learning. At last I give my best regards to the Austrian government, who reacted in time. Thank you!
Chen Wentao, OverSEAS exchange student, Tongji University, China, SS 2020
During February I was able to enjoy the city and learn a bit about the language and culture before classes started in March. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 arrived in the country, the government closed all universities. TU and the team of the International Office were incredible with the support for us all, giving the information that we needed and helping us with any of our need.
The courses started online and didn’t take too long for all the professors and students to adapt themselves with the new “working conditions”. It wasn´t everything perfect, but we all made our best, being comprehensive with one or another technical problems with the internet connection, etc.
Despite the loneliness I focused on doing my best with what I had at hand. I learned a lot with my courses, with myself. Besides my classes, I spent a lot of time in the park in front of my flat, reading, seeing the season change and Graz become greener. Now, the city is opening again and I can’t wait to see and explore more Graz.
Giovana Muniz de Carvalho, OverSEAs exchange student, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Brazil, SS 2020
Hello everyone! Grüβ Gott! My name is Pablo Guerrero Alvarado, an international student at TU Graz. How to start? Well, I come from Mexico City. This was my first time in Europe. My plans were to visit lots of places, to fill my mind and soul with the European culture as well as to expand my social network around the world and acquire knowledge of a different way of studying engineering. COVID-19 appeared suddenly and the face-to-face classes became recorded video sessions without giving the option of posing questions and getting immediately the proper answers. Everything turned upside down.
By focusing on improving my German language skills using different methods, creating exercise routines and improving my cooking skills, quarantine made me realize, that we can’t continue being normal, we need to change, we need to push ourselves to get better. We need to grow-up!
Austria was the best country to pass quarantine. And with no doubt, I will return. I promise!
Pablo Guerrero Alvarado, ISEP exchange student, Universidad La Salle,Mexico, SS 2020
When you Google search "Graz, Austria," you see things like "Cultural Capital of Europe!" and "Culinary Capital of Europe!" However, for some reason, they don't mention how sweet and welcoming the city is. The first thing that should come up is how quaint and magical the capital city of Styria is, tucked away and surrounded by mountains. One important aspect of Graz, and of Austria as a whole, is the aspect of trust. People of Graz are so trusting of the others around them. Dogs walk without a leash. People leave bags and bikes unattended.
The work environment is also relaxed, non-stressful, yet extremely effective at the same time. The laboratory that I worked in has over 100 publications of amazing advanced chemistry papers, yet I never felt any stress or pressure being there. I truly enjoyed my work, and without even realizing it, I had a plethora of results. They just don't let themselves get overwhelmed. Maybe I can bring this stress-free lifestyle back with me? Or is it just an Austrian thing?
Enjoy yourself and the beautiful simplicity that is Graz. Tschüss!
Nori Zaccheo, Summer Programme, Syracuse University, USA, Summer 2019
“My semester abroad in Graz was hands down the best experience of my life. Graz is a beautiful city and a paradise for students. It took careful planning to ensure that I chose the right courses, but it was all more than worth it.
What I really liked about studying at TU Graz was that I was able to take Master’s courses on interesting topics even though I was only a Bachelor’s student. In my Master’s courses, the professors were extremely friendly and accommodating!
As for my social life in Graz, I had no problem making friends. There is a great network for international students in Graz called ESN, which organized trips and club nights for foreign students practically every week.
Lastly, Austria as a whole is a great place to live and to visit. Almost all Austrians speak good English and cause of the location I was able to travel cheaply by bus to Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Germany during my stay here.
Long story short, you should come study at TU Graz. It will be the time of your life!
Frieda Wells, OverSEAs student, University of Calgary, Canada, SS 2019