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The mesmerizing world of chemistry in Graz

Marcell Gyurkač wanted to study abroad, that's how he came to Austria. He joined the international student ambassadors’ team of TU Graz to help other international students, mainly from Slovenia, with his experiences.

Becoming a chemist has always been a dream for me. Joining TU Graz as an international student doing a master’s programme in chemistry has now fulfilled all my expectations. Do you also dream about studying abroad?

My study programme in Austria

The master’s programme in chemistry consists of compulsory lectures, elective subjects in the field of chemistry, laboratory and soft skills as well as free elective subjects. And without going into detail, the core message of this information is that Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) offers more lectures and research topics than one can dream of.

TIP 1: Doing an internship in the summer can be acknowledged as a free elective subject rewarded with 5 ECTS. Furthermore, the teaching staff of TU Graz even encouraged me to connect with industry to obtain skills that are necessary while working for a company.

For further information about master’s degree programmes at TU Graz please read the corresponding website of your desired field of study and also make sure to check the curriculum of the study programme you are applying for.

TIP 2: A good tip is to go to the “Semester plan” where all your modules, with all compulsory and elective courses are listed. And also later, after getting your first grades, you will see your progress here.

My research at TU Graz

At the beginning I started visiting the compulsory courses and quickly integrated into the TU Graz studying atmosphere. During the first three months I learned a lot about the research fields that the teaching staff carry out in their daily life. After getting to know them, I also read some additional information on the TU Graz website of the corresponding institutes. The broad spectrum of offers was fascinating. In January 2019 I decided to approach two of the staff to do an elective laboratory project synthesising new coordination compounds. Long story short: we managed to obtain lots of crystal structures never seen before and since then have published a scientific paper, where I am credited as a co-author.

At TU Graz, research and teaching is mostly organised around seven faculties that comprise a total of 96 institutes. Find out more about the faculties and institutes on the TU Graz website.

My study experience at TU Graz

Personally, I’ve always tried to learn in groups and help my fellow colleagues out. This is also how I met lots of friends and the exams became much easier for me to pass. We always shared our notes with each other when someone couldn´t make it to the appointed lecture or seminar. We even built a study team and worked on old exams together and compared our results. This has made my studying a lot more fun and enjoyable. Also later in the compulsory laboratory sessions, the working atmosphere was excellent due to the fact that we had already learnt how to properly work together as a team.

TIP 3: Connect with fellow students to share lecture notes and prepare for exams together. Join WhatsApp or Facebook groups and always be up to date on what is happening around you.

Later the same year I started working as a student project employee in the field of physical chemistry. Once more, I managed to meet lots of new people and to maximise my teaching skills and soft skills. Doing extracurricular activities is always recommended. If you don´t want to become a student assistant, maybe you can try out some lectures or seminars with lots of exercises performed in groups from the soft skills package. One further possibility is to join other networks which will help you to integrate as a TU Graz student even faster.

TIP 4: If you want to access the old exams of your study programme, TU Graz offers you a separate website where most of the tests can be found. Here is the link (although it works only if you are already a registered student at TU Graz).

Soft skills lectures:

  • TIMEGATE at the Department of Corporate Leadership and Entrepreneurship of University of Graz

Some of the networks you can join:

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Why choose TU Graz? TU Graz "International Student Ambassadors" Hannah and Endrit talk about why they chose TU Graz to study abroad.

NAWI Graz” – Natural Science degree programmes

Among the many study programmes offered by TU Graz - including the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in chemistry - are the so-called NAWI Graz programmes. In the NAWI Graz programmes, TU Graz and the University of Graz have joined forces to offer students a broader range of possibilities in their fields of study. The programme includes bioscience and chemistry, earth, space and environmental sciences, as well as maths and physics. It is an inter-university programme, which means you have lectures at both universities, but ultimately it will result in a higher quality of studies.

Check out the NAWI Graz website for further information which study fields are included.

Personal Experience with "NAWI Graz"

At the beginning I was very surprised, also a bit lost, because I had to change locations and lecture rooms every day. But the overwhelming new study environment has become an exciting, somewhat sporty daily routine. Now I have made tons of friends and met lots of teaching staff at both universities. I’m thankful for the NAWI Graz programme and to sum it up: experiencing a little bit of both universities gives you a much larger choice, which is great for finding a master’s thesis supervisor that will fit your desired research field the most.

TIP 5: It´s a great advantage if you have a bike in Graz. I highly recommend having a bike especially to all NAWI Graz students since you can switch from one campus to another in less than ten minutes. You can even buy your own TU Graz bike (the link works only if you are already a registered student at TU Graz).

Marcell Gyurkač is from Lendava, Slovenia, and is studying for an MSc in chemistry at TU Graz (NAWI Graz Programme). He is also an International Student Ambassador at TU Graz and is eager to advise international students about studying and living in Graz. For any additional information related to studies at TU Graz, feel free to contact him.
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