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… coming to TU Graz as a degree seeking student

09/10/2019 | Talking about ...

By Brenda Barrios

Brenda Barrios came to Austria as a student of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering Master's Programme at Graz University of Technology. In her Blog Post she tells us, why Graz became the city of her heart.

Advantages of studying abroad: Brenda Barrios discovers Austrian cuisine and much more. Here she gives samples of her country's cuisine.

I have been a degree seeking student of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering (CPE) Master’s Programme at the TU Graz since October of 2017. Before coming to Graz, as soon as I got my acceptance letter the TU Graz Welcome Center got in contact with me. Elisabeth and Birgit, currently the main contacts for international students, are always available through email, Facebook and Instagram.

The Welcome Center of TU Graz supports international degree seeking students, researchers and staff members before and during their stay. Switch to the Welcome Center´s website to learn more about the services for internationals.

Why Graz University of Technology

I chose TU Graz because the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering (CPE) Master´s Programme is completely held in English. The professors are always available to help with any inquiry. I really enjoyed the practical courses in which I was able to get into contact with other international and Austrian students.  
As the CPE is a NAWI Graz Programme, which means that both TU Graz and the University of Graz (KFU) run it together, it is advantageous because you get access for both universities in the physical commodities and also online, through two accounts on the corresponding Campus management systems. And you only have to pay tuition fee at one university.

The NAWI Graz cooperation includes joint teaching, research and doctoral programmes. All programmes in the natural sciences are offered in combination. Read more about the Degree and certificate programmes offered on the NAWI Graz website.

At the beginning, I had to choose at which university I would enroll. I chose TU Graz as my main university. Also the usage of the Studo application on a mobile device is very helpful to keep updated in both accounts.

Scholarships, networking and more

My home country, Guatemala, is 10,000 km away from here, so I decided I was going to get the best out of this opportunity. Coming from Central America studying in Austria is a little bit expensive in terms of money, so I came with a loan-scholarship from my country. In the second year, I also got a scholarship from the Afro Asian Institute (AAI).
That being said, investing in my education and my current way of living is well worth it. Just to mention one of my favorite everyday activities: I enjoy riding my bike with which I can get from my flat to the main campus in which I take the courses, in just 15 minutes.
I have made many nice friends, both Internationals and Austrians, through my studies but also from extracurricular activities such as joining an international student’s organisation like AIESEC. I can also suggest another organization which is the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST).
If one really wants to experience the Austrian culture, taking basic courses in German to use in the daily activities out of the classroom should be a must. I chose Austria because I was aware that just because of the fact of another spoken language then English it was going to be a personal challenge for me.

Experiencing Styria and the Austrian culture

Young woman in winter clothes in snow-covered mountain landscape.

Brenda Barrios enjoys her studies in Austria to the full. Here at the Teichalm.

I have enjoyed every experience up until now: getting to know places like Teichalm, Schwarzlsee and Mariazell, experiencing the traditions of Faschingdienstag, Krampus and Perchten, Christkindlmärkte and trying some delicious beverages and food such as the pressed grape must called “Sturm”, the "Glühwein", a spiced hot beverage based on wine, a "Stelze", which means knuckle of pork, and the "Osterjause", the traditional Easter meal, among others.

I like the fact that there are eight other countries surrounding Austria one can visit and at the same time Austria itself has nine regions one can also visit.

The city of Graz has the perfect size and it is a very international city: I like the fact that there are eight other countries surrounding Austria one can visit and at the same time Austria itself has nine regions one can also visit After completing my programme I would like to extend my stay in Graz, which has become the city of my heart.

The Graz guide on the TU Graz website provides practical information on Austria and Graz in particular – and gives advice on entry requirements, accommodation and more.


International Welcome Days

During the International Welcome Days, international students starting a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate programme at Graz University of Technology will learn everything they need to know about study life before the start of the semester. Switch to the International Welcome Days website.


Brenda Barrios
Degree seeking student at TU Graz
Phone: +43 664 3103541

Contact Welcome Center

International Office – Welcome Center
Mandellstraße 15/II
8010 Graz, Austria