fh-joanneum“Dear All,

I’m glad because I can write you about some of my great experiences which I had the last two weeks in connection with the Erasmus programme in Austria. I’m studying Health Management in Tourism  at FH Joanneum in Bad Gleichenberg, in a small town with a population of about 2000 people.  it’s a very small and friendly place with enormous parks, everything is green here..:)

My arrival was quite funny (I arrived here with one of my acquaintances from University of Pannonia), and our phones didn’t work, we didn’t know that we have to activate them. On the first days we also didn’t have an Internet connection, so no contanct with the others was quite strange, but we also had fun. Before our arrival we’d already spoken with Tanja, the assistant of our coordinator that we’re going to meet on our first day here, but because of these problems we couldn’t. Luckily, on the next day I met a girl in our dormitory and she could take us to the university which is very close to the dorm, 2 minutes on foot, and we could write an e-mail to Tanja. After that we travelled to Graz by train because we took part on The Orientation Week which was organized for the incoming students by FH Joanneum, and we enjoyed it very much! We could meet people from many countries, like Russia, Spain, Mexico, Columbia, Singapore etc.. There were also many great programs, like Cross-Cultural Communication where we could get to know the behavouring forms of other cultures, and we had a city tour in Graz,where we could see many of the traditional buildings of the city, it was unforgottable! We also visited the Eggenberg castle, which is a member of the World Heritage Sites, so I don’t have to say that being there was a great experience! On the last day of the Orientaion Week we travelled to Riegersburg by bus where we visited the famous Zotter Chocolate Factory, we could taste many types of chocolate, there were also some extreme types like soya or fish chocolate, but also many traditional ones. We spent a few time in the castle of Riegersburg, and after that we met Jim, our coordinator and he picked us up and took us back to Bad Gleichenberg. Our studies  started only this week (3rd October, 2011), first we could get to know our teachers and the other students, and after that I’ve already have some lessons.  The system here is quite different from ours, we don’t have a stable timetable because of the big flexibility of the teachers, we take part on lessons at on another timepoint every week, so first it was quite strange for me, but now I can understand this system better! I enjoy my stay because the teachers are very helpful and we are quite close to them  because this is a small university (the smallest campus of Europe), and I can say this also about the students, many of them are very interested in incoming students.

So in conclusion I think this scholarship is a wonderful possibility to get to know other cultures and new people, it’s very useful because I spent a lot of time with local people and I can also speak quite a lot in German and English and I can just reccomend this place to you because you could have an extremely great time in Bad Gleichenberg!

I wish you all the best,

Bettina Léhart”