Full name: Amanda Vilela Fonseca
Home country: Brazil
Home institution: Federal University of Viçosa (UFV)
Host institution in Austria: Technische Universität Wien
Study programme: Chemical Engineering
Duration of your stay in Austria: 1 year and 4 months
Current position: Chemical engineering undergraduate student
Why did you choose Austria?
First of all, I would like to improve my skills in German, which is a valuable language in my studies field. When CAPES announced the possibility of doing an interchange in Austria, I found out that Austria has an important chemical industry as well as a respectful bachelor program for chemical engineering in some universities. Along with the famous high quality of life and the attractive places to visit, all these factors showed me that an interchange in Austria would be the right choice.
Why would you recommend Austria as an interesting study location?
I would recommend Austria because it offers worldwide known universities in many fields of study. At the university you can experience and learn about many cultural differences, not only from the native students but also from the other international students. As student, you have also a lot of advantages, like the low cost of the transport, discounts in museums, concerts, some shops and other incredible places and opportunities that Austria offers. There is also really beautiful places to visit, with a spectacular nature, and many castles, where you can spend a really good time and do very pleasant sightseeings.
Another reason why I recommend Austria as an interesting study location is because of its very polite and helpful people, as my experiences have shown until now. The patience and care that I found here were definitive for the great time that I am having here. People from OeAD are between the most caring people that I ever encountered. They are willing to help us with whatever is possible, so that we can feel as comfortable as possible, even though we are in a whole new world..
All in all, Austria has a delightful atmosphere, where you find a pleasant environment with people that really care about you, in a way that you can truly have a non-stressful and successfully study.
What did you like about Austria?
I like the transportation, which has benefit ratio, and is efficient, and really organized. The restaurants, bars and coffee shops that I have visited are amazing, clean, comfortable and the service is really efficient. The nature is one of the things that I like the most. When I came it was the beginning of the winter, hence the yellow leaves were still in the trees, molding a beautiful landscape. The German course was also pretty good, I could make some friends and significantly improve my skills. And also I am really satisfied with the solicitude of the Austrian people.
What were the challenges you had to deal with?
Actually, I did not have to deal with so many problems, but I can mention the difficulties that mostly international students go through: the food adaptation (which is not actually a huge problem because in Austria you have a lot of different restaurants, with different food, and the Austrian food is pretty good, even though it is different of what I used to eat in Brazil), the communication because my German was not good yet and some cultural differences.
What else I would like to say
I would like to say that this international experience is going to change my life, of course in a good way. I feel that I will improve so much as student and as person and I think I will be more prepared to changes in the future. It is really good to know about a totally different country and understand how the things works in other places. I think Austria was not only the right, but the best choice that I have done and I would like to thank OeAD and CAPES, which made it all possible by means of the Science without Borders program, for giving me this marvelous opportunity of studying abroad.