I went to Vienna University for Exchange and would like to share my experiences with you.
Exchange is a really exciting three-month journey and its essential that you choose a college based on how you want to spend your time. For me there were broadly four criteria: university location, cost of living, college and friends being either in the same university or being able to travel with you.
WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) fit the bill for me given my exchange rank and the fact that I wanted to have a mix of travelling and the foreign education experience. The closing rank was 69 last year, but it will definitely be lower this time around.
Vienna is arguably one of the best locations considering the colleges we have on offer. It’s in the heart of Europe and is the gateway to Eastern Europe. We had hordes of people staying over with us who would stop over in Vienna and then proceed to East Europe. Vienna has been rated the city with the best quality of life in the world seven years in a row which is a phenomenal achievement. It’s really safe to venture out even late at night which is a huge relief when you have to stay there for a long time. Transport within the city could be managed using the S-Bahn which is included in the Eurail pass. Culturally with its opera and museums its right up there.
Cost of Living
Vienna is cheaper than West European countries such as France but is not as cheap as Germany or East Europe. Typically, as you move from the west to the east in Europe the cost of living decreases. My Airbnb cost me 325 euros a month on a triple sharing basis, it was pretty comfortable and close to the university. Food in the WU cafeteria costs 5.4 euros for a 3 course meal. Check the Big Mac index to compare for yourself.
Attendance is 80% and its strictly enforced. Also the time table scheduling is a little messy and the lectures chosen must complete before the term at IIMB begins. But given that the course load is light and too much effort is not required. What I really liked was that I got a chance to work with students from various countries on my projects and that was an essential part of the exchange experience for me. One course was great and the others were decent. The college infra is brilliant and the buildings are so futuristically designed that they resemble a spaceship.
Friends for Company
If you do not take the German language course or the month long orientation, you have September completely free for travel. Your friends in colleges with no attendance can join you. Later on it depends on your time table and synchronising with students in Germany is easy from my experience as their colleges are not very far from WU.
Hope all of you get the university of your choice.