And how are things in Graz?

Hello, I am Rachelle and in September I started the 3rd year of my double degree master program within the Faculty of the Built Environment; “Urban Systems and Real Estate” and “Construction Management and Engineering”. This semester I am on Erasmus exchange in Graz, Austria. Graz is a great student city, as 1 in 5 people are students.

photo collectie Rachelle Weerts

The semester in Graz does not official start until October, but as an exchange student you have the chance to take an intensive German course for three weeks in September, which is what I did. It is definitely recommended, as it allows you to brush up on (or start learning) your German language skills, and it is a perfect way to get to know people. This German course takes place every morning, so in the afternoon you have time to explore the city and its surroundings. I must say that all the people in Graz are very friendly. During the first weeks, there will be three welcome days organized by TU Graz, as well as a campus survival tour, a tour of the library and a welcome reception including lunch.

In Graz, they make great use of seminar teaching. This means that people from the industry, prepare a course and give it for one or two weeks at the TU. For these weeks, you attend these seminars all day (so, for example, from 9h till 16h). After this period, the exam follows immediately the week after. You need to get used to this, since at TU Eindhoven there are always 10-week teaching blocks. So here, the schedule can change every week. Still, I like the seminars, it is very interesting to learn things about the business world, with experiences of people from this circuit.

The TU Graz campus consists of three parts, all of which are relatively close to the city center. You can also easily study in the campuses’ libraries. So, the class schedule may take some getting used to at first, but the teaching is very good and interesting.

If you enjoy travelling and exploring Europe, Graz is definitely a good option. The city is located in the south-east area of Austria, close to other countries and cities. For instance, in the first six weeks, I have already visited several cities, including: Ljubljana, Venice (see main photo), Milan and Verona. For the remaining months, there will be more cities visited. For instance, it is obviously very easy to go to Vienna for a weekend, but Budapest and Prague are also easy to reach by train. Furthermore, Austria also has a lot to offer, of course. You can easily go on a weekend of winter sports or some nice (winter) hiking.

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Furthermore, Graz is a great student city: 1 in 5 people is a student. There is something organized every weekend and Wednesday is the typical day to go out as a student. For example, all Erasmus students often go to the Irish pub ‘2brothers’ on Wednesdays. In this pub, you get a discount with an ESN card. So, it is recommended to become a member of the ESN network (Erasmus Student Network). If you are a member, you can participate in various activities and get discounts in various pubs and restaurants. You also get discounts at Flixbus and Ryanair, which makes it even easier (and cheaper) to travel.

In my opinion, Graz is a very pleasant city for an Erasmus exchange with a lot of promising options!

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