The choice of courses for us exchange students was not that big, since not many courses is in English. However the courses that we could chose was “Innovative Methods”, “Transnational Project Work and Development Cooperation”, “European and International Social Policies”, “Social Work as a Human Rights Profession”, “Intercultural Dialogue” and “Gender and Diversity Training”. First I thought that every course would be really hard and that the teachers would be tough, but it was the opposite. Once you got a hang on how their school system works it was easier to adopt to another way of thinking when it comes to studying. First it felt like we had a lot of assignments to do, but in reality we had a lot of free time since we only had class once or twice per week. So we had a lot of time to travel and experience the Austrian nature. Also the Austrian students was really welcoming to us incomings, and we had the chance to get to learn them since we had almost every course with the students that is studying the 4th semester in Social Work. Since FH Vorarlberg is a really small school, if you compare to Jönköping University, the relationship between the teachers (and other stuff members) and the students was really good since everyone (almost) know everyone.
One of the best thing with Dornbirn and FH Vorarlberg is the people that works at the international office. Before the exchange they help with everything you need, for example with accommodation. Then during our semester they helped us whenever we needed the help, for example if we had problem with a course. They also always send an email whenever there was a feast day, since all the shops are closed on both Sundays and feast days, and that helped us a lot when it comes to planning our grocery shopping. They also helped, for example, with our courses, when we wanted to change them or add one, or with the schedule. Overall the international office was really helpful, and without them our exchange semester would be so much harder, because if truth would be told we would be a little bit lost without them.
When it comes to accommodations there is two options to live in Dornbirn. First one is the Erasmus House, where 24 people live together in 9 different shared flats. You either share a flat with 1 or 2 other people, and you share bathroom and kitchen together. The Erasmus House is where all the parties are, since it has a big common room where everyone can get together and enjoy everyone’s company. The other option to live is in Kolpinghouse, where you share a small flat with only a bathroom with 1 other person. The kitchen it shared with all the other residents. Kolpinghouse is a bit cheaper than Erasmus house, but you don’t have your own kitchen and it is a bit smaller, and you also live with other residents that is not exchange students.
The prices in Austria is pretty much the same as in Sweden. Eating out at restaurants is a bit cheaper, and of course also the alcohol. But other than that everything cost pretty much the same as in Sweden. The transportation system is, in my opinion, a bit better in Austria than in Sweden, and the prices is not that bad if you want to travel to nearby cities or countries.