Kieran – Exchange to FH Kufstein, Austria
Semester 2, 2016
My host university, FH Kufstein shown in the above photo is really just a hub of opportunities. Whether it be meeting great people, taking day excursions around the town of Kufstein, Innsbruck, Salzburg or learning about what interests you in life, FH Kufstein really has it all. The photo I’ve chosen shows the main entrance to the university. It is structured well with classrooms branching off in all directions and a great cafeteria with cheap meals – a good spot to catch up with friends after class.
However, this photo fails to show the depth of possibilities that come with being a student at this university. For instance, last Saturday we all meet on the ground level, next to those chairs and started a fantastic 1-day tour of the city of Innsbruck. We learnt the incredible history of not only Kufstein but, to a degree, Austria as a nation and the key political figures that helped to shape it.
This trip was great as it built on a lust for travel that I and the other students here have started to acquire. Innsbruck was a great city to travel to, at the foot of snow capped mountains it boasts a range of sites and attractions appealing to all ages. We stopped for an hour of lunch we were able to listen to insanely great live music (which featured a didgeridoo of all things!), explored a huge ski and snowboard shop, ate some scrumptious pizza while making some solid, consistent banter and on top of all that, drank ourselves down a well deserved weissbier.
Directly below where I took this photo there is a classroom where, in a few weeks, I will be presenting with my group for a subject called ‘Case study in Innovation’. This subject is unique in the way that groups are given the option of choosing 9 topics and then are instructed to relate that topic in an innovative and practical way to one of two companies here in Kufstein. Two representatives from each large services company will be present at this presentation to ask questions about how we aim to provide an innovative and effective solution to a problem we as students have identified in their company. For me this is a first, FH Kufstein identifies as a Fachhochschule, meaning a university of applied sciences, however I wasn’t aware this is how they played ball. I think its great that the teaching is done and applied in this real world style, for the first time in a group presentation I will be able to present my ideas and those of my groups in a serious and professional manner, the group who presents the best will even be given a monetary prize, woo!
So as you can see, this photo, while illustrating a great snapshot of the university and my slightly hung-over Finnish friend, Eron, doesn’t quite do justice for the vast array of possibilities, opportunities and inspiration this university strives to provide. I implore anyone who has made it to this final sentence to open up your chosen internet service browser utility, type FH Kufstein, press firmly on the ‘enter’ key and sit back and prepare to say the words ‘wow, golly gosh’ a couple of times as you lose all awareness of space and time by the sheer hypnotic sensation that is found browsing through the well structured indexes of FH Kufstein.com