Vignesh Reddy Kandi


5 Months in Vienna, Austria

Why Vienna? So, why Vienna? Well, it was either here, Switzerland, or Mexico for my exchange. I went with Austria mainly because it’s kind of cheap and my dad used to be here when I was little. I heard so many stories about Vienna growing up, it just seemed right to finally check it out myself. Plus, staying for five months? That’s the only way to really get bedt experience possible, way better than just hitting the tourist spots. And My cousins, Sai Sri Anmandla and Srija Anmandla, are in Vienna! Having family around made everything way more fun. without them, I might have got off Vienna pretty quick. I landed on September 4th, 2023, which was a Sunday, and yup, everything was closed. I moved into my spot at Haus Panorama in the 20th district, finding food was a mission. It was already 10 PM, and my go-to, Wolt, doesn’t even work here yet. Ended up finding out a doner kebab costs like €3.50 here, which is a steal compared to the €10 back in Finland. The uni system here? Not a fan. I went to Fh technikum wien. It feels way more pressured than what I’m used to. They’ve got this mandatory attendance thing to get grades, which is a total switch from the chill vibe in Finland. It’s all discipline and structure here, which isn’t really my jam. Vienna’s cool and all, but I miss places like the startup sauna back home—Vienna’s kinda short on open coworking spaces and English networking events. But geographically, it’s ace. Just a couple of hours from most places around, and the public transport? Super cheap. Got my whole five months covered for like 80€. I planned to hit up all the neighboring cities and countries, but I ended up flying back to Finland like every month. Still, bouncing between Helsinki and Vienna was pretty cool. And yo, I had to grab an Insta360 X3 because my phone just wasn’t doing justice to all the epic stuff around here. The view from my apartment alone, right on a running lake, was just 🔥 At first, Vienna and I didn’t really click, but by the end, I kinda started feeling a vibe with the city. Makes me wonder, should I stick around a bit longer?

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Austria could be my next…

Last year, two of my close friends discussed going for an exchange program, and I didn’t feel the same way. I was content with studying at Hamk and demotivated them by not showing interest. However, a year later, an email from my guidance counselor made me realize that I should also explore exchange opportunities. I started researching and found various options in Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Spain, Mexico, and South Korea. Initially, I was sure that I wanted to stay in Europe, but then Austria caught my attention. There was something about the country that made me feel connected to it, and I decided to apply to a university in Austria. I’m eagerly waiting to hear back from the universities and excited on this journey. It’s amazing how a change in perspective can make you reconsider your choices. Fingers crossed for Austria, or maybe even another country!

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