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Ing. Barbora Lucká, Pardubice,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Leoben is located in the central part of Austria and belongs to the second largest federative state-Styria. The city is easy to reach by train from all directions.
You will find everything one might need in a walking distance. There's a nice main square, shopping mall, well-maintained parks and beautiful Asia Spa. Being a relatively small city (around 25000 inhabitants) Leoben is a bit uneventful when it comes to night life or things to do, which are the only drawbacks.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Leoben is surrounded by mountains, there many walking as well as cycle paths. You should definitely visit a ruin Maßenburg, which is only 20 minutes walking from the centre and has a great view over the city. An absolute must is also a hike to the mountain Mugel, I'd suggest starting from Niklasdorf (1 train stop from Leoben) and on the way back you can take the second path that ends in Leoben. If you're there between April and August you should also see a Green Lake (Grüner See).
The problem with this internship was that my supervisor wasn't there for the majority of my stay (4 out of 6 weeks) and he didn't say to his colleagues what I was supposed to do. Therefore the other employees were trying to find some job for me, so I ended up doing a little bit of everything, some rheological, tenziometric and DSC measurements, a little bit of 3D printing, injection moulding and working with kneater and hot press. The description of the internship said they require people to be practically ending their studies, which I'd say wasn't necessary, a person with much lower qualification would be able to do what I've done there. It was still interesting because I've not worked with most of these machines before.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
I'd consider the salary to be were good, around 1500€ before tax, I traveled every weekend and still brought some money back home.
Excellent English, German would be helpful but not necessary.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
My first accomodation was provided by IAESTE and cost 275€/month, I had my own room and shared the flat with 3 people. Sadly I had to move, because the roommates rented it only till the end of the month and I had to look for another apartment, then I paid 350€/month but had much nicer flat and only 1 roommate.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
IAESTE members picked me up at the train station, walked with me to the flat and around the city. They also helped me with the registration in the town hall and my first day at work. They organised one dinner every week, where all the internees and members could come, cook and eat for free, which was really nice. We also watched Game of Thrones together every week :) I really appreciated the work of Leoben IAESTE members.
Meeting other foreign students
There were around 10 other internees in Leoben when I arrived. It was really nice because we saw each other almost every day and organised weekends together as well. I've only regreted I wasn't there the whole summer to spend more time with them.
Sport and culture
Swimming and wellness in the spa, volleyball or basketball in the sports centre, hiking.
Food, local specialties
Austrian cuisine has many similarities with Czech one, so there wasn't anything new for me. I'd definitively recommend to try beef broth with cheese or tirolean dumplings (Käseknodelsuppen, Speckknodelsuppe). Most of the times I prefered cooking at home other than going to restaurants, because I like to cook and it was of course much cheaper.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Skype, whatsapp, phone (roaming charges ended so it cost the same as in Czech).
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
I'd recommed people to go to Leoben or any other city in Austria, it's a beautiful country with an amazing nature and riendly people. Try to study at least a basic german phrases, people will be happy that you try.
What not to forget with you
Sport clothes and shoes, even if you're not a sporty person you will want to go on a hike or two, when you'll see all the stunning mountains everywhere around.
Benefits of the internship
Intership helped to connect my theoretical knowledge with practical work, which I really appreciated. It also deepend my technical English skills. I've met great people and get to know a bit about awesome country with much better university system than ours.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Cooperation with Leoben IAESTE during the internship was good and without any trouble.
Overall experience with IAESTE
I had a bit of struggle before the intership and I'm not sure if it was a problem with my university IAESTE, national Czech IAESTE, national Austria IAESTE, or Leoben IAESTE. Because the communication chain is so long, it takes ages to recieve the information you need, f.e. it took several months before I even knew if I was accepted or not. On the other hand I'd probably never be able to find an internship like this without the help of IAESTE, so I'm happy I've decided to go, because the experiece was overall ok and I would recommed it to everyone, just be patient :)
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