Registering in the city of Vienna
Registering was a very easy experience. We took the Meldezettel (registration form) that I had been given by OeAD, filled in, along with my passport to the registration office up the road from my halls. The forms are also there at the office so don’t worry if you don’t have one. Once you have registered you are given a certificate that you can then use to buy a annual student travel ticket. Registration offices are all over the city. All of the information is on this link:
Registering at the University
Next, we went to the International Office at the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien to meet the Erasmus coordinator and find out how to register me at the school. This is a much more extensive process here than it had been at my home university. First, we have to go to a specific room to do online-registration which was made more confusing by the haze of jet lag. Then I had to take my passport along with pre-printed passport photos (these had to be actual photos and not printed on paper like I had done) to a separate room. I was told to pay a direct bank transfer of 19euros to the university. The money is in fact to become a member of the SU which is compulsory at this university. Without paying this membership fee I cannot receive my student ID…
Once the boring stuff had been taken care of we hit up our first tourist spots! We headed for the Belvedere Palace, following the posters of Schiele and Klimt hung around the city. The Palace actually has 4 separate buildings: Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, 21er Haus, and the Winter Palais. (You can get an annual student pass to see all of the buildings as often as you want!) By this point we were excited to see Klimt’s famous The Kiss painting so we chose the Upper building. The building was very grand and ornate (as I have now learnt, much of Vienna is). The galleries specialise in classical art with emphasis on the Klimt and Schiele paintings.
Worth a visit even if you’re not a big art person as the rooms give you a feel of Vienna’s history.
Next, we strolled the streets of the city and followed the direction of St Stephen’s Cathedral rooftop until we found it. It’s very difficult to miss with the beautiful tiling and steeple towers. The inside, in contrast, was very dark and sombre with many statues covered in silver insulation (very odd to look at). We did not realise that we could go up the tower or down into the catacombs so I will come back again to see them.
For lunch, we were recommended to go to Café Museum which is just down the street from the Akademie. Norwegian smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, and scrambled egg with vine tomatoes and sunflower seeds on rye bread! Unfortunately, we were too full afterwards to try any of the amazing-looking pastries or cakes 😦 …No worries, I will be returning!
My first taste of Sachertorte was in the Belvedere cafe!