So one thing that I have learned very quickly is that in Vienna nothing is done quickly! It is not like London here. Nothing is convenient or punctual. I have had to learn to take a more laid-back approach to things as well as telling myself to slow down when walking about the city. One day I looked around me and noticed that everybody else was walking at a more slow and relaxed pace than me. A fast pace is a necessity when living in London so that you don’t end up getting jostled and/or yelled at to get out of the way. So at the moment I keep having to remind myself to change these habits, take more time to look around and smile at people.
Registration at the Akademie
Today I’m going to tell you how registration works at the Akademie. My flatmate who is attending WU has told me that the system is very similar there as well so it’s possible that this is how it works throughout Vienna and Austria. It’s a very different system to the one I’m used to. At Central Saint Martins we simply came in for “registration day” at the beginning of our first year, it took maybe half an hour, and then we never had to bother with it again. At the Akademie, it is a minimum of 3-4 days to received your student ID and pin code (used to access the online system and register for your courses). Firstly, all Erasmus students must visit the International Office to meet with the Erasmus coordinator, followed by online pre-registration as I described in Meldezettels and sachertorte. The next important part of the process is to make a bank transfer of €19.20 directly to the university to become a member of the SU. This is compulsory and if you don’t pay it then you can’t be a student at the institution. It is this bank transfer that takes 3-4 days, after which you can return to the office (along with passport and pre-printed photos) to collect your ID and pin code. You are finally registered and can begin signing up for courses on the AkademieOnline system!
Signing up for courses
So again this is a very different system to the one we have at home where we receive a timetable full of our courses. At the Akademie we must sign on to the online system with our freshly-new pin code and manually sign up for the courses we want to take. We have one broad class that we must take that is being run by our personal tutor. Mine is called Conceptual Art and focusses on socially-engaged practise. This main class counts as 17 credits, and each student must complete extra credits depending on their home institution. Coming from Central Saint Martins we are only required to complete 20 credits meaning that we only need to sign up for 1 or 2 more classes to pass the semester. Being slightly more adventurous than this, I have decided to sign up for 5 extra classes. Luckily we can decide to un-register from classes before the end of the month if we either don’t enjoy it or have over-loaded our timetables.
We were given an AkademieOnline workshop to help us understand the whole process and how to work our new email address. Basically, there is a long list under each degree title that holds all of the courses (workshops, lectures, seminars, etc.) available for the summer semester. We needed to go through them, choose the ones that interested us, check the form of examination, credits, language and check that they fitted into our timetables before clicking the “registration” link.
Unfortunately because we are Erasmus students, we have come late to the registration period so many of the workshops have already been filled up. Hopefully, this shouldn’t stop us from being able to attend but it means that we have to go to the first session and ask if there is space for us. If all goes to plan I should be studying Anatomical Drawing, Stone Sculpture Techniques, Gender Studies, Sexualities and German as a Foreign Language. Fingers crossed!
After receiving your student ID you can get yourself a student semester pass on all transport in Vienna as well as a train pass for travel all over Austria!