The creation of an International Family – Abroad in Austria

What happens when you gather 32 girls from 21 different countries? It’s simple, it results in an international family being created as a result of one amazing and priceless experience.

For the majority of July I spent my time in Austria, exploring the culture and history while being a part of the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women (ISAE4W) at the university of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria. This program ran for two and a half weeks and covered a variety of topics that focused on exploring applied sciences, women in engineering, new technologies in medical science and gave us the opportunity to network with other women who are currently in the field.  

The other participants of the program were from all over the world. Spain, Turkey, Ireland, Japan, China and Canada to name a few. All of us shared the same passion for engineering and natural sciences and it was a chance to not only connect with people from other countries, but also to make long lasting friendships.  

When I first heard I had been accepted into the program I was excited to learn about all the other cultures that would be present at the program; I had always wanted to travel abroad so that I could experience living in a foreign place and have the chance to learn about different ways of life. Not only did Austria’s culture amaze me but hearing everyone’s stories about how they got to Austria was inspiring. None of us had the same story and we were each able to pass on bits of advice to our friends across the globe.  

I would highly recommend completing a program abroad because it is an insightful experience that gives you the opportunity to make international friends and increase your understanding of the world we live in. It is true what they say about going abroad, you are forever changed by it; you bring a little piece of where you went home with you. 

Madison Dias

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical and Mechatronic)/Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice

Innsbruck: a month that’s changed my life

In January 2019, I packed my bags and headed to Europe. I was going to Innsbruck, Austria, to study their Engineering and Business Winter Program. The feeling was unnerving but exhilarating. As my travels started, the excitement grew, and as soon as I got to Innsbruck, I knew I could see myself living here.

Beautiful architecture, water ways and mountains, everywhere you look in Innsbruck.

Innsbruck is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The buildings are riddled with culture and history; the food is phenomenal and the people are lovely. Austrian culture is extremely friendly, yet professional; so it was very comforting as a young solo traveller to be welcomed into a culture that felt very safe and supportive.

Innsbruck itself is really small, but has literally everything you need; which gives a really intimate, safe and inclusive feeling. Everything is within walking distance and the scenery is phenomenal. I would have to allow an extra 15 minutes walking everywhere, because I always stopped to take photos of the mountains.

Standing at the top of one of the buildings in the main street, overlooking the main town and the views of the mountains.

Geographically speaking, Innsbruck is in an amazing location, where the other students and I were able to travel together to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the rest of Austria, on weekends. So not only was I able to experience living in a beautiful European town, but I was able to experience other cultures and countries; from villages in the mountains to major cities.

Studying at the Management Center Innsbruck

The study program was really well structured and a fantastic learning experience. There was a small group of us from around the world participating in this program, and the staff were really organised in making sure we were well acquainted. So we became very close, which has given me a global network now.

Each week we had a different subject, which worked really well with the structure of the program. One of my favourite things was that each subject was taught by a different expert from around the world; so you were taught by very knowledgeable and engaging staff with a lot of global experience.

I studied entrepreneurship, innovation and start up subjects; which was an amazing opportunity to develop and further any ideas I have of my own. As well as develop my business knowledge. I also studied Biotech Product Operations, which was fantastic for me as a Biomedical Engineering student. At UTS, we learn about global processes and standards/regulations; but to be in Europe and seeing these processes first hand, was a very different, beneficial learning experience.

I enjoyed my experience at the Management Center of Innsbruck so much, and was sad to leave; but I know I will be back one day. I have developed so much as a person, and have a new appreciation of the world. If ever given this opportunity, I highly recommend you do it too!


Management Centre Innsbruck (MCI) Winter School 2017

In February I travelled to Innsbruck, a small mountain city located in the western part of Austria. While I was there, I participated in the winter school program organised by Management Centre Innsbruck (MCI). MCI is a relatively young university which focuses on practical learning with a modern approach. Over the course of three weeks I completed 3 different subjects, Business Ethics, Renewable Energy and Water Pollution Control.

RIver Inn, InnsbruckColourful houses of Innsbruck and the river Inn.

Although I only spent a short time at MCI, the amount of theoretical knowledge and practical skills I gained was phenomenal. As a part of Business Ethics, we learnt different ethical theories and how to deal with ethical dilemmas in the workplace, an essential skill for any professional. Through Water Pollution Control, we learnt about treatment methods of drinking and sewerage water, urban drainage design and membrane technology.

Furthermore, in Renewable Energy, we discussed methods of generating clean energy and developed renewable energy concept plans for different cities around the world. Laboratory classes and an excursion to the local water treatment plant allowed us to reinforce knowledge learnt in the classroom and experience it in real life applications.

Another exciting aspect of the winter school program was the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. There were students from countries including Italy, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Austria. It was fun working on group projects with them and learning about their different cultures.

It was not all study and classes though, we still had the weekends off and one/two days off during the week. During my days off I explored Innsbruck with my new friends and went on many day trips. We visited Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Salzburg, the city in which Mozart was born, the lakeside village of Hallstatt and Mittenwald, a small picturesque town located on the border of Germany and Austria. Some pictures from these trips have been included below.

Rauschbrunnen - Alpine RestaurantSpent two hours hiking up the mountain to reach this alpine restaurant, only to find out it was closed.SalzburgA view of Salzburg’s old town from the Hohensalzburg FortressLake Lautersee, MittenwaldLake Lautersee in Mittenwald GermanyHallstatt VillageHallstatt Village. Had to catch four different trains and a ferry, a total of 5 hours traveling, to reach this small lakeside village. It was worth every minute!Nordkette Mountain PeakView from the peak of the Nordkette Mountain in Innsbruck.

Orientation Group PhotoGroup photo after orientation on the first day.

Being able to experience Austrian food and culture was also a big highlight of my trip. Simple foods such as bread were so much better, with many different varieties available at the local bakery. Desserts were also amazing, especially the traditional sacher cake and apple strudel. Main dishes were hearty and filling, with one of my favourites being Käsespätzle, a dish consisting of home-made egg noodles with melted cheese and caramelised onions.

Overall, the winter school program was one of the best experiences of my life. I made countless new friends, learnt so many interesting concepts, experienced Austrian culture and explored numerous cities, towns and villages. I would also like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the UTS BUiLD team and MCI International Office for providing me the opportunity to participate in this program and all the hard work and effort they put in to ensure the program ran smoothly.

Muhammad Ayub

Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Construction)

The WU Experience

ISUWU July 2014

Maria De Paz

My name is Maria and I’d like to tell you a bit of my BUiLD experience in Vienna. As part of BUiLD international, I participated in the 25th anniversary International Summer University program at the Vienna University of Economics and Business; simply known as ISUWU. I attended the undergraduate July program for 3 weeks. It was my first time traveling to Europe, let alone by myself. Having said that, I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life. Traveling overseas to represent UTS was the wisest decision I could have ever made before graduating.

The WU ISU program is an academic and intensive summer course where students undertake 2 subjects. My courses were about HR systems and Online branding, which were 2 very diverse and interesting topics.

Furthermore, the program extended beyond the academic opportunities. It was also about gaining international experience, opening myself up to global friends and networks, immersing in the Viennese culture, discovering my potential and limits, and more importantly, having fun!

The coordinators made incredible effort to ensure our experience was first class by getting us out of our comfort zone. These included doing a high ropes course, a 1-5 hour hike to the high mountains of Vienna, beer and winery lessons, dirt-covered laser tag, and experiencing the Viennese nightlife.

MDP WU campus

A video highlighting Maria’s WU experience: