Is Austrian for a Swiss German native speaker really a foreign language? When I applied for my Erasmus semesters I was convinced it would be the same language respectively I would not have much trouble in following Austrians in conversation. Continue reading “Language”

The Meaning of Time

At the beginning I was not sure if I should participate in the Milsa programme at all. The reason was that I was quite convinced that Swiss and Austrian cultures are very similar and that therefore there would not be a lot to tell. But of course I was wrong. I also thought that there would not be a big difference between the biggest city Vienna, where I lived for four years, and the second biggest city Graz, where I live now. I was wrong again. In this first blog post I will talk about what I have noticed so far here in Graz and why I am astonished about it. Continue reading “The Meaning of Time”

Enjoy your day in a Viennese coffeehouse

Many people told me about the cultural life and standard of living of this city so that I didn’t have to think for long. I wanted to spend my semester abroad in the most liveable city in the world: Vienna. The fact that I am studying German language and literature is of course a perfect fit, because it gives me an insight into the linguistic world of Austria. Like Switzerland, the dialects here are very pronounced and there is an interesting relationship between these and the standard German. But that’s not the point of this article, I want to talk about something from the cultural practice. Continue reading “Enjoy your day in a Viennese coffeehouse”

The political engagement at the University of Vienna

“Gegen Rassismus”, “Make Marxism great again” or “Wir reden nicht über links oder rechts, wir reden mit DIR – Jetzt AG wählen!“ These are just some slogans on posters in front of the university – there are many more. When I arrived at the University of Vienna (and it’s important to know that I study in the main building because it is especially intensive there), then it looks like this for example: First, I get a flyer from the green student party, then I get a Fairtrade coffee from an environment organization and then the newspaper “Der Standard”. And that happens almost every day. For me, that was a completely new experience. During my first two weeks in Vienna this was really unfamiliar for me because at the main building in Berne, there is not a spectacle like this. Of course, I never thought that it is bad but at the beginning I thought “is that not too much?” I mean, I get that many flyers, things or information that I never could or would want to read all of them. Continue reading “The political engagement at the University of Vienna”


Of course, the language differences between Swiss German or High German and Austrian German is not that big and for me, it is not a problem to understand the people here. I do not have to learn this language. I just speak High German and everybody understands me. But that does not mean that there are no differences at all. There are. And for me, these little details are very interesting and just wonderful. That’s why I won’t write about big language gaps, rather than about the nice little trifles. “Wolln Sie a Sackerl?” I think, the world Sackerl was the first typical Austrian word that I heard just when I arrived in Vienna. Continue reading “Passt”

Vienna and Feminism

Before I started Erasmus, I chose some lectures and seminars which I want to visit during my semester in Vienna. Amongst other things, I decided to attend a lecture that is called “gender and deconstruction in literature” and the seminar “trans*: gender in literature”. When I look back at this choice, then I realize that this selection is typical for the city: Gender and especially feminism are big themes in Vienna. I live together with three art students and one of the first things I learned from them about the Viennese art scene is that there is a group called “Burschenschaft Hysteria”. Continue reading “Vienna and Feminism”

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