• Austria's news in English
Op ed
Life as a new expat in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Life as a new expat in Vienna

The Local · 27 Sep 2016, 22:30

Published: 27 Sep 2016 22:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It seems almost unbelievable that a year has already passed since I first came to study in Austria.

Now I feel myself rather confident in a foreign atmosphere, but there were days when I just couldn’t become a part of a completely new world. I was a legal alien and at first Vienna didn’t seem to become the closest friend of mine.

The city showed its character at once clearly letting me know about the laws and obedience. Vienna met me with five multicolored dust bins in a small flat and this is how the words ‘garbage in Austria’ became my first Google request here.

I was confused, because there is no such a concept as ‘waste sorting’ in my home-country. Ukraine has lots of wonderful forests and green parks, however, citizens are not into ecology that much, while Austrians have an absolute passion for this topic.

Another thing I didn’t expect was the number of refugees and immigrants all around. I even made a little survey to know how many people of Viennese origin live in the capital.

And guess what? Only 5 out of 20 respondents turned out to be native citizens! I wasn’t actually prepared for such a diversity of nationalities. Every new day here is like an ethnology lesson, moreover - it’s for free!

Being an expat means to have an interest for a new place he or she lives in. Political, economic and social issues do have an influence on an immigrants’ position in the country, and that is why I try being as much more aware of all aspects of Austrian routine as possible.

And speaking about politics, of course I want the local authority to improve the conditions of international students in the EU.

Story continues below…

Being an expat is also about accommodation. One cannot live in a new environment with his or her old habits. Changing yourself is a complicated challenge, but it is the price to be paid for a promising future.

We are learning how to integrate in an unknown culture and society, make a fresh start to have refreshed results and are always looking for a better life. Because first of all we are PEOPLE, not only expats.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available