18. November 2015
Some years ago I came to Austria for one semester with the concrete goal of developing a project in a small R&D company and writing my master thesis.
Since I hadn't done any exchange semester so far, these five months had also to embrace my first experience living abroad and all that comes along with it. In the beginning it was not that easy to adapt considering that I was living in a small town deep in Innviertel with around 4000 inhabitants without speaking a word of German. Knowing English did not make things easier since most of the people could barely speak a couple of sentences. However, I somehow manage to integrate, succeed, enjoy what traditional Austria has to offer (such as beer fests!), travel and make a couple of good friends.
"Diverse" is actually the best adjective to describe my home country and its landscape. Like Austria, Portugal is a small country but its shape and geographical location give origin to a wide range of completely different sights. In the North there are beautiful green and rocky mountains, in the South yellow plains as far as the eye can see. The coastline is full of breathtaking cliffs and amazing beaches, while medieval castles and palaces are spread all over the country, not to mention the gorgeous islands of Azores and Madeira. And there are also lovely towns and cities full of culture Sorry for the advertisement but as ambassador of Portugal in Austria I could not miss this opportunity. Portugal is definitely worth visiting!
My family was frequently asking me when I will be coming back for real. And although I know I could also have a great life there together with my family and friends, a part of me doesn't let me go back yet. I guess life tricked me and the time I spent in this beautiful, well organized, stable and central country made me become a bit more Austrian than I was expecting in the beginning.
Living in Austria for such a long time now made me get to know the people and their habits quite well. I reckon I did a good job regarding my integration in the Austrian culture. However, there are some small things or habits that are different in comparison to my home country Portugal and that I still need to get used to.
LIVING & WORKING HABITS
In the beginning it was quite hard to get used to typical Austrian habits such as busy supermarket sceneries, shoes spread all around the main entrance of every house, wearing sandals at work or eating sweets as main dish. On the other hand, I definitely like the speed at the supermarket's desk, separated toilets from the bathroom, free Friday afternoons and that most people are active and sports' oriented
FOOD & DISHES
Getting used to the Austrian cuisine was quite a challenge for me, as in Portugal we have a countless amount of recipes and fish or sea food dishes...and not to forget our really good coffee. Still, I find Austrian soups, sweets and most of the dishes quite delicious and especially the Weißbier!
Although for most foreigners and expats the language seems to be the biggest challenge, it was never a big concern to me.
One thing is clear to me, my time as expat has changed my life completely. Despite of living in a bigger town now and being engaged in a completely different company, I am still here in Austria and I will stay. As being part of the TGW Simulation team, I have the chance to work directly in client projects for all units as well as supporting the Solutions & Development department on developing new products and tools. This position gives me the opportunity to reach a wide range of different topics within the field of intralogistics and to exchange knowledge with several experienced colleagues TGW wide, what I really appreciate.
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