Linzer Living in Austria
by Dave - Business Process Consultant
I am now officially a Linzer!! If there is such a thing. Living in Linz, Austria has been a JOY for me and my family! We do feel different (well rounded) living downtown in a large city compared to our small community in Spring Lake back in USA. As one of the first American expat families from TGW living here in Austria, we have learned quite a bit about European living. For those who know me, this is not my first time living abroad (first rodeo as I would like to say), but it is a first for my family. My previous experience was living in Stuttgart, Germany. I´m still in touch with those friends which has helped our transition. Without those experiences and friends we probably would have struggled initially moving here in Europe. It also helped me and my wife with our decision to bring our family to Europe.
Prior to moving to Austria and as part of the legal processing, my family and I went to New York City to meet the Austrian Consulate. It was our first trip to the Big Apple. What an amazing city! We had a little time to visit Central Park and see some of the other sights. New York City is a definite tourist destination for those living within the US or abroad.
Coming to Austria with my wife and two young boys’ ages 4 and 6, we needed to live in Linz so they could attend the International school Lisa Junior (Anton Bruckner) as the curriculum and instruction is in English. I wouldn´t have had it any other way. I´m sure we would of enjoyed living in Wels, but our decision to live in Linz was primarily based on its close proximity to the school. In addition, Linz is much larger and has more to offer. This move to the city life of course has had challenges for us, but certainly an experience that we will cherish for many years to come. We live in a flat in the Northern part of Linz called Urfahr which is just north of Danube River. We do live close to the river so the first few months we spent riding our bikes and sightseeing as much as possible. My boys really enjoyed being at the bike park too which is by the river as well. My family takes the city tram to get to and from school and my boys have gotten used to this transportation which is different from back home. We as family do walk everywhere we go and take the bus or tram when needed. We really feel native to our surroundings and my wife loves how easy it is to get around.
I can´t believe it’s already past the half way mark. We are to return to USA in August of this year. We have enjoyed meeting many new families through the school our boys attend and events that TGW has put on. In September, TGW sponsored a really cool event called the Lentos Jump which is for pole vaulting. Watching a Pole Vaulting event was another first for me and my family. The athletes were inspiring to the boys while we enjoyed meeting and mingling with other TGW employees. Great time! We also attended many games of the ice hockey team BlackWings when we could… it´s been a great year for them! This was a great experience in comparison to back home as I´m an avid Red Wings fan!
My boys play on the local hockey league team for the BlackWings and we have enjoyed being a part of that organization. We have been really busy with practices and tournaments that the league puts on. We have also met many nice families through the league and will have ever lasting relationships from this. These new friends of ours really helped us initially get used to living abroad and connecting us to local doctors, dentists, and medical specialists as well as fantastic restaurants and sightseeing. We have been blessed by all the new friendships that we have made. Our boys also went through the “Kirchschlag Kindertraining” program where they learned how to ski. This place is great for kids and is so close to where we live. We can get there in minutes from where we live! We also did some skiing with friends to Feuerkogel for some actual Austrian skiing fun! We have found a new sport for our boys for the winter.
We really enjoyed the Christmas season here in Europe and tried to see as many Christmas Markets as possible. Our favorite of course is in our own city´s (Linz) Christmas Market. Another cool place among places to see we visited the Steyr Christmas Market that has the actual post office for Santa or Christkindl. This is a really cool place to go during the season. We also went to the St. Gilgen Christmas Market on Wolfgangsee. What a place to see that is right on the lake. We really enjoyed this past year´s holiday time and Christmas Markets are amazing to see (for those of you who are not familiar with them from the states). We have also seen the famous Hallstatt mine and the views that go with this magnificent place. These are certainly memorable times that we will cherish forever.
My position in Wels is as a Business Process Consultant and as a conduit to the US folks (when needed) to those here in Wels. I also provide a good resource for English translation on occasion for the marketing team! This has been a great opportunity for me to understand our processes here in Wels and develop relationships as well. I also want to say thanks to a couple of my colleagues who helped us with this transition from the beginning – quick shout out to; Florian Reiter, Roland Gruijthuijsen, Thomas Pils (NFL buddy Go Fins!), Clemens Stummer and Johannes Gebetsberger. You guys have been very helpful – my hats off to you. We really appreciate this opportunity and want to say thanks to those who also made it all happen.
We look forward to our remaining months here in Austria and we plan to make the most out of it. The underlining benefits of this opportunity are evident both to me regarding the workplace and my family in everyday life. The world is a big place… Opening our boys’ minds to the different cultures, religions, beliefs and basic geography has been awesome! We took them out of the “Bubble called Michigan” that is back in the US. Our memories are vast and experiences priceless. Finally, I certainly recommend those who want to expand their minds (and maybe also become a Linzer) and influences to take on an Expat opportunity if they can.