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Meeting new people in Vienna at the beginning of next year! :)

Hey Everyone! I'll be flying to Austria to apply to a couple of Universities at the beginning of next year (Jan. 8 - Jan. 31). I would love to get to know some interesting people who might want to explore a new and exciting city with some company! I have to admit I'm very scared of making this huge move with a very limited amount of friends in the area and lack of knowledge about the culture in general. I can also offer to help people improve their german if they're just beginning. Please let me know if your would be interested or if anyone has any tips how to make this transition a bit easier for a young girl. Thanks so much and have a lovely day! :)

Mariani:

When I was your age I moved from New York to Montana for university.  That was frightening enough without moving out of the country.  So I can imagine your feelings and concerns with a possible to move to Vienna, Austria.

My wife and I have been regular travelers to Vienna since 1993 and we are hoping to make it back there next year.  As a result, I know quite a bit about the city, though not as much as one who has lived there for some time.

I would recommend that you join the Inter-Nations organization, which cam be found at the following link...  https://www.internations.org

This organization is very well put together as it has expat groups in every major city around the world with volunteer Ambassadors in each to welcome new people to the city.  The one in Vienna appears to be quite active so you should not have any problems meeting people of all ages who live in Vienna.

What you will find in Vienna is a city steeped in culture and tradition, though in the past six years or so the traditions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire seem to have faded away from view. 

The cuisine is excellent with quite a few places to enjoy traditional dishes.  For an international flare in dining I would suggest the Chattanooga Grill on Graben where people come from all over for meals.  Many times we have found ourselves striking up conversations with other travelers when having dinner.

Despite the fact that younger Austrians are becoming friendlier, Austrians in general are very reserved and do not warm up to outsiders very quickly.  Many who have been to Vienna find the Viennese to be rather rude.  However, I never felt that way about them.

I am from New York and worked most of my career in the city so to me, most Austrians reminded me of New Yorkers who outsiders also do not like.  Like New Yorkers, it takes time to establish close relations with Austrians.  To do so you just have to follow their lead, which for a while will be very formal.  However, over time you should find yourself with some very good friends.

Courtesy is paramount in Vienna so knowing some German as you do will be very beneficial to helping you get around the city.  This is true especially when dealing with older Austrians who are still very much tradition bound.

Getting around Vienna is very easy with the trams, buses, and especially the U-Bahn.  The public transportation is based upon the Honor System so make sure you always have a stamped ticket for the day you are traveling unless you have purchased a yearly ticket (best package for the money).

The Polizei or Train Inspectors will not be on the trains, trams or buses but they will show up to make spot checks at random times.  If you do not have a ticket or your ticket is not stamped appropriately, Newcomer and resident alike can find themselves being fined and\or spending an evening as a guest of the local police precinct.

Other than that Vienna is a very easy to city to be in.  For the most part you will be able to walk wherever you want to go or barring, that taking public transportation.

Vienna is still a very safe city but with the immigration issues that all of Europe has been experiencing there can be trouble areas.  So keep your wits about you when going into less traveled areas.  The government is becoming far more nationalistic, which in my view is a good thing, so you should begin to see Austrian policies beginning to change as they regard the influx of African and Mid-East people, both of which has caused problems for Austrian society.  Some of this has been caused by the fact that many European countries allowing immigrants to enter have not modified their policies regarding  employment forcing many immigrants into criminal enterprises.  At the same time many of these immigrants are desperate, frightened, and angry from the terrible atrocities they have been faced with that the US has precipitated on their own  countries. 

The result is that you have to be sensitive to both sides of the issue.

If you have any questions that I may be able to help you with, just drop a reply on this thread...  :-)

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