Day 7: museums in Vienna

Blog 7 von Oane

Vienna is famous for some impressive museums, like the Naturhistorisches Museum for the Venus of Willendorf, the Belvedere for Gustav Klimt’s paintings, the Albertina for Dürer’s rabbit, and others. As a museum and art lover, I try to visit at least one museum or gallery every month. With so many choices, it can quickly get overwhelming. And it can also be expensive.

Luckily, students living on a budget have options.

Some museums are free year-round, like the Circus and Clown Museum and the Bezirk Museums for each district. Near DeutschAkademie, the Kunsthalle Karlsplatz shows changing contemporary art exhibitions in a free space. The Wien Museum’s satellite spaces around the city and the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum are free on the first Sunday of every month.

As well, there are often free days throughout the year for those of us who have the Jahreskarte for Vienna’s transportation system. Finally, on Austria’s National Day (October 26), the Austrian National Library and its associated museums (the Papyrus Museum, the Esperanto Museum, the Globe Museum and others) are also free.

For a list of some of the free museums listed above, see https://www.wien.gv.at/kultur-freizeit/gratis-museum.html.

The Kunsthalle in the Museums Quartier has free admission on Thursday nights. It features changing exhibitions on contemporary art.

 

 

 

 

The National Library’s beautiful Baroque rooms are free every for one day in the fall, along with five other museums.

Day 6: class discussions

Blog 6 von Oane

In today’s class, our textbook had a unit on German newspapers, thus our class discussion (in German) was about Austrian newspapers. The textbook’s topics often provide a launchpad for lively chats. With the new vocabulary we just learned, it is also easier to join in the discussion. Combining the new vocabulary with our everyday experiences makes it easier to remember all the new words. So far we discussed in different chapters what we want in our futures (when we learned the Futur I tense) and our most outlandish dreams (for the Konjunktiv II).

With the diverse backgrounds of the students in my class, during the chapter on jobs, we also got to know each better.  We learned what it is like studying to be a doctor in Albania, working as a bartender in Vienna, and playing the viola in an orchestra. We may still have a long way to go before we are speaking German fluently, but we can already do so much. And there are a lot of resources for us.

This morning, on the topic of newspapers, one student showed us a special magazine for German learners. It is a three-minute magazine where students only need that long to read the articles. Though we are still far from reading German-language newspapers with ease, there are some accessible periodicals for us to practice.

 

Day 5: Würstelstands in Vienna

Blog 5 von Oane

Each day, we get a short break during our classes at DeutschAkademie here in Vienna. Some of us bring a snack. Some of us run across the street to the supermarket to get a pastry or a sandwich. But right outside the school’s doors, we also have one of the ubiquitous sausage stands, or Würstelstands. These small buildings with a tiny kitchen and a takeout counter are on all the busiest street in Vienna. Most people order and eat standing up at the counter.

Probably the most popular item on the menu in Austria is the Käsekrainer. 

Käse
of course means “cheese” in German, and these sausages are made of pork and cheese.

The sausage is cut into bitesize pieces and served with mustard and a Semmel bun. Beer is also a popular accompaniment, though perhaps not during our break from class in the morning. 

Other sausages on the menu include names that English-speakers know, like the Bratwurst and of course the hotdog.

Occasionally, there is the Bosna: a sausage in a bun with onions, condiments and curry powder.

Day 4: Games

Blog 4 von Oane

Our teacher in our DeutschAkademie classes always ends the class with a game.  We have played card games like Tabu, roll-the-dice games, charades, and more.

In our intensive course every morning, spending the last minutes playing a game is a perfect way to power down after three hours of practice.

The school has a library of games and our teacher sometimes asks what we feel like playing.

As a board gamer back in Canada, I used to play different German games.

Among these so-called Eurogames, which require more strategy than luck and use different scoring methods, Settlers of Catan is the most famous.

I loved playing Agricola, Thurn und Taxis, and Carcassonne. Thus learning game vocabulary as we play games in class will be useful in the future when I try out my favourite games in German at one of the board game cafes in Vienna.

Day 3: Music in Vienna

Blog 3 von Oane

DeutschAkademie is located in a central part of Vienna, with a major landmark across the street.  This is the world-famous Opera House.

 

DeutschAkademie is across the street from one of the most famous landmarks in Vienna, the Opera House.

But the Opera House is not the only musical landmark in the neighbourhood. The Wiener Musikverein is a concert hall around the corner from our school.  Opened in 1870, it is famous for its acoustics. Many people also know its New Year’s Concert as it is broadcast around the world every year. 

Like many music venues in Vienna, audience members can buy a seat ticket or a more affordable standing ticket. Occasionally, however, there are also complimentary tickets for special occasions, such as through online forums like the Kulture Klub website.  This is how recently, a group of friends and I spent an evening listening to the best-known Austrian music as well as more recent pieces by contemporary composers.

For Musikverein interior: The lavish interior of the Musikverein’s main hall.

Day 2: speaking only in German

Blog 2 von Oana

Speaking only in German: DeutschAkademie classes are German-only. The instructions and the explanations are all in German. Even during our breaks, we students speak in German. While this seems challenging at first, I found that after the initial difficulty, German got easier to understand. Our teacher encourages us to talk in whatever vocabulary we can at our level.

Studying languages requires a combination of both absorbing information through listening and reading, but also actively producing the language through writing and speaking. Speaking however, requires us students to overcome our embarrassment at making mistakes and to think on our feet as we solve language problems quickly to keep conversation going.

Helpful German speakers often switch to English immediately when we beginners try to speak. Sometimes this makes it hard to practice outside the class.

How to improve speaking in German? One thing I do in shops, for example, is that I might ask the shop clerk how I should properly pronounce the phrase in German next time. Or, if someone with a dog is waiting for the Ubahn, I might ask them if I can pet their dog. Then I ask them how I can ask that in German next time. Or I might ask what kind of dog they have and how to ask that in German.

Like anywhere in the world, dog lovers can always find things to talk about.

|f no one is behind you in line, practice your pastry pronunciation at the takeout counter.

 

Day 1

Blog 1 von Oana

Hallo zusammen!  My name is Oana and I come from Canada. This is my second time living in Vienna. I lived here for my first grade of school. This time I came back to go to graduate school.  I chose Vienna because it’s a beautiful city with a lot of history. I love the architecture and the museums. I also really like the transportation system here.

I’ve felt at home in Vienna immediately.  Vienna is consistently voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

In fact, it is often in the top five alongside my Canadian hometown, Vancouver.  Both cities have hiking trails and nature inside the city, both have good drinking water, and both have amazing views.

Over the next few days, I’ll share my experiences learning German at DeutschAkademie and exploring Vienna.

Weekend Activities – A Walking Adventure

Blog 16 von Weronika

Honestly, one of my favourite “activities” to do here is just going for a walk. As simple as that sounds, it is really fun. The city’s architecture is one of a kind and truly breathtaking. So, just spending some time with no plan or map going around the city centre is so much fun, as you find new hidden gems that you wouldn’t find on any list or tour.

Take some friends or go alone and just follow your heart and you might find some unusual places, cute shops with interesting window displays, delicious restaurants or just pretty architecture. Vienna is truly one of the most aesthetic cities I’ve ever been to.

Here are some pictures from one of my walks to further inspire you to go for your own adventure:

Weekend Activities – Botanical Garden & Butterfly Garden

Blog 15 von Weronika

A fun and less typical idea for a day off is going to a Botanical Garden and Butterfly Garden (Palmenhaus & Schmetterlinghaus). There is one not that far from the DeutschAkademie in Burggarten.

It’s an amazing idea for a rainy day when you can’t really spend the day outdoors. Here you can spend some time admiring nature and the beautiful butterflies, a great activity to get rid of any stress. There is also a cafe, so you could go for some nice hot coffee or tea, to make light of an otherwise rainy day. And if the weather clears up, you can spend the afternoon in the lovely Burggarten right by the garden.

Weekend Activities – HundertwasserHaus

Blog 14 von Weronika

Friedrich Stowasser, better known by his pseudonym Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, was an Austrian visual artist and architect, who was very opposed to the idea of “straight lines” and any “standard” or “typical” ideas.

So, his art is characterised by its uniqueness. One of his most famous works is HundertwasserHaus in Vienna, it’s a very unusual apartment from both the outside and inside.

The outside of the building is very colourful and a varied mix of patterns and building materials. It really stands out from the surrounding buildings. Inside the apartment you will find uneven flooring, grass roofing and other peculiar sights. It’s a very unique tourist attraction that is worth visiting even just to see from outside. The museum inside is currently closed until early 2024, so sadly I couldn’t visit it.

Weekend Activities – Pub Crawl

Blog 13 von Weronika

If you’re looking for a fun activity to do alone or with a group, but don’t know what to do, sign up for a pub crawl with Dick Mack’s Irish Pub. It’s a great way to spend a night out, meet new people and enjoy some drinks at a few different pubs.

The pub crawl guides are truly amazing at their jobs, they have games and challenges planned out for you to really enjoy your night. Included in the ticket are some free long drinks/beers and shots, and the games (we played beer pong and flip the cup), but the craziest part were the challenges, which were dares that we could do to get a free shot.

It was so much fun! And the people there were so nice and open to conversations with everyone. Honestly, it was overall a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to everyone.