News from our International Office
Interview with Jaroslava Krutakova, our International Office Assistant from Slovakia
1. Why did you decide to come to do an internship in Austria?
Once I was quickly passing the corridors at my home university in Slovakia in Banska Bystrica when I came across the offer for Erasmus internship at FH Steyr. There were 3 main things that got me interested. Firstly: internship takes 10 months! That was great, so I would have enough time for getting to know the country properly and getting integrated as well. Secondly: internship is in Austria! And Austria is an attractive country for me. And thirdly work with international students and in international settings is something I always liked. So overall I found this internship as a perfect way how to spend my extra year being a student.
2. What is your internship about?
I am working in International Office and my main responsibility is overseas outgoing students. It means that I am taking care of FH students that are going for their exchange semester into non-Erasmus countries. I am the contact person for them from the very beginning of the whole process till the very end. Besides that I help out with some tasks connected with incomings students, I coordinate Erasmus in Schools project here, support preparation of summer school, welcome weeks, international week, research conference, ESN Steyr and I get involved into different projects during the year.
3. What do you like about work in the International Office at FH in Steyr?
It is really great experience to be in touch and communicate with people from all around the world. You have to get used to being constantly aware of different time zones and of different communication styles. Some of my stereotypes about foreign countries have been destroyed and some confirmed. And by this time I have already some very favourite partner universities with whom it is pleasure to cooperate.
I also have to say that atmosphere in our office is very relaxed. I have very friendly and helpful colleagues and boss and this is very important aspect for me in order to feel good at work.
Another great thing is that I live just 2 minutes from my work, so I really do not waste any time commuting.
4. What are you planning for next months? (work related)
I am staying here just for few more months, but during those there is loooads of happening.
From 13th - 19th May our incoming students with students from ESN Steyr will join International Erasmus in Schools week. During this week exchange students will visit local high schools in Steyr and prepare interesting presentations and activities for students. This way our exchange students can experience Austria even more and our students in Steyr will get a chance to practice their language skills. ;-)
In the beginning of July we will welcome many US and Singaporean students for our Global Management Summer School in Steyr! We are preparing for them 2 weeks full of knowledge, fun, Austria, experience and at the end they will get to taste Slovenia as well.
5. What are differences between Austria and Slovakia?
Even though we are neighbouring countries with similar climate and geographical features, there are a few differences. Austria has definitely higher standard of living, people earn more money, they value their free time more and they are very friendly. You can definitely find more English speaking people in Austria than in Slovakia. Sometimes I was surprised by high level of bureaucracy and existence of strange rules. And Austria has wonderful mountains, but better hiking maps you can find in Slovakia. ;-)
6. What do you like most about Steyr?
I really like the fact that in Steyr you can get everywhere comfortably on foot. There are many paths for running and cycling around as well. As it is very old city it has very unique atmosphere! The city is just calling you to go for a walk and discover and enjoy the little cute hidden places and the places from where you have amazing views.
7. Has anything been a challenge?
I think you hear this all the time, but for me it is still very difficult to get used to different opening hours of the shops. Sometimes it was a challenge for me to come to the shop before 9 pm, but then there are a few nonstop shops and supermarkets for emergency. In Austria or Steyr not. Here you have to plan everything properly in advance and if something unexpected happens, you just have to rely on the resources of your friendly neighbours. ;-)