Delegation of nine students and one professor from our partner university in Hamburg (HAW) visit Linz
Professor Mary Schmoecker and nine students of social work visited Linz March 22-24. The students were hosted by our students. Carolyn Mayr and Iwona Wasilewska welcomed the group at the railway station, and Carolyn then guided the group through Linz, including an impromptu visit to the “Landhaus” with a look at the meeting room of the Upper Austria government (der Braune Saal) and the elegant “Stone Hall” (Steinerne Saal). Our guests were very impressed to hear that our graduation ceremonies take place there.
The following day, the group was welcomed by Dean Martin Zauner and Dr. Marianne Gumpinger, the head of the social work programme, as well as several interested teachers from the social work department, who talked about their areas of expertise and the programme in general.
Site visits included Linz prison, Auwiesen Community Centre with a marvelous guided tour by our graduate Tom Dautovic, who has done community work since he finished his studies in 2005 (SO1), Verein Substanz, a drop-in centre for drug addicts, and Erlenhof, a residential treatment centre for people with substance abuse problems. Both of these centres are staffed by graduates of our university!
Michael Wall, an employee of the Upper Austria government and a part-time teacher in the social work department, generously took time after his lecture to talk to our visitors about financial support offered by the government. His energy-laden, extremely informative talk was very well received, and Wall answered a number of well-formulated questions.
Our guests agreed that Linz was definitely well worth visiting, and there is talk of a reciprocal visit by our students and teachers to Hamburg. We also discussed common interests in research: HAW-Hamburg is conducting research on “The Quality of Life in Old Age,” which involves several of their programmes, including social work and medical engineering; we will know more details soon.