In our experience it also helps to know some of the informal rules when trying to settle into a new culture/country. So here are some tips for you to avoid the most common blunders:
- We know getting up early for your classes isn’t easy, but Austrians like punctuality (a cliché, but true), so make sure to arrive at your classes and any appointments on time.
- While Austrians are usually very open-minded and welcoming, they are quite protective of their privacy and personal space, so please always remember to knock before entering an office.
- We treat our students as independent adults, so it’s ok for you to leave the classroom without asking for permission. Drinking during classes is also totally fine, but please don’t eat your breakfast or lunch. You don’t want to make everyone else hungry, do you?
- We know that students have to write a lot of e-mails, but please take the time to include a subject line, greeting and signature. This will not only help the recipient to understand your message more easily, but also come across as a lot more polite. When addressing lecturers, university staff or people that you do not know well, use a formal form of address, such as Mr/Ms followed by their surname (unless you are invited to use their first name by the person – also in e-mails).