After this week I can proudly say that I’ve finally started my lectures! Even though I had only one preliminary meeting and two lectures… But they still count! I took only 4 courses in total, because I didn’t want to end up just sitting in the university all days, but those four are even more interesting. Right now don’t have many lectures per week, but tempo is speeding up towards the spring.
Especially I’m super hyped about my field courses that are focused on birds. In Field Methods in Ornithology we will be doing research in different Austria’s natural parks later on spring. Field Methods in Bird Migration Research will instead take place in June in island of Ponza which is located in Italy. How amazing is that! We are going to spend one whole week at Ponza’s Research station, which has specialized for bird research, ringing and migration survey. Course is also really small – max 6 members – and we participate in different research tasks and even get to know, how to handle birds in field conditions. Did I already say how excited I am?
My third course is about Conservation Planning and it’s tools for mainstreaming biodiversity management. It’s focusing mainly for the main issues in nature conservation and how we identify and prioritize areas to preserve biodiversity. We’re also going to use software MARXAN which is at least for me something new.
The last but definitely not the least is Importance of Zoos in Conservation of endangered Species. The whole course is held in Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which is in fact the oldest zoo in the world! The zoo has been established already in 1752 and it belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Schönbrunn. In order to attend lectures I got my own semester ticket to the zoo, so now I’m also able to visit there on my own time until end of June! It’s also little bit funny, when you are studying there might be elephants right in the next room chilling out, and even if not, you can smell them! The only thing that makes course more challenging is that it’s in Germany. After first lectures I was super exhausted, because first you have to set your brains in Germany-mode and REALLY pay attention, what teacher is speaking, because slides aren’t going to be in Moodle. Even if Austrian Germany is something else than Hochdeutsch, I think I got all the main points from the lectures.
There is also few things about the studies that are worth of mentioning. After the lecture is over students start to knock the table with their fists to show respect to the teacher. I find this gesture really nice way to thank you for a lecture! The second thing is that most of the lectures are held really late. For example most of my lectures are between 16–18, which is so late! So be sure to drink up some coffee after lunch so you don’t end up sleeping in lecture.
As a balance for studies we had also great time with friends. On Sunday we wanted to have just a lazy day by watching movies. Me and Charlotte also combined our skills and made some tasty baked goods for the evening.
We also visited at Schmetterlinghaus, which has about 40 different butterfly species and all of them are these really bright coloured and beautiful ones from tropic. It was really nice to have a little trip to “tropic” in a cold day. At least I truly enjoyed the visit, but for people who know me this doesn’t come as a surprise. Also my red Kånken-backpack turned out to be very popular among butterflies!
Otherwise week has been colder than last ones and some of us (me included) have been suffering from flu. I hope one of my roommates is correct that this might be the last cold week. However, this didn’t stop us sitting by the Danube on Monday. On the contrary, International Women’s Day was really sunny and warm, so we ended up chilling in Sigmund Freud park in the front of Votivkirche. Afterwards we graced the day with some bottles of wine and ended up to continue the evening to a club.
This week culminated to a big ESN welcoming party on Friday and the party were held at Palais Eschenbach. In a real palace! The place was huge and really fancy old building, but unfortunately I don’t have any good pictures from there so you have to just be satisfied to google it.
Next week should be also full of activities, but I’ll write about those later. And as a sneak peek I can reveal that I booked a trip to Transylvania at the end of this month! So excited about travelling to Romania!
Bis nächste Woche!