Omar is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Embedded Systems Engineering at Fachhochschule Kärnten. He found the programme and enrolled via Studyportals. We asked Omar about his experience of searching and applying to a university abroad.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
My name is Omar Hussein; I am 23-year-old Egyptian engineer.
Where are/were you studying and what programme? What degree and how long is your programme?
I am currently pursuing my Master’s study in Embedded Systems Engineering at FH-Kärnten in Austria.
Why did you want to study abroad?
I was seeking for high quality of education and lifestyle, besides enjoying my social life and making new friends away from my comfort zone. Austria was a very good choice to me.
Deciding for a university
What were your main priorities when choosing your university and your programme (e.g. academics, accommodation, university services & facilities, personal & professional development, city & culture, cost & funding, practicalities, social life)?
Academics and cost was my main concern, however my choice fulfilled most of the other points.
Was this your first study choice? What other universities did you consider? What was the main reason of your final choice?
Yes, however I had couple of other choices in Austria and Germany e.g. FH-Joanneum, Because of the city’s location near the boarders of Italy and Slovenia.
Did you know from the start that you wanted to study in that particular country and city? Why did you choose for this particular location?
Yes, Austria was my target at that time. Because of the city’s location near the borders of Italy and Slovenia.
Did you find your study programme on Studyportals? How did Studyportals help you in your decision process?
Yes, it helped me during searching for finding a Master's programme that fulfilled my criteria, since all information needed is there: tuition, website and program description.
Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
Yes, IELTS test. It was quite easier than I expected.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider to study abroad?
Improve your language skills and be open minded to fit into the new community you will live among.
How did you finance your stay abroad and what financial advice would you give to future students?
Self-funding from my savings, however there are some possibilities to get a part-time work while studying.
Why would you (not) recommend this particular city / university? How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It was a total disaster, 10 – I had the time of my life)?
Villach is quite small city, so for those who love capitalism and night life it may not be the right choice for you. I’d rate my experience so far as 7 or 8.
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
Improve my German much more and get used on the Kärnten accent , since it’s quite different.
What was the biggest surprise in your study abroad adventure?
I was surprised with the number of local Austrians studying programmes taught in English.