Charlotte Downie, FTV Student | My Erasmus Exchange in Austria

Charlotte Downie a Film and Television Year 2 undergraduate at LSFM posted about her 3-month Erasmus exchange at Alpen-Adria University, in Klagenfurt. She would recommend this international opportunity, that is open to FTV students only.

On hearing of the chance to live and study in Austria, I knew this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I had never been to Austria, only known people who had been but the chance of learning a new language and to experience a different culture whilst living in the country was an exciting prospect.  

Late September 2015, I left Lincoln to embark on my journey to Austria. Charlotte-Downie_Erasmus_AlpenUniInitially, travelling some where unfamiliar on my own left me with a feeling of uncertainty. This uncertainty was affirmed when I was sitting on a connecting flight from Cologne to Klagenfurt with questions being thrown to me in German. However, this feeling of uncertainty was short lived as when I arrived in Klagenfurt I was greeted by a current student of Alpen – Adria Universität, who had kindly volunteered to show me around. She was there to help me with things like finding my way around the university, town and also helping with the language. She showed me to my flat and from then I was left to my own devices. The following Monday, I started university.

The university has a large international community and it was the first day that we were introduced to each other. There were students from countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, America, South Korea, Russia, etc. Fortunately for me, English was the dominant language used in the international student community, although this didn’t do much to improve my German skills!

There were several modules on offer taught in both English and German. As a Film and Television student I studied Censorship in Film along with Film Production. We were also advised to take German which I am very pleased I did as when I arrived in Austria I had very little knowledge of the language. This course along with the overall experience of living in Austria meant that as my time drew to a close in Klagenfurt I starting to understand the basics. As this was one of my reasons for coming to Austria I was very pleased this was the case.


A big part of Erasmus was the chance we had to travel. With Austria being a relatively small landlocked country and the public transport systems being so good it made travelling easily accessible. We were able to jump over the border to visit countries like Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and Switzerland. During my time in Austria I took weekend trips to Venice and Munich.

The overall lifestyle of Austria will be something that I will definitely miss. I will always have fond memories of Austria and have met friends that I will continue to keep in touch with years to come.  I was very grateful I was given this opportunity and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in experiencing first hand a new culture, language and way of life.

NB This exchange is open to  FTV students – details from Senior Lecturer Tom Nicholls.