Hey, my name is Lorenz and I am from Germany.
The first days in Vienna were very unusual without having any friends or family around and not knowing anybody. Therefore, the welcome days of Grenzenlos were something very nice and us volunteers formed a group instantly. In the beginning it is important to participate in many activities and try out a lot of new things.
A typical day in my project (StudentInnenkinderhort) starts with homework followed by lunch. In the afternoon we play hide-and-seek in the yard and board and card games indoors. The children can also play ball games or do gymnastics in the gym. On Wednesdays and Fridays there are also trips to the cinema, swimming pool, various museums or the park.
My tasks in the project do not differ much from those of my colleagues and I got along well. In total there are three of us and we look after 25 children between the ages of six and eleven. My project was very good and I never had the feeling that I was in bad hands there, I am very happy about that.
Vienna is a great city and offers many opportunities. Especially the public transport and the cultural offers are very good. But there are also many parks and green areas like the Prater or the Stadtpark. Moreover, one can also go out and celebrate very well and the big city generally offers something for every taste. Therefore, I can only recommend Vienna to everybody who does not mind living in the big city.
The language is no problem for me except for a few new words, as I am from Germany. However, volunteers who learn German as a foreign language should be prepared for the fact that there is no High German spoken in Austria, as it is normally taught in school. This can make it a little bit harder to change over.
Overall, the ESC was a very great experience so far and I have never regretted this decision during my time in Vienna. Especially the on-arrival training and the mid-term meeting were very nice. There you got to know volunteers who live in other parts of Austria and so you expanded your network and had the opportunity to visit volunteers in other parts of Austria.
In general, in the ESC you learn to deal with a completely new environment, language and culture. You will also become more independent and make many new friends.
Another advantage is of course that in ESC you get paid everything :D.
PS: I can recommend the techno club “Grelle Forelle” in Vienna and a visit to the State Opera (10 Euros) or the Musikverein with a standing-room (5-10 Euros) is a must.