Intern Abroad

Writing my masters thesis in Linz

February 28th, 2023 | by
  • Simulation Sciences M.Sc
  • Austria, Linz
  • Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, JKU Linz
  • 05/2022 – 09/2022


For my masters in Simulation Sciences with specialization in Fluid Process Engineering I searched for a masters thesis solely based on who did the most interesting topics. My attention fell on the habilitation thesis of a researcher in Linz who was actually quite happy to hear of my interest in his research – which made it quite easy to actually get the thesis. It should only be pointed out that for an external thesis usually an internal supervisor in the sending institution should be found first – a step I quite resolutely forgot. After I was luckily able to find an internal supervisor as well, accommodation in Linz was secured via WG-Gesucht, a portal to find flat-shares. Here it must be noted for later interns that a detailed and well written motivational text with your introduction, your advantages as flatshare-partner (many) and your expectations from your room-mates and flat-life (basics like “communicative” and “having a shared interest in keeping everything clean”) is key. If you mention something that fits only to their advertisement and no other, it is in all likelihood an additional big bonus.

After arriving in Austria and starting my internship, it was a positive surprise that not too many organizational hurdles had to be overcome, thanks to the unbureaucratic university and institute in Linz. Furthermore, I profited greatly from EU standardization, thanks to which my bank account and and SIM card worked fine. Future interns may find it useful to know that after shopping for groceries most supermarkets will hand out cash from your personal bank account when asked, so that the usual service fee at foreign ATMs can be completely avoided.

The actual work during my time in Linz itself was pretty independent. I’ve got my project and my supervisor was available for questions, if needed. The institute was very small such that everyone got to know everyone well and regularly had lunch together, which I kept in good memory. Otherwise it didn’t differ significantly from any student thesis back at my university. However, it should be noted that for an external thesis with internal supervision back at your home university regular meetings with your internal supervisors are recommendable in order to avoid confusion between your different supervisors. For me one meeting roughly every three weeks worked fine.

© Simon Stark

The most essential part next to work was of course to get to know Linz in special and Austria in general. As the cultural and linguistic ties between Austria and my home country Germany are relatively close, I halfway expected to avoid a culture shock once I adapted to the local dialect. But once the beer was sweet, the bread contained cumin and the sausages were actually better than in Germany, it definitely hit me. Next to the food side of things, the Austrian culture I’ve got to experience stood out by an avid “outdoors-culture” – which I thoroughly enjoyed – and the attitude to rather overspend on the good things on life than to end up with something bad – which I only got to enjoy once the Erasmus+ grant was approved.

Besides of things that appeared as distinctly Austrian to me, the city of Linz offers a pretty old town with a castle directly next to the Danube river and a rich cultural scene containing the Ars Electronica fair and two universities for arts. For parties on the other hand one didn’t even need to leave the university campus, as the students and faculties regularly organize faculty parties for their specific field of study or mensa-parties in the university canteen rooms for everyone. For me however, the most memorable activities were the hikes in the hills north of Linz, which is why I close this report with an image from there, with the city in the background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *