Intern Abroad

Practical year in Innsbruck

October 2nd, 2023 | by
  • Medicine
  • Austria, Innsbruck
  • University Hospital Innsbruck
  • 07/2023 – 09/2023
  1. application
    I sent an application with a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and certificate of matriculation to Monika Schlager about 1 ½ years in advance. She is the international coordinator of the medical faculty and responsible for Erasmus students.
    Ms. Schlager answers very reliably and quickly and sent me an internship confirmation within a few days. The places in Innsbruck are very popular, which is why it is worth applying early.

    © Jana Mattes

    Only whole months can be done in Innsbruck, so it is only possible to start on the 01st of the month. The wards Oncology and Gastroenterology were assigned to me by Mrs. Schlager, but if you have desired wards, you can certainly indicate that.

    2 Accomodation/ Living
    Austria and especially Innsbruck are a bit more expensive compared to Germany.
    I started looking for accommodation about two months before the start of my internship. I mainly looked through the site WG-gesucht and found there a two person shared appartement in close proximity to the main train station as well as 5 minutes by bike to the clinic.
    The rent was quite expensive at 630 euros for a shared apartment.
    Overall, it is quite difficult to find an apartment/room in Innsbruck. In the summer months from July-September it is a bit easier, because the students have semester break and many sublet their apartments. In November/December or in March it is a bit more difficult to find something.
    Food prices in Innsbruck are also about 20-30% more expensive than in Germany.
    You get free lunch in the hospital, but you only get the Erasmus money and don’t get a salary anymore.

    © Jana Mattes

    3. the internship
    I liked the internship in internal medicine very much. In Innsbruck, unlike in Germany, there is not such a great shortage of doctors. On the oncology ward, we were partly three doctors and I for a total of 8 patient rooms.
    The working hours are also much better than in German university hospitals. It is rare that the interns have to work overtime.
    The relaxed atmosphere made the internship very pleasant for me. There was always a doctor who had time to show or explain something to me.
    My main duties were admitting and educating patients, writing discharge letters, some blood draws (when nurses couldn’t do it) and pulling CVCs and drains as well as helping to supervise famulants.  When there was time, I could always grab the ultrasound machine and practice on patients. My working day usually lasted from 8 am – 4 pm, but if there was little to do, I was often sent home around noon.
    The head physician and the senior physicians of the ward are also very friendly and like to explain or do a little teaching during rounds. I was there for a total of two months.
    The last month I was in gastroenterology. Here the doctors were also very well staffed and my tasks were similar to those in oncology. Overall, however, I liked the ward work a little less, as hardly anything was explained and there was little teaching.
    Unfortunately, it was not possible/desired to look after patients myself from the beginning to the end of treatment.
    What I found very positive was that, unlike in Germany, less attention was paid to the money and the patients were very well cared for and treated.
    Overall, I can still highly recommend an internship in Innsbruck. The doctors are all very nice and always have an open ear for questions. You can work independently but also leave earlier if there is little to do. It is also possible to accompany doctors on duty in the emergency room, where you can learn and see a lot.

    © Jana Mattes

    4. free time
    Innsbruck is a paradise for those who love climbing/hiking/mountain biking or road biking. In winter it is of course also a dream for skiing/snowboarding.
    During the week I was often in the climbing/bouldering hall, where you often saw world famous climbers.
    On the weekends I went hiking and climbing in the surrounding area. Unfortunately, I met few other Erasmus students. However, through various Facebook groups, it is easy to make friends with other people who are new to the city and thus find connections quite quickly. The mountains around Innsbruck are beautiful and you can go there easily by bus/ train.


  1. conclusion
    Overall, I can recommend an internship or a tertial in Innbruck to anyone who wants to get a good teaching and something out of the internship, but who also knows how to value his free time and especially likes outdoor activities.
    I found the comparison to Germany, where doctors in university hospitals often work 4-5 overtime hours a day and the treatment of patients is much more focused on money, very impressive.

Leave a Reply

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