Your sustainable exchange semester at WU
Climate change and the linked grand challenges underline the necessity for sustainable mobility. As a responsible university, we want to provide you with information on how to make sustainable and environmental-friendly choices. When it comes to international student exchange, there are lots of options where you can leave a positive impact: be it by choosing your means of transportation, having a responsible consumer behavior, or by participating in student initiatives. We are convinced that the future is best shaped together.
- Your green travel to Vienna
- Your mobility in Vienna and Austria
- Sustainable housing & living
- Student organizations & initiatives
- Did you know?
Your green travel to Vienna
If you travel to Austria from a European country, you should check if there is an existing bus or train connection. Provided you have been nominated for an exchange through the Erasmus+ program (within the new program generation 2021-2027), you have the possibility to receive a green travel grant. If this applies to you and you need more information, please contact the international office at your home university.
If you are traveling by plane from an overseas country, check if you can book a direct flight. If this is financially possible for you, it is the greener alternative to flights with stopovers. Also keep in mind that some airlines offer compensation payments that can be added to your ticket price.
Your mobility in Vienna and Austria
Public transportation in Vienna
Vienna has an outstanding public transportation network, which includes night buses during the week and 24-hour subway service on weekends. Students can purchase a student semester ticket at a reduced price and get unlimited access to the network for an entire semester (see our website Your semester at WU from start to finish for more details).
Using the bicycle in Vienna
Vienna is a city with numerous bike paths. In addition to public transport, the bicycle is also an attractive and environment-friendly option for urban mobility. For example, you can rent a bicycle from the provider Citybike Wien. After you have registered and paid the registration fee of €1, you can make use of their offer. The good thing: The first hour of renting a bike is always free.
Other commercial providers are EDDI Bike (website available in English soon) and Swapfiets. Both providers offer bicycle rentals on a monthly basis and their offers include serivces such as repairs. If you want to learn more, you can visit the FAQ area of EDDI Bike or Swapfiets. If you plan to use the bicycle often during your exchange semester, renting a bike might be a reasonable option.
Touristic travel in Austria and Europe
In case you plan to travel within Austria during your exchange semester, we advise to take the bus or train. The best-known providers for train travel are the Österreichische Bundesbahn (ÖBB) and the Westbahn. On this ÖBB map, you can see which destinations are easy to reach by train from Vienna. People travelling more often may benefit from the ÖBB Vorteilscard. After purchase, you can get a 50% discount on all ÖBB standard single tickets within Austria and a 15% discount on cross-border rail travel (see Railplus: participating railways). For trips to other EU countries, the train is also a suitable means of transportation.
To discover Europe by train, it is worth purchasing a pass with Interrail. Once you have registered your residence in Vienna, you are able to purchase an Interrail Pass. If you want to see which destinations are connected, you can do so by using this interactive map. When planning your trip(s), make use of the online trip planner to find out which pass is the right one for you. For longer trips within Europe, we recommend the Global Pass which allows for flexible travel days and scheduling.
Sustainable housing & living
OeAD student housing
Student residences of OeAD student housing are designed and constructed as passive houses, which are equipped with solar and/or photovoltaic systems. The residence halls offer a high level of living comfort, prove to be energy efficient and help to keep down your carbon footprint. For more information, please click on this webpage by OeAD student housing.
Online portal for used goods
Most student housing options are already partially furnished when you move in. If you need additional furniture, your own bicycle or think about other purchases, it is worth taking a look at online portals such as willhaben.at (website only available in German). This website is similar to eBay and well-known in Austria. At the end of your exchange semester, it is a good idea to donate or sell items you no longer need. If you plan to donate furniture or similar items, consider the charity Caritas (website only available in German). This way, you make others happy and do good for the environment.
Student organizations & initiatives
Are you interested in sustainability? Then you can get involved with student organizations or initiatives during your exchange in Vienna. In this regard, the website of WU's Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR) is a good starting point since it offers an overview and highlights possibilities for engagement.
WU offers several opportunities for participation. With WU's Green Buddies, you can learn more about WU's efforts on sustainability (note that most information is provided in German). If you would like to get in touch with other groups, click here to see a list of student organizations.
Bring Your Own Box: If you buy lunch at Campus WU, you can bring your own lunch box. This way, unnecessary single-use packaging and waste can be avoided. Participating gastronomies are Das Campus, WU Mensa, Library Cafe, Baschly, and Finn.
Coffee to go cup: For just €1, a reusable coffee cup can be purchased at participating gastronomy businesses and at WU Shop. On Campus WU, WU Mensa, Library Cafe, and Finnare participating. When you return the cup, you will receive a voucher which is worth €1. This voucher can then be redeemed at all partners. There is also a return machine set up on campus (in the area of the Teaching Center/garage exit P1).
The students' union ÖH WU provides an online marketplace for used academic books. You can find their opening hours and a list of available books online (website only available in German).
Did you know?
In Vienna, the tap water is of excellent quality and drinkable. At Campus WU, you can fill up your bottles at our drinking fountains.
We separate waste so that the following recycling process can be as energy efficient as possible.
With EcoPassenger, you can compare your emissions and other environmental impacts by means of transport (for travels within Europe and Russia).