Portraitfoto von Hannes Stecker

Living a mere stone’s throw from the university

Living in a community full of people and still somehow finding enough space for oneself: Hannes from Oberwart in Burgenland tells us why he chose to live in a student dorm in Klagenfurt.

We meet Hannes in his room in the student dorm. He studies media and communications at the University of Klagenfurt and relocated to this city to pursue his degree. While we take a peek at his colourful and snug room, he explains that he came to the University of Klagenfurt because the wide range of courses on offer here appealed to him. When he first started his degree, a flat share or living in a flat by himself were not an option for him.

“In the student dorm, getting off to a good start is pretty easy”

Many do what Hannes is doing. First-year students in particular often take a room in a student dorm. Where else can you get a bunch of new friends in addition to your own space? All your neighbours are guaranteed to be students, too.

For those moving to a new area, city or even country, finding a place to live is just as important as making new friends. You get both at once at the student dorm. “I wanted to move into a student dorm because I felt that I would be closer to university life and would be able to socialise more easily.” His premonition was confirmed, as Hannes informs us during our visit. “Common rooms and chance encounters in the corridors help you to get to know people quickly.”

In addition, student halls of residence usually represent a cheaper alternative to expensive flats. You pay a flat rate: Electricity, heating and internet are usually included in the price. And one of the best things about having your own space for the first time: The furniture is already in place! “A flat of my own and having to furnish it first, would have put too great a strain on my financial situation”, Hannes confides.

Searching for a new “home”

When we ask him if it took long to find a student dorm, Hannes shakes his head decisively. “No, all it took was a quick search to find the Nautilusheim right next to the university, which offered adequate value for money!”

However, you can’t afford to be slow off the mark. Hannes points out that he lives in a very popular student dorm. The sooner you apply, the better your chances, as many student dorms fill up quickly. “At the time, I was lucky enough to secure the last available room. It was May, and my degree programme didn’t start until October.”

Hannes leads a compact life

Hannes shares his room with a fellow student. It contains two beds, two wardrobes, and two desks. In addition, they have a large balcony they can enjoy. Together, they live on 25 square metres. “The need for privacy has to take a back seat. This is something you have to be aware of in advance”, Hannes explains. He never saw this as a problem.

The kitchen and common rooms are shared with the other residents on the same floor. In the kitchen, each room has a designated fridge, everything else is settled by agreement.

From strangers to friends

Many people can’t imagine sharing a room with a stranger. But Hannes had already experienced this kind of situation at boarding school and in the army. “I’ve never had a problem sharing a room. If the harmony fits, living together is no problem at all and holds great potential for friendships.” There have also never been any quarrels with his roommate, they got along right away. “We never established any ground rules, we just talk to each other and find a compromise.”

He can well imagine staying in the student dorm for the duration of his studies. “Of course, I wouldn’t rule out sharing a flat with others, and I’ve already had conversations with some of my fellow students. But then the idea lost a bit of steam.” One thing is certain, however: He doesn’t want to move into his own flat until after he graduates. For now, he is really enjoying not living alone. “And if I ever decide to move into a shared flat or a different flat, then the process of moving out is really straightforward. I won’t need to take any furniture with me or worry about finding a new tenant to take over.”

The location speaks for itself

Most student dorms are located very close to the university. In fact, the one Hannes lives in is just a stone’s throw away. There is no need for a car, no waiting for a bus. You can be flexible, and you do not have to rely on any means of transport. “For me, the best part is sleeping in, as I don’t have far to commute to the university. It means I can drop into parties or study sessions on the spur of the moment.”

When we hear the word “party”, we ask if the student dorm is “party central”. Hannes gives us a cheeky smile. “There’s always something going on here, it never gets boring,” he replies with a wink.

For information on accommodation in Klagenfurt please visit www.aau.at/en/university/campus/accommodation/.