COVID-19 in Austria

Translated from an ORF article, journalist: Sinan Ersek

The ability to adapt to uncertainty, meaning not being able to predict the future, not being in control, prompted new behaviors and demanded for adaptation and at times drastic change in Austria like anywhere else.

Regarding the political reaction to the pandemic, restrictions came early and were extremely rigorous. The public would not have co-operated and accepted the strict measures, had it not seen the worrying pictures and concerning data from neighboring Italy.

Additionally the “Ischgl-Gate” and other ski resorts in the Tyrolean Alps made it clear how rapid the exponential growth of the virus really was. In comparison, the capital of Vienna with, around 2 million inhabitants, accounted for roughly 2,300 (officially) infected cases. A proof of a strong West-East gradient. 

It appears that “The Hammer and the Dance “ has been extremely well followed. The chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, very quickly and unmistakably stated: “Soon each one of us will know of someone who died from the virus“. Austrians accepted and understood this martial warning. Soon thereafter the people started to waltz again, a small relaxation of measures here, another exception there.

Kurz united the majority of Austrians under the idea of protecting everyone’s health and economical stability. Balancing Life and Livelihood. Concrete information, including negative information, has been communicated in a crystal clear and honest way. Informing the public via daily press-conferences about processes, expectations, and consequences including back-up plans outlining what will happen if plans should not develop as expected.

The general public was never under the impression that they had been insufficiently informed. This culture of honesty and trust enabled everyone to think, talk, share, and make informed decisions. 

From a medical point of view, Austria has different prerequisites than neighboring Italy or Spain. Over the past 40 years considerable investment went towards the health care system. It could very well be the trust in this system that is the reason for the notorious Austrian “Gemütlichkeit“. Even if Austrians love to whine and complain, deep down they trust and know that all will be fine and that the system will back them.

The acceptance of authority (in this case of a young and charismatic Sebastian Kurz) enveloped varieties of interaction. No Anti-lockdown protests occurred like in various other countries and even those who did not vote for Kurz, accepted his leadership.

It might be worthwhile to mention that the patience and acceptance rate of the public may be explained by the spatial and geographical structure of the country. Austria is still a rural country. Even in Vienna, the only large city, numerous green spaces prevail, including parks, the so-called “Schrebergärten“ (similar to community gardens), the surrounding Vienna woods, fields and bike paths along the Danube.

 

From Austria to Colorado

From Austria to Colorado*

Guest Blog from Mark Laurencik

America, the land of opportunity and where dreams come true. Now ask yourself, what is it like for an Austrian citizen to pursue the “American dream”? Coming from Austria there are many cultural differences you may face but the similarities are maybe more present than you might expect. Throughout this blog I will be focusing more on the state of Colorado since this is where I spent some time recently.

Never-ending landscape

To start off with, I would like to share some general facts about North America. The United States has a population of 328.2 million citizens, making it one of the biggest countries in the world (compared to 446 million in the European Union). The United States spans 2,800 miles (~4,506 km) from east to west. Measuring from Maine to Hawaii, it’ a distance of 5,100 miles (~8,207 km). The US has 12,383 miles (~19,928 km) of coastline. Therefore, be prepared for long-distance drives through various landscapes such as deserts, mountains, forests and coastline in case you want to do a road trip.

Nutrition/Gastronomy in the United States

Furthermore, food is a big dissimilarity. One thing to expect is to be served large portions which will not always be finished. For example, a medium sized soda is mostly comparable to a large one in the USA. In fact, the amount of sugar and fat per capita consumed in America is almost three times more as compared to Austria. Nevertheless, the United States is moving more and more towards organic nutrition, Organic food sales in the United States rose 5.9% in 2018 to reach $47.9 billion according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey done by the Organic Trade Association. Organic food sales made up 5.7% of overall U.S. food sales, which rose 2.3% in 2018. Additionally, due to the fact that the US is closer to South America it is far more common to get exotic foods in comparison to e.g. Austria. When it comes to grocery shopping in the States, don’t be surprised if an employee walks up to you and asks how you are. For a European this might be a little surprising since there is no strong customer – employee relationship in Austria. However, conducting small talk in the grocery store becomes a regularity in the United States. This is a common part in the everyday life in the US which proves the kindness and generosity of the people living in smaller cities in the United States. Tips are taken very seriously in the States since waiters are depended of them. In Europe, a decent tip is considered about 5%, whereas in the States they expect a minimum of 15% to 20%, depending on the restaurant.

 

Mountains and Temperature in Colorado

Colorado is known for its beautiful landscape of mountains, canyons, plateaus and rivers. Furthermore, it has the highest elevation of any states in the US. With more than 1000 Rocky Mountain peaks over 10,000 ft high it offers various outdoor activities. Many argue that Colorado has the best suited snow for winter sports. In fact, Colorado’s snow is one of the best I have ever experienced. Given this, an Austrian citizen traveling through the city of Denver looking at the Rocky Mountains could very well feel like home. The highest mountain in Colorado is Mount Elbert and it’s about 14,440 feet high, whereas the highest peak in Austria the (Großglockner) is 1246,63 feet high. In fact, Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as “fourteeners” or “14ers” locally) — the most of any state.

Another interesting fact about Colorado is its weather circumstances. You never know what to expect. One could be lucky and enjoy a 70-degree sunny day, and this could turn into a 30-degree nightmare in the afternoon with snow flakes and unpleasant winds. but truth be told, Colorado has almost as many sunny days as Miami, Florida! No matter what season, be prepared since living in Colorado requires all kinds clothing!

Mountains and Temperature in Colorado

Colorado is known for its beautiful landscape of mountains, canyons, plateaus and rivers. Furthermore, it has the highest elevation of any states in the US. With more than 1000 Rocky Mountain peaks over 10,000 ft high it offers various outdoor activities. Many argue that Colorado has the best suited snow for winter sports. In fact, Colorado’s snow is one of the best I have ever experienced. Given this, an Austrian citizen traveling through the city of Denver looking at the Rocky Mountains could very well feel like home. The highest mountain in Colorado is Mount Elbert and it’s about 14,440 feet high, whereas the highest peak in Austria the (Großglockner) is 1246,63 feet high. In fact, Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as “fourteeners” or “14ers” locally) — the most of any state.

Another interesting fact about Colorado is its weather circumstances. You never know what to expect. One could be lucky and enjoy a 70-degree sunny day, and this could turn into a 30-degree nightmare in the afternoon with snow flakes and unpleasant winds. but truth be told, Colorado has almost as many sunny days as Miami, Florida! No matter what season, be prepared since living in Colorado requires all kinds clothing!

Public Transportation

Compared to Europe, the United States are not known well for their public transportation. Outside of the big cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C and San Francisco there are not many available Subway infrastructures. If we take Denver as an example, there has been some improvements. The light rail which is a suburban train has 8 rails with 53 stations around the city of Denver. However, in comparison with most cities in Austria this is a tiny number.

In conclusion, when looking at Austria and Colorado from a big picture standpoint, it is safe to say that there are many differences that could cause a cultural shock at first. But after living in Colorado for longer than a month, I highly recommend visiting this beautiful place.

-Mark Laurencik

*This is a guest blog provided by Mark Laurencik, a business student visiting Colorado for a month in 2019.

Image credits: Matt Inden/Miles, Denise Chambers/Miles

Summer Learning Programs from ActLingua – Learn German in Vienna

In Wien steht der Frühling vor der Tür und wir haben großartige Möglichkeiten für Ihre Interessenten, von dieser schönen Jahreszeit in einer der aufregendsten Städte Europas, Wien, zu profitieren.

Unsere Stadt wurde zum zehnten Mal in Folge zur lebenswertesten Stadt der Welt gewählt!

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Gerne bieten wir all unseren Partnern eine Stipendienvereinbarung an.
Hierbei können wir Ihnen entweder ein Stipendium oder eine Ermäßigung anbieten:
Pro 10 Wochen, die Ihre Interessenten in Summe in Deutschkursen der ActiLingua Academy verbringen, kann Ihr Sprachinstitut ein Stipendium für die Dauer 1 Woche für einen Deutschkurs der ActiLingua Academy in Wien vergeben.
Alternativ können wir Ihnen eine Preisreduktion von 10 % auf unsere Kurspreise für Ihre Interessenten anbieten. (Eine Bestätigung ihrerseits ist dafür notwendig.)
Wenn Sie an unseren Stipendien und Preisnachlässen interessiert sind, kontaktieren Sie uns bitte für weitere Informationen.

+43 1 877 67 01 www.actilingua.com Skype: actilingua info@actilingua.com

 

Unsere Broschüre “Deutsch lernen – Wien erleben” 2020 ist Online!

Darin finden Sie nicht nur Details zu unseren Deutsch- und Spezialkursen, sondern auch Informationen zu unseren Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten und unserem inkludierten Freizeit- und Kulturprogramm. Außerdem erfahren Sie mehr darüber, warum Ihre Interessenten Wien als nächstes Kursziel für Deutsch in Betracht ziehen sollten.

BROSCHÜRE DOWNLOADEN

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Entdecken Sie außerdem unsere zahlreichen Spezialkurse, die es den Studenten ermöglichen, sich noch tiefer in die deutsche Sprache und in die österreichische Kultur einzuleben:

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Dr. Sabine Ladstätter (ÖAI) presents Ephesos: City, Harbor, Hinterland

Dr. Sabine Ladstätter of the Österreichischen Archäologischen Institut (ÖAI)/Austrian Academy of Sciences will examine Ephesos, the capital city of the Roman province of Asia, both the seat of the regional administration and an important transportation hub between the Aegean and Anatolia. Its lifeline was without doubt the harbor, which received a monumental structural framework. Local élites were comprised of wealthy shipowners and merchants, who profited from the exceptional position of the city and who embellished it via endowments. The sanctuary of Artemis of Ephesos also contributed to the commercial power of the region and served as a secure bank for deposits and a site of business transactions. The basic conditions were therefore precisely favourable for the advancement of Ephesos to one of the largest metropoleis of the ancient world.

Title: Ephesos: City, Harbor, Hinterland

Date: Thursday, 2. April 2020 7PM

Location: University of Colorado, Boulder (USA), Eaton Humanities, 150,
1610 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO 80309

Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Department of Classics and CU Museum.

 

Photo credit: OeAW/Daniel Hinterramskogler

Sabine Ladstätter studied Classical Archaeology, Prehistory, Protohistory and Ancient History at the Universities of Graz and Vienna with a Doctoral degree at the University of Vienna in 1997. Between 1997-2007 she held the position of Research Assistant at the Institute for the Cultural History of Antiquity at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. After her Habilitation at the University of Vienna in 2007 she moved to the Austrian Archaeological Institute, where she became the director in 2009. Awards for Scientist of the Year in 2011 in Austria, and for the best popular scientific book in Austria in 2014, are proof of her engagement in the areas of scientific communication and public outreach. She is a member of the German Archaeological Institute, the Archaeological Institute of America and the Archaeological Institute of Bulgaria. Guest professorships at the Ecole Normale Superieur de Paris (2016) and Stanford University (2019) underscore her engagement in the fields of education and teaching, also attested by her supervision of academic degrees at a variety of European universities. Sustained by an interdisciplinary research approach, she is involved with economic- and landscape archaeology, as well as with the documentation and preservation of archaeological cultural heritage.