Living in Linz

Welcome to Linz

The capital of Upper Austria has approximately 250.000 inhabitants. Despite being the third largest city in Austria and the country’s industrial powerhouse, it is infinitely liveable with lots of green space within the city bounds and beyond. Linz is ideally situated along the river Danube: To the north lie the gentle hills of the Mühlviertel, to the south the Alps are within easy reach. You will find breath-taking scenery in the renowned Salzkammergut (the Lake District region) with its National Heritage Site of Hallstatt, amongst other spectacularly scenic spots.

Linz offers excellent medical care facilities, easy access to road and rail links and a good urban public transport system. Looking down from the hill where the PHDL is situated, you will observe a modern city with historical roots that go back as far as the Romans. This mixture of the old and new is evident throughout the city, both in its architecture and its wide range of cultural and leisure facilities.

As the European Capital of Culture 2009, the city is famous for its festivals: It is home to the “Linzer Klangwolke” (a music event on the shores of the Danube) and the “Bruckner Festival“, renowned for its classical music. The entire city comes alive during the “Pflasterspektakel“ (a colourful street theatre festival) and the “Ars Electronic Festival“ (for technically-minded artists). Film enthusiasts can enjoy the “Crossing Europe Film Festival” and the “International Children’s Film Festival” - to name but a few.


Why do other exchange students use different forms than I do?
There are some standardized forms issued by the European Commission. However, each sending institution may have additional forms for their administrative procedures. Make sure to fill in every form diligently and to mind the given deadlines.

Can I chose my courses beforehand?
Yes, as soon as a preliminary list of courses for the following academic year is available (usually at the beginning of June). Please contact the coordinator at the PHDL and at your home institution for advice to find out about specific language requirements. Changes due to timetable clashes might be necessary when you get here.

When can I create my timetable?
As time-slots for courses are susceptible to last-minute changes, it is probably advisable to create your timetable when you get here. We will gladly help you individually during the orientation sessions.

Do I have to attend the orientation session?

Can I book a room at the students’ residence attached to the PHDL, the Salesianum?
Yes, s. also

Will I need to bring bedding for my room at the students’ hostel?
Please ask directly at the reception of your accommodation - not all hostels provide bedding. It might prove useful in this respect to contact fellow-students of your home university, who have had previous experience with hostels in Linz.

Can I borrow musical instruments at the PHDL?
At the PHDL you have access to a number of music rooms that are equipped with the following instruments:
An organ, pianos, guitars, an accordion, zither, percussion and Orff-instruments. These must however remain in the music rooms and for use within the PHDL only.
For all other instruments: we regret the PHDL has no musical instruments for hire. If you are interested in getting tuition on other instruments as the ones mentioned above, it is your own responsibility to organise one for the duration of your stay in Linz.

You can hire all kinds of instruments at very reasonable rates from a local instrument maker. The use of a standard-EU credit card (mastercard, visa, …) is however a pre-requisite. If you want to organise your loan in advance, please contact:

What kind of clothing will I need, if I come to Linz in the winter semester?
While the climate in Austria is moderate, temperatures in winter do sometimes fall well below freezing point. Therefore, for the winter semester, adequate winter clothing is essential: proper winter boots with thick soles, a warm winter coat, woollen jumpers, a woolly hat and gloves are advisable.

What kind of equipment will I need, if I want to go hiking in Austria?
Hiking in the Alps is indeed a fantastic experience. Please bear in mind, however, that proper outdoor hiking boots, preferably ankle-high with a rough profile, are necessary to ensure safety in the mountains. In case of flight-restrictions on luggage, please contact the International Office when you get here for advice in this matter.

Will I need to pack a swimming costume for my stay?
You do have free access to the indoor pool at the PHDL throughout the academic year, and in the summer, swimming in a mountain lake is a great experience!

For further FAQs, see: