Since it is again this time of the year when all of the students are facing exams and finals I was inspired to write this blog post from my personal experience. For the longest time I was the person, who studies at home. I never understood what was so charming about going to the library to study. I have always seen it as, well let’s be honest, a waste of time. I found it much more convenient to stay home, where all my books and everything is at the tip of my fingers.
However, in the recent times I encountered an enemy, which had to be battled somehow – procrastination. I think I have never had such sever moments of procrastinating before, because school was always much more dynamic. Tests and exams are a daily routine and in university it is completely different story. You have the whole semester to yourself and if you are studying in Vienna you know that in the beginning of your studies it is possible to have higher amounts of lectures but not so many tutorials and courses which expect you to turn in homework and written works. This somehow reflected on my overall organization and I had to take some measures as soon as possible. Therefore here I would share some of the places for studying, which you can maybe find suitable for you as well.
- Hauptbibliothek/ Uni Wien
Who hasn’t been here? This is one of the most preferable places for the students in Vienna, since it is so big and spacious. It is opened from the Monday till Saturday and it is such a magical place. Many people compare it with Hogwarts, because of this vibe you get and I would agree. There are two reading rooms (big and small) as far as I am concerned and one computer room. It is relatively calm, but beware sometimes there are students that come together and cannot obtain from discussions and small talks, which is not always pleasant. Little advice if you do not like chatty students: if you can recognize such small groups, do not sit around them and you will be fine 😉
These libraries are normally smaller and offer literature according to the type of department they are attached to. The University of Vienna offers more than forty specialized libraries. They are open only throughout the weekdays, but from my personal experience they are a lot calmer than the big reading rooms in other libraries. Also another plus is that if you are doing a research it would be really easy for you to find the literature you need, since these libraries are organized in order to provide you with all of the information that you can possibly need for your field of studies.
- Bibliothek WU Wien
Such as the Hauptbibliothek this one is the library in WU. If I have to be honest I have never been there, but if you want to register and you are not a student in the university you have to pay for an annual subscription and you should bring a Meldezettel. I know that many people like going there, it is certainly new and hip and if you happen to study at WU it is probably going to be very convenient to crash there between lectures and do some extra studying.
I think this is the only library that you can find open on a Sunday and till 21.00 in the evening. I am not sure, but I think it has five reading rooms and I have been to three of them. It is a public library so everyone has access to it, but of course here most of the visitors are students from different universities in Vienna. If you plan on having a quiet time reading there on a Sunday in June I will disappoint you – it won’t happen, my friend. The library is buzzing with students now and maybe in the time around 17 it slowly starts to empty out. It is a preferred spot for many since it is well-organized, it has AC (extremely important in the summer) and also a nice lobby where you can unwind and have something to drink or eat. You pay an annual fee of 10 euros and you are issued a card with which you can go in and out of the library. When you find a seat you should also use the cards in front of the reading room to state when you are coming back if you leave your spot. That way if you are gone for too long the staff can remove your things and empty the spot for someone else. If you leave without putting this card your belongings will be removed.
If you are not bothered by noise and you just need a plug outlet then this is the place for you. You can stay as much as you want and you can even eat and drink (something which you are mostly not allowed to do in the libraries). Yet, if you are distracted easily I would not recommend. But Starbucks is really friendly towards students, free lancers and just people in general, who want to hang out there longer without buying coffee every hour or so. Also, if you want to have a study group meeting you can do it there without bothering other people.
Some outside options:
- Lichtenstein park
This is a very beautiful park, part of the Lichtenstein palace, situated in the 9th district. There is just one thing that you have to keep in mind – you are not allowed to step or sit on the grass. There is a guard, who makes sure that no one is trespassing this particular prohibition.
- AKH Campus
There are many students, who like to go and sit in some of the courts in the university’s campus. It is not far away from the main building and many of the courses are actually situated there. It is a very cozy option for the summer warm days and you can always find a free spot. As well, there are a lot of students, who just bring blankets and prefer to sit on the grass, while reading something.
- The court yard of the main building at UniWien
This lively place is just enchanting with its chairs, trees and fresh green grass. A lot of students love to go and tan there while chatting or doing some reading. There is a small coffee stall, where they sell some food as well so you can enjoy the sun, tan and study at the same time (if you don’t get too distracted with everything happening around you 😉 ).
I am not sure if that is a very famous option, but still this is one of the big parks in the city center, where you can just sit and do some studying either on a bench or under a tree. If all of the options above are not suitable and the weather is warm and sunny you can defiantly try it.
(c) Hauptbibliothek/ univie.ac.at
(c) Fachbereichsbibliotheken/ univie.ac.at
(c) Bibliothek WU Wien/ wu.ac.at
(c) Nationalbibliothek/ lesesaal.at
(c) AKH Campus/ univie.ac.at
(c) Innenhof Uni Wien/ univie.ac.at