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Train Voyage Netherlands >< Austria

posted 13 Dec 2014, 09:35 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 13 Dec 2014, 10:58 ]


Train Trip from Netherlands to Austria, travelled from Maastricht in Netherlands to Wels (return) 
Few Stations in the video -
Maastricht, Netherlands. 
Aachen, Germany.
Cologne (Koln), Germany.
Munich, Germany.
Linz, Austria.
Wels, Austria.
Frankfurt, Germany and many more......

The Road to Black Forest - Triberg

posted 6 Dec 2014, 14:57 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 6 Dec 2014, 16:30 ]


The Road to Black Forest. The Black Forest (German: Schwarzwald, pronounced [ˈʃvaʁt͡svalt]) is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south.

Erasmus in Malta

posted 6 Mar 2014, 05:51 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 9 Mar 2014, 05:19 ]

I spent my 3 rd semester of M.Sc. in Innovation and Product Management on an Exchange semester in University of Malta. The course was very much similar to the masters course we do in Austria and was called a masters in creativity and innovation with special focus on innovation management, idea generation, research methods, business venturing and leadership in organization. Additional to the academic knowledge the exchange semester helped me to learn a lot about a whole new culture, people, traditions. 

Travel

I took an Air Malta flight from Munich to Malta on 29 th Sep, when I  reached Malta I could already feel the difference in weather as it was much more hot and sunny. I took a cab from the airport to the flat where I was going to live (there is an official government of Malta prepaid taxi service which keeps the prices in control since not all taxis have a meter).

The next few days in the orientation week I made  Arriva Saver card (a student bus card) which gives you a cheaper fare to use the buses in Malta, then I could travel in Malta for 21 euros per month instead of 2.60 Eur per day, The tickets you buy are only valid till 11 pm and if you want to take a bus after 11 pm there is a need to buy an additional ticket. 

Air Malta flies directly from both Vienna and Munich.



Accommodation:

In general, you have many options to choose your accommodation,[1] either a private flat, University Residence or the garden view apartment in sweiqi. In Malta generally it's not so difficult to find an apartment as there are a lot of apartments vacant. A private room is probably the cheapest and most convenient solution. Staying in the University residence has both advantages and disadvantages, The advantage is that you get to know more people more easily, A lot of Erasmus-students live there thus one can always do something like organized trips. As for me, I was an outgoing person and hence attended events hosted in other residences and came to know a lot people, the disadvantage in the University residence is that it is far, even though they provide a free shuttle bus, students normally have a lot of trouble getting to the classes because in Malta traffic is very different than it is in Austria. Secondly University residence is way overpriced for what they offer for the students compared to Maltese rental charges, Keeping the value of money and distance from the University I chose a private flat with my own he room for half the price of the University Residence.

In Malta they charge you a month's rent as a deposit generally, It is normally expected you to take a room for a long let, in case it  shortlet it becomes a bit expensive and you are normally asked to find another student when you leave, but this could be spoken in the beginning so that in the end when you have exams you can focus on the exams and not on finding a next tenant.

Let it be University Residence or even a flat, the insulation of houses is very bad, the rooms get really cold in the winter, even though the temperature is not as low as it gets in Austria.

Transport:

Most of the Maltese have their own car and so the streets are mostly full. Malta has left-hand-traffic which is different from Austria.

The only means of Public transport is the Buses, there are no trains, trams, subways or monorails in Malta.

The buses underwent a major makeover in the last couple of years, but still buses are not the most convenient mode of transportation in malta as the roads are so packed with cars hence buses normally don’t run on time.


The bus company got changed in January 2014 again and because of this the coordination of buses is really a big problem, If you want to travel in the bus you need to plan a lot in advance.

It makes sense to rent a car on the island Gozo where the traffic is less and the island is smaller. Since my class also had Maltese students, most of them owned one or two cars (very common in Malta) so it was easy to go around if we had to go somewhere. Whenever the Erasmus events were organized normally a special bus would be arranged. One such occasion was when a bus was organized to go to Gozo for a Weekend trip.

Costs

Malta is not the cheapest place to do an exchange semester, the rents for the accommodation is cheaper than Austria, but there is no big chain of supermarkets like billa, spar or even Merkur for daily groceries, there is Lidl but the prices are more than its in Austria. This is explained since most of the things that comes to Malta is imported and transportation is not cheap as it is in the middle of the sea. There is no strong network of a shop which sells cosmetics or daily items like DM instead there are smaller shops and hence a higher price per item.

If you go to a  restaurant you can find food for similar/ higher  prices as Austria. Alcohol is cheap in Malta if you like to go out and party. You can get discounts in many places if you say you are a student. The tap water is not recommended to drink by the locals so there will be an additional expenditure to buy bottled drinking water.

The best things in Malta come for free, for example, time you spend on the beach or even going around the old cities.

University:


The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta offering undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates (PhD). It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The University traces its origins to the Collegium Melitense founded in 1592 making it one of the oldest universities in the World

The present new campus, opened in 1968, has recently been greatly extended to include theater-type lecture rooms and science, language and computer laboratories. The  ports complex  includes  an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a football ground, tennis courts, and a track. Most of the 8,000 Maltese students enrolled in this university not only don't pay tuition fees but receive a state funded student allowance[2].

The Edward de Bono Institute was a very interesting place to do an exchange semester. The lectures and the syllabus can be found online[3]. The difference that I found from other Erasmus students was that, I was doing a full time course which was a full time masters course and did not have to shift through classes, this helped me to integrate into the class as a normal student and also helped to make a lot of friends from Malta and additionally met the other Erasmus students in the events. It is recommended to get in touch with the local students as they can help to expand your vision and give an insight into malta and the university from their perception. It also has advantages in the exam-period because the students can give some advice about the exams as most of them had done a bachelors in Malta.

I got a chance to write a few papers and give a lot of presentations[4].

Conferences

I attended two conferences

The First was on HRs contribution to Creativity & Innovation in an organization

The second was on Small and Medium enterprise growth in Malta.


I visited a lot of companies in Malta and other organizations like Malta Enterprise, Malta Council for Science and Technology as part of a University visits.


Volunteering

At the University of Malta you get a great chance to volunteer,

I took part in the Discover University event held at the University representing the Institute.

The University also has a degree plus program where you can volunteer for external organizations, I volunteered for SPCA Malta in their events to support animals in Malta

At the end of the semester, you need to give the list of volunteer hours and you get a certificate with the transcripts.

Library


The University library[5] is generally open till 11 pm during the exam period, which is really helpful and you also see a lot of other students so you work collaboratively with others even for the exam. The library offers an online Refworks account which is a tool to manage references, they even provide a training session for Refworks which I attended.

 

Malta Post

There is a post office in the University, which is the cheapest place to print in the University, its even a stationary shop.

 University Canteen


Sights:

Malta is divided in three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. All three islands have a wonderful countryside. In Malta the West and North-West coast is a good place to go hiking, Gozo is beautiful everywhere. Comino is a very small island where the only thing to do is swimming in the blue lagoon, the beaches are very beautiful. Malta culturally has a tradition of a lot of festivals all over the year, visiting which helps you to learn a lot about the place and the people.

Hospital

Malta has a system of free public health service which is very similar to the NHS service in England, the main hospital in Mater die[6] is just opposite the University.

Things not to forget if you go to Malta

- Adaptor for the plug.

- Unlocked mobile

- Dictionaries

- Winter jackets and sweater for the winter semester 

- Good shoes for hiking and slippers

- A good Camera for capturing the moments

The official tourism website of Malta http://www.visitmalta.com/de/ is the best place to find the day to day activity updates in Malta. The university has a lot of additional organizations like AEGEE, ESN, KSU (students' union) who normally organize activities and make sure that you get a chance to go around and see Malta.

Few Online Resources

www.erasmusinmalta.manishabraham.com

  • A trading website in Malta for properties, gadgets, its like ebay but they provide phone numbers so you can pick up items directly.
http://www.maltapark.com/

  • Online shopping is not so popular in Malta, but still if you want to save time and do grocery shopping online there are many websites which does free home delivery, I was comparing the prices and the prices are the same if you go to a store.
http://www.maltasupermarket.com/

  • If you have time and can wait for 30 days for free shipping, then this website is like another Amazon, which does free delivery with a wider range for smaller items, but it comes from Hong Kong so takes some time and is not the best for electronics. 

www.aliexpress.com


References

Vienna, Austria- By Manish Abraham

posted 18 Jun 2013, 09:08 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 23 Sep 2013, 07:12 ]

Vienna entices visitors with its lavish, Old World charm. Gothic cathedral tower over richly ornamented baroque buildings and             copper domed palaces from the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The romantic city on the Danube is famous for its coffeeconfections, ice creams, and cafés; Lipizzaner horses and leafy boulevards; Sigmund Freud and wiener schnitzel, but it is also the financial and the political capital of Austria.  I went on a 3 day visit to this wonderful city.  Though I had visited Vienna many times before but this was the first time when  I visited Vienna along with my classmates of MSC IPM from FH Wels. It was a preplanned industrial visit.


We visited the underlying four companies. 



Day 1

On 13 th June 2013 early in the morning at  0630  we caught a train from Wels to Vienna , It was a 2 hour long journey before we reached Vienna. We were received by Dr. Thomas Weichselbaumer. Our first destination was the Airport where we had a Guided tour along with a presentation on the how the Innovation was managed by the Airport Authorities. We were also given a presentation on the Operations management and how to conduct simulations in an environment which is as important as an airport. We were taken to the Air traffic control towers and were shown how the systems work  in such an environment.






It was already 11 50 am and the next visit was due in next half an hour. We took a train to the city from the Airport, The CAT (City Airport Train) is an additional service provided by the Viena Airport . What was different was that it it offers you a service where you can check-in your baggage up to 75 minutes before departure,you can get your boarding pass and enjoy the rest of your journey all in the city. One thing that I could learn was that most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning, hence in Vienna Airport they try to bring change as per the customer needs.











We validated our U Bahn Tickets and took a metro which is called U bahn in Vienna. We got down at Siemens Strasse since our next visit was in Siemens. Siemens City is in the 21st District. Around the area numerous research and educational institutions, and other companies are located. Thus, the Siemens City is also a lively center of a future-oriented industry and technology cluster.

We were marveled to see the modern buildings with excellent infrastructure. The City is a prime example of sustainability.   We had our lunch at Siemens as we were invited for lunch in their café.












After the lunch we moved to the SIMEA  workshop where Dipl.-Ing.Bernhard Höflechner a senior employee of Siemens briefed us about the whole production cycle of semiconductor devices. We were shown the different new and innovative methods of soldering in Industries.

After that we then had a  presentation by Dr Michael Heiss principal open Innovation and scouting who gave us a presentation on how  open innovation is managed in Siemens, he also gave us a deep insight into Technoweb  which is Siemens internal knowledge networking platform which has a strong focus on corporate problem solving and uses the patented urgent distribution mechanism.




 




Till now we had not checked into our hostels, now we were free and got time to go and check in at our respective Hostels. After checking in and taking a shower we went for evening dinner to Restaurant Mill. It is located in miller gasse 32. The restaurant has a very nice garden and also the internal in particular is made up of recyclable materials. After the dinner we decided to try the famous Ice cream in Vienna which was located in Stephanplatz. Ice cream parlors are an institution in Vienna, It is said that Italian immigrants brought it over, and the locals perfected it here. So we could see the mixing of cultures and how globalization and the working of Intercultural Marketing. It was already too late and we headed back home after some so that we could catch up with the Schedule the Next Day.


Day 2


At 9am we moved to Schönbrunn Palace. From the 18th century to 1918, Schönbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art.


The Cultural World Heritage Site of Schönbrunn Palace has been Austria’s most frequently visited tourist attraction, since there is a deep history of Austrian culture hidden in it. In the palace the residential and state rooms with their original furnishings and decorations convey an authentic impression of the imperial lifestyle. I was shocked to see how well maintained it is till now.  

 

The park and gardens surrounding the palace make Schönbrunn a unique synthesis of Baroque art. We took a lot of pictures in the garden.


Together with its gardens, the site of the world’s first zoo in 1752,  it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk.


The next visit was to  cyLEDGE media GmbH. cyLEDGE stands for cyber knowLEDGE.

Paul Blazek, Founder & CEO cyLEDGE Media GmbH gave us a presentation on the importance of how to network and the importance of networking, he also gave us an insight into the digital ways of producing varients of products in the future. He said that the idea to start a company was Inspired by the vision of individuality, a non-compliant team got together in 2006 and it was formed, in case you feel to do t just do it.


You can see a lot of innovative solutions in the streets of Vienna one of which was this Motorcycle made out of Fur.  

After the visit we went on a walking tour to Gebrüder Stitch which is a company which focuses on producing designer Jeans. The company was formed by two young entrepreneurs Moriz Piffl and Michael Lanner We were given a presentation about the company by Moriz . He said that  It was a coincidence how they came together over a coffee in a bar and suddenly got the idea regarding the market or local custom made jeans. In May 2010, they rented the space of a gallery, rented machinery made in and started with the production. I could see the amount of effort and dedication put in by having a look at the marketing campaign that they had made. They have even taken part in the Vienna fashion week.

The importance of niche market was seen during the visit,  I was able to visualize he a different kind of marketing the company was doing in order to get regular happy customers who would be willing to pay 350 Eur per Jeans.


 

Day 3



The Visit had already come to the last day but we were left with the city tour. I went to the Nash Market which is the oldest market in Vienna which is in existence from the 16 th century.  The Market has a unique uniform like structure.


The next we visited was the State Opera,  here we started the guided tour , Travelling around the Goethe statue (who is considered as the Shakespeare of german speaking countries)  we went into the garden. We then went to the location of the office of President of Austria. We saw the  beautiful buildings around Neu burg. We saw the horses which were being trained at the Spanish Riding School.

In the picture to your left you can see me standing in front of St Stephans Cathedral

 



Over all the whole trip helped me to open my horizon and I would say that we did a lot of things in a short span of three days. It is always an experience to see a lot of new innovative companies and things when  you visit new places.

 
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Venice, Italy- By Manish Abraham

posted 28 Mar 2013, 06:25 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 28 Mar 2013, 07:12 ]


banner of venice

Venice, Italy-
Me and three of my friends traveled from Wels in Austria to Venice in Italy on 21 st March. We took a Euro night train to Venice. We stayed at a friends house, here you can see the pictures of Venice. 
Venice is a series of islands which is joined together with the help of bridges and has many canals. Cars are not permitted in Venice, so we had to walk all the way which was an experience in itself. Since its an island you cant get lost in the city. 
View when you reach venice



The view when you get out of the train station. 
The canal which you see is the grand canal which runs through the center of Venice. 




venice from bus station





On the second day we traveled from a nearby city to Venice by bus so this photo shows Venice from the bus station.




st marks bascilica venice






One of the major attractions is the Piazza San Marco and St Marks Basilica . The Grand canal is an attraction in itself. I was really amazed the way the city was built on swamps and about the engineering involved in the construction of such complex structures.




bridges of venice





There are many bridges which connect one corner to the other. People in Venice live on the first floor and there are a lot of shops on the ground floor.


gondola in venice
 





Gondolas are these boats which you can hire, and it takes you around the canals even to the lanes which are not connected by bridges.


masks in venice




If you go around Venice you find most of the shops selling this kind of mask, 
It is worn though out the city during the Venice carnival. There are various colorful masks available and I personally got one because I think its a beautiful memory from Venice.

vivaldi four season





I got an opportunity to see two concerts in two days the first was Vivaldi s four seasons which was a full dress concert, and the second one was in a church near the Naval Museum. As per me if you visit Venice do visit one of the concerts because this takes you back in time and shows you some real things about Venice, its art and culture. 

port of venice
 





I visited the port of Venice and also saw some huge ships, one of it is in the picture. 


academia venice






There are a lot of museums around venice which show casts the  rich history and technology advancements during the Renaissance.







I have even made a video of the boat trip around Venice through the Grand Canal. 


Few Innovations that Venice  gave to the World:


    Creation and then expansion of the Arsenale and its related support industries, and its recent recycling into an international trade and conference center;
    “Adaptive Reuse” of existing areas such as the Ghetto Nuovo, from which industries were relocated for centralization elsewhere;
    Changing transportation technology impacting land use, most of the transportation is foot based or by the help of boats.
    Construction of major bridges with collateral expansion of connecting links (e.g., Strada Nova), such as the Ponte Accademia and recently the new ”Calatrava Bridge” (Ponte della Constituzione) significantly altering movement patterns in the City.
    Venetians were excellent ship builders and the way the city is built on layers of marble was an innovation in itself. 

Venice is also known for a large variety of Food and Italian Cuisines. We tried different kinds of Pizzas and gelato  (ice cream) in Venice.
   

Oxford - by Manish Abraham

posted 26 Jan 2013, 07:54 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 3 Feb 2013, 11:58 ]

manish abraham in oxford
manish abraham in oxford
manish abraham in oxford
Oxford-
Oxford is a city in central southern England. It is the county town of Oxfordshire, and forms a district within the county. I frequently visited Oxford as I was working for EBA, Lincoln College, Oxford University as their brand ambassador.  

During my visits to Oxford I realized that Oxford has a diverse economic base. Its industries included motor manufacturing, publishing and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses, and not only education.

The city is known worldwide as a university town and home of the University of Oxford, I got several opportunity to propose my research topics in University of Oxford. 

I normally used to travel by train but once I even traveled by a coach which was also a good experience as I had to change buses, due to lack of direct connections to Newcastle. 

Buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th-century Radcliffe Camera.

I visited a few museums in Oxford like the Ashmolean Museum, which was the world’s first university museum, The museum of history of science as well as the museum of natural history.The city center of Oxford is relatively small, and is centered on Carfax, a cross-roads which forms the junction of Corn market StreetQueen Street, St Aldate's and The High. Corn Market Street and Queen Street are home to Oxford's various chain stores

The Bodleian Library was one of the best academic libraries I have ever visited; they even make you sign a declaration before admission, it is the second largest library in England after the British library in London (view my visit to London).

I also took buses to Pear Tree, Red bridge, Sea Court which are places around Oxford.













Cardiff & Newport - by Manish Abraham

posted 26 Jan 2013, 06:41 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 2 Feb 2013, 06:46 ]

Manish Abraham in Cardiff

Cardiff-

manish abraham in Cardiff Manish Abraham in Cardiff Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales's chief commercial center  the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions.

Cardiff is also the largest media center in the UK outside of London, which also attracted me; I visited Cardiff for a Seminar in the University of Wales. Cardiff is home to four major institutions of higher education: Cardiff University, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

During my visit to Cardiff I visited various landmarks such as the Millennium Stadium, Pierhead Building which is the Welsh National Museum and the Senedd, the home of the National Assembly for Wales.also visited the famous Cardiff Castle and the Wales Millennium Center.

Newport -
manish abraham in newport

manish abraham in newport
Newport is a city and unitary authority in south east Wales. It is the third largest city in Wales. It is located on the River Usk close to its confluence with the Severn estuary. It is 12 miles (19 km) east of Cardiff; I traveled from Cardiff to Newport by a bus. After my visit to the University of Wales, I traveled around Newport, I came to know that Newport has been a port since medieval times, when a castle was built by the Normans.

The Universities old building was in a place called Caerleon which is a suburban village, also situated on the River Usk, and is in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport. I visited various sites of archaeological importance, including notable Roman legionary fortressIsca Augusta, and an Iron Age hill fort. The Wales National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum are also in Caerleon close to the remains of Isca Augusta. 

Manchester - by Manish Abraham

posted 26 Jan 2013, 05:45 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 2 Feb 2013, 06:46 ]

manish abraham in manchester

Manish Abraham n Manchester Manchester-

Manchester is a city and metropolitan in Greater Manchester, England. 

 Manchester lies within the United Kingdom's third largest urban area; the Greater Manchester Urban Area. I visited Manchester with a few of my friends from Newcastle, We took a coach from Newcastle in the morning and reached there in 2 hours. Manchester is situated in the south-central part of North West England; Manchester's unplanned urbanization was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolutionand resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialized city.

manish abraham with vasanth nagarajan in manchester

The city is notable for its culture, architecture, music scene, media links, engineering and scientific output, social impact and sporting connections. Manchester's sports clubs include Premier League football teams, Manchester City and Manchester United. We visited the Manchester United stadium at Old Trafford, Manchester was the site of one of the world's first railway stations, and the place where scientists first split the atom and developed the first stored-program computer. We also saw the metro tram project which will be one of the largest tram networks in UK. People from Manchester are known as Mancunians and were very friendly, Though Manchester city center was small but the city was very wide and we got an opportunity to travel all across the city. 










London - by Manish Abraham

posted 25 Jan 2013, 17:15 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 2 Feb 2013, 06:46 ]

manishabrahaminlondo
London-
London the capital city of England located on the banks of river Thames is one of the few places in the world where you will find a true amalgamation of vivid cultures from across the globe.

First Visit-

 Since I came to Newcastle (England) for my Graduation, London was the first place I visited with my three amigos on Road. It was a 3 day trip during Christmas vacations. 

Our odysseys begin at 4 am on a chilled December morning and we were all set to travel across England in our personal wagon. It was my first drive in a foreign land and I was quite thrilled. After 5 hr. of dashing driving when we reached London. I was delighted thinking that, here I am standing right in front of Big Ben in this famous city of London.

 London is one of the oldest cities of the world and it can be clearly seen in its architecture. We hired a hop on and hop off tour bus for a short ride across the city passing through the famous tower bridge, a cruise in river Thames and commuted through London metro or as rightly said tubes.  During the excursion we saw Big Ben, London Eye, Queen’s Castle, Madame Tussaud's  Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, London Ice bar, British Museum and the list goes on. After this journey I visited London many more times during my stay in England  but my first experience is always special and its memories stay fresh and alive.



Since then I visited London a lot of times,I even visited the platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station from the Harry Potter books. The Imperial War museum and British museum were few places where I tried to gain a lot of additional knowledge not only about England but also all over the World.

York - by Manish Abraham

posted 25 Jan 2013, 16:00 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 2 Feb 2013, 06:46 ]

York-

York is a walled city, which is situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage, I got an opportunity to visit york with three of my friends, The city has a vibrant café culture, and has a lot of attractions one of which is the St Marys Church which dates back to 1020 Ad. We also saw the famous Christmas market at york, The city walls in itself is a heritage monument. There were a lot of museums in York, of course I also tried the Yorkshire pudding which is a specialty of York.











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