Getting the Most Out of My Austrian State-Funded Health Care

After college, like so many other recent graduates frantically staving off real life (or, in my case, the purgatory of a PhD program), I taught English abroad. I got a gig with the Austrian-American Educational Commission that seemed to be designed solely to encourage post-collegiate irresponsibility. I worked 12—you heard me—12 hours a week, and took home about €1,000 a month after taxes. Even after paying €350 in rent each month for the bigger bedroom in our two-bedroom flat, that €650 still stretched a long way.