Erasmus during the Corona Times
Exchange programme continues in the academic year 2020/2021 as well. Mobilities during the Fall semester have already started, and most students are already abroad at prestigious partner universities.
There are preventive measures across the world and at many partner universities the teaching is being delivered at least partially online. Many students had to start their exchange by obligatory self-quarantine. However, that does not mean that the exchange is not beneficial or that students are not able to enjoy it. On the contrary! We are happy to receive mostly positive news from abroad and we hope it stays that way. You can read through the positive feedback from the exchange abroad during the pandemic below.
Barbora Nováková (FFA), University of Turku
“Teaching is being delivered online but we can visit university facilities to study at the library or common areas. Exams take place in the university buildings. Teamwork is a very important part of the lessons, so we meet with other students and we are not separated.
The situation is all right in Finland. Finns are very cautious and responsible concerning coronavirus. Therefore, even though there is a low increase in the Covid cases in comparison with the Czech Republic, wearing masks is recommended in the public transport and at places with higher concentration of people.
However, we do not experience significant restrictions and we even (mostly) have a really nice weather!”
Egor Nefedov (FBA), Technological University Dublin
“I have been in Dublin for more than a month now and every day I realize that I’ve never felt so happy as I feel here. The thing I enjoy the most is the community of students from around the world that I got into, constantly meeting new people with very interesting and diverse opinions on everything, I’m surprised by how different cultures are. I’m very glad that I have decided to go on exchange despite the restrictions and I’m very grateful for such an amazing opportunity.
Regarding the school itself, everything is okay here. I’m not completely satisfied with their organizational skills and how long all the administrative procedures take. But the subjects are great and the thing I like the most is that almost all teachers are people with professional experience and lecturing is mostly a hobby for them. I think this exchange is very beneficial for me.
Of course, we are being affected by the restrictions associated with Covid to a considerable extent. We are not allowed to leave Dublin, restaurants and pubs are closed and we are not allowed to celebrate at home. Yet, it is so great here and we have many opportunities to travel in the surroundings of Dublin which is something we do very actively.”
Veronika Voldřichová (FIR), Universidad País Vasco
“During the first week, the school gave us a possibility to try various subjects, it was a bit hectic, no one really knew where and when we were supposed to be, but we finally managed it. The next week we are registering. In the end, many subjects are taught on-site, so hopefully the situation won’t worsen rapidly. For now, I must say that despite Covid and various measures our exchange wasn’t affected and hopefully it stays that way. 😊 …
This week the teaching at UPV goes well, we have been registered in the system so we can finally see all the changes and it’s not hectic 😊. I must say that adapting yourself to the Spanish vibe is not hard at all, I like it here very much! Primarily, the weather favours us very much for now, hopefully the rainy days come as late as possible.”
“ESN cancelled events for 14 days because most of us were self-quarantining. The teachers were luckily forthcoming, so they implemented bimodal instructions for the subjects that were only on-site. From the next week, the instructions should take place normally again. 😊 Otherwise, everything goes well, only the weather is starting to be cold and damp, so hopefully we’ll still see a couple of sunny days.
Otherwise, everything goes still well, time flies very fast, only gatherings are more limited now, up to 6 people instead of 10, which will probably affect bars & restaurants. However, local ESN always comes up with something and tries very hard to deal with the situation and that‘s very nice…
Despite the unusual situation, the experience is really worth it! Maybe the motto: „Exchange your life“ is even more appliable now, because one has a feeling (especially after a half year spent at home), that something finally moves on and you can explore new things again.”
Jaroslav Lubas (FIS), Umeå University
“I was worried about the Covid situation in the beginning. However, after the affairs in the Czech Republic, I have to say I was very lucky to leave and I am very happy here. Everyone observes the rules – there are no rules imposed by the government, only recommendations. Besides the distancing and sanitizer everywhere, there are no big restrictions.
Lectures are influenced only a little, access to the university facilities is 24/7 and it is not limited. We have online lectures in one of the courses, but we can go to the school to consult anything or to the computer classrooms anytime. Teaching system is different, I have 2 courses for a half of semester and it really suits me. I do not need to concentrate on many things at the same time and the workload is better distributed in the whole semester. The teachers want to pass on students as much knowledge as possible, they send out articles, presentations, everything we could possibly need. The quality of the teachers’ materials and students’ outcomes are on a different level here. The goal is not to make someone fail the exam, but to make the best results and explain and defend your own approach even if the result is not correct.
Buddy program is slightly adapted to the Covid situation. We are split to the groups of 25 people and we have many actions together like parties, common studying, trekking in the mountains, or rafting. The nature here is beautiful, everyone takes care of it a lot. There are many places for camping and setting a fire, and it is so clean everywhere. I have visited many cities and several UNESCO heritage sites and 5 national parks and many nature reservations on my way here. Swedes love nature, you can go anywhere, and you always find a place to bed down.
I have a great group of friends from the whole Europe and together we go to the mountains and hunt the aurora. Hunters call it the “Dancing lady”. If you are lucky it is an unforgettable show.“
Karolína Kapounová (NF), Seoul National University
“Before I left to Korea I was very doubtful, especially because of the obligatory quarantine. Moreover, I had known we would have online classes from the beginning and also the ice-breaking events were cancelled due to the coronavirus. However, I do not regret the decision to go at all and the quarantine was absolutely worth it. Despite the online classes, the situation concerning coronavirus is one of the best in the world and the measures are being lifted, therefore, we can organize trips and events with other students. I went for a trip outside Seoul also on my own and I surely want to continue in that. 🙂 Korean culture is so different from ours and I am very happy I have the experience thanks to the exchange programme. Anyway, I have to admit, I look forward to going back to Czechia a little. 🙂 “
Alexandra Krejčí (FIR), Corvinus University of Budapest
“I’m writing to you from the sunny Budapest. Everything went well and I’m waiting for the Orientation Day on Thursday at the moment. I haven’t been to the school yet and honestly, I don’t know when I’ll be able to go there. So far, everything seems to take place online.”
“Everything goes well and I’m well. I still have instructions partially online, two subjects face-to-face and two subjects online. There are activities and events, however I don’t participate in all of them. One can see that Corvinus and ESN Corvinus are trying to arrange that Erasmus students experience a fully-fledged exchange.”
Richard Hajdúk (FFA), HHL Leipzig
“At the moment, the orientation week and matriculations are taking place. It is great here so far, we’ve had a guided tour of the school, the campus, and the city too. A teambuilding awaits us afterwards and in two weeks, the semester should start partially online (online/on-site).”
“Currently, everything is okay, the Covid-19 situation is getting worse in Germany, but Leipzig is okay so far. The school has also started introducing more strict restrictions regarding the entry on campus. …
The semester has already started, we have almost all subjects with full-time students. If there is a teamwork, they are trying to split us in a way that we always collaborate with different people.”
Pavla Bořková (FIR), University of Ljubljana
“The situation in Ljubljana (respectively in whole Slovenia) is not very good, at least regarding the preventive measures and restrictions. The situation changed very suddenly, and some measures are stricter than yours (in Czechia). It is almost impossible to leave Ljubljana, and that makes it impossible to go for a trip, the restaurants and bars are closed, there is a curfew after 9pm and meeting others is very limited. These and also other measures complicate all kinds of socialization. However, we still try to stay in a good mood as far as possible. Many exchange students decided to go back home, I have decided to stay here so far. Going home would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, at least for now.”