Erasmus during the Corona Times (WS 2020)
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.”
Eventually, I decided to stay in Spain over the Christmas until January according to my Learning Agreement. The situation in the Czech Republic doesn’t seem to get better and I’m a bit worried about the situation with universities in January, it feels more secure here. They have also allowed traveling within Spain during Christmas holidays so at least we will go somewhere with the other students staying here. 😊
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 (FoEcon), 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. 🙂 “
Jakub Zíka (FM), University of Porto
“Regarding the school, everything is alright. The classes are in-person, I am happy for that and hope it lasts.
However, the Erasmus is influenced by Covid, for example the trips by student organizations are being cancelled or bigger events are not organized at all (meetings of more than 10 people are not possible in Porto). I am very glad I went abroad, though. As I have already been on Erasmus before, I can really benefit as much as possible despite the Covid situation and fully enjoy the Erasmus. …
The only issue I had to solve so far, was a fraud with accommodation that I found from the Czech Republic. When I arrived at the address, the contact person stop communicating with me and it came to light later that it was a fraud. …
The fraud wasn’t pleasant, and it surely was a complication, but at least I gained some valuable experience for the future. I always try seeing things in the better light, so I wouldn’t let it ruin my stay here. The Covid situation is not getting any better. However, it has only influenced the social activities and one of the three courses switched to online teaching. Any other measures have not been announced. ”
“New measures were announced quite often lately, but to be honest it looks worse “on paper” than it really is. It seems the attitude of the people here is different than in the Czech Republic – people try to be responsible and careful towards each other. By that I mean people automatically sanitize their hands (the sanitizer is everywhere) when entering a building (shops, fitness centrum, school), the cashiers are disinfected after max. 3 customers, tables and chairs in restaurants after every customer and so on. On the other hand, they try to live normally. There is a curfew (with exceptions of work, school, necessary issues) from 23:00 to 5:00 during the weekdays and from 13:00 to 5:00 during the weekends and it is recommended to stay home otherwise. However, the restaurants, sport facilities, bars, coffee shops and schools are open (the teaching is still partially in-person) and when moving in the city you wouldn’t say it is recommended to stay home, so it shows they want people to live normally within the bounds of possibility. Even though it may look like a displeasing partial lockdown, the reality is more pleasant. 🙂
I handle the situation very well and I fully enjoy it. I have many friends who I see regularly and when possible we make trips across the Portugal. I do not meet that many people as I would without the pandemic, but the relationships are closer and more intensive as you see the same people more regularly.”
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.”
Iveta Hušková (FIR), Technische Universität München
“Teaching is being delivered online at TUM. The synchronous lectures are via ZOOM and the asynchronous are via Moodle. There are often invited experts with professional experience. I also have English and German courses via Zoom. It is interactive and the quality of teaching is very good. The TUM library is open and schools and stores as well. Concerning some measures, we can only meet people from our household now. …
Before the measures were adopted, I had a chance to meet with Exchange students and few local people from Munich thanks to the Buddy program and we were travelling and discovering Munich and its surroundings together. We made the first trip to the Herzogstand mountain (1831 m), where there was a beautiful view of the mountains and the lakes Walchensee and Kochelsee. We made a hike to the Kochel mountain (1342 m) and had a view of Oberaammergau and tried the Alpine Coaster Rodelbahn. We were also in the Hofgarten garden by Munich and visited the Olympic park and the Starnberg lake.”
Jan Zvoníček (FIR), Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
“… We (Erasmus students) have classes at school. Normally, the class is divided into thirds, 2/3 are at school and 1/3 has online lesson. It always takes some time to make it work and then it lags a lot, so I think that VSE is handling the online situation better… However, we’re always present in the classroom, because it would be an additional problem to connect us and explain to us, how it works, etc. (Although they told us today that we will have some of the courses online – using Zoom). The school is a bit chaotic…
Other than that, I’m very glad for the opportunity to travel, get to know the culture, language and everything!”
“I certainly do not regret my decision to take part in Erasmus in France during the coronavirus situation. I do not feel majorly restricted and, in my opinion, the situation is similar throughout Europe. In the two months I’ve been here, I’ve managed to travel the whole of southern France, from Nîmes to Italy. I am very satisfied with the place of my stay. Nice is really a very beautiful and diverse place surrounded by sea and mountains with pleasant weather. I made a lot of friends here, so I can improve my knowledge of the foreign language. I have most of my courses in French and I am in a class with native French people, so I am surrounded only by French.”
Jan Přerovský (FIS), Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
“Everything is fine in Switzerland. The school is online and will be until the end of the semester, but the form of exams is still being solved – it is the same as at VŠE. We meet others mainly on the weekends or at sporting events during the week. The situation regarding Covid here in Winterthur is not so terrible yet, so restaurants are open, etc. ESN is still organizing events, so we also participate in those.”
Jan also made a beautiful video which is absolutely worth watching!
Jana Rohlíková (FFA), Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
“The previous weeks have been absolutely great. So many new experiences, meeting amazing people, the opportunity to physically visit the beautiful campus of JKU, all this cannot even be expressed in words. I’d say we couldn’t have enjoyed these almost two months better. Although this Erasmus is not exactly the same as it has been in previous years, I am extremely satisfied. …
As of today, new measures have come into force in Austria, which, among other things, introduce online teaching for all universities. I was deciding whether to stay in college or return to the Czech republic. However, after talking to a colleague, I decided to stay here and I am hoping that we will have online courses only during November and that in December, everything will return, at least partially, to the old ways.”
Karolína Martínková (FFA), Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
“I have enjoyed the past month and a half to the fullest, the teaching took place in a combined form. There was a limited number of people in class, but because the local students were mostly not interested in full-time teaching, I was able to attend all subjects. However, the last three days have brought big changes and a lot of nerves associated with lockdown and the closure of universities.
I hope that despite these changes we will enjoy the rest of the semester and will be able to see each other at least outside. I still believe that lockdown will end at the end of November. I wish you good health and I firmly believe that the situation in the Czech republic is finally starting to turn for the better.”
Hana Fikrová (FIR), Sogang University
Marta Slaninková (FIR), Universidad de Navarra
“I made it safely to Pamplona, the mobility has been going smoothly, the school puts a lot of emphasis on hygiene measures and we are all very well informed about the situation.”
“The situation is not particularly good in Spain, and I guess Navarra is perhaps the most affected area by Covid after Madrid and Barcelona … Nevertheless, I can’t say that this fact is fundamentally affecting my stay. The university still has full-time teaching at school – it is accompanied by all measures, such as the constant wearing of mask and keeping a distance. The conditions for meeting in public places have been restricted, but given that the measures were set in a similar way before, this was not essential. I can say that, at least as far as I’m concerned, everything is fine and fortunately I haven’t encountered any problems yet. …
The region is currently in a 14-day ” lockdown “, in which we are not allowed to travel outside the region and no one is allowed inside. Furthermore, all restaurants, cafes and similar establishments are closed and there’s a curfew. However, the school continues to operate in person.”
Tereza Kalousová (FoEcon), Wrocław University of Economics (online from home)
“I have to say that I’m very happy with how online teaching works in Poland, so far I have not encountered any problems. Professors are very accommodating and try to make this form of teaching as interesting as possible. I think that this form even suits me better in certain things, for example, I have classes until 18:15 on Friday (it’s three lessons in a row) and I’m very grateful that I don’t have to run to school and be there until it’s dark, but that I can be in the comfort of my own home and have coffee. 🙂 I am sorry that I wasn’t able to visit Poland and did not have the opportunity to get to know their country, culture, locals and other students from the Erasmus program, but in retrospect I evaluate this decision positively, because the Covid situation in Poland is definitely not ideal. The main reason for joining Erasmus was the opportunity to improve my level of English and this goal is being fulfilled, and although I am not physically present in Poland, I have had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people during my online classes.”
Tereza has a picture form her Erasmus as well. 🙂
Linda Waisová (FFA), ESCE International Business School
“I can say with a clear mind, that I enjoyed my whole Erasmus exchange to the fullest and I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity…Thank you, VSE.
I spent the first half out and about exploring. I even got lucky and initially, classes were in the university, so I had the chance to meet and get to know my international classmates, and now friends. However, through hybrid teaching, the French teaching switched to the online form, which eventually lasted until the end of the semester.
In almost all the classes, the teachers told us, that they love international lessons with students from many parts of the world. The concept of teaching is inherently different, which I was not used to in such an extent: the vast majority were case studies and group projects. Another advantage of Erasmus: the semester is done before Christmas! 🙂
There’s a strict curfew in France for a little over a month now, it only works with “attestation”. However, this does not prevent us from going out for walks or runs in the nice surrounding parks in our free time.
In conclusion, despite the current sanitary situation, I definitely do not regret coming here! In the process, I even became, as the locals would say, a “nunu” – I regularly babysat a Czech-French girl! Although I haven’t met as many people quantitatively, I’ve become even closer to the friends that I experience Erasmus with every day.”
Richard Bernát (FBA), Konkuk University
“One does not get bored in Korea, I am busy not only with school but also with exploring new places and meeting new people.
The situation about COVID-19 is quite good, much better than in Europe. There are some measures like social distancing and wearing face masks, but we are already used to those and we are not much limited by that.
Teaching is being delivered online and will be so till the end of the semester. It is obvious they were well prepared as it went so smoothly. There is a single platform – the eCampus, where we can find all our courses, online lectures, assignments, attendance, syllabus – just everything we need to know.
Korean culture and cuisine are awesome, and people are very nice and helpful (even when they do not speak English).
Regarding exchange students, there are fewer of them than usually, but despite the corona and the measures, we managed to get to know each other and organize some trips.”
Andrea Melissa Mejía Rodezno (FIR), Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology
“Everything is going really well for me. Our courses went completely online so I moved to Helsinki for a job opportunity linked to my thesis writing.”
Vendula Benedová (FIS), ISM University of Management and Economics
“Vilnius has been in quarantine since October 25th, and now the whole of Lithuania has been in quarantine since November 7th. I wanted to write you this week, because I decided to come back to the Czech republic a little earlier. I’m planning to leave on November 27th, instead of December 11th. At first, I didn’t consider leaving at all, even though we received an offer from the local the coordinators, that if we decided to leave, they would arrange for us to finish the semester online. The main reason I decided to leave is, that I really enjoyed my exchange and I wouldn’t want to spoil my experience by being locked up in an apartment, alone and far away from my family. At the moment, I feel good, we can still visit others, but I personally don’t think it’s appropriate given the pandemic. That’s why I’m staying at home more and I have had time to think about leaving 😄. I have to say, that I am incredibly thankful for social media, through which I can be in contact with my family and friends, because without them, it would be really difficult me for me at the moment. They help me handle this situation a lot and make me feel at home.
I have to admit, that when I decided to leave and wrote Laura, who is my landlord, I cried, because I have really fallen in love with Vilnius and I will miss her. As I already said above, I have the support of my family and friends, so we are already planning a vacation so that I can return at least for a little bit. ❤
Now I would like to remember everything I experienced in Lithuania, because we had the opportunity to experience great two months of true Erasmus exchange without feeling like we’re in a pandemic. I’m incredibly happy that I decided to go at this time and I definitely do not regret it! 🙂
Upon arrival, I had to quarantine, but it went by really quickly. I think that when one knows, what is in front of him and what experiences await for him, quarantine does not bother them as much. I spent my time looking for places I wanted to visit in Lithuania and reading attractions that I could then share with other Erasmus people. On the very first day after quarantine, I went on a trip to the regional park near Kaunas, where I met other Erasmus students from my and other Vilnius universities. Thanks to that, I went with them to other places as well, such as Klaipeda, the Hill of Crosses, Palanga or Nida. But what I liked the most was the Curonian Spit. I couldn’t believe I was still in Lithuania! Beautiful sand dunes, pine forest and the Baltic Sea. Our whole group of friends from the whole world really enjoyed it and it was an incredible experience.
I really enjoy living in Vilnius. It’s a very green city, where everything is walking distance, which is very comfortable. I took a bus only once, it really isn’t necessary. If you don’t want to walk, you can use scooters, they’re on every corner and are very popular. Lithuanians my age use more or less nothing else for transportation. 😄 Another option would be a hot air balloon, there are also a lot of them. They take off from Vingis Park, where I managed to see them one day. 🙂 Another thing that I like about Vilnius is, that the local parks look like Czech forests. The Vingis Park is 15 minutes walking distance, and I’m able to walk around for three hours, because it’s really big. The historic center of Vilnius is smaller, you can definitely see it in one day, but it is so beautiful, that I go back often.
From the beginning of the semester, we were able to choose whether we would attend classes on campus or join online. All subjects had to be broadcasted via MS Teams, so that students who were in quarantine could participate in the lectures.
We had midterms in October. Due to the pandemic, classes were interrupted, so that we could follow precautions when writing tests. I was glad about that, because we were able to prepare better. I also had a cold at the time, so having to concentrate only on the tests, really helped.
We have everything online now, but the quality of teaching hasn’t changed. That is, if the electricity supply for the ISM isn’t interrupted, that quite complicated online teaching.😄
I’d like to say once again, that I’m really very happy that I went on an exchange, despite the initial complicated situation. I definitely don’t regret it! I even think, that because of the pandemic, we only met people, who truly wanted to go on Erasmus, and that’s why we all get along so well. 🙂 ”
There is even a short video from the trip to the Curonian Spit.
Soňa Drenovacová (FIR), Universidad de Málaga
“To be honest, I don’t feel or experience any changes or difficulties regarding covid since I’ve arrived. We wear masks almost everywhere but everything is opened and more or less without restrictions (except the night life, discos are closed and bars are open only until 1 AM). I think that in the Czech Republic things are significantly worse in this respect, unfortunately. The organization of the school is not yet 100% but, in some subjects, the teaching already takes place. …
The biggest news is a curfew from 11 PM to 6 AM for two weeks or so in whole Spain. Travel restrictions are being discussed until now but regarding Andalusia, mainly Granada and Sevilla are in worse situation. Otherwise, everything works as it should.
The situation with the university is still a bit iffy but I’d say that teaching online is further lowering the quality of the university bud nothing can be done about it. Some classes still take place in-person.
I can’t say that all the subjects are bad as I have two from the faculty of economics which are taught quite well but the other two subjects I have are from the faculty of tourism and I’m not really satisfied with them. …
But when one has strong nerves regarding local teaching system, there is nothing to complain about and the “Erasmus life” is exactly how I imagined it’d be.”
“There is really only the curfew in Spain, so I’m very happy to be here as I see that in many European countries it has come to lockdown again. The only thing left to do is to hope that it will miss Spain because the number of new cases here is not exactly low either…
I’ve written a lot about the school and the other – Erasmus is great experience. You meet many people from all over the world, practice foreign languages, find out many things about others’ countries cultures… we are constantly doing something, evening get-togethers, international dinners, trips to neighboring towns and nature as well, one doesn’t even have the time to be bored. I’m already looking forward to next Erasmus. 😄 ”
“I’m writing after a while from Málaga. There is essentially no major news. The teaching will probably be online until the end of the semester and the form of exams is not yet known. From the next week onwards, some measures will be loosened – store and restaurants opening times and travelling will be possible within Andalusia. Me and some of my friends are staying here over the Christmas as I also don’t know whether it would be too complicated to come back here after Christmas holidays.”
Jiří Doležal (FIR), University of Vaasa
“In comparison to the beginning and how great we were doing, a large-scale Covid epidemic broke out here last week, and of all the exchange students, almost half, if not more, are positive. There are also a few people in our close circle, that are ill and we are all obliged to be in quarantine. Fortunately, at least as far as we know, nobody has had a serious course, so we’re just waiting for everyone to recover so that we can do something again. We are afraid that all the activities that were prepared for us by our tutors (something like our Buddies) will be cancelled and there won’t be anything happening until the end of the semester, but we will see. However, we are trying to make it as nice as possible.”
“…. All of our students in Vaasa have been out of quarantine for a while now, so we’ve already managed to go on a few trips.
We have a great group of people, with which we went on our most recent trip to Lapland, where we visited the Oulanka and Korouma Parks, saw countless reindeers and stayed in a glass igloo in Northern Lights village of Levi. Unfortunately it was very cloudy, so we couldn’t see the aurora borealis. …
Because the coronavirus situation in Finland is one of the best, we had no restrictions during the first month and could enjoy open clubs until 4 in the morning. However, we had school online since the beginning of the semester, so at first it was more difficult to meet new people. That soon changed and we met a great group of people with whom we’ve spent all our time so far.
After one month, the situation in Vaasa worsened and after one so-called Covid party, more than half of the students on exchange tested positive L. So we were quarantined for about 2-3 weeks and hoped that our student life would return. Everyone’s health and the situation in Finland is still very good, so we go on trips and organize various events in our apartments.
From our point of view, the relationship we have with our professors, is much more personal here than in the Czech republic, which is also indicated by the fact that we address each other by our first names. ”
In the pictures also with Jitkou Melníkovou (FIR) – University of Vaasa
Ngan Vu (FBA), University Consortium of Pori
“Regards from beautiful and peaceful Finland! Teaching here is without any complication so far and mostly on-line and in fact thanks to this I can travel more and it doesn’t influence students’ activities yet, so I’m happy here. I keep discovering local nature – forests, lakes, beaches and of course I fell in love with local saunas. So, in fact, it has been kind of meditational exchange and I’m so grateful to be here despite the circumstances. The coronavirus situation is mild here so far so everything works normally altogether and I had the opportunity to shortly visit Stockholm as well.”
“I’m handling it great, I’m extremely satisfied and the Finnish tutors take good care of us. I decided to stay here over Christmas, because I like it so much here. 🙂 I’m doing well in all the subjects here, I will finish almost all of them during Christmas and then I will have one course left to finish in February.
I am also sending photos from our last trip to the north of Finland, where our Finnish tutor invited us to his home. It’s already snowing and winter here!”
Tamara Mlýnková (FIR), Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
“My stay in Vienna is going well, the city itself is beautiful, as well as the school premises. We had the opportunity to attend some of the courses in person, unfortunately the deterioration of the situation didn’t avoid Austria either, and from today, we are moving to full online teaching and partial lockdown.
Fortunately, we had two months to enjoy various trips and meet other classmates from around the world. With regard to the current situation, I’m considering returning to the Czech republic during November, i.e. a month earlier than intended originally.
Nevertheless, I can’t thank you enough for making this exchange possible, because despite all the uncertainties, it has been a unique experience.”
Photos by Tamara and Veronika Vyoralová (BA), that also studied at WU Wien in the Fall semester.
Polina Burkova (FBA), Umeå University
“About a week ago, the regional government decided to tighten coronavirus measures. They are more of a recommendation, restaurants and shops are still open. However, classes are online and all activities from the Buddy Program are cancelled. Despite that, I really like Umeå. Wonderful Nordic nature and clean air, a forest and a lake right next to the tracks, and aurora borealis – when thinking about it, I really envy myself. Everything in the city is done for students. The dormitories are next to the university, nearby, there’s a huge gym with a swimming pool, group lessons with discounted student prices.
I like the style of teaching, the professors’ approach and the way students are evaluated. Written exams are completely anonymous. Each student is given a number to which the teacher assigns a result. The Buddy Program offers a lot of activities, such as rafting, or a visit to an elk farm. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go anywhere, because the capacities were full, because a lot of people were interested.
I’ve met a lot of new people here and now I have friends all over the world. I just wish I could enjoy my Erasmus exchange before or after Covid, to have made the most of the experience. Even so, I am very grateful that I’m here and I get not only many experiences, but also new skills.”