Erasmus students’ reflection
The following texts reflect personal experience of some of Erasmus students who spent a semester or an entire academic year at Private University College of Economic Studies (SVŠES). The texts were not edited and may contain some factual, grammar and spelling mistakes to keep them authentic.
David Semenič (Universita v Mariboru, Slovinsko)
Martina Počalová (Univerzita Mateja Bela, Slovensko)
Hristina Surgucheva (Икономически университет, Varna, Bulgaria)
As I’ve studied in Varna for three years, I decided to make the most of the options standing in front of me and to come to Prague as part of the Erasmus mobility program. I chose Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií and never regretted my choice, not even for a moment.
Prague is the best city for gaining new experience, not only because of the beautiful sightseeings, interesting pubs and the huge variety of leisure activities, but also because Prague is the right place to meet people from all over the world. And this is definitely something when it comes to adventure and learning. The Czech Republic is the right place for travelling as well – almost every town is worth visiting, and the country is not far away from Poland, Germany, Hungary and as well. I had the chance to do some travelling – Plsen, Krakow and Berlin are only part of it and the memories I made with my friends are nothing else but precious.
The Private University College of Economic Studies is a place with a perfectly friendly environment from both the students and the professors. The teachers are helpful and always ready to answer your questions. The exams timetable for the Erasmus students is flexible and adjusted to the needs of the foreigners. There is also a really well equipped library with many issues in English concerning various Economics and Law topics. Accommodation is not something the university provides, but still – Prague is a huge city where everything can be found. And the Erasmus students from SVSES can easily find accommodation in the dormitory facilities in some other universities in the city such as the Technical University.
My Erasmus experience was full of challenges, interesting people, adventures and memories for a lifetime. Living in Prague was not only time to learn how to cope on my own, but also time to have real fun and broaden the horizons of friendship and better understanding of people.
Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií, Prague is the best choice if you want to make the most of the Erasmus program.
Hasan Oktay (Niğde Üniversitesi, Nigde, Turkey)
Nejc Klajnšek (Univerza v Mariboru, Maribor, Slovenia)
Martin Nikolaev (Икономически университет, Varna, Bulgaria)
My name is Martin Nikolaev. I am an Erasmus+ student from the University of Economics - Varna. I'm currently in my master studies of International Business. My bachelor degree was in Tourism and Hospitality management, which I studied again at UE-Varna. I would like to point out that this is my second Erasmus experience. The previous one was in Maribor, Slovenia.
These few months increased my skills and abilities broadened my horizons and perspectives to areas that I have already studied. No one says Erasmus+ is easy, it is an life-learning experience. At Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií you will meet teachers, who are willing to help and the get the best out of your skills and competences.
I experienced meetings with interesting and diversified colleagues with whom we had the opportunity to discuss contemporary topics connected with development of the world economy, to compare different points of view and in this way mutually enrich each other. Prague is a wonderful city to live in at any time of year. It's beauty and its atmosphere is incomparable with that of other European capitals. The town itself is most conveniently arranged for living and connected with various transport links inside the boundaries of the city (24h hour transport). This is really the heart of Europe. If you love to travel Prague is a great choice for a home destination that you will always return to. The town itself is very international with many communities and will allow you to communicate and improve skills in communication with different nationalities. In the dorm, I chose to live - Masarykova Kolej, I met with many colleagues from different continents.
In this community , I felt comfortable and well and had the opportunity to develop my skills in my specialty International Business. I would like to recommend to you , if you are majoring in International Business to choose Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií, because the teachers offer you interesting opportunities to develop your mindset and skills in foreign relations.
In the end , I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Mrs.A. Cernakova , Dr. Karel Helman and RNDr. Vladimír Přech for their help and guidance throughout my Erasmus+ study at Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií.
Hasan Oktay (Niğde Üniversitesi, Nigde, Turkey)
First of all, i would like to say about something about Prague. The city is really wonderfull, have never seen like this before, architecture, history, lifestyle, geographical location etc.
When i wanted to choice cities/countries for my Erasmus programme, started to ask someone who has a Erasmus experience, i had a options for others but one of my friend was really recommend to Prague, even he was jealous on Czech citizens and to be honest i affected. That’s why i ‘m here.
I arrived in Prague on 1th of February, my friend came to airport and he picked up me. I was really excited and my abroad experience has started. We took a bus which is goes to my dormitory and then started to speak with my friend, he really helped me for many things because i was need to arrange many things even internet connections password, generally dorms are using cable connections, that looks different for me cause it’s not common in Turkey, almost everywhere has a wi-fi connection in Turkey at dormitories as well but it’s not a point, when i came to Prague ,after airport, there were surprise for me, but this one is not acceptable one, one of my luggage was stolen in bus, That was first shock, you can imagine that, someone robbed me and there were many things which i need. Anyway, these times was awful but and then i get over and good days started.
“Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií” has very polite, helpful and understanting teachers.
This is the right place to be Erasmus student. By the way i travelled to some other Czech cities and other countries and still planning to travel somewhere else. I met many people here and i believe in that i got many good friends. Besides if you want to compare Prague to other European capitals, the Prague is cheaper than others but you should be cautious, definetly it’s depend on person.
There are really good night life and always many erasmus parties, many opportunities to get experience, diffirent culture and people as well.
Consequently, send your informations to “Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií” and enjoy your Erasmus.
Nejc Klajnšek (Univerza v Mariboru, Maribor, Slovenia)
I do not remember which day I decided to go on Erasmus exchange to Prague but I know this was the day that I made one of my best decisions so far. For me Prague was the only option although I was never in Prague before. When I asked my friends about their experiences in Prague they said two things, cheap beer and good looking girls. When I heard this I knew I cannot fail with my choice and I was not wrong.
I came to Prague in the middle of February. It was dark and cold but very peaceful and relaxing at the same time. I came with my car so the first thing that got my attention in Prague were drivers with high driving culture such you never see in Slovenia.
Second thing that got my attention was my dormitory which was a 20 floor communist style apartment block with a nice view on Prague. I had my room on 3rd floor without view but with useful access to the stairs because the elevators were very slow. Room was nice and big but a bit dirty. When I cleaned it and got used to it I was very pleased.
Then it was the city turn. Prague is very big city with some stunning architecture and other sights although I am not that into sightseeing. I was surprised with the size of the old town which is huge.
It looks and feels like real metropolis city with lots of tourists and business activities. What surprised me was a small number of immigrants in comparison with Berlin or Paris.
Also Prague is a very green city with a lot of parks which are great to relax on sun and reading book or hang out with you friends. My favourite park was Letna park with its metronome, skateboarders and great view of Prague specially in the evening.
For students probably the most important thing is nightlife and Prague has it all. You can go out every day in the week and you can satisfy every music taste and with cheap beer combination is perfect.
I really much enjoyed my Erasmus exchange in Prague and I do not regret that I chose it.
Actually I think there is no better city to go on exchange because you really get the whole package.Prague made me feel that I am at home.
Viktoriya Angelova (University of Economics, Varna, Bulgaria)
My Erasmus "fairytale” began with some prejudice and fear of the unknown. However, now - about three months later, I can confidently say that this has been one of the most memorable things ever happened to me . I can not compare my stay in Prague with anything experienced to date. I realized that the time flew too fast , but every single day or even hour and each minute were filled with stories and emotions. There was nothing wasted or inexperienced. Little by little, the beautiful views from one of those postcards and brochures of the places were replaced by my personal photos. Gradually they became part of big albums. The people there – from strangers I call now friends. I entered a dormitory full of strangers and leave a home now. I tried food that I found strange, but gradually it has become delicious and perfectly normal for my taste. I also felt the thrill of traveling and feeling part of a team - of something where everyone is so different, but shares everything… In the university here - Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií, I had the chance to study in an academic atmosphere where teachers and students have really good and professional attitude. It was a great experience to get into this place and beautiful city.
For me, there is hardly a more beautiful country. Extremely favorably situated, it “generously” gave me the opportunity to visit so many places. I travelled to some of the major European capitals as Berlin, Budapest and Wien. I also went to Brno, Cesky Krumlov, Olomouc, Kutna Hora – inside the beautiful Czech Republic. Yet Prague remained the "champion" with its incredible architecture and streets and the life streaming from them. I will never forget the statuesque castles, old churches, the music on the square and all the picturesque parks that impressed me. The culture of this place is like a huge - anywhere and everywhere. I felt it, and in people , regardless of age and lifestyle. At home, where everyday is asootsira with habit and routine, we can not thank every second sight or a new experience. It would be good , but it would be very normal . Erasmus , however, became just that - there was not a day that I do not realize that the time here is limited and depends only on me to digest . This makes it an invaluable experience here - everyone looks to see and take the maximum. Knowing that something was not and will not be yours makes it particularly expensive. People from various places are open to learn and share as much with each other.
Replying to a question from the topic, I should say that if the Erasmus was a book it would be most interesting one. If it was a film it would probably be the funniest. However, for me it is a reality, and soon will be a memory. My Erasmus stay in Prague enriched my culture, increased my contacts and push the boundaries of my mind. It has made me a very different person. And this might sound far-fetched, but when each takes his "Erasmus risk" he will realize that there could be nothing exaggerated. It is just extraordinary and you should experience it!
Teodora Arnaudova (University of Economics, Varna, Bulgaria)
Already at the end of my Erasmus adventure I know it will be difficult for me to leave Prague, and not to be a part of this whole experience. Erasmus gave me a golden opportunity to know many different cultures, to meet a lot of positive and motivated people. I learned new things , I saw many beautiful places in Europe and also really had fun.
I knew I will like Prague even before I came here . What I have seen here, not only justified my expectations but exceeded them . Czech Republic is in the heart of Europe and to travel to many other European countries would be quick and easy from here. This fact made my decision easier to choose this particular country as a destination of my Erasmus adventure. Although coming in Prague, I realized that this country has more charm than I imagined and to leave it even for a weekend for one of my trips awakened strange nostalgia – I already feel it as my home. I am happy that I chose SVSES as my university, Prague - as my home and the Czech Republic - as a country that will remain forever in my heart.
Natalia Atanasova (University of Economics, Varna, Bulgaria)
The word that describes Prague the best is gorgeous! I totally fell in love with it when I arrived and I am not exaggerating! Wonderful architecture, cheerful atmosphere and wild parties! The University of Economic Studies also impressed me with its kind, competent and responsible teachers. Another thing that impressed me very much when I arrived was how easy, fast and accurate the public transport is! I think that Prague is the best city to be on your Erasmus Program because firstly it is the most beautiful one, secondly it is not that expensive and thirdly is right in the middle of Europe so you can easily travel around Europe without worries with Student Agency’s luxurious buses and RegioJet’s trains.
I gained a lot of experience here. I had the chance to travel from Prague to Budapest, Bratislava, Wien, Berlin and Dresden. There is a lot to see in the Czech Republic so I visited the towns: Český Krumlov, Olomouc, Brno, Kutna Hora and Karlovy Vary. Each of them is totally worth seeing!
I love Prague with its crowded center, bustling Charles Bridge and green parks. I think that when I come back in my hometown in Bulgaria I will be Praguesick because I will miss this city a lot! Here I met amazing people and had a lot of fun! The only thing that I regret is not coming for a whole year but only for one semester! If I have a possibility I will definitely come again in this breathtaking capital.
In conclusion I can advise not to hesitate and apply for Erasmus Program in Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií because Prague is the place to be!
Cem Tayircik (Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey)
Umut Kurt (Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey)
Ana Moreno Carrasco (Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz and Cáceres, Spain)
David Ramos Molano (Spain) – English, Spanish
Cem Tayircik (Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey)
I’m Cem Tayircik from Turkey, I m studying at Mustafa Kemal University in Turkey. My department is travel management and tourism, that s my second experiences to go abroad but first one was for work , this is for study. I was in USA before than this. So I want to improve my language and improve myself at the same time I really enjoyed the come here.
First of all, I want to speak about before the visa process. I really enjoyed to pass Erasmus exam and that was the my best decision to come Prague. But I really had trouble for coming here like problematic visa, almost I quit but I tried my best and I m here.
For arrival it was the simple part of my Erasmus process and my friend Sidal was here before than me so he picked me up and help about everything whatever I never had problem for entrance because I came by transfer from Vienna so I thanks to student agency bus by the way. Like I said Sidal helped me about registration for dormitory and I really like my place and room it s comfortable , you are cleaning your room and cooking, shopping and it makes the people responsible at the same time I m thinking like that we can say it s experience so I m happy with my dormitory.
Let s talk about the transportation in Prague, I have never seen easy and useful and on time transportation like this before. I don’t remember I waited for the tram or metro if need to explain for one words "NONSTOP".
One more topic, about the lesson we selected before we came here and our coordinator in Turkey we shouldn’t forget his great helping. We wanted available lesson list from the Mr. Prech and we showed our coordinator, so he arranged our learning agreement and this the one more best thing all of our lesson was open in SVSES.
Prague is so nice city and I had benefits,aswell. Culture, food, tradition and especially rules they are the benefit for me, at the same time we are learning to life and having experience and responsibility because we are living alone.
For next Erasmus people, I absolutely recommend to have Erasmus, I absolutely recommend to choose Prague. But if you want to see this beauty, if you want to see dream in Prague, you must find out before coming here.
And last word again Prague was excellent …
Umut Kurt (Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey)
My name is Umut Kurt l was born in Diyarbakir in Turkey. I am twenty three years old. I have two brothers and two sisters. I study Mustafa Kemal University in Hatay. This year is my last year. l hope l can graduate this year.
When l began to travel, I first went to Wienna by airplane, later l came to Prague by bus. Afterword, l went from Florenc to Veternik ( dormitory ). My transportation was very splendid. l did not come across any distrubition, so l learned that transportation had developed in Prague. The dormitory which has a lot of rooms. l live in room for two persons. My room is small but there are two kitchen and bathroom in every corridor. There are fifty minutes between dormitory and university. l am last grade in Turkey and l am here in this year. l think it is very useful for me. lt supplies both career and different experience. Studying in Prague will be very useful for me. l have been learning very different culture new people which are different from my culture, religion and tradition and this makes me happy. l like learning different cultures, traditions and people. The more l live in Prague, the better l know people of Prague and l love them much more. l think that every people who want to have Erasmus, should go to Prague. I recommend that every Erasmus student should see Prague because Prague is very magnificent city and it has very historical building and view and they all are very pleasuring. I can say other students of Erasmus how the teachers and friends are very good and l like the city. If they go to Prague, they like historical buildings view, culture, tradition of Prague, too. I recommend that they do not regret to go to Prague and they will spend time very well.
To summarize, l am very hope to be Prague. l can not forget this city and people who live in here. I can called this city "my imaginary city".
Ana Moreno Carrasco (Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz and Cáceres, Spain)
I arrived in Prague on September 25, 2012. I came on a flight from Madrid. That day, in Madrid the weather was bad, it was raining and when I came to Prague I was surprised, I was expecting cold, but the weather was great. I arrived with my college mate David. The flight arrived at night, that was the reason we slept in a hostel.
The next day, I woke up very early. I had to do many things. In the first time, we decided that we should go to the residence. When you come to an unfamiliar city, it is best go to out, walk and ask. It took us several hours to find the dormitory, but we go it. I completed all paper and I start to accommodate in my new house.
Generally, the first days were pretty hard. I spent my days buying things and trying to be as comfortable as possible. I took much time to find anywhere because I didn’t know anything. Our tutor Vladimir allowed us several days of adaptation, he was very kind.
Transportation was easy to get used to, Prague is the best city that I know in this senses. Although, I knew nothing about this city, I never lost. Everything is very good indicated. There are very much information maps about the transport and the city. It is incredible, but in two weeks you can take the transport like if you were Czech.
The first tour of Prague, I did shortly after my arrival. In this moment, I knew that my election was good. I was wonder with this city, I loved your monument (old town, the castle, the churches...), your history… Everything is lovely. Since then I love Prague.
The advantages of making an Erasmus are very many. First, I’ve had the possibility to become independent and live in other country. I’ve met the Czech culture and your language. I’ve been able to practice my English too. I think that these experiences are fulfilling both personally and academically, many companies value that the students have lived abroad and they meet more languages. Personally I think that this experience makes mature because you have more responsibilities. An Erasmus offer the possibility that you may live many new experiences and you can meet new friends for the live.
Clearly, I would recommend destined Erasmus Prague. There are a lot of Erasmus peoples, many Erasmus parties; in conclusion Prague is an Erasmus city. Its position in Europe is perfect; you’ll travel to many place and cheep. Also the city is more cheep that other capital cities and it offered the same possibility. When I chose Prague, I’m not confused because I think that my Erasmus experience has been perfect: I have met many friends and I have traveled the country.
The university has allowed me many of these experiences, I have learned languages, I think I've matured, in conclusion I think that will be an experience you will never forget. I chose the best destination. I think that the future Erasmus will feel the same. Finally say that they enjoy everything they can, they learn all they can because time passes very fast.
David Ramos Molano (Spain)
“September 25, 2012 8:30 PM, I am seated in a plain of the Hungarian company Wizzair. On one side is seated my Spanish mate and who will be my classmate in Czech Republic, on the other side, one black girl who is flying to Prague in order to visit his friend, this girl would become the focus of all my questions motivated by my impatience for the entire flight from the Spain to Czech Republic capital ”
We landed in Prague the same 25th of September at 11:30 PM. While we were waiting for our luggage one guy from Zaragoza (Spain) came toward us and he introduced himself telling “I just landed in the same flight than you, I am going to study in Prague for whole year, where are you from. Do you know something about the city? I do not have any accommodation to live in Prague, just a reservation for two nights in a hostel”
From the first time I realised I was in a different place; the taxi driver spoke non-fluent English and he charged the service in other currency, the Czech crown. Once we got the hostel to do the check in we had a problem, the room that my mate and me had booked was not available. Forty five minutes later we got a solution thanks the staff suggested us staying in a close hotel with no additional payment.
In this hotel is where we woke up, we had “thousands” things to do; purchasing a phone card, changing money, going to the university for a meeting with our academic advisor and the most important thing, doing the check in at the dormitory where we had a reservation.
It was a very busy and stressful day, we were in an unknown city and for that, we knew neither streets nor neighbourhoods, of course we did not know how to use the transports. Finally, we found the dormitory.
Once we paid the deposit, me and my mate went upstairs to check our rooms out. In fifteen minutes we realised that the monthly dormitory fee was one thousand more than we thought, that my mate´s room was shared with a boy by mistake and I would share my room with two persons instead of one.
With no time to think, we returned to the hotel to pick our luggage up and took a taxi again toward the dormitory in order to settle us in Prague.
In this moment start my life in Masarykova Kolej. The concept of dormitory is very different in Spain, in Prague rooms are shared and food is not included. These two parts does the life in the dormitory is more like living in a hotel or a flat with shared rooms.
At the beginning I needed to adapt to live with two other guys sharing kitchen and bathroom with other two more although, to be honest, I feel deep inside that was a right decision to a foreign student to live here. Waking up every day with other persons and sharing with them many fields of my privacy it has given me a high personal development, if we add these persons are from two countries, Russia and Kazakhstan, so much different than mine, Spain, the result is a daily learning in many fields of my life such as languages, culture, social behaviours with a no calculate value to me.
As I wrote previously, at the beginning was strange to live in this dormitory, even my Spanish mate wanted to move to other dormitory. As the weeks went by and we started to know the city and knowing other dormitories we realised we were living in one of the best places where a student can live in Prague. Unlike of our friends whose live in other dormitories, ours has a fantastic location with a perfect transport access as well as private bath and kitchen, something not usual in Czech Republic´s capital.
It may seem strange, but the public transport in Prague deserves a special mention. The city surprised me from the first time I saw it, that is not a secret, not only for its beauty but the elitism that covers whole downtown; many luxury cars, jewellers, restaurants or boutiques of famous brands. That is the reason which I thought in a non developed country, I mean, there are a few rich people whose drive Porche, Mercedes, Bentley o Maserati providing a heavy sound in whole the “Staré Město” and a most with not much economic capacity that use the public transport.
The transport network of the city is composes by a net of trams, underground and buses which gives the possibility to the citizens or visitors to move to any place of the city in any time by a quick way. After visiting different UE countries in my opinion, I can affirm that Prague has one of the best public transport systems of the continent and the best thing, the price is one of the lowers.
I guess many people can wonder “Why is so much good the transport in Prague?”so, the metro system works twenty hours per day, in addiction trams and buses work twenty four hours per day, bearing in mind the population is one million and a half the result is that everyone has access to all neighbourhoods in every time, day or night. Besides, all of these networks are pretty simples. From my point of view all these characteristics have that the transport system is so much good.
Once we understood the transport system we go directly, me and my Spanish mate, toward our new university in Prague called “Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií” where we kept a meeting with our academic advisor. Seated with him at university´s hall we started to speak about the subjects we had to follow there.
It was strange to me that we did not have to enrol in any subject, either attended the lessons from the subjects we had added in our learning agreements or contacted the teachers assigned in each subject in order to agree the way to pass them. Generally, knowing other student´s experiences from other universities, I think I was lucky academically avoiding much administrative paperwork and having all the support from my academic advisor who solved any doubt or problem I had.
Below there is a table with the lessons I selected:
|Courses to take at Host Institution||No. of ECTS|
|International economic rations||6|
|Company value management||5|
Benefits of the study and stay
- Deeply knowledge about Czech Republic culture and other countries thank to other foreign students.
- Approaching to the Czech language and improvement of the English language.
- Living so far from my native country you become a more independent person in different fields of life.
- Meeting many new people from different countries allow you to know characteristics of other unknown cultures for me, as I told before.
- Having the possibility of improving and learning other languages. For instance, English and Czech at the university or making tandems with other students such as; Czechs, Slovaks, Russians...etc.
- Knowing a fantastic city, with a rich culture and beautiful as Prague.
- High establish spends in the hold country. The UE grants are poorly and they give you the money so late. It is necessary a considerable expense at the beginning.
- Generally, it is very expensive to rent a room in Prague and the dormitories, mostly, are not good.
- Many shops, restaurants, change offices and other services trying charge a higher price when they realise you are foreign and you do not speak the local language.
- Local gastronomic culture, I do not Czech food. Coming from Spain I miss a lot fish, for example.
- Most of the canteens close at 2 PM. It is impossible to me eating because my schedule does not allow me.
- To keep good organized every document because both universities ask you for them.
- Although when you arrive is not easy, treating to get relationship with foreign students. Spanish students usually hang out with other Spanish students and I think this is a mistake. The human development is bigger meeting students from other countries.
- Travelling, the location of the city (Prague) is the best one to do it by whole continent.
- Do not forget put in your luggage coats, scares, riding caps and a good boots.
- Next to your warm clothes fill your suitcase with strength and excitement. I meet many people whose happen difficult moments in the first month and it is very important to be strong and treating to adapt yourself.
“25 de Diciembre de 2012 8:30 PM, me encuentro sentado en un avión de la compañía húngara Wizzair. A un lado está sentada la que es mi compañera de universidad en España y futura en Republica Checa, al otro lado, una chica de color viaja a Praga para hacerle una visita a uno de sus amigos, esta chica se convertiría en el foco de todas mis preguntas motivadas por mi impaciencia durante todo el vuelo desde la capital española a la checa”
A las 11:30 PM del mismo 25 de Diciembre aterrizábamos en Praga, yo y mi compañera. Mientras esperábamos nuestra maleta un chico de Zaragoza se nos abalanzó diciéndonos “acabo de llegar en el mismo avión que vosotros, voy a estar todo el año estudiando en Praga, de donde sois. Sabéis algo de la ciudad, yo no tengo casa ni residencia tan solo una reserva para dos noches en un hostel”
Hablando con este chico llegamos a la conclusión de que el hostel donde él tenía la reserva era el mismo que el nuestro por lo que decidimos compartir un taxi entre los tres.
La sensación de que uno se encontraba en un país distinto se palpó desde el principio; el conductor del taxi hablaba inglés no muy fluido y cobraba los viajes en su taxi en la moneda local, la corona checa.
Una vez llegados al hostel para hacer el “check-in” nos encontramos con un problema, la habitación que mi compañera y yo teníamos reservada no estaba disponible. Después de más de media hora esperando una solución nos propusieron alojarnos en un hostal cercano sin desembolsar ningún importe adicional.
En este hostal es donde despertamos, con decenas de cosas por hacer; comprar una tarjeta telefónica, cambiar dinero, ir a visitar a nuestro coordinador académico y lo más importante, registrarnos en la residencia que habíamos solicitado.
Fue un día muy ajetreado y estresante, nos encontrábamos en una ciudad desconocida y por tanto, no conocíamos las calles, barrios ni tampoco como movernos en transporte público. Finalmente, localizamos nuestra residencia. Una vez pagado el depósito, yo y mi compañera subimos a comprobar como eran las habitaciones. En menos de quince minutos nos enteramos de que la residencia costaba unas mil coronas más de lo que pensábamos, que a mi compañera le habían asignado por error una habitación con un chico y que mi habitación era de para tres personas en lugar de dos.
Sin más dilación, vuelta al hostal a recoger el equipaje y taxi de nuevo hacia la residencia a comenzar instalación en Praga.
Desde este momento comienza mi vida en Masarykova Kolej. El concepto de residencia es muy distinto en España, para empezar, las habitaciones son compartidas y la comida no está incluida. Estos dos componentes hacen que la vida en esta residencia sea lo más parecido a vivir en un hotel o en un piso con habitación compartida.
Al principio me costó algo adaptarme a vivir con otros dos chicos compartiendo cocina y baño con otros dos más pero la verdad es que en el fondo me parece una gran idea para un estudiante extranjero. El levantarte día tras día con otras dos personas y compartir con ellos tantas facetas de tu intimidad te proporciona un alto desarrollo personal, si a ello le sumamos que estás personas son de dos países, Rusia y Kazajistán, tan distantes al mío de origen, España, el resultado es un aprendizaje diario a nivel de idiomas, cultura, comportamientos sociales de valor incalculable para cualquier persona.
Como he comentado, al principio el concepto de residencia fue algo extraño, incluso mi compañera española deseaba cambiar de alojamiento. Conforme pasaron las semanas y fuimos entendiendo la ciudad y conociendo otras residencias nos dimos cuenta de que vivíamos en uno de los mejores sitios en los que un estudiante puede vivir en Praga. A diferencia de nuestros amigos alojados en otras residencias, la nuestra gozaba de una localización privilegiada con perfecto acceso a todos los medios de transportes públicos así como un baño y cocina privados, cosa nada habitual en la capital checa.
Puede parecer extraño o quizá no, pero el sistema de transporte público que gestiona el flujo de habitantes de Praga merece una mención especial. No es ningún secreto que la ciudad me sorprendió desde el principio, no ya solo por su belleza sino por el elitismo que se aprecia en el centro de la ciudad, en forma de coches de lujo, joyerías, restaurantes o boutiques de los más prestigiosos diseñadores. Y esto precisamente es lo que me hizo pensar que estaba ante un país que todavía estaba en vías de desarrollo, es decir, existen unos pocos muy ricos, véanse Porches, Mercedes, Bentleys o Maseratis rugiendo por todo el “Stare Mesto” y una gran mayoría con reducida capacidad económica la cual conduce Skoda, quien puede permitírselo, o bien utiliza el transporte público. Aquí es donde surgió el conflicto sobre lo que percibía, si bien entendía una sociedad checa polarizada, la eficaz gestión del transporte u otros servicios como el servicio estatal de mensajería chocaban con mi idea principal de que estaba ante un país en vías de desarrollo.
Lo cierto es que la red de transportes de la ciudad está compuesta de un perfecto entramado de tranvías, metro y autobuses que permiten a cualquier habitante o visitante de la ciudad transportarse en cualquier momento al lugar que desee o necesite. Después de haber visitado multitud de países de la Unión Europea estoy convencido de que Praga tiene un de los mejores si no el mejor sistema de transporte urbano del continente y lo mejor de todo, su precio se encuentra entre los más bajos.
Imagino que muchos se pueden preguntar “¿Qué es lo que hace que sea tan bueno el transporte en Praga?”, pues bien; tener un sistema de metro que funciona veinte horas al día, añadiéndole un sistema de tranvías y autobuses que funcionan veinticuatro horas al día para una ciudad de millón y medio de habitantes convierte cualquier barrio en lugar accesible a cualquier hora del día o la noche. Si a esto le sumamos la simplicidad de la línea de metro y tranvías, convierten al sistema en algo más que bueno.
Una vez entendido el sistema de transporte nos dirigimos, yo y mi compañera española, hacia lo que sería nuestro primer día en la “Soukromá vysoká škola ekonomických studií” donde teníamos una reunión con nuestro coordinador académico. Sentados con él en el hall comenzamos el debate de sobre las asignaturas.
Lo que más me extrañó en un primer momento fue que no debíamos matricularnos, simplemente debíamos asistir a las clases de las asignaturas que habíamos incluido en nuestros acuerdos académicos o bien contactar con los profesores que impartieran sus clases en legua checa para acordar una vía diferente para superar las asignaturas debido a nuestro nulo conocimiento de la lengua checa. Por lo general, y teniendo presente experiencias de mis compañeros en otras universidades, considero que tuve muchísima suerte en el aspecto administrativo ya que no tuve que hacer engorrosos trámites administrativos y por tener al coordinador como punto de apoyo para cualquier duda o problema que me pudiera surgir.
A continuación una relación de las asignaturas seleccionadas en la universidad checa:
|Courses to take at Host Institution||No. of ECTS|
|International economic rations||6|
|Company value management||5|
Beneficios del estudio y la estancia
- Profundo conocimiento de la cultura del país y de otros países a través de otros estudiantes extranjeros.
- Acercamiento al idioma local, checo, y perfeccionamiento de la lengua inglesa.
- El vivir a miles de kilómetros del país natal te convierte en una persona más independiente y autosuficiente en muchos aspectos.
- Conocer mucha gente nueva de diferentes países lo que te permite acercar tu cultura a otras personas que la desconoces y como antes he mencionado, conocer características de muchas culturas antes desconocidas para mí.
- Posibilidad de mejora y aprendizaje de multitud de lenguas. Desde la universidad con las asignaturas en inglés o checo hasta la posibilidad de realizar tándems con otros estudiantes extranjeros como; ruso, chino, eslovaco…etc.
- Conocer una ciudad tan fascinante, rica en cultura y bella como Praga.
- Elevados gastos de establecimientos en el país destino. Las ayudas de la Unión Europeas son escasas y llegan tarde. Es necesaria una gran inversión inicial.
- Por norma general, en Praga alquilar una habitación tiene un coste muy elevado y las residencias, en su gran mayoría, dejan mucho que desear.
- En ciertos establecimientos como restaurantes, pequeñas tienda u oficinas de cambio intentan cobrarte un precio más elevado cuando ven que no hablas el idioma local, es decir, cuando eres extranjero.
- Cultura gastronómica del país, en mi caso en particular, no me ha gustado la comida en la republica checa. Viniendo de España echas bastante de menos el pescado, por ejemplo.
- La mayoría de los comedores universitarios cierran a las 2 PM. En mi caso, con mi horario académico me ha sido prácticamente imposible acceder a este sistema de comedores.
Recomendaciones para futuros estudiantes
- Tener bien organizado todo los papeles necesarios de ambas universidades, tanto la española como la universidad de destino.
- Aunque al principio no sea lo más fácil, tratar de conectar con estudiantes de otros países. El estudiante español tiende a arroparse con estudiantes de España, en mi opinión, es mucho más enriquecedor conocer otros estudiantes extranjeros que te permitan desarrollar otras lenguas y conocer mejor otras culturas.
- Viajar, la localización de la ciudad (Praga) es inmejorable para realizar viajes por todo el continente.
- Llena tu maleta con ropa de abrigo; gorros, bufandas, calcetines, abrigos y unas buenas botas.
- Junto con tu ropa de abrigo llena tu maleta con ilusión y fuerza. Conozco a mucha gente que las primeras semanas se le hacen dura e incluso piensan en venirse abajo. Solo es necesaria un poco de paciencia e ilusión por la experiencia, la adaptación al entorno llegará por si sola.