What Erasmus+ Students Say About Their Experience
What motivated you to participate in Erasmus+ mobility programme?
Nikoleta: I was motivated to return to Croatia for the second time because I loved my first Erasmus+ experience here and I wanted more of it (meet new people, learn things that make people say: “Oh wow, are you really studying that?’, explore the country, charge with innovation spirit and of course open new doors.
Baraa: Taking responsibility by living on my own and managing to do that successfully. Also to get introduced to new ways of learning and different cultures.
Barnabas: I had already heard a bunch of good things about Erasmus mobility programme, before I applied for it. I had no reason not to be a part of this journey. I could live abroad in my chosen country and study there. Get to know that country. Its culture, history, language, famous tourist points or not so famous hidden spots. Meet new people from around the world and live through days and nights with them. I even get an Erasmus grant to experience all of this? Come on!
Is this the first time you are living on your own in a foreign country? What is the experience like?
Barnabas: Yes, and this is my first time living without my parents. I moved out of my comfort zone. I am finally taking care of my everyday life. I have become more independent. It is not hard to live in a foreign country I just had to get used to it. I am enjoying it but I am also waiting to return home.
Markus: It’s my first time abroad in a long time. At first it was hard to find everything but after a few days I felt right at home.
Nikoleta: It’s my second time in the first foreign country I lived in thanks to student exchange. I could write a whole book about it especially after the knowledge I gained from the last semester and life situations I experienced. Now when I spend more time here locals are more comfortable to talk with me, my language skills have improved tremendously, the friendships that I built will last, food I tried is everything and there are way too many similarities I found here. The experience is amazing but unique for everyone, it really depends on what you are looking for.
What do you like about studying at Algebra?
Markus: All professors are very practical and since they are also working in the field, they are up to date with the latest trends and technology, which is very important in media-focused courses.
Barnabas: Experienced, fresh, active teachers, who are friendly and always open for discussion. The up-to-date schedule at the entrance, so I could always find where my classes are. Classrooms that are easy to find. The clean environment. The flexibility, for example, if there is a computer malfunction, then you can switch to a different computer, because there are always free ones, and the maintenance guy comes right in, fixing the problematic computer.
Baraa: The whole experience is amazing, the staff, the courses and the equipment.
Nikoleta: I loved it all and that’s the reason I came back again for my master’s degree. 😊
What kind of support during your mobility period do you receive from staff at Algebra?
Nikoleta: Every single kind I need and I ask for! The staff are amazing – from polite cleaning staff to the international office coordinators, professors and assistants with great understanding and passion, to everyone else I met. Atmosphere is official but casual and open as well, I can’t explain it in few words only.
Markus: The Erasmus office helped me greatly by providing all the documents necessary for state funding and with other questions in general.
How did Erasmus+ influence you on a personal and professional aspect?
Baraa: It has widened my horizons and made me change my mind about higher education in a way. On a personal level, it has changed the way I deal with stuff on a daily basis and I also learnt cooking!
Markus: I feel more prepared when interacting and understanding people from other countries and dealing with environments that I haven’t experienced before.
Nikoleta: On the personal aspect, it influenced me in a very positive way when it comes to meeting new and interesting people (love, friends, colleagues) and on the professional aspect, I taught it learnt me important lessons and gave me keys to doors that I can knock on anytime.
Barnabas: It made me more independent and confident. I made friends from different countries and seems like we will visit each other. Learnt more about Java programming, networking, 3D modelling, video editing. Get to know Zagreb, Croatia.
What are other benefits of taking part in Erasmus+ mobility programme?
Baraa: Making friends for life, from various backgrounds and cultures and having the time of your life.
Markus: I made a lot of friends from all over the world, I met Croatian people and learned a lot about Zagreb and all other beautiful places in Croatia.
Nikoleta: Learning about the history of the country, languages, being closer to entrepreneurial spirit, witnessing innovations that are surrounding Croatian people, learning from lifestyles they have, hospitality they offer, meeting people from all around the world, learning about different traditions, having the opportunity to learn more about yourself and others.
What advice would you give to students who want to take part in Erasmus+ mobility programme?
Baraa: DO IT.
Markus: Always be open towards new people and new places. The world is like a book, if you only stay in one place, you will only read one page.
Nikoleta: Be open for everything, socialize and enjoy most of your time, ask questions, enjoy food but exercise as well, be polite, be informed, learn how to manage your time and money so you can have great time without worrying. Prepare yourself mentally and remind yourself why you are away from home and what your goals are.
Barnabas: Look for ESN and visit their events. Consider buying a bicycle if the city where you go is not so big. Google up all information about the place you are going to. Don’t spend all your money in the first month.
Did Erasmus+ at Algebra meet your expectations?
Markus: Yes, it exceeded my expectations.
Nikoleta: I would say it even exceed them in some aspects.
Baraa: And more.
Barnabas: I would recommend to everybody.