French Erasmus Student in Bratislava: I was pleasantly surprised by the student canteen
Gabrielle Tardiou from Lyon in France is an Erasmus student in Bratislava this semester. What are her impressions?
Od: Naša univerzita magazine staff
Did you choose Bratislava for your Erasmus stay or were you assigned to come here?
My first choice was a university in Finland, my second choice was Slovakia and the third choice was Belgium. Comenius University Bratislava was the first one to accept my application and so I chose it. Now, I enjoy being here.
What do you study? At which faculty?
I came here to study Computer Science and I study at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics.
What do Erasmus students think of Bratislava?
I like it, when we arrived there was a Welcome Week. It was great that we got to learn a bit of Slovak, meet other students from different countries and make some friends among the staff. After the Welcome Week you know some people.
Where do you stay?
I live at Štúrak in the Mlyny Dormitory.
What is the difference between studying in Slovakia and studying in France?
In Bratislava I have classes between Monday and Thursday, while Friday is free, so it was a bit of a shock for me. In France we study on all workdays, from Monday to Friday, with classes anytime between 08:00 and 20:30.
Is there anything that surprised you about Slovakia in comparison to France?
One thing that surprised me was that canteens here serve warm dishes, because in France we might be given a toast, a panini or sandwiches for lunch. This is a very good news for me, because now when it is cold outside I want to eat something warmer than sandwiches.
What about the teachers and assignments? Are there any differences?
We get many assignments here, more than at my university in France. But we also have midterm and final exams in France, so that is not a big difference. In France, I spend a lot more time at the university because there are also practical courses. On the other hand, here in Slovakia I only have two practical courses, all the others are theoretical.
Have you already had a chance to visit Bratislava?
Yes, I visited the city centre, the castle and some other parts of the city. I went to some parks and to the other side of the Danube as well.
What other places in Slovakia would you like to visit?
I would like to go to the mountains because I have heard that it is very beautiful there. Maybe I would go skiing or hiking in the winter. Or go with some friends I met here to visit their hometowns.
What do you think about Erasmus as a network for international students?
In general, I think it is a great programme because it gives you the opportunity to visit another country and learn the local language. I have learned some words in Slovak. Also, the Erasmus scholarship is cool, because living in another country usually costs more than living in your home country, and a scholarship can help you to cover the extra expenses.
Was it difficult to pass the selection competition?
It was based on the grades which I had in France and they helped me go with Erasmus to any university I wanted, so I did not have to take any tests or go through a competition.
What would you advise students who are afraid give Erasmus a try?
If you are afraid try an Erasmus programme I think you should ask other people who have already studied through an exchange programme about their experience, and perhaps ask for their advice. If you are afraid of studying in English, you can learn it by listening to songs or watching films, just spend some time on it. The most difficult thing is adaptation, because you do not have your family and friends around, but you can stay in touch with them via video chat, or write to them. Do not be afraid at all and go for your goal, everything will work out fine.
Text: Tamara Riasyk, student of journalism, Department of Journalism, Faculty of Arts