Innopolis University, Russia
I studied at the Russian university (Innopolis University) in the summer of 2020 and I’d like to share my thoughts about my stay. Innopolis University is truly an impressive place. I picked the university completely out of the blue as I was sorting out my studies abroad last minute. Later on I discovered the university is quite new and modern and I am also the first student from our faculty to enroll in their programme.
I gained the first impressions about the university even before I left our country. I was about to fill in my visa paperwork in Russian embassy in Brno and it was a truly authentic experience. An older Russian lady sitting at the terrace and a big guy in a grey suit inviting me inside in Russian. The journey to Kazan which is near the Innopolis University was somewhat smooth, the only slight issue was finding my driver at the airport.
I lived in the dormitory rooms which were quite nice and very affordable - one month stay came up to 35 EUR, the great roommate from Bolivia included.The room wasn’t too spacious, but the kitchen and the bathroom were in quite a good state and only for our use. All the dormitories and the university are connected through enclosed corridors - I really appreciated that as I could attend my lectures in slippers - in the middle of winter.
In addition, all students had unlimited access to sports which was great - we had a gym, sauna and the swimming pool on site.
Innopolis University is taking an international approach - most of the lectures are purely in English. As I was an exchange student, I could pick any lectures from the bachelors and masters programme. The lecturers were not only Russian, but also from Canada, France or even the Czech Republic. As they were only visiting, once the pandemic hit the world, they couldn’t come back to Russia and the rest of the lessons had to move online.
My stay only lasted for 2 months and I didn’t have enough time to travel to other parts of Russia, but it was a really good experience for me and I definitely don’t regret going there. I found new friends and I discovered new cultures. I was in a bit of a shock when I went to the pub - the prices of the beer are unreal! Prague definitely comes out cheap from this comparison. I didn’t pick up much of the language, only the basics. It put me into disadvantage when trying to communicate with people outside of the university as not so many of them speak English.
Innopolis University is a very modern and promising place - they aspire to become a Russian Silicon Valley. There are not so many places in the world where you are crossing the road covered in piles of snow and the self driving car gives you way on the crossing. The university still has a few areas which are work in progress, but overall it is a great university interested in overseas students and I would recommend them to anyone. The overseas studies consultants are extremely helpful and they go out of their way to help the students feel welcome.
ESIGELEC Rouen, France
ESIGELEC from the first FIT student´s view.
Erasmus - a small step for a university but a giant leap for its students.
ESIGELEC is a small university, smaller than FIT itself. It is located on the outskirts of Rouen, which is reminiscent of Brno.
The staff at the Foreign Relations Department are very helpful and friendly people who can help and advice at any time, with everything. Because the school is pretty small, they can focus on individuals and their particular problems and requirements.
Good news for those who don't speak French. There are two programs completely taught in English: Information Systems and Embedded Systems on which they specialize.
The choice for French speaking students is much wider. Anyway, due to the different form of teaching and assessment, the choice is really limited. You have to enroll all the subjects in the thematic block and only the blocks from one given semester.
Courses take the form of block lessons. Two weeks of teaching, completed with an exam, project, or assessment of work at the seminars. Teaching is 80% practical - exercises, computers, laboratories, projects. For this reason, it is narrower in content and therefore easier than FIT courses. Attendance is compulsory and checked at all hours. However, when you are an Erasmus student, a slightly larger absence can be easily negotiated.
In an English-taught course, you will attend classes mostly with Indians and Chinese. Other classmates come from all over the world. To meet local (French) students, the university offers dozens of interest student associations. Here you can find students with the same hobbies - sports, games, technology, nature, photo shooting and many more...
The school offers and arranges dormitory accommodation within ten minutes' walk of the university. In the vicinity there is a supermarket and metro to the center. What is missing is liveliness. Evening and night life takes place exclusively in the city center. Night city transport is rare. Therefore, I recommend getting private accommodation in the center of Rouen, where you can enjoy all the potential of this beautiful city. Rouen has many universities with students from many countries. And everyone in the center meets in the evenings. You can meet and make friends with many, especially when you're not limited by the night transport.
Normandy is a beautiful country and you will never get enough travelling here. Famous cities - Paris, Le Havre, Caen - are very close. Nature lovers will appreciate the forests along the Seine River and the white cliffs on the coast. Those interested in history will certainly visit the museums of Joan of Arc or the Normandy Landings.
I don't need to mention French cuisine. You can eat wonderfully anywhere. I would point out the typical cider and calvados and camembert or livarot cheeses of Normandy. And who didn't try the snails it is like he wasn't not here.
If you are still asking yourself whether to go for an Erasmus or not, the answer is definitely “YES”. I had been scared. I didn't know anyone there. I couldn't speak French, I didn't know their habit ... I overcame my fear and it was unforgettable. It is an incredible experience but the offer is limited in time. So go when you can. With all the contributions from the EU, from BUT and from France, it is not expensive. If it was possible, I would go to Erasmus every semester.
Erasmus+, UK, University of South Wales
A lot of people say, "Leave your partner home and go!" If this is what discourages you from going to Erasmus, I have good news for you: it is possible even in two! We decided to discover the beauty of Great Britain at the University of South Wales. It is a school full of international students, where the Erasmus people are not outside, but are included among others with everything. So don't worry when you accidentally got instructions for paying tuition fees. Apart from a campus with extraordinary facilities and cute half-wild rabbits, you can enjoy Cardiff, a trip to London or a nature reserve, ancient castles and surfing (in October!). You will also experience a different educational system and maybe you will even appreciate the way of teaching at BUT FIT and in the Czech Republic in general (just like us) after returning. Weird study requirements will probably be compensated by the absence of exams and, most importantly, the additional program - travel, sports, clubs and enriching interviews with people from all over the world who can become your friends. Whether you choose Wales or any other country, believe me, your Erasmus stay will be worth it - don't hesitate and go!
Telefónica company, Barcelona, Spain - internship
Hi, my name is Martin and I'm currently in Barcelona. I work here as a research assistant at Telefónica. My job is to design a system for speech and video processing in the so-called the "edge" network. This is a relatively new trend - mobile operators are trying to move computing from datacenters as close to user as possible to minimize latency.
I was never interested in work placements during my studies. I thought it was a waste of time for my career. But a turning point came when I found out that the work of a mobile developer I was doing at that time wasn't fulfilling me like it was at the beginning. At that time I was immensely interested in the subject Speech Signal Processing taught by Mr. Černocký. Therefore, I asked him whether by any chance he didn't not know any work in this field. That was him who told me about the possibility of a work internship abroad with a grant from the Erasmus + program.
I do not regret the decision of leaving my comfort zone. I've met a lot of interesting people here. I learned a lot of new things. I have overcome the communication barrier. I enjoy the work immensely. I meet new challenges every day. Although the journey here was not easy for me, mainly due to a number of administrative problems, I can with certainty say that it was all worth it.
Erasmus+, Malta, University of Malta
During my bachelor studies at the Faculty of Information Technology, I was delighted with the possibilities of studying abroad. Looking back, I greatly appreciate the various presentation events by which the faculty, university and student organizations strive to inform students about opportunities abroad. I wanted to study abroad with my girlfriend, who is also a student at FIT BUT, however, we did not want to prolong our studies. Unsolvable situation? On the contrary! We were really pleased when we both managed to get a nomination for the University of Malta for the sixth semester of bachelor's degree. We managed to fulfill most of the study duties during the first five semesters, so our study content was writing bachelor's theses under the auspices of both universities. Writing a bachelor thesis at two universities took the form of regular consultations with a Maltese supervisor and a videoconferences with a Czech supervisor. At the end of the stay we presented the results of our work to the supervisor at the University of Malta, then we had a thesis defense in Brno. Although we have fully devoted ourselves to bachelor theses and have not enrolled other subjects, we have certainly not missed the Maltese study environment. The University and Student Organizations have organized a series of events, from cultural events to a few-day trip to the neighboring island of Gozo. During our four months stay we lived in a university guest house, in a dormitory and in private student rented accommodation. Thanks to that we have had the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. For example, friendship with Korean was remarkable due to a great cultural difference. The stay at the University of Malta has been very rewarding experience regarding not only studies but also very positive meeting with friendly people of different cultures and habits. Erasmus + appealed to us that much that me and my girlfriend decided to go on another stay at master's degree. I would definitely recommend this experience to everyone.
Island, University of Reyjkavik
I spent the sixth and final semester of my bachelor's degree at the border of Europe and America, in the most distant Nordic country from CZ, in Iceland. Where else can you relax after a lecture and one minute walk in a hot bath on the beach while the air temperature keeps freezing?! Iceland was for me a country of many natural beauties, unusual nightlife, very short and very long days, a cooking school, … There is no point in disguising that Iceland is an expensive country for Czech people - I spent the savings and earnings from long-distance work in the Czech Republic on my stay in Iceland, however, it was an investment that I do not regret at all. A possible way is to find a job there, which is not a problem, regarding the continued growth of tourism. Tourism has been changing Iceland in recent years and has been one of the basic topics of talks with people in the country, which is a bit of a stopover between Europe and North America. The whole Erasmus + stay for me was mainly about overcoming myself, getting off the comfort zones and communicating with people. It allowed me to look at myself and my country from a different perspective, as well as to compare how I see Iceland as a foreigner and how local people see it. And also how Icelanders and friends from other countries see the Czech Republic and Central Europe. Perhaps all the people I talked to during those five months were very friendly and helpful, so to learn how to address strangers around me was much simpler, especially because they were mostly students like me. In addition, the school organized the so-called Orientation days, where we had the opportunity to get acquainted and learn the basics of living in Reykjavik. Of course, as far as language is concerned, all students have mastered English, albeit at a different level. In addition, in Iceland most of the population speaks English, just like in other Nordic countries. During my stay, I experienced other school system, which persuaded me to join the Student Union, I have acquired an inseparable friendships on the way around the island, learnt a lot about another country, the world, and myself. I definitely recommend this "step into the unknown" to everyone. Take advantage of the possibilities the world is offering us. Actually, I'm getting ready for the next trip at the moment, which I wouldn't have expected about 2 years ago ... And maybe, after returning, you'll want to explore our little country as well.
As a Master's degree student at the Faculty of Information Technology, I attended my first Erasmus + study visit at EPITA College in Paris. Although I was more or less able to speak French before leaving, I chose to study in English. My French school offered a full study program in English, so they were not typically "Erasmus subjects", there were only a very few exchange students at school. However, this has not prevented me finding friends (from other continents and also among local students) with whom I could experience the beauties of France. Paris is a typical tourist destination, but spending a few months there has allowed me to feel less as just a visitor, to see sights in less busy times and also to discover places the tourists often do not find. The great advantage of being a student in Paris is the free admission to all state museums and monuments (including places like the Louvre or the Arc de Triomphe), which we have also used a lot. I definitely recommend to make trips to nearby Normandy, taste savory pancakes, crème brûlée and go on a cheese fondue. By the way, Parisians, in my opinion, are not as unbearable people as is said.
After my previous experience with the semester in Paris, I was tempted to try an exotic destination so I was looking for opportunities. And I found the opportunity to study at the Taiwanese University of NCTU with a scholarship that I received from the Czech Ministry of Education funds. Suddenly I found myself in a completely different world with lianas hanging from trees, millions of bikes, strange kinds of fruits and inscrutable signs. Studying here was quite challenging, I was surprised that C was the lowest grade to pass the course, but since I could choose the subjects I was interested in, I enjoyed studying. Taiwan has incredible natural scenery on the coast and in the mountains, people are extremely friendly and it is a very safe country. In the cities you can admire numerous temples and enjoy the excellent streetfood, which is literally at every turn. The only source of complications was my ignorance of Chinese language and the frequent ignorance of English language by the local people, but they have always tried to help me. One of the best experiences in Taiwan was a hitchhiking trip around the island, Taroko National Park, swimming with turtles, surfing, and hiking to Teapot Mountain. I haven't been able to visit all the places during my 5 months stay and that's why I plan to return, at least for a visit.