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Maciej Pawlik

Home Institution: Cracow University of Economics, Cracow, Poland

Host Institution: University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Duration: September 2012 – February 2013

As I had opportunity to meet people who participated in Erasmus exchange program, almost  every opinion encouraged me to go abroad.  I decided to apply for Erasmus at the beginning of the second year of my studies. I passed my English tests and was able to pick the country of my dreams. As I could choose almost every country in Europe, the decision wasn’t easy. I took under consideration various conditions – the mentality of people, costs of living, weather, and language of lectures. The longer I was thinking, the more obvious it became that Croatia is my destination point. Similar language, beautiful landscape and mystic Balkan climate were temptations I could not resist. Additional benefit was the fact that Rijeka has a direct access to sea. After all the paper work I did, I was granted permission to go abroad during the final year of my Bachelor’s studies.  

My first contact with Croatian people took place in Karlovac when I had to change the bus. In the middle of the night, I met a security guy who gave me a donut. This little thing convinced me I had made the right choice. I was accommodated at the student’s dormitory and it was a great opportunity to get a better insight into Croatian culture on a daily basis and to chat with people who live and study in Rijeka. I listened to them and had no idea what they were talking about, but they sounded so familiar that I fell for the language. The first couple of weeks were hard because I was able to understand only a little bit more than nothing. I had to go to the police station immediately after my arrival to get a stay permit. It turned out that some documents that were mandatory last year are now useless. I visited the police station 5 times and after 2 months, I finally legalized my stay. Meanwhile, my classes at the Faculty of Economy began and I had to combine partying, learning Croatian and my studies. Fortunately, I dealt with that pretty well. At the university, the classes were more demanding than studying in Poland. A lot of presentations about different topics forced me to learn about things before the exams started.  The most meaningful difference is the grading system with only one grade for each course, as opposed to Poland, where you get one exercise and one lecture mark. Every Wednesday, I used to attend Language Tandem – an unusual language course where you and your partner teach each other. It is much more useful than learning language in school because you discuss only practical things, the very core issues. I didn’t learn about products in shop, job types, furniture, but in relatively short time, I started to understand daily conversations.




The most important Croatian asset is the people. Firstly, ESN Rijeka supported me with my first steps in a new country and helped me to handle legal issues. A lot of various events like trips, parties and cultural go outs let me understand Croatian culture, tradition and modern view on global topics. Of course, they helped me integrate with other foreign students as well. Secondly, students who were accommodated at the dormitory received me very warmly.  They helped me with internet connection, laundry room and a lot of other everyday issues connected with living at the dormitory. We used to play football and party together in the evening. As I picked subjects for International Business, I participated in normal classes held in English. My fellow students gave me materials, showed what I should study carefully and so on. I helped them too because of my greater experience in financial matters.

To sum up, Erasmus was a great experience, adventure and opportunity to meet people from different parts of Europe. I’ve convinced myself that Germans are not that bad, not all Spanish love to party, some Finnish prefer warm than cold, and so on. I had a great time, including not only partying, but also a lot of other activities. Due to my stay, I’ve become a richer man than I was before.  That, in my opinion, is the best thing Erasmus exchange program can offer.

Aktivnosti Rokovi
Erasmus intenzivni jezični tečajevi (EILC) 01.02.2013.
Erasmus potvrda konzorciju za stručne prakse 08.03.2013.
Intenzivni programi (IP) 08.03.2013.
Mobilnost studenata i osoblja 08.03.2013.
Pripremni posjeti 11.01.2013.
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