Erasmus experience at Libertas International University: Aneta Janebová (Czech Republic)

Tell us something about yourself.

Hello, I’m Aneta Janebová, a 20-year-old girl from the Czech Republic, more precisely from the capital city: Prague. I am studying resocialization and penitentiary pedagogy at the Jan Amos Komenský University in Prague. I am most interested in the issues of personality disorders, mental illness, and people in prison.  Otherwise, I am a person who likes singing, listening to music, dancing, cooking, traveling, and meeting new people.

Why did you apply for the Erasmus Plus Program? 

Because since I was in elementary school, I’ve heard a lot about it and I set it as my goal. I knew that this program could teach me a lot, and I don’t just mean in school. I wanted to experience a new country and its culture, meet new people from all over the world, make friends, also practice and improve my English,  learn new subjects, and try to connect my new knowledge with my existing knowledge. Furthermore, it was a great opportunity for me to try living without my parents and to find out what it is all about, to be more independent and assertive and to learn how to solve common problems. In general, I wanted to come  out out of my comfort zone and learn not to be afraid of new opportunities.

How does completing the Erasmus program help contribute to your future plans? 

This programme will definitely play a big part in my plans for the future, as I was able to see that I could  take care of myself, even in a foreign country where I didn’t know anyone, and it gave me the confidence I was lacking to start believing in myself more, to integrate more into society and the courage to take  bigger steps out of my comfort zone.

How and why did you decide on Libertas International University for your Erasmus+ program? 

Croatia was my initial destination for Erasmus and from my school, I was offered two universities there, of which I chose Libertas, as the field and subjects offered by them were more suited to my field of study in  the Czech Republic and were also more interesting to me. I found that they really had a lot to offer, even outside of the subjects that are common.

Did you have trouble finding compatible subjects for your Learning Agreement? 

Because my field of study in the Czech Republic is quite specific, I did not have the opportunity to study the same or at least a very similar field in Croatia. Therefore, I chose a field of study that was at least partly related to mine, namely Security Management. The subjects weren’t very compatible anyway, but I was glad to learn something new or to be able to look at familiar topics in a different way.

Did it take you a while to get used to living in Croatia? 

I got used to living in Croatia quite quickly. The worst was the first fortnight, when I was still getting used  to different goods in supermarkets, different currency, speaking in English, which sometimes drove me  crazy, new people and actually new almost everything. However, after a month of being there, I started to feel at home- I no longer felt like a foreigner.

Was it difficult finding an accommodation? It is affordable? 

Finding accommodation was difficult because most landlords were looking for tenants for at least a year  or more. I didn’t know where I would be staying until about two weeks before I left and I was counting on  the worst case scenario that I would go to a hotel at first and then start looking for another place to stay  when I arrived. Luckily, I found accommodation through a friend who had been to Zagreb for Erasmus four years ago. I found that it’s also good to look at the relevant Erasmus Facebook pages. I found the  accommodation prices affordable- it was around 300 to 400 euros per month and I was only half an hour’s walk from the centre.

Would you recommend Libertas to others and why? 

I would recommend Libertas as it has a great selection of majors and subjects, helpful professors who are also happy to talk to you about your personal Erasmus course and try to accommodate you. Despite your  studies, you have quite a lot of time for leisure activities.

How would you describe the professors and education? 

Since we were a small group of Erasmus people, instead of regular classes we were assigned to create  presentations or write seminars and present some of them in front of the professors. On one hand I was  disappointed because I was looking forward to going to school and meeting new people, communicating  in English and learning about the differences between Czech and Croatian education, but on the other  hand I learned to work better independently, strengthened my speaking skills, worked on my initiative  and had more time to travel.

How would you rate your overall experience? 

I think this program has performed beyond my expectations. I met a lot of new people and made  unforgettable friendships that don’t end with Erasmus. I traveled, experienced cultural differences, went  to different events from the organisation for Erasmus people-ESN and had a lot of fun. I also experienced  a type of freedom that I hadn’t known before and that excited me. In addition to what I have already  mentioned in the course of this survey, I have also learned to rely on myself and better deal with my  mistakes. I can say that I have experienced the life I would like to live in the future.

Photos: Aneta Janebová, private archive

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