21.03.2017 15:04

Two Erasmus programmes in two years: Nothing is impossible

Autor: Jakub Vaverka | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

It is a huge success, if you get to go on Erasmus programme once. But if you get to go to two Erasmus programmes in two years, it is more than that. Twenty-three-year-old student Zuzana from Slovak city Martin is a great example of what a desire and hard work can bring. 

Zuzana Vaverková is studying Psychology at the Masaryk University. There is nothing special about this fact, but this open-minded girl spent only three years of her studies in Brno. The reason is simple. She spent two years on Erasmus exchange programmes. In 2013 she studied in Porto, Portugal and one year later she was picked for Erasmus placed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “It was a huge challenge. I knew that Brazil would be the greatest adventure of my life. It was really tempting. I desired to get to know new people, a new culture and gain new opportunities.”

This Slovak girl has always found joy in travelling. Even before these exchange programmes, she really enjoyed every time when she had an opportunity to get to know new country, new places or meet new people and made many lifelong memories. We all know that travelling is very tempting, but it is not always easy to capture our dreams. “I really love travelling. Sometimes, I feel like a bird in the cage. I need to fly, you know,” she laughs. “When I went to Masaryk University I needed to focus on my studies and I had not enough time to travel. Erasmus programme was like a bolt from the blue. I can describe it like an opportunity which might not come for a second time.”

After a life-changing experience in Porto, it was nearly impossible to study abroad again. Zuzana knew it, but she was dedicated to her dream. Her marks were excellent and she tried to profit from the fact that she learnt Portuguese language in Porto. “Yeah, it really seemed to be impossible, but I believed. I believed that I could be a very rare case and it worked. When they picked me for a second time in two years, I was extremely happy. Words cannot describe my feelings. I can say that modesty and humility is the key.”

Zuzana´s story can look a lot like a Hollywood´s fairy tale, but it was not that easy. Beginnings in different countries are always problematic, this case was not different. “First weeks were really challenging. I did not know their language and customs. I got lost many times in an unknown city and especially in Brazil, where there is a huge problem with security. Criminality in Rio de Janeiro is considerably high and I was warned by local people to watch out for myself several times. You may think that it is only an empty threat, but many of my classmates were robbed and my friend from Germany was injured during one robbery in the street. I became more aware of threats and I can say that I pay more attention to my security even now that I am home.”

I asked her if it was possible to compare the quality of education in Czech Republic and in Portugal or Brazil. “People in Portugal and Brazil have more time to do everything. They are often late and even the lessons regularly started with approximately a 20-min delay. However, I think that the quality of education in Brno and in these countries is quite similar. The main difference is in student activity. In my opinion, students in Brno are sometimes quiet during class discussions. Those in Brazil and Portugal are more active and impulsive and they are keen to share their opinions.”

Zuzana´s story is very inspiring and it reminds us that if our faith is strong enough, everything is possible. We all should realise that we only live once and it is really important to take opportunities like the Erasmus programme. “I would recommend it to all students at Masaryk University. When you apply, you have nothing to lose.” she added.

Klíčová slova: Erasmus,Brazil,Portugal,Brno,Masaryk,story,travelling


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