Student Ugur Dondar: “ERASMUS taught me to handle unknown situations, countries and people with ease”
My aim was always to achieve something big, to see the world, make at least a tour around Europe and get inspired by other countries and people. It was clear from the beginning that I wanted to stay at least one year abroad, since I enjoyed my first ERASMUS+ semester abroad in Rıga so much. I started to prepare my 2nd ERASMUS mobility while I was travelling during my first ERASMUS mobility. I chose Zagreb, because I already travelled around the northern part of the world. Most of my friends are from the Balkan region, so I wanted to see Croatia and all the countries around.
ARRIVAL AND ACCOMMODATION
First, I took a plane from Frankfurt Hahn to Pula and from Pula I took a bus to Zagreb. My flat mate took me from the bus station and then we walked 15min to our flat, which was located in Tomislav square. I wanted to live with other ERASMUS students, so I decided to move out from my first apartment and found a flat just 5 minutes away on foot from the main square. Living with me were flat mates from Greece and Netherlands. I would also recommend new exchange students to live with other ERASMUS students, because they are in the same situation like you. It is a new country with new people and they are motivated like you and want to discover everything.
The following picture is with two of my ERASMUS friends from Varaždin
SCHOOL AND COURSES
The school was smaller, as I expected, but therefore it was more cozy and I could know almost all students. I attended courses from 1st until the 3rd year. I was the first and only ERASMUS student, so I needed to find other ERASMUS students from other universities. They are many ERASMUS groups on Facebook and WhatsApp, where one can join. The school was easy to reach and the location was ideal, because it has a tram station next to it, but I always preferred walking to the school. I had amazing professors. I would always get fast and punctual answers. Students were also very kind and helpful.
LEISURE TIME AND FOOD
ESN is an organisation for ERASMUS students and they offer publish many events on their Facebook page. Zagreb has a lot of cafes and nightclubs, not like in Germany. Cafes are the place where you can always spend time with your My favourite clubs were the hangar club with entrance fee of around 2€. Most of the clubs are located around the main square, so you don’t need to leave the city center. 360 grad cafe is next to the main square and you can see the whole city from there. You should definitely try “Burek” if you are in Zagreb. You can find in almost every corner bakery being sold. You have always something to do while on ERASMUS semester abroad, like taking trips, attending parties and different events. My two flat mates and I hosted gatherings with more than 100 people attending. The last party we had was in a rented club where we invited more than 200 people. Zagreb is very well located, and close to the border with different countries. You should travel around, while you are in Zagreb. You can travel with other students or through organisations.
Rent a car from rentalcars.com and make road trips, but you should have at least 500€ on your credit card.
Croatia (Pula, Zadar, Omiš, Split) 5h by car
Slovenia (Ljubljana, Bled, Krško) 2h by bus or 1h by car
Serbia (Belgrade, Novi Sad) 5h by bus
Hungary (Budapest) 5h by train
Bosnia (Sarajevo 5h by car, Banja Luka 3h by bus)
İt was, again, a great experience that I will never forget. Students studying abroad can understand what I am talking about. You always need time in the beginning to get used to and understand the mentality of the country, even at my second ERASMUS semester abroad. I had problems in the beginning to get in touch with local people, but it was easy after I got to understand people in Zagreb. It is fair to mention that people from the coast are more open and talkative, what I liked during my trips. It is not easy to leave the country after 5 months, because you spent so much time with students which started feeling like having a family. You also have a lot of time to travel and enjoy free time, which you will not have, if you are starting to work. I expanded my international network and also improved on my English skills. ERASMUS taught me to handle unknown situations, countries and people with ease.
Written by: Ugur Dondar, exchange student form Germany