What was your experience in Zagreb

Experience report Zagreb summer summer 2017

If you feel like it and are open to many new cultures, languages, regions, people and dare to go on an adventure - then you are in good hands in Zagreb! Croatia is a beautiful country with incredibly beautiful places and super lovable people.

Not to be forgotten are the beaches of Croatia! In the summer semester, the weather is ideal for driving up and down the coast and exploring every corner that interests you. The city of Zagreb is also perfectly suited due to its location to quickly and easily visit the neighboring countries and their cities. Within a maximum of 5 hours you can get from Zagreb in all directions, e.g. to Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, etc.

I can only recommend everyone to decide to spend a semester abroad. Where exactly to go - is ultimately your decision, but personally it was important for me to go to a place that has a completely different charm to Germany and that I face a challenge with the start of my stay, which I look back on in my life will bring you further. During the time abroad, you get to know yourself all over again in addition to so many things that I already mentioned above. Therefore, I would like to give you some important information about the process, the city and more in the following.

preparation

The application went smoothly overall. After my written application to Ms. Haustein, I received my acceptance a few weeks later (shortly before Easter) and then had enough time to complete all the documents and send them to the University of Zagreb. The application there went online, which is why many things went smoothly.

Even if everything wasn't very complicated, I kept contacting Ms. Haustein from time to time to make sure that I did everything correctly and that I kept the deadlines. Ms. Haustein was a great help to me before, during and after my stay in Zagreb and I am extremely happy that we have a person at our university who is passionate about it and always has a solution ready.

accommodation

There are several student residences in Zagreb that you can apply for online. Unfortunately, there are only double rooms and no single rooms in all student dormitories. This information had deterred me beforehand, which is why I immediately started looking for an apartment without applying. However, I have to say that the decision in favor of the student residence, anyone who is open to “student life” and wants to immerse themselves completely in campus life, can be the best decision. In the dormitories you get to know people from all over the world much faster and even more. In addition, there are events from time to time and the atmosphere there is great. If you don't get along with your roommate, you have the option of changing rooms or leaving them entirely and looking for a room in a shared apartment or an apartment in Zagreb. You shouldn't be afraid of that at all, as there are always enough apartments available and Erasmus students are very welcome. So, my recommendation: apply for the dormitory place, move in there and see how you like it and if it doesn't work at all, look for other accommodations. Even I moved once on site, but that was for other reasons. :)

Education

Before the stay there was an online course list for the summer semester on the website of the University of Zagreb. I then chose all of my courses from this list together with Ms. Haustein. The advice here was very important to me, as I wanted, for example, to have the VÜ counted in Austrian law. When I arrived in Zagreb, some courses that I had chosen were unfortunately no longer offered. So I had to change my learning agreement. The professors there are very different. Some are very, very strict and take everything very carefully and others are very nice and very humane. Accordingly, the exams are also designed in the respective exams. Unfortunately, I was unlucky with my choice and had to do a lot for some courses to get the ECTS points. With the others it was super easy. So I would advise you to ask students from the winter semester, who are in Zagreb for a total of 1 year. Most of them have previous knowledge of the professors and can help you choose. To clarify: In some subjects you have to give a presentation, write an essay and also take an oral exam for 4 ECTS points, for example, and in others only a lecture or a written exam is sufficient. For the first 2 weeks, however, you can go to all courses and get an impression for yourself and then decide. The professors also introduce themselves and give brief insights.

everyday life and free time

If you have films, series, books, or instruments (that you can take with you), take them with you for the first 2 weeks! This is the time when you have the least to do. The courses usually start in the 2nd or even 3rd week (depends on the professor), so you have an incredible amount of time at the beginning. You only get to know people gradually through courses or student events. But that could also be different if you live in a student dormitory. But once you've really arrived and made connections, everything goes very quickly and you hardly have any more time for anything else. As I mentioned earlier, it is a good place to travel. I specifically chose my courses so that I had a long weekend available. I used the colder months (March to May) with some friends to visit cities. From the end of May / beginning of June we only drove to the coast. The ESN "Erasmus Student Network" (comparable to the student council of a faculty) offers numerous tours and events, some of which are really a must. If you have any problems, you can always go to the ESN people. They are really super nice and are always helpful. Otherwise there is also a buddy program that is supervised by the ESN. Registration takes place online before departure. After the referral, your buddy will contact you by email. He / she can then help you with all important questions about Erasmus, the process and Zagreb and also show you the student life on site.

Life in the host city

Zagreb didn't have the charm for me in the beginning as it did in the end. At first it was pretty strange and cold, but over time and also with summer, Zagreb has developed into a beautiful city. Since you are always in the center of the city as a law student you can reach everything important on foot. In addition to the university, there are numerous places where you can, for example, eat sushi, drink a smoothie or just relax and drink coffee and ice cream. The law faculty is also very nice and directly opposite the magnificent National Theater. In summer there are a lot of festivals and events in the city. There are festivals in every corner and in every park and there is always something going on. So it never gets boring!

Cost of living

The cost of living can vary widely. It basically depends on how much you pay for the accommodation. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone who told me that, but let me tell you: For under 300 euros a month you can definitely find a nice room that is centrally located! I wouldn't look at anything over 350. In my own experience, I paid way too much for my room for the conditions there. For the money I could even have rented a 2 room apartment. Be careful with the offers on Airbnb and check out pages on Facebook. It is also best if you are looking for an apartment in a group, then you will definitely get something “cheaper”. The cheapest option is probably in the dormitory. The rent there is between 80 and 110 euros a month, depending on which one you are staying in. That's another reason why I would recommend the student dormitory. You are hardly at home on the weekends because you discover more and more places that you would like to see.

Conclusion

I had an incredibly good time and I am immensely grateful for this experience. It was the best decision I could ever have made. Croatia has so much to offer and you learn so much from the people and their culture there. I have also made friends from all over the world, some of whom have now become very close friends. In the last few months I've been to a different city every weekend and have discovered a part of Europe in a completely new way. Every experience changes a person and that experience made me a better person. I was "free" for a few months and could do anything I wanted. Traveling has enriched me so infinitely that I hardly dare to put it into words. Every city, every region, every place and every beach in its own way opened my eyes and taught me what it means to live and to be able to use the time. In everyday life we ​​often forget the most essential things. But during this time, when you are abroad and are on your own, have new experiences and go on an adventure, you only realize who and what is important in your life.