Some international students decide to study at our Faculty for two semesters and Blandine d’Aldéguier from France is one of them. She is currently in her 3rd year of Adapted Physical Activity at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse and she has explained us her reasons for choosing Palacký University Olomouc for her Erasmus.
Why did you choose our university for your Erasmus study experience?
I chose a university at which I could make progress in English and practise it during classes. Based on my focus on Adapted Physical Activity (APA) and partnerships between the universities, I had two opportunities: Prague and Olomouc. In the end, I chose Palacký University; the main reasons were the APA Winter Camp and the perfect geographical location of Olomouc as a crossroad for travel in Central and Eastern Europe.
Can you compare your study experience in Olomouc with the experience from your home university?
During the 1st semester, I didn’t have so many classes and much homework so I had plenty of free time, unlike now, in the 2nd semester. Now in every course we are required to do a report and an oral presentation, which is more similar to my university.
What were some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome as an Erasmus student?
The biggest challenge for me is trying not to stay in my bedroom during the week because there is not much to do there as it only has a desk, which is also your dining table, drawing table and used for studying.
How did you spend your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my friends, like discussing things over a beer, attending the national presentations every week, cooking meals, planning and convincing friends to join the trip, writing letters, walking along the fields near Neředín, playing table tennis…
What is the single most memorable experience you have from your Erasmus life?
When my friend Nagi from Japan visited my hometown and Paris! I realised how France and Europe can be totally different and shacking for the Japanese. But cultural differences cannot stop us from being true friends.
Have you changed because of your Erasmus experience?
I’m sure I have changed, I’m not afraid to speak English anymore. I have learned so much about myself and who my real friends are; I’m more open-minded and mature.
How can this experience benefit your future career?
I am able to have a real conversation in English with both students and teachers who come from different cultures and countries and have different views. I learned a lot about APA, for example that wheelchair sports are more than just basketball and rugby, but also floorball and ultimate Frisbee for example. I gained new knowledge.
Would you recommend the study at the Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc to your friends? Why?
We are Erasmus students from different countries, it’s an amazing mix. The city of Olomouc is not too big but as a student, you have the opportunities to do sports, go to parties or meet international friends. The Neředín dormitories are in the campus – three minutes from your classroom! The international office helps you a lot, you are never alone.
If you had to describe your Erasmus experience in Olomouc using 5 words, which ones would you use?
Adaptability, funny, unforgettable, realization of travel dreams!