Pablo comes from Pablo De Olavide University in Seville (Spain) and he has been in Olomouc since September. He does triathlon and loves indie music, playing the saxophone, hiking, climbing, skiing and in fact everything related to sport.
Why did you choose our university for your Erasmus study experience?
When I had to choose the receiving institution, I didn't know anything about the Palacký University Olomouc. I chose this because it was in one city which was in the centre of Europe, it was a cheap city and very different from Spain. Now that I know about the university, I am very happy with my decision because I consider it a great university, with good teachers and facilities.
Were your expectations different from the reality?
The days before coming to Olomouc I was a little scared. I did not know what was going to wait for me here, and I was worried that not everything would go well. But from the first moment here I have felt like at home. I did not expect that it would be so good and I would not miss my real home, family and friends and that my biggest concern will be that my Erasmus will end one day.
Can you compare your study experience in Olomouc with the experience from your home university?
I think that the study experience is very different. Here there are much fewer people in a class and I think that it is very important because this makes the classes more interactive, you have to talk and think during the classes, not just listen as we did in Spain. Also, the evaluations are very different, here you do not study only to pass an exam because the teachers take account of the work that you do every day, you have to do many tasks, homework and presentations and I think this is the best way to learn.
What were some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome as an Erasmus student?
The biggest challenge was to live a different life, here you have to use a different language, live with different culture, eat different food and the people are also different, although it is true that in less than a week I was adapted and very comfortable. Another big challenge was the weather, which is very different here; winter was hard for me… very cold and few hours of sunlight.
How did you spend your free time?
I am always with my friends, we are all the day together walking, going for a drink or to eat, traveling and of course going out. Also I train or go to the gym, meet new people and learn about their cultures, likes and opinions. It's great to be able to say that I've never been bored in my free time.
What is the single most memorable experience you have from your Erasmus life?
If I had to choose just one experience from my Erasmus, I couldn't do it, there are so many... With each person I've met, I shared so many great moments, on every trip - running not to miss a flight, being lost in the middle of a city at night, whole days of laughter, and thousands of other adventures.
Have you changed because of your Erasmus experience?
After my Erasmus experience, I can say for sure that I have changed completely. Living in such a different place, traveling and having the opportunity to meet so many people make you see different things, you open your mind a lot, you see how other people think, you are more independent, and you set new goals because you realize that you can go out of your comfort zone. You also get new tastes; here I have tried new sports and different foods that I had never eaten before.
How can this experience benefit your future career?
I think that at a curricular level, having been in a foreign country is very good, many companies are looking for this. Also, I have had some practical experience that is very important for my future, such as teaching seniors or teaching disabled people skiing, abbot which I have learned a lot.
Would you recommend the study at the Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc to your friends? Why?
Of course I would do this, because here, you can have a lot of practical classes in which you learn more, you can find some very good teachers, very new facilities, some fantastic classmates. Also this faculty does many interesting activities and everyone tries to make you feel very comfortable here. The international coordinator of the faculty always solves all the problems with her best smile, and does a great job so that you do not have any problem.
If you had to describe your Erasmus experience in Olomouc using 5 adjectives, which ones would you use?
Fantastic, intense, enriching, unforgettable and unique.