Faezeh Pakravan is an Erasmus+ Ph.D. student from Kharazmi University of Tehran and this is her second semester at the Faculty of Physical Culture. She has arrived with her husband to experience a different culture and to collect data for her dissertation thesis focused on the effect of lower extremity ratio on kinematic in counter-movement jump.
Why did you choose our university for your Erasmus study experience?
When our faculty was making the registration of the students for Erasmus program in the Czech Republic, I was interested in doing data collection for my thesis in the laboratory of the Palacký University Olomouc with a supervisor from the Sport Biomechanics department.
Were your expectations different from the reality?
Not much except that I thought that this city is a touristic city and we would not have any problems communicating, but when we arrived, I realized it is a small city where everything is only in Czech. For example, when we were buying a tram ticket after our arrival, the ticket machine was just in one language: Czech! Also, in some coffee shops, I was confused with the Czech menu or in supermarkets, there is no English on the food labels. It was hard for me to connect to the internet to translate everything. From time to time, I didn’t know what I was eating! At the beginning, some things were difficult but now it’s ok.
Can you compare your study experience in Olomouc with the experience from your home university?
I think it is a great experience and I have been enjoying working with both students and teachers. I’m very happy I could do some parts of my thesis in Olomouc and I could participate in the courses I wanted. I was lucky that my husband could come with me and we have been going on trips around Europe together. I’m glad to get to know some students like Mr Tomas and Ms Delisa as well as kind teachers, especially Dr Svoboda and Ms Tereza!
What was/is your favourite course and why?
Physical Activity of Older Adults with Dr Roberson because the class subject matter was practical and beneficial and the professor was active and energetic.
Also English with Ms Tereza because sometimes in the class we speak about the differences between countries, cultures, food, laws and so on and I find this so interesting. Also the class subject matter is very useful for me as a student as well as a tourist. Furthermore, these two teachers are kind and patient so they are my favourite teachers in Olomouc.
What were some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome as an Erasmus student?
I like challenges because they make me stronger, however, there are some challenges due to the distance and different culture. For me, the biggest challenge was to get used to the noisy students in the dormitory. Another one as I have already mentioned, is the fact that almost everything is in Czech.
How do you spend your free time?
At the weekends, my husband and I often go for a walk and sometimes participate in some events or go on trips. Other times we stay in the dormitory and study or watch movies.
What is the single most memorable experience you have from your Erasmus life?
My most memorable experience is participating in some classes with my friends from all around the world. It is amazing and I have been really enjoying it.
Have you changed because of your Erasmus experience?
I guess that I have learnt a lot about various cultures, religions, cuisines, history and I have become more flexible and adapted to different kinds of situations like being far from my family and living in a dormitory with students from all around the world.
How can this experience benefit your future career?
It is great for my CV, especially my participation in the international Teaching Week. I feel fortunate to collect the data for my thesis at Palacký University. I also got new knowledge in some courses that would be useful for my teaching job in the future and I have also had fun new experiences because of the trips with friends and the new relationships.
Would you recommend the study at the Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc to your friends? Why?
Yes, I would, it is a good university to work on your articles and to gain some memorable experiences with students, friends and professors.