Next international student in our series of interviews is Patrik Horváth from Hungary. He came from Department of Sports Management and Theory, Faculty of Sciences, University of Pécs and he likes travelling, table tennis, reading and touring. Does he also enjoy studying at our faculty?
Why did you choose our university for your Erasmus study experience?
I visited the Czech Republic in 2014 and it was love at first sight for me. During my trip, I decided that I would return to the country as soon as I have the chance. I heard about the Erasmus+ programme in my university. At first, I was not interested in it but when my teacher started to list the possible countries, my feelings changed because of the possibility to go to Prague and Olomouc. I came here with one of my friends and in Prague there was just place for one student, so it was obvious that our destination would be Olomouc. I registered right after the introduction. Later I googled the city and the university and I became a true fan of the Palacký University.
Were your expectations different from the reality?
Yes. When I came here, I realized everyone is so kind to us. I thought that maybe it would not be the same forever because usually everyone tries to be kind to the “guests” at the start but all of the teachers, students and even the non-academic staff of the Palacký University have always been so nice to us. When my new teachers ask about me or my Erasmus mates, they don’t do so just to ask some questions but they really want to get to know us deeply. I have a very good relationship with my teachers and with a lot of Erasmus and non-Erasmus students. I never expected better atmosphere during my Erasmus!
Can you compare your study experience in Olomouc with the experience from your home university?
In Hungary, I’m a student of the faculty of sciences which includes all of the sport studies. But mine is closer to business than is usual here. In Olomouc, I can study several kinds of sport studies like recreation, biomechanics, travel & tourism or even wheelchair sports. Most of my subjects are practical, however, it’s different at my home university where a lot of business subjects are theoretical. I like my classes here, they are so useful. English language is one of the most useful courses, while still being so interesting. It will be difficult when my Erasmus ends because teaching methods as well as the language of the teaching are different in Hungary. Anyway, I enjoy being taught in English.
What were some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome as an Erasmus student?
I had to overcome some difficulties, for example using English. It wasn’t the first time I needed to use it but with everyone and all the time… it was strange for me, though it’s better now. And the tiny everyday things were also complicated, like cooking and doing laundry by myself. Doing Erasmus is a perfect way to improve the skills for my everyday life!
How do you spend your free time?
I love traveling! I did it before Erasmus but I took some trips while living in the Czech Republic. Because of its location, the country is a perfect place for traveling either within the country, or outside. Also, I played table tennis in Hungary and I’m lucky because I got to know some Czech players and that´s why I could continue my trainings here. When I have some free time, I just open the map of Europe - sometimes not just Europe - on the internet and I start planning a trip somewhere. There are so many places I would like to visit. Some of them are closer to the Czech Republic than to Hungary so I should explore them now, during my Erasmus.
What is the single most memorable experience you have had from your Erasmus life so far?
It’s a difficult question because I have a lot of good memories that I will remember forever! Maybe my best Erasmus experience is my first couch-surfing experience with Portuguese friends of mine, Carolina and Leonor. We spent fantastic four days in Munich, Germany. We walked around the entire city and because it was my second time in there, it was not totally new for me, but this was still the most enjoyable trip. It was our first couch-surfing experience and everything was perfect. I think this kind of trips can make friendships forever.
Have you changed because of your Erasmus experience?
Of course! I think every one of us have changed somehow during Erasmus. I have changed also as I have tried living without my family and friends. I guess that´s the most difficult for me now – at first, I never felt homesick but now it´s changing and this feeling is getting stronger and stronger. For me, living with several students from different countries, having different cultures and religions, can be eye-opening. I learned a lot from other foreign students, for example to respect other cultures more. I made some really deep friendships with the other Erasmus students, which, I hope, will survive my return back home.
How can this experience benefit your future career?
I guess that I can understand different cultures and religions. In my opinion, it is very important not to be too conservative and judgemental. Everyone should be opened-minded when interacting with others, that’s one of the main purposes of the Erasmus programme, I think. I hope my Erasmus experience has changed me for good and I will continue having this view for the rest of my life!
Would you recommend the study at the Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc to your friends? Why?
Of course! I really enjoy my time here and I can’t complain about anything. I think that all the services of the faculty are perfect for the Erasmus students. Even the city itself is awesome, I really enjoy being part of Olomouc! When I was in Hungary at Christmas, I met one of my professors and he asked me if I could participate in an Erasmus meeting next year whose goal will be to popularize the Erasmus+ programme among our students. I happily agreed and I honestly can’t wait. It will be honour to promote the Palacký University and the city of Olomouc!
If you had to describe your Erasmus experience in Olomouc using five adjectives, which ones would you use?
Perfect, instructive, unrepeatable, memorable, unforgettable!