Aleksandar Dragutinović, a student of the School of Advanced Social Studies program, decided to spend another semester abroad after completing his Erasmus + mobility. He went to Krakow, Poland, where he spent 4 months there with the help of the CEEPUS program. In his contribution, he reveals a comparison between studying in Spain (Tenerife) and Poland … Where did he like it better?
This was my first time on the CEEPUS exchange programme for the long term. Before that, I attended two summers schools at the University of Pecs in Hungary and as I had a great experience with the summer schools, nothing was different this time in Krakow, Poland.
I have been on Erasmus+ exchange in the previous academic year and I must say that both experiences (in Spain and Poland) were outstanding and
unforgettable, though different. At Canarias, I was traveling almost on daily basis visiting all kinds of stunning places and doing all kinds so unusual things that you can do only there, while in Krakow I had my life that I liked everything about from habits, to lifestyle, obligations at University and friends that I was so connected with. They became some sort of a family to me and we already planned a summer together.
I fell in love with the city of Krakow a long time ago while I was there for the first time and along with the reason that I had many friends from there, I chose it as a mobility destination. Everything that I loved about it still stands: the vibe, history, architecture, museums, most of its people (personally, the polish mentality suits me a lot and it’s nothing like some of the northern European countries that are colder). The difference is that after these 5months I feel like I’m part of it and it is definitely part of me, and only after this experience, I can say that I know that city. My city. There are no words to describe being a part of life in Krakow, you just have to experience it.
I didn’t know much about the Jagiellonian University I was going to attend, except its great tradition and history. I also knew that Krakow it’s considered to be a student city. That is exactly something that I’m fascinated the most about my experience. Everything was on an impressive level, organization, facilities, conditions, lessons, professors… I would especially point out two things, the approach of the students’ office and my mentor Natasza Styczynska were always reachable, pleasant, accountable and kind.
The second things are lessons/teachers or more accurately mentors, instead of providing us with just a bunch of information they encouraged us and inspired us to research for ourselves, also classes were organized well, I was happy every time I needed to go to class. The relatively low number of students, allowed us to have a useful discussion about interesting topics and hear a different point of view where different opinion was allowed and even desirable. I’m definitely coming back with many new things that I’ve learned and an extended perspective.
To summarize, Krakow and Jagiellonian University is something that I would strongly and confidently recommend to everyone. I am really thankful for this experience and its impact on my personal growth.”
All photographs used in this article are part of Aleksandar Dragutinović personal archive.