For the exchange program “Erasmus” I primarily decided to apply from the desire for new experience, both academic and living. The process of applying and filing documents does not last long and it was fairly simple. With the help of dear Branka Marković from the Department of International Cooperation, who was with us during the entire process – from the initial idea for applying until the end of the exchange – as well as Professor Ranka Mitrović, all the obstacles were easily overcame. In fact, the most difficult was to find the subjects at the faculty you were planning to go. But once the subjects are equivalent, documentation filled, and you went through the selection process, the only thing left is waiting for the great adventure to begin.
I made a decision to apply for Romania, specifically West University in Timisoara. At the visiting university, I was greeted with pleasure, and their staff, armed with all the necessary information, organized a meeting for us on the first week. Within Erasmus, there is a student organization called ESN (Erasmus Student Network). Members of this organization are also students and they have been with us for all information and problems, but, more importantly, they are engaged in organizing all student events, socializing and group trips. In Timisoara, the entire “Erasmus” program works perfectly, the number of students on exchange exceeds 150 per semester. The environment is truly multiethnic, during my exchange I had the opportunity to be surrounded by people from all continents, all religions, different nations, cultures, languages, perspectives of view. Along with the academic experience that “Erasmus” certainly brings, to me is crucial cultural side. A unique opportunity to socialize with different people, to get closer to their culture, the way of living. After the first month, you already feel completely adapted and you simply get used to the fact that everyone around you is carrying a piece of culture from which it comes and suddenly, you start to feel the truly international atmosphere in the air. Travel as an integral part of the exchange program brings another experience and the opportunity to see something new, to discover something, to learn.
As a student at the Faculty of Business Studies, John Naisbitt University (Megatrend University), at first it was strange that there was no interaction at the teacher-student level as I was used to at my faculty. Also, professors do not hold regular consultations but communicate mostly via e-mail with students, and in the case of necessity, they schedule a time of consultation, which is not a practice at my home university. The conditions at the West University in Timisoara are, generally speaking, good, but not equal to the conditions at the University of John Naisbitt. In addition to these few differences, I can note equality in the proficiency of professors at both universities, their efforts to link theory with practice, very good literature.
Student life in Timisoara is truly excellent. The city abounds in clubs, pubs, restaurants, promenades, parks. The scholarship received during the exchange is more than sufficient to cover all costs, which of course includes travel and going out, as well as the cost of a student’s dormitory and everyday life. It’s just enough to get out in front of the dormitory, you can always find someone who is willing to go out, to drink coffee or to go for a walk. The openness of all students on Erasmus contributes to excellent atmosphere while we are out in the city, on trips, but also during the examination period, when we all together are studying and helping each other with projects.
I can conclude that “Erasmus” is truly a unique experience that has helped me to improve myself as a person, to have friends all over the world, to bring with me the knowledge acquired at a foreign university, to have unforgettable memories for the rest of my life and interesting stories to tell to my future grandchildren.
Dušan Živković, Faculty of Business Studies