Christine’s Story

Go Slo – with Erasmus!

Erasmus is a student exchange program, supported by the EU and definitely the easiest option for students to gather one or two semesters of exciting experience abroad. Within the Erasmus package you profit from financial support in the form of a scholarship, easy and free immatriculation (enrolment) at the host university, orientation and networking structures in your host country and a place to stay or help finding one.

I studied for about 7 months with Erasmus in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. I went there to support the Slovenian IFES-movement, ZVEŠ, and enjoyed a very good, exciting, challenging, unforgettable time there. But how is Slovenia?

The country? It’s beautiful! The Alps, the Karst region, medieval cities and Mediterranean flair at the coast all in the range of a 1-2 hour car drive. Ljubljana itself is a homey metropolis with beautiful art nouveau houses, narrow alleys and an idyllic promenade along the river running right through the inner city.

The students? Are quite close connected to their homes and families and a lot of them go home for the weekends, also due to short distances. Connected. Because the country is so small, a lot of students know each other from childhood. Lively. During the week it’s party time, especially in the student homes. Many Slovenes are disappointed by the traditional church, which they view as old-fashioned and taking advantage of people. Politics is overhwlemed by corruption and distrust.

The language? For nations which are familiar with the concept of a „case“, Slovenian is not too hard to learn. You get used to the missing vowels quickly and Slovenians will appreciate any effort to learn and speak their language, which is very motivating. To get around for starters English is totally sufficient.

The university? The university in Ljubljana offers a couple of programs in English. My lessons, Chemical Engineering, were all in Slovene. But the library contains predominantly English literature and all teachers kindly agreed on English assignments for me to receive credits.