SEMESTER IN PARTYSLAVA (BRATISLAVA) – SHOTA (GEORGIA)

After I came back from my Erasmus from Slovakia, people keep asking me “so, why Bratislava?” and the get even more surprised when I say that I miss Slovakia and definitely plan to visit it at least for couple of days in the nearest future.

So, below you will find answer, why Bratislava.

Well, first of all, I should say that I didn’t chose Slovakia by intention, it was the only option my friend and me could go, due to the objective reasons. But I don’t regret any single minute of it, even those problems I had to face and eventually had leave Slovakia way earlier than I planned, proved to be interesting and useful experience.

Our trip started from Prague, city, so mysterious and mystique, especially in rainy day, as it was when we arrived, that you discover yourself in the world of Franz Kafka.

11018212_847819905277550_1032764993_o

So, after this amazing couple of days in Prague, it was logical to lower down our exceptions of Bratislava, as much as possible. Especially, if you have seen “EuroTrip” and your mind is full of prejudices about Bratislava. But to be honest, in the end, it turned out to be one of the most exciting semester of my life.

Speaking of which, there are trains going to and from Bratislava 😉 it only takes less than hour to get to Vienna by train. You can also travel to Budapest or Prague within the couple of hours. It’s actually one of the biggest advantages of doing exchange semester in Slovakia. You are in the middle of Europe, within the driving distance from most beautiful cities of Europe.

While second myth from “EuroTrip” about Bratislava being really cheap can be said to be partly true. Especially when it comes to drinks. That turns Bratislava into Partyslava for foreign students.

11045699_847819951944212_1925474934_o

Another big issue in Slovakia, unlike Estonia, is English language. You don’t meet that many people in the stores or in the streets who speak English. Even at the university some classes, which Erasmus students can attend, are taught in Slovak, so you don’t go to class, you just send one paper in the end of the semester, or make one presentation for lecturer whose English is really bad. Fun, isn’t? 😉 Because of this communication barrier, Slovaks might seem unfriendly, but actually if they speak English or you have Slovak speaker next to you, to help you communicate, they are one of the friendliest and warmest people I have ever met. Once, in the store, after I said “thank you” to the cashier, who was woman in her 60’s, she was trying to remember something and after couple of minutes, told me “Please!” and she was so happy and glad that she was able to reckon this word, it was one of the cutest moments of my semester in Slovakia.

While you are in Slovakia, you should definitely try local food. It’s really tasty. And wine, burčiak, which is freshly pressed grape juice and usually contains only 4% of alcohol, is definitely something worth trying.

11016554_847819975277543_1926371560_n

But to make it less boring and more interesting, here are some pictures from students’ everyday life in Bratislava.

Bus ride to the University, day one: Good luck getting on that bus 😉

11028536_847820061944201_75383221_o

Bus ride to the University, day two: Finally, managed to get on the packed bus? It’s not the end yet. Bus breaks down in the middle of the way 😉 so, everybody has to get off and wait for another bus

11018256_847820118610862_715615021_o

Bought lots of products for the store and excited to cook one of the best meals in your life? Well, don’t get your hopes up 😉 this is how kitchen looks like in the dormitory, and it’s shared by the whole floor

11045766_847820131944194_34324595_o

But there is always cafeteria inside the dormitory, which is really cheap and has good offers sometimes. Around the campus you can also see different Kebab and Pizza places you can grab snack from.

No comments on this one 😉

11034817_847820145277526_1746541227_o

This is what I discovered in my closet in the morning after party.

Yes, it’s a road sign.

11028207_847820155277525_614943146_o

To conclude, semester in Slovakia was one of the most exciting and interesting experience in my life. It taught me how to appreciate little things in life. How days in terrible dormitory, where toilets and kitchen is shared by the whole floor, or you have joint balcony, so you have strangers just walking through your room, can still be fun, because you have friends to be there for you.

So, my advice to all of you would be to travel and go for Erasmus as much as possible. You will discover not only new places, culture and new people, but first of all, you discover yourself. And as we say it in Georgia, those hard days are the sweetest and most special memories that last longest.

P.S. University of Tartu is extremely student friendly and helpful, so it’s easy to make your Erasmus dreams come true. Trust me, I know 😉

Advertisements

COMMENT

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s