Student Sandra Mrzlečki spent a semester at FH Joanneum in Graz

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19. veljače 2021.

Student Sandra Mrzlečki spent a semester at FH Joanneum in Graz

My short journey of one semester started on September 21, 2020, when the orientation day took place. I got to know the coordinators and other colleagues and visited the institution. Due to the corona virus, epidemiological measures were introduced (wearing masks indoors, keeping the prescribed distance and mandatory disinfection of hands when entering the institution), so we all kept the prescribed distance and approached each other with fear. However, after the introductory registration and signing of student contracts, we were all somewhat more relaxed, so we all got to know each other and started communicating. There were various students, from Germany, Slovenia, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Singapore, etc. This was the first time I met so many different people, and yet we were all equal in a way and we all came with the same goal.

The coordinators who lead the exchange students are very kind, ready to help, they explained in the best possible way everything that needed to be completed, the measures that were currently in force in Austria and how we have to behave when we stay in the faculty building itself.

As for the lectures, they started on October 5, 2020 online because the professors were from different countries of the world, so they could not come to Graz. All lectures lasted from 9:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with one short break of 20 minutes. The lectures were interactive, we were asked to express our opinions, we were given tasks that we often had to solve in pairs or groups. Of course, there are also assignments for each lecture. Although we didn't have the opportunity to meet the professors on site, they left a great impression on me through the screen. These are people who gave us different experiences, knowledge and gave us advice for the future, future employment and the like. They are always reachable on their email addresses, so if there were any ambiguities, they explained it via email or we talked during the lectures. The exams were also written online, and for a few I had to make a project in a couple of days and send it for evaluation.

Social life during this corona and Erasmus socializing of students were unfortunately rare. At the beginning, the lectures were both face-to-face and online, but the courses I chose were all online, so I didn't have the opportunity to interact with students in person. We only went to the city a few times when we had to do some task as a group, so it was easier for us to solve it on site, instead of online. Soon, Austria introduced a curfew, closed all catering establishments, museums, shopping centers and stable life. All that remains is the screen, the apartment and online socializing, and so on until the very end. I met wonderful people, and although online, I will have fond memories. Of course, this is not what I expected at the exchange, but we need to adapt to every situation. I even learned some German and Arabic during the tasks we did in groups.

In the end, I can conclude that Erasmus, even in these conditions during the corona, is a wonderful experience that I will certainly not forget. I must praise the excellent organization of lectures, exams and presentations. The technology worked great, which made it a lot easier for us to study in these difficult times. Maybe there is not much to say because there were no events, but again, every online meeting left a special impression on me, and since this was the first virtual Erasmus, it was a completely different experience from the student exchanges until now.

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