Kerindo Abeid Sumara, M.A History Student, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
28. 03. 2019 - 17. 06. 2019
I am so glad that I had an opportunity to study as Erasmus+ study mobility student at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia for about three months. It was a great time to stay in such a beautiful campus and a religious town with very polite people. I could meet new friends; learn various life experiences in the campus and town and acquire new knowledge. This is a short report on personal observation about the programme and what I learned in the university. I will focus on three major aspects- departure from Tanzania and arrival at UCM, accommodation and food, and studies in general.
Departure from Tanzania and Arrival at UCM
Going for an exchange programme in Slovakia was our first time in Europe. We needed to outsource every single document which would enable my departure from Tanzania. Applying for visa was a very tiresome exercise with a lot of discomfort from the consular members who demanded a lot of documents several times. But, I personally felt grateful for the help from the receiving institution whose people were ready and willing to provide assistance for every single document required to acquire visa. Our arrival at UCM was very interesting with a very generous welcome from students and teachers. It was awesome to have Michaela Tuska who came to pick us from the city bus stand to school. She was super warm and friendly and helped us for many things and became our good friend. We had a special welcome from the dean of faculty and teachers. We real appreciate the incredible warmth of their reception and generosity.
Accommodation and Food
It was very great to find a cheap accommodation in the school with enough facilities; free laundry and nice kitchen. School dormitory with many foreign and Slovak students was a wonderful place to learn different culture and experiences and make friends.
The university canteen within the school provides many dishes at a very reasonable price. I found several dishes in each day in the university canteen. It was always nice for me take well prepared potatoes with chicken or rice with chicken which became my favourite food.
Studies in general
Learning environment at UCM is very impressive. Classes are very clean, organized and up to date. Lecturers use powerpoint presentation to assist their teaching, incorporating students in a very friendly manner. In all classes students used powerpoints for their presentation. Indeed, I came from Tanzania where the use of technology in learning is still very low. I had to cope and learn how to use powerpoints in my presentations for the very first time as a student and was a great experience for me. The subjects and topics taught, especially in the department of English, were not so much different from what we learn in Tanzania. So it was easy to learn faster familiar topics.
Besides learning I used evening hours and weekends to visit various sites of the city. The sacral monuments standing in many places of the town, concentration of churches and architectural gems in the city centre with cool environs were such wonderful to see and enjoy. Beautiful shopping malls and supermarkets located in sides of the city provided an opportunity to spend my evenings.
I felt it was a great experience to stay and study in UCM for about three months. We appreciate an outstanding hospitality from students and teachers and politeness of the entire community. It was my first experience with a lot to learn especially new culture and living with people of different backgrounds who became friends and colleagues. I will be happy to see many students from Tanzania participating in this programme and will be ready to share experience and give support at anytime needed.
MIRIAM HENRY NTUAH
It was great to participate in Erasmus+ program at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia. I would like to thank everyone who did their best to make sure that we had a comfortable stay and enjoy leaning while at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius particularly the management and instructors. I also thank the students for being so generous to us especially Mgr. Michaela Tuska for her kind thoughts and support.
Observations on the program
The program is good especially for African students since it offers opportunities to learn a lot of new things which they would have not learnt in home universities and daily life in Tanzania. The program is useful in helping students create international networks, experience new learning environment and culture (language, wearing styles, food etc). Moreover, I have learnt presentation skills in a detailed way and I am happy that now I can confidently prepare interesting presentation on various subjects in my field of study and present them professionally. I got the chance to learn from people with diverse world views and I am happy that I also informed them a lot about my country. I highly recommend the program to other students when opportunities are available.
I am satisfied with the way the sending and receiving institution facilitated our participation in the program. I am as well pleased with the learning environment such as good classroom condition, instructors-students interactions in and outside classroom, constant internet access and campus life at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius (students’ dormitories, kitchen, canteen, safety etc).