In Brno, I see harmony | Halas Časopis studentů Fakulty sociálních studií. 27. ročník

In Brno, I see harmony

Do rubriky Ostatní napsal Catarina Neves (Neděle, 19. listopad 2017)

Hello there! My name is Catarina Neves and I’m a 21-year-old Languages and International Relations’ student from Porto, Portugal. I’m in my last year of the bachelor’s degree in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto; but I’m currently on Erasmus in Brno, at Masarykova University. Czech Republic gave me the opportunity to study American Political Institutions, something very rare to find in Portugal. Also, here I study at the Faculty of Social Studies (International Relations), the Faculty of Arts (English) and the Faculty of Education (German).

Brno was always highly recommended to me by friends who had done their Erasmus here. Everyone told me that the city and the people were super welcoming and that I would feel at home in no time. But I had no real expectations, since I had never been to this part of Europe — one of the main factors for me to choose Brno as my second Erasmus university was that I had already experienced living/studying in the South and the North of Europe, so I wanted to go to Central Europe to see how it was… and it hasn’t been disappointing! The city is so cute, I had never seen so many colorful and detailed buildings in my life! I was very well impressed with your public transportation system; and with how balanced but still demanding your school system is. I like that there is a harmony between the amount of courses assessed by final examinations and/or papers. I was very happy to find something a bit more challenging but relaxed at the same time.

But Erasmus is not just studying, and living abroad doesn’t always come as “easy” as expected — you keep being surprised all the time! I got surprised that here people don’t great each other with two kisses on the cheeks; and that sweet popcorn isn’t a thing. One thing that surprised me negatively was the fact that people tend to give me a side-eye and even go away from me in the tram — I think that because I have dark hair and eyes they probably think I’m from the Middle East or that I’m muslim. This has never happened to me before in any of the countries I’ve been, so this impressed me quite a lot.

Unfortunately, I think I haven’t took the proper time to discover the city nor its beauties — for example, me and my roommate, who is also Portuguese, keep saying that we’ll go to the Brněnský orloj but we keep falling asleep past 11 AM. I already went up to Špilberk Castle and loved the view of the city. I also love discovering new, cozy cafes (including an amazing cat cafe where my ESN buddy took me once!) and good restaurants. I might be a rookie in Brno, but I’m sure I’ll be leaving the city knowing it like the palm of my hand… and loving it more and more everyday! :)

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