Študenti poročajo

Vedno smo veseli javljanj študentov Oddelka za anglistiko, ki se mudijo na študijski izmenjavi ali praksi v tujini.

Poročilo s prakse v Franciji (12. 4. 2016)

Au revoir, Guérande

It felt a bit unfair, leaving Guérande just at the start of spring. I spent so much time from November to March hiding inside my apartment, avoiding the rain and the wind and just when the temperatures finally rose, my time in France was up. And so, with one final au revoir and kiss on the cheeks I was on my way home. Looking back at the whole experience, I can honestly say I had a great time. I've met wonderful people, and I'm certainly going to try working with some of them in the future, when I get a job. I worked in a number of different schools, elementary and secondary and got to try working with students in different ways. Sometimes I was responsible for the whole class and other times for a smaller group. I had a number of lessons where we would practice speaking English with a small group, as that is something they need most. In fact I spent so much time in schools that I got interviewed for the regional paper about my stay there.

The biggest change from the first three months was that in January I got a roommate. A girl from Hungary joined me and I have to say we got along really well. Thanks to her we also went out more and explored the coast (when the weather permitted). The best trip I had was in the last week of my stay, when I joined a group of students and two teachers on a trip to Belle Ile. It's a small island close to the coast and it's absolutely beautiful. I also joined on class as they went to visit the European parliament in Strasbourg.

I dedicated a substantial amount of time of the second half of my stay there to working on my MA thesis. I had a great opportunity to conduct my research there, as I was in contact with so many students and conducting the research on the same scale back home would be virtually impossible.

I also have to mention my French. I have to take a moment to proudly point to myself and say: I saw plays and movies in French and I understood almost everything. I participated in conversations and talked in French and people usually understood. My grammar is far from perfect, but compared to six months ago, the difference is huge. It really is a fantastic way to practice a language.

The last two or three weeks  of my stay there were filled with good bye dinners and drinks and it is a strange feeling knowing that I will probably never again see most of the people I met (though I will certainly try). I am happy to be home but at the same time I am very glad I gathered up the courage and had this experience. I remember being so nervous at the beginning about everything but it’s amazing how fast I was able to get used to the situation.

I will go back there. But in summer. When the wind isn't quite so violent.

Sandra Uranič

Poročilo z izmenjave v Belgiji (6. 2. 2016)

V Gent, flamsko mesto v približni velikosti Ljubljane, sva se odpravili že sredi septembra, saj so se nam predavanja pričela že 21. septembra. Gent naju je že med prvimi sprehodi in obroki pomfrija, ki je tu daleč najbolj priljubljena oblika hitre hrane, po zatrjevanju domačinov pa ga v večini kioskov ne cvrejo v olju, temveč v masti, navdušil s svojo slikovitostjo in izjemno arhitekturo. Prav vsaka stavba v mestnem jedru se zdi kot znamenitost sama po sebi, največ pogledov pa privabljajo tri cerkve s svojimi visokimi zvoniki, ki skrbijo tudi za to, da se je v mestu skoraj nemogoče izgubiti. Mesto naj bi bilo eno izmed najbolj ekološko osveščenih, z dobro urejenim sistemom ločevanja odpadkov, številnimi trgovinami iz druge roke, pestro ponudbo vegetarijanskih restavracij in skrbjo za zdrav življenjski slog – kmalu sva ugotovili, da brez kolesa v Gentu ne bo šlo, saj večina prebivalcev kolesari povsod in v vseh vremenskih razmerah. Univerza študentom ponuja zelo ugoden najem koles, saj je osnovno kolo mogoče najeti že za 30€ na semester. Kljub temu sva se raje odločili za nakup lastnih koles, ki jih je na Facebook skupini Second Hand Market Gent, kjer ljudje prodajajo in kupujejo vse od omar do cenejših vozovnic za javni prevoz, mogoče dobiti že za podobno ceno. Ob tem velja omeniti tudi servis koles za študente, kjer je popravilo kolesa, pri katerem običajno sodeluje tudi sam lastnik, brezplačno, potrebno pa je plačati le za rezervne dele. Prebivalci Genta niso prijazni in pripravljeni pomagati le pri popravilu koles, temveč se tudi sicer radi združujejo v različne iniciative in skupnosti. Tako sva ob pomoči odličnega »made by locals« zemljevida, na katerem so posebej označene točke, ki sicer niso posebej turistične, so pa zelo pomembne za domačine, odkrili ruševine samostana, ki so bile dolga leta zapuščene, dokler se niso okoliški prebivalci združili v projektu njihove obnove. Na notranjem dvorišču so uredili pravi mali park, ki je za obiskovalce odprt ob nedeljah popoldan, tam pa prirejajo tudi različna druženja in piknike. S prijatelji smo odkrili tudi nekaj ljudskih kuhinj, v katerih se enkrat ali dvakrat na teden družijo stanovalci posameznih sosesk, vedno pa so v njih dobrodošli tudi prišleki.

Za študente na izmenjavi je nastanitev v študentskem domu najenostavnejša rešitev, zato se zanjo odloči precej tujcev. Ker so, po drugi strani, študentski domovi precej dragi (približno 410 evrov za samsko sobo s kopalnico in skupno kuhinjo), sva se pred odhodom na izmenjavo raje včlanili v nekaj Facebook skupin in si poiskali sobi, v kakršnih običajno bivajo »lokalci«. Belgijski študentje večinoma živijo v študentskih hišah (»kot«), v katerih imajo svojo sobo z umivalnikom, kuhinjo in kopalnico ter včasih tudi dnevno sobo pa si delijo s sostanovalci. Poleg tega, da se je takšen način bivanja izkazal za cenejšega, nama je omogočil tudi pristnejšo izkušnjo, saj sva obe živeli s sostanovalci iz Belgije.

Ko so se začela predavanja, se je kmalu izkazalo, da »samo« pet predmetov na urniku in trije dnevi predavanj na teden, kar bi nama v Ljubljani predstavljalo pravi dopust, tu ne bo pomenilo takšne ležernosti. Vsi predmeti, ki sva jih izbrali (skupaj sva obiskovali sodobno angleško in ameriško književnost ter generativno slovnico, poleg tega si je Marija izbrala še predmeta Language and Literature ter Business Communication, Vita pa diskurzivno analizo in rusko književnost na oddelku za slavistiko), so bili vredni 5 kreditnih točk – predmetov po 3 kredite v ponudbi sploh nisva zasledili. Vsak predmet je poleg obiskovanja predavanj vključeval precej branja (na primer po pet romanov tako pri angleški kot ameriški književnosti – koristna informacija za tiste, ki ste ob tem pomislili na seznam literature pri kakšnem od vaših dosedanjih predmetov in brezskrbno odmahnili z roko: v Gentu to pomeni, da študentje romane preberejo pred njihovo obravnavo na predavanjih, nato pa na uro prinesejo vsak svoj izvod, vanj dopisujejo opombe in zastavljajo vprašanja profesorjem), pisanja esejev in različnih domačih nalog. Pri predmetu Business Communication študentje dobivajo tedenske naloge, med katerimi je bila posebno zanimiva »Company Visit« – študentje morajo v parih kontaktirati belgijska podjetja in najti eno, ki bo dovolilo opazovati njihov poslovni sestanek ter opraviti intervju z enim od zaposlenih. Tudi sicer je bilo delo pri vseh predmetih večinoma zelo zanimivo, marsikdaj pa je predstavljalo tudi izziv, pri katerem so bili tako profesorji kot asistenti vedno pripravljeni svetovati in priskočiti na pomoč.

Še ena razlika med Ljubljano in Gentom je sistem ocenjevanja, saj je pri belgijski ocenjevalni lestvici najvišja ocena 20, za pozitivno opravljen izpit pa je treba dobiti oceno, višjo od 10. Kmalu se je izkazalo, da devetnajstice in dvajsetice ne letijo kar z neba in da se je treba za dobre ocene precej potruditi – belgijski sošolci so nama potrdili, da se za dobre ocene štejejo že 14 in 15, s šestnajstico si lahko celo zelo zadovoljen, medtem ko so osemnajstice rezervirane za svetle izjeme. Ocene 20 večina sploh ni omenjala. Če povzameva akademski del izmenjave, je Gent torej odlična izbira za tiste, ki bi se radi veliko naučili, so pripravljeni kar nekaj časa nameniti branju in pisanju ter so se pripravljeni prilagoditi sistemu, ki je malo drugačen od tega, ki smo ga vajeni doma, vseeno pa ne prinaša prevelikih presenečenj.

Gent poleg študija seveda ponuja tudi mnogo drugih zanimivosti in uspešno brani čast Belgije kot dežele vafljev, čokolade in piva (v poljubnem vrstnem redu). Za organizacijo različnih dogodkov in druženj za Erasmus in druge tuje študente, kot so spoznavni večeri, tematski žuri, bowling, družabne igre, športne dejavnosti, mednarodne večerje ipd., kjer je mogoče spoznati veliko drugih študentov iz celega sveta, skrbita dve organizaciji – ESN in The Action Satisfaction Network. Sicer pa za odkrivanje čarov Genta, ki velja za najbolj »hipster« mesto v Belgiji, ni potrebna nobena organizacija, ponujajo se namreč kar sami – med drugim se v mestu nahajajo najmanjši bar na svetu, bar, zgrajen v srednjeveškem zavetišču za gobavce, trg, na katerem je skoraj v vsaki stavbi lokal z drugo zvrstjo glasbe in zelo popularen lokal, kjer je kot kavcijo za poseben pivski kozarec potrebno dati en čevelj. Za vsako belgijsko pivo namreč obstaja poseben kozarec – ker so le-ti običajno zelo lepih oblik in jih ljubitelji piva radi uporabljajo in razstavljajo tudi doma, si jih pogosto »izposodijo« kar v vedno polnih lokalih s pestro ponudbo piva. Velja omeniti, da belgijsko pivo ni niti malo podobno tistemu, ki ga pijemo v Sloveniji. Tako nekatera piva vsebujejo tudi po 11% alkohola, najpopularnejši pa so trapisti – samostanska piva, ki jih izdelujejo menihi, dobiček od prodaje pa gre za obnovo samostanov in v humanitarne namene. Za Gent je značilna tudi razvita glasbena scena – skoraj vsak večer si je mogoče zastonj ali za simbolično vstopnino ogledati različne izvalajce – od domačih mladih upov do tujih glasbenih skupin.

Še ena pomembna prednost izmenjave v Gentu je geografski položaj mesta, ki ponuja odlično izhodiščno točko za potovanja po Belgiji in sosednjih državah. Belgijske železnice ponujajo velike popuste za študente in za potovanja med vikendi (povratne vozovnice v druga belgijska mesta stanejo tudi manj kot 10 evrov). Za organizacijo različnih izletov skrbita tudi dve že omenjeni organizaciji, ki ponujata izlete v Amsterdam, Pariz, Luksemburg in ostala bližnja (ali vsaj ne preveč daljna) mesta. Vozovnice so ugodne tudi za tiste, ki se raje odpravijo na pot v lastni organizaciji – za potovanje v Amsterdam je, v primeru prilagodljivih datumov, dovolj že 12 evrov v eno smer.

Morda se sliši kot puhlica, vendar je bilo za naju pol leta, preživetega v Belgiji, eno izmed najlepših obdobij v življenju, Gent pa je postal najin drugi dom. Tudi po vseh izzivih s papirologijo, branju in nalogah, ki so se včasih zdele nemogoče, ter občasnem domotožju, sva težkega srca zapustili mesto in državo, ki sta nama prirasla k srcu. Vsem, ki imate še vedno pomisleke glede prijave na izmenjavo, želiva, da zberete pogum in se prijavite ter izkoristite možnost študiranja v tuji državi, saj na koncu ostane veliko lepih spominov, nov pogled na svet in nepozabna izkušnja. 

Poročilo z izmenjave na Malti (29. 1. 2016)

Greetings from Malta! :)

I have just finished my last written exam and I feel exhausted, overly caffeinated and slightly sick but nonetheless extremely happy!

I have decided to write this letter so late because I wanted to answer the question that probably bugs the future students of Malta University the most – what are exams like? Let me tell you right now that if you think you will come to Malta and spend zero time at the University, you are mistaken. Not only is attendance obligatory for all classes (you can miss each lesson 4 times), but also because the subjects here are usually worth less ECTS than those at home. Most of the subjects are only worth 2 ECTS, so if you want to replace a subject from Slovenia that is worth 3 ECTS, you have to replace it with two subjects. Only full-year subjects are worth 6 ECTS, and if you come here just for the first semester, you can’t pick those. As a consequence you attend a large number of classes. No need to get discouraged though, there are multiple bright sides to studying at Malta University!

Malta University is basically a large campus where students of different departments all get together. Finding your way around is a bit confusing at first but you get used to it soon, don’t worry. You can eat at the cafeteria where they offer diverse meals and snacks. I can assure you that when you come there, there will definitely be at least one cat begging for food under the table. Malta is a country of cats, and you see them everywhere, sometimes even in class.

Since Malta is a country the 1st language of which is English that means you can, according to the Erasmus exchange rules of our English department, replace any subject with any other subject, meaning the content does not have to be similar. This is great, because not only will you have less trouble finding the right subjects, you can also pick those you are really interested in. There is a large number of really fascinating subjects you can choose that are unlike anything offered at your home university. Literature and Technology and Cultural Criticism are just two examples, and they were one of my favourite subjects here.

If you choose subjects with written exams at the end, I can reassure you that they are not difficult. Even though you will have to study a lot of material for just 2 ECTS and they make the exams sound really scary since the beginning of the year, the final exam should not be too hard for you to pass if you attend class regularly, take notes and study the additional material the teachers instruct you to print out. When it comes to taking notes in class, I would recommend bringing a laptop, because they go through the slides so quickly that there is no way you can write everything down. There are a lot of subjects that you can pass by writing assignments, so you can choose those if you aren’t good with memorizing facts or don’t work well under pressure. I should warn you though, you will have to study about five different books for each assignment. The university has a large library full of books that you can choose from. One strange thing I noticed when I was in the library was that Maltese people do not find it important to whisper there even if they are in the silent study area. Studying in the library (and sitting in class for that matter) also requires you to bring additional clothing with you, because they love air-conditioning and you can quickly catch a cold.  

Ok, so I covered the exams, let me tell you about accommodation. I am staying at the University Residence, which is like a student dorm. It is a good choice for students who apply to University of Malta because there is a free shuttle bus to the university organized every hour during classes. Most of the Erasmus students come here, so it is a great place to meet other people, as there are multiple events, hikes and parties organized throughout the year. Most people are very social and you will always find someone relaxing at the pool you can hang out with. Make sure to join the residence Facebook group as soon as you come, so that you can keep track of events and plans others have. Large groups of people very often get together to go to Valletta, to the beach or to the nearby restaurant Melita Gardens to grab something to eat. It is much more entertaining to explore the island with a large group of people, and you can get good deals on the transportation. In case you were planning to rent a car when you come here – if you value your life, just don’t do it. I read in a tour guide that Malta has the worst road safety in all of Europe, and I can assure you, it’s not far from the truth.

The down side of the University Residence is that even though it is much more expensive than the student dorms in Slovenia (280€ per month for a sharing room), it is pretty basic (except for the awesome pool of course!). If you plan on studying a lot or are very sensitive to noise, I do not recommend you staying here, because not only is the sound isolation terrible, there pretty much is none. So get used to studying with earphones and sleeping with earplugs. The furniture is also pretty basic. Each house of 7 rooms (about 14 people per house) has 5 bathrooms with no mirrors and one kitchen with two fridges, one stove and a large table with plastic pool chairs. The sharing rooms have bunk beds that are quite uncomfortable and creak when you move. Each person gets one wardrobe, one desk, a plastic pool chair and a small blue locker. There are no lamps on the desks so if you plan on studying in your room, you will have to buy your own. The cleaning ladies come once a week to clean the kitchen, bathrooms and individual rooms, so prepare to be woken up at about 8 or 9 in the morning and asked to leave your bed, so that they can change your sheets. You can sign a sheet of paper that you do not wish for them to clean your room, but then you don’t receive clean sheets and towels. When you need to wash your clothes, you need to pay 3 euros per washing machine, and 3 euros per dryer. The good thing is that the washing machines are very large so you can wash clothes together with your friends and split the bill.

Overall it is definitely worth it to come to Malta, not just because of all the wonderful people you live with and the different studying experience, but also because of the warm and beautiful weather throughout the year (I think it was raining 10 days at the most in the half year I’ve been here), and I loved spending the winter here. It’s the 27th of January, there’s 17 degrees outside, and I am LOVING it. I have met a lot of new people, made awesome friends and learned a lot about other countries and cultures. I already know that I am going to miss this place and especially the friends I made here. I am sure many of our friendships will last a lifetime. So yeah, still wondering if you should go on an exchange? You better, because otherwise you’re going to miss out on the best times of your life.

Jana Klinkon

 

Poročilo z izmenjave v Južni Koreji (4. 1. 2016)

We set off to Korea in late August. Our layover flight of 14 hours had us arriving at Incheon airport on a sunny morning. It being the middle of summer, the move to the dorm located on the campus was made difficult by the heat. No matter – we settled pretty fast: a roommate of a different nationality, a tiny bathroom and toilet in each room, no kitchen (only the lone microwave on the 9th floor), washers that were always running …

One of the first things we found out was that if there's a budget you have to adhere to, the easiest way to save money is by going to the student cafeteria. Meal prices there range from 1.000₩ (0,80€) to 2.200₩ (1,75€) and the meals served are quite delicious. If you get bored of the limited selection, though, you can always pop in one of the numerous convenience stores located on every corner. Actually, not having a kitchen can be a big money-saver: fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention meat, are crazy expensive in Korea – 5.000₩ (4,00€) for a single pear kind of expensive. Therefore eating out has become the norm for us – there are too many tiny restaurants to count, and every week there's a new one opening close by with prices rarely over 7.000₩ (5,50€).

       

Seoul might as well be called the city that never sleeps because of the numerous 24/7 places such as convenience stores, food delivery service, karaoke rooms called noraebang, and of course the cheap Korean style saunas referred to as jjimjilbang, which can substitute as a hotel room if you are short on money. One night in a jjimjilbang won't cost you more than 10.000₩ (8,00€), and it provides you with a warm place to sleep in and constantly available food.

There is another reason why college students lose sleep here, and that is the clubbing culture. Seoul has an incredibly large amount of clubs to offer and during the weekends the streets near universities, especially the one called Hongik University (more commonly Hongdae), are full of students relieving their stress while partying. The clubs offer a variety of different music genres, recently the most popular being hip hop, although there are also many EDM-oriented clubs.

Drinking culture in Korea actually plays an important role in socialising, and it is often considered rude to refuse a drink offered by your superior. But when going drinking with Korean friends, please make sure you know your limit. Similarly, dinners with professors are common and it is highly recommended you attend them should you plan on having good grades.

                                                                   

Schoolwork depends on the professor: you could get a crazy demanding one, like our professor for English Semantics – 2 written assignments, 4 pop quizzes, midterm and final were what counted for the grade. What makes it harder is that here you finish a subject in a single semester and some lecturers try to cram in as much as they can plus some. On the other hand, Introduction to American Literature was a breeze – we read through some 60 pages of assigned literature together, wrote a take-home midterm on it, and an in-class final. Easy as pie. Oh, just don't miss class too much – 3 absences and your grade is lowered by one; 5 absences and you fail the class.

And last but not least, Seoul will definitely lighten your wallet if you are fond of shopping. Chain stores and brands are quite rare, but if you are really intent on buying your clothes there, be prepared to spend some big bucks. For common Korean folk and poor students (such as us), the underground shopping centres are what it's all about. They are usually located at bigger subway stations and consist of many smaller stores, some of which don't even have names. One of the cheapest shopping places we have found is the Gangnam Underground Shopping Centre located at the Express Bus Terminal. It is completely opposite of the streets above it, though – Gangnam is the most expensive area in Seoul, and you will find nothing but Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, and the like. Just like the song Gangnam Style suggests, you have to be rolling in cash to shop in the fancy department stores there.

                                                                            

Now we didn't come here solely to have fun (like dancing to k-pop at the school's New Year ceremony) and go shopping (cute culture is huuuge here, also the girls are dolled up any and every time they go out) all the time: during the winter break we are having Intensive Korean Courses, which means we have 4 hours of Korean 5 times a week for 10 weeks. Either we will be geniuses in the language in the end, or our brains will be mush.

Overall, living in Korea has taught us many life lessons, though the struggles we have gone through are nothing compared to the experience we have gained. With this mindset, we will keep studying hard and enjoying this new culture and world, calling it our home for now.

Fotoutrinek s prakse v Londonu (29. 12. 2015)

 Pub night

Hampstead Heath - eden najlepših delov Londona

Praznični London

Poročilo z Univerze na Malti (26. 12. 2015)

18°C, sončno, brez oblačka. Ne, to ni kakšen hladen avgustovski dan v Sloveniji, ne, to je božič na Malti. Če mi v supermarketu ne bi mahal božiček in mi ponujal coca-cole in če mi Mariah Carey ne bi na vsakem koraku trdila, da si za božič želi le mene, sploh ne bi vedel, da se bližajo prazniki. Resnično, ko si konec decembra navajen na -5°C, je težko verjeti, da se tukaj na Malti sprehajamo še v kratkih rokavih in si najbolj pogumni še drznejno skočiti v bazen – da, prav ste prebrali, v University Residence, kjer živim, imamo bazen. Univeristy Residence bi se dalo opisati kot nekakšen študentski dom za študente na izmenjavi, zato si lahko predstavljate, da dolgčasa ne poznamo. Residence kot sam je lepo urejen, ljudje so pa z eno besedo – ''zakon''! Vsi se zelo dobro razumemo, z nekaterimi pa sem postal tudi že zelo dober prijatelj in se že bojim dneva, ko se bo treba vrniti domov.

Ker je Malta razmeroma majhna država (316 km² z okoli 400.000 prebivalci), imam do faksa dobrih 45 minut hoje, pa čeprav je, ko pogledaš na zemljevidu, oddaljen skoraj za četrtino otoka. Seveda pa imamo tudi organiziran brezplačni prevoz iz študenta do faksa ter nazaj, kar pa vzame okoli 10 minut.

Predavanja so zelo zanimiva, po zahtevnosti pa se mi predmeti zdijo kar primerljivi z predmeti na Filozofski fakulteti, nekateri so mogoče še malce težji zaradi drugačnega načina izvedbe. Vsi predmeti, ki sem jih lahko za en semester izbral, so vredni le 2 kreditni točki, zato sem moral izbrati več predmetov, da sem lahko nadomestil vse iz Slovenije. Uradni jezik je poleg malteščine tudi angleščina, zato je nivo angleščine še kar dober. Pravim še kar dober, ker imajo izredno močan naglas, ki ga je kdaj pa kdaj težko razumeti.

Družabno življenje na Malti je zelo pestro, in moram priznati, od začetka je bilo zelo naporno slediti vsem dogodkom, ki jih je organiziral ESN (Erasmus Student Network). Definitivno pa mi bo v najboljšem spominu ostal Paceville – četrt v majhnem mestecu St Julians. Tukaj se v eni ulici dobi 20 diskotek ali več (še sam ne vem) in je pravi raj za ljubitelje plesa in zabave.

Pred odhodom na izmenjavo sem bil kar živčen, a se je to hitro izkazalo za zelo nepotrebno, saj se je izkazalo, da je to ena najboljših izkušenj v mojem življenju do zdaj. Prav vsakemu bi priporočil, da pride na izmenjavo na Malto, a ne le na Malto, prepričan sem, da je v vsaki državi doživetje drugačno in odlično, zato mi je le žal, da ne morem iti na izmenjavo v vsako državo.

Za vse, ki mislijo, da niso pripravljeni biti od doma za tako dolgo obdobje, pa bom zaključil z besedami našega preljubega vratarja Raya: ''I saw people cry when they came to Malta because they missed their home. Then after 5 months I saw the same people cry even more when they had to leave their new friends and school mates -- their new family''.

Christmas dinner

Azure window

Selfie 

Poročilo s prakse na Norveškem (17. 12. 2015)

Leto 2015 je bilo daleč najboljše leto v mojem življenju. Po opravljenem letnem semestru na Erasmus izmenjavi v nemškem Leipzigu, sem se namreč samo mesec dni po vrnitvi domov odpravila še bolj severno – na Norveško, v prelepo obmorsko mesto Bergen. 

V drugo največje norveško mesto, locirano na fjordu, sem šla z namenom opravljanja trimesečne prakse na »International School of Bergen« preko Noveškega finančnega mehanizma. Že leto poprej sem si s pošiljanjem mailov po celi Norveški našla delodajalca – mednarodno šolo, kjer so me z veseljem sprejeli za tri mesece. Na sami šoli sem dobila dodeljeno mentorico v 4. razredu, kjer sem kot pomočnica učiteljice preživela večino časa. Pouk je trajal vsak dan od 9.00 do 15.00, z vmesnimi odmori (ko se otroci, ne glede na vremenske razmere, odpravijo na igrišče). Glede na to, da je šola mednarodna, pouk v celoti poteka v angleščini. Večina otrok je rojenih angleških govorcev, prihajajo pa iz celega sveta, kar je naredilo pouk še bolj zanimiv. Šola deluje po svojem kurikulumu, vse enote in predmeti so med sabo povezani, poudarek je na pridobivanju splošne razgledanosti, ni učbenikov ter memoriranja velike količine podatkov. Vsak od učencev ima šolski ipad, katerega občasno, po navodilu učiteljce, uporabljajo pri vseh predmetih. Otroci izredno radi hodijo k pouku, sama klima je zelo sproščena, konflikti med njimi so izjemno redki, celotna filozofija šole je usmerjena proti nasilništvu, »anti-bullying«, kar je tudi razlog, da se veliko norveških otrok prepiše iz javnih šol na to šolo. Norveška je uvedla inkluzijo tako v javnih, kot zasebnih šolah, tako da je popolnoma sprejemljivo dejstvo, da smo imeli v razredu dečka, ki ima avtizem in ADHD. Slednji ima dodeljenega spremljevalca, ki mu olajša njegovo prilagajanje pouku.

Ob sredah sem po dogovoru z direktorjem šole, »krožila« po inštituciji; začela sem v vseh petih vrtčevskih oddelkih, nadaljevala pa v prvem razredu šole, vse do 9. razreda. Zadnjo sredo pa sem preživela pri »human resource managerki«, kjer sem se podrobno spoznala z delom v kadrovski službi, saj je, glede na to, da poleg anglistike študiram še andragogiko, to eno izmed mojih področij. Na šoli sem se tako od prvega dne počutila izredno sprejeto, vsi so bili zelo prijazni in me takoj sprejeli medse.

Predvsem prva dva meseca, ko je bilo še precej toplo, sem skoraj vsak dan po službi preživela v naravi. Pohodništvo je tukaj namreč zelo popularno, saj Bergen obdaja sedem gora. Meni jih je uspelo prehoditi pet, nekaj od njih sem osvojila tudi po večkrat. V ceno javnega prevoza je vključen tudi trajekt, ki pelje v bolj oddaljene dele Bergna, kar sem večkrat izkoristila za popoldanski izlet. Šla pa sem tudi na izlet z ladjo po fjordih – nepozabna izkušnja, ki me je pustila brez besed. Imela sem veliko srečo z vremenom; Bergen je znan kot najbolj deževno mesto v državi, sploh v jesenskih mesecih. A letošnja jesen je bila najlepša v zadnjih dvesto letih, tako da se nimam kaj pritoževati.

Oktobra sem se z vlakom odpravila na obisk k prijateljici iz srednje šole, ki študira v Oslu. Sama vožnja z vlakom je bila najlepše potovanje, kar sem jim doživela v življenju. Naj slike povedo svoje:

S samim iskanjem stanovanjem sem imela najprej kar nekaj težav, saj se izredno težko najti stanovanje » na daljavo«, prav tako so vsi želeli podpisati pogodbo za vsaj eno leto. Glede na to, da sem nisem prišla kot študentka, mi tudi ni pripadala soba v študentskem domu. Na koncu sem imela sem veliko srečo, saj sem našla mlado norveško družino, s katero sem si  delila gospodinjstvo. Vedno so mi bili na voljo za pomoč, velikokrat so tudi kuhali zame, mi posojali avto za izlete ... Tako da sem tudi z njihovo pomočjo doživela »popolno norveško izkušnjo«.

Pred prihodom v Bergen nisem tukaj poznala prav nikogar. Zato sem kmalu po pridhodu na Facebook Erasmus skupino napisala, da sem nova v mestu, če bi se mi kdo rad pridružil na kavi ali planinarjenju. Na moje sporočilo se je odzvalo kar nekaj mednarodnjih študentov ter dva Slovenca, s katerimi smo postali dobri prijatelji. Glede na to, da sem pred odhodom v Nemčijo v Ljubljani začela s plesanjem swinga, sem se tukaj v oktobru udeležila swing festivala ter po njem tudi plesnega tečaja, kjer sem spoznala veliko norvežanov, s katerimi smo postali dobri prijatelji in preživeli skupaj večino prostega časa.

Trije meseci so žal minili kot bi trenil z očesom. Priznati moram, da bo zelo težko pustiti za sabo to čudovito izkušnjo; službo, v katero sem šla vsako jutro z nasmehom na obrazu, ljudi, ki jim pravim prijatelji, družino, na katero sem se zelo navezala in pa samo mesto, ki je postalo moje najljubše. Kar vem zagotovo je, da se v to pravljico vrnem. Kmalu.

  

Poročilo z Univerze v Loughboroughu (8. 12. 2015)

Loughborough (izgovori se Luf-bra) je malo mesto z veliko študentov. Kjer veter piha vedno. In ne malo, tukaj je tako močan da te skoraj odpihne in je to popolnoma normalno. Vreme je popolnoma angleško, čeprav je manj dežja kakor je pričakovati. Mogoče pa je to samo moj občutek, saj se vreme spreminja na 2 ure. Tako imaš v enem dnevu vse od megle do sonca in potem dež in še malo vetra, ker lahko. Ampak je vseeno vsaj 5 stopinj topleje kakor v Sloveniji.

Na vreme se relativno lahko privadiš, saj imajo študenti tukaj večinoma samo 3-4 predmete na semester. Kar pomeni da imaš včasih celotne dneve proste (v mojem primeru ponedeljek, sreda, večino četrtka in petek popoldne) in si cele dneve v sobi. Ampak, tukaj delajo drugače. Če ne maraš brati, ne pojdi na izmenjavo v Anglijo. Kot študentka Angleščine imam praktično vsak teden za prebrati 3 knjige. Drugi pa imajo razne članke, ali govore, raziskave etc. »Prosti dnevi« se navadno preživijo za knjigo.

Ker je celotna univerza na enem kampusu in imamo 2 diskoteki v eni stavbi, ki je ravno tako na kampusu, si je lahko predstavljat kaj študentje počnejo zvečer. V Sloveniji nihče ne gre ven v torek, tukaj so torki dnevi s poceni pijačo. Seveda so tudi druge opcije. Lahko se vključiš v kakšen »society«. Na voljo je vse od Harry Potter Society do Shakespeare Society. Ali pa preprosto ostaneš v svoji sobi.

Za razliko od FF, imaš tukaj milijone stavb – vsak oddelek ima svojo in še nekaj sob drugje – ki, so obkrožene s lepo pokošenimi travami in drevesi, ki še vedno niso popolnoma izgubili listov. Vsake toliko časa vidiš kakšno veverico (ki jih zaradi zimskih temperatur sedaj zebe) ali mačko, ki se prosto sprehaja naokoli (ne, ne smeš je vzeti sabo, saj so te mačke lahko nevarne).

Najdejo se tudi lepe fontane :-)

In imamo še Starbucks :-)

Knjižnica je odprta od 8.00/10.00-02.00 tako da, praktično nimaš izgovora de ne prideš tja. Še posebej ker je na kampusu tudi bus ki te odpelje kamor hočeš zastonj (razen če greš dol s kampusa, potem moraš dati £1.60).

Oh, ja in počitnice začnemo 11.12 :-)

Poročilo s prakse na Portugalskem (26. 11. 2015)

When I decided to do an internship abroad, I really wanted to go to Germany or Belgium. However, somehow I ended up in Portugal wanting to explore a different country on the horizon.

I am very glad that I can experience new challenges at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Porto. I’m a part of the team of an international project called Utopia 500, which has many interesting diverse sub-projects that we are promoting globally. On the way to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's "Utopia", our project highlights the importance of utopian and critical thinking and an alternative vision of the future "with a license to imagine". It is an awakening call not only for students but for all of us to think creatively about our society. There is one part of the project which is based on raising awareness about food waste, another part where we are encouraging schools to contribute with their ideas how to make the world a better place, and also a part of the project concentrating on a Conference for all the scholars and researchers in the field of Utopian studies which will be held in Lisbon in 2016. At the moment we are 20 students from all across Europe, and even two students from China and Indonesia. Strangely enough, there are also four other students from the University of Ljubljana.

A bit about Portugal. Before I arrived in Porto, me and two other friends from our department decided to make a small road trip around Portugal. We went to Lisbon and the astonishing Sintra, to the coast – Lagos, and Aveiro – the Portuguese Venice. After ~10 days of traveling, I arrived in Porto amazed by the beauty of this southern country, but unfortunately, I found myself a bit disappointed. I found out that there is no heating in the apartment (there is no heating ANYWHERE in the apartments in Portugal, and also landlords rarely allow buying heaters if the bills are included in the rent). Beneath the surface, Porto is also a very dirty city in comparison to Ljubljana and the transport system organization is horrible. The metro has 5 lines which all go to the same stations, there are no maps for the bus lines, the bus applications for mobile don’t work, so I was really struggling to get around the city. Luckily, I had an Erasmus buddy who helped me a lot every time I was feeling lost. I also met a lot of people very fast, had a chance to explore the best places and absorb the vibe of the city, and in time, me, and all my friends here kind of became used to the disorganized but yet “just chill” Portuguese style of life, so none of us are complaining anymore. Especially when you know that if it’s sunny, you can always go after work/classes to the beach to just relax, watch the seagulls flying around, enjoy the beautiful sunset or surf in the ocean. It was over 20 degrees until almost the end of November, and the water is not as cold as Portuguese people say it is.

The beautiful “Ribeira” (or promenade by the river) with the Ponte Luis bridge, which the Portuguese call “the horizontal Eiffel Tower”, is also a great place where you can go for dinner or just have a drink and enjoy the spectacular view.

Porto is also known for its Port wine, and there are many wine cellars where you can go for wine tasting across the river in Nova Gaia. We also visited Pinhao, a town in the valley of the Douro river encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best Port wine. Port wine has a very peculiar strong liquor taste, and it goes great with small appetizers combined with grapes, cheese or chocolate. A specialty of the “North” is also the Porto “Francesinha” which is a greasy toast sandwich with special sauce, melted cheese and many, many different kinds of salami and sausages.

I have one month left in Porto, and I am enjoying my life here as much as possible, with occasional trips to the closer cities in Portugal and Spain. Porto is one of the most incredible places I have ever lived in and I am very glad that I gave it a chance and that I could call it a home for 4 months.

Check out the following link for a virtual stroll around the city:

https://vimeo.com/134719869

Simona

Poročilo s prakse v Franciji (19. 11. 2015)

It has been a month and a half since I came to Guérande, a small town in the west of France, close to Nantes. And it's certainly been busy. I have to admit that I was really nervous before coming here, as this is not an exchange but an internship. I knew that I would be the only foreigner in the entire school, I was anxious about my level of French and I was nervous about how I was going to handle life in general. But as it turned out, I really had nothing to be nervous about. After landing at the Nantes airport I was greeted by two English teachers, who drove me to my apartment and after that took me out to dinner. There, over apple cider, Galettes (like crepes but made with dark flour and usually topped with cheese, ham, onions etc) and crêpes, it was explained to me that this is their first time hosting an intern and that they don’t really know exactly how this whole situation is supposed to work. But somehow we made it work.   

I have a small apartment inside one of the schools I teach in. Altogether I teach in five different schools, from, what we would call kindergartens, to secondary schools. It is a very interesting experience, teaching young learners, as there is a bit of a language barrier. However my French has improved considerably since I've been here and talking with adults is not really a problem anymore.  A lot of the time I actually have no choice but to talk in French as many teachers (especially in primary schools) know very little English.

What I do in the school largely depends on the schools themselves. In some schools I take small groups of learners and we mainly do oral practice on whatever they had learnt. In other schools the teacher and I split the class in half and we each work with one half. In secondary schools I mostly do pair-teaching together with the teacher and we each prepare something for the lesson, but sometimes I also have the whole class on my own. Every day is different and I must say I like it.  I also have a class of adult learners, most of them teachers from the schools I teach. I really like the class, it’s relaxed, all of them are interested in improving their English and we have a lot of fun.

Outside of school I have to say that at first I was slightly afraid that I would be bored, as most of the people I know here are twice my age and the town is a small medieval town with a wall and famous salt marches, which is perfect for walks, however there is not much to do (unless you’re really interested in salt). But so far I haven’t been bored for a second as I've been invited to more dinners than I can count,  tried a number of very suspicious looking cheeses, met teachers my age and went to Nantes and Saint Nazaire, tasted all sorts of wine and for the first time in my life, got my feet wet in the Atlantic ocean.

All in all it has been great; however things are somewhat different now, due to the recent killings in Paris. All school trips have been cancelled for the next three months, yet most people here don’t like that. They don’t want to be scared, they want to live and then, come what may. C’est la vie.

Sandra

Poročilo s Karlove univerze v Pragi (30. 10. 2015)

Tomorrow will be my thirtieth day in Prague and it already feels like I've never lived anywhere else. I've been to Prague once before my exchange and could vaguely remember Charles Bridge and the smell of fat sausages on Wenceslas Square.

My preparations for the exchange were almost nonexistent, since I passed my last exam barely ten days before I was supposed to be in Prague. Everything went smoothly though, the documents, registering, course selection, arriving to Prague; Charles University is really organized and you can get settled and figure everything out during the first week. The courses are all interesting and much more specific than back home. There are virtually no lectures, only small seminar classes, with only 10-15 students, which creates a very fruitful and motivating working atmosphere. I’ve heard much about the incomprehensible Czech-English accent before coming here, but it didn’t turn out to be true, at least not at the University. A lot of professors at the department are native speakers, and the students rarely have any detectable accent. It’s hard work, studying here, but rewarding. There is a lot of reading every week, individual research and writing. You can forget about notes, tests are rare and there are usually only final essays, the topics of which you develop with your professors during the semester. You can choose both BA and MA courses, ranging from Innovators in British Drama and African American Literature to Emerson, Modernism and Postmodernism, Contemporary Scottish Poetry, The Slavery Debate, Film Criticism, Old English Riddling Poems or Experimental Fiction. Beside regular classes, the student organization offers film nights, drama classes and all sorts of different clubs, sports and trips around the country.

If literature is why you’re studying English, choose Prague. It’s cheap, there are literary bars, happenings, readings, performances, theatres and bookstores on literally every street. The Czech cherish their long drinking tradition and the bars and cafés are always full and really the nexus of social life. The fun doesn’t end once you move out of the center, on the contrary, everything exciting is happening in residential neighborhoods, in underground bars, clubs and galleries. Everyone already knows that beer is cheaper than water in Prague, but you really get to appreciate it after sitting in shady bars for hours and paying only five euros before they kick you out in the morning.  Eating out is also a thing here so the restaurants, especially Czech ones, are fairly cheap. Prague is generally cheaper than Ljubljana and the 350 euro scholarship can be just enough to cover most of your expenses.

Finding an apartment turned out to be a bit of a problem since hundreds of students poured into the city at the beginning of October. I took me three weeks, but I did find a great one. Quite expensive, but I was getting kind of desperate. I was lucky to have a friend living in Prague who gave me shelter while I was homeless. Student dorms are also available, but are a bit far from the city center.

I don’t think I have to emphasize that Prague is a beautiful city. I’ve been wandering the streets for weeks now, and can’t get enough of it. It’s huge, it’s old, every now and then you stumble upon small synagogues or hidden Jewish cemeteries crammed with mossy tombstones, black towers and impressive churches dominate the skyline. Really, Prague is one huge web of church towers and tram wires. The trams/metros/buses are cheap, the connections are great and all that practical, uninteresting stuff has been taken care of and you don’t have to worry about it.

So, don’t dwell, go anywhere, use the opportunity, it’s so much better than you could possibly imagine.

Ana

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