Barbora Koukalová, Comenius University of Bratislava, Slovakia (summer semester 2019/2020)
I am so happy that I could spend my Erasmus in Zadar. I love Croatia and it was amazing being there for 5 months, leaving Zadar was hard. What I really liked was the beautiful city and it being close to the sea, the school being right by the sea as well. I loved the warm weather, cuisine and the fact that people weren’t always “in a hurry”. I also met a lot of great people from all around the world and learned a lot of new things. The school staff was kind and helpful. All in all, my experience was wonderful and I have beautiful memories. I am looking forward to coming back. Zadar has become something like a second home to me.
Petar Santini, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany (summer semester 2019/2020)
Hello, my name is Petar. A Croatian boy who lives Germany. I already knew Croatia before my exchange program, but this time was incomparable. I was able to get to know Croatian culture on a deeper level, I met many special people from all over Europe and I was able to experience the wonderful Croatian rhythm of life. I lived alone for the first time and was therefore able to organize my everyday life completely freely. For the first time I could feel freedom on a completely different level. My everyday life was fully balanced: I learned, did sports, walked by the sea and, despite everything, there was more than enough time for my social life. I am thankful for this time!
PS: It's pretty cool to just jump into the sea during the breaks.
Melanie Strutzmann, University of Klagenfurt, Austria (summer semester 2019/2020)
My Erasmus semester in Zadar was an amazing and unforgettable experience, which unfortunately lasted only a month as the COVID-19 pandemic started in April 2020. However, the opportunity to study at university by the sea and to experience Croatian lifestyle helped me forget the ongoing pandemic and created beautiful memories. After embarking on this wonderful adventure of Erasmus semester, I strongly encourage young students to study abroad, especially in Zadar because of the chance to gain broader perspective on different cultures, but more importantly on their future job career. I am thankful for every moment spent in Zadar and at university and I look forward to coming back!
Alessandro Spirandelli, University of Padua, Italy (summer semester 2019/2020)
These 5 months have been one of the best experiences of my life. Zadar is a wonderful city with very welcoming and always nice people. I never felt like a stranger, even during the quarantine. At the beginning we were told that we would find a second family... well it's true! I was lucky enough to find wonderful people who made my experience unforgettable. I will carry these people and this city forever in my heart.
Derya Sevimli, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey (summer semester 2019/2020)
There is a lot of things to say about Zadar. People, places, life... It is not just a city, it is AMAZING. At first, I was afraid of communicating in the street but almost everybody can speak English very well. Also Croatian people are pretty kind. You don’t need to hesitate to ask something. And places... you will fall in love with this country. You never feel alone in Zadar. Yes I know, everybody is saying “second family” but it’s true what can I say. :)
Also, there is one thing and it’s the most difficult part; to say goodbye to Zadar and people. I was crying guys...
Just go to Zadar and have good memories. And learn the meaning of “Pomalo”. You will understand me. ;)
Havva Melis Aktas, Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, Turkey (summer semester 2019/2020)
There is so much to say about my Erasmus experience. Even though there was the COVID-19 pandemic during my education period in Zadar, I gained so much valuable experiences. Maybe it sounds cliché, but Croatia really became my second home. I made unforgettable friendships and memories. Even the quarantine time at home was unforgettable for me. Croatian people are really warm and hospitable. I don’t know how many Croatian people I talked randomly outside. We shared our languages, cultures, and traditions. Traveling around Croatia during our last months there, was really amazing. I will miss all these beautiful places and people. Also, although education was online and difficult because of the pandemic, I improved my academic skills thanks to the University of Zadar and its lecturers. And the International Relations Office was always there for us. They always approached so kindly and answered patiently to all our questions and helped us to feel more comfortable abroad. I will miss everything about Zadar.
Manuela Schöndorfer, CEEPUS student, University of Applied Sciences Burgenland, Austria (summer semester 2019/2020)
Most of all, I was and still am extremely impressed by the much calmer and slower culture in Zadar compared to Austria. At the supermarket you don’t have to hurry at the cash desk and people behind you don’t get angry and impolite. (...) Some decades ago, Austrian culture and way of life was much calmer than nowadays and the “Viennese comfort” legendary. Unfortunately neo liberal economy increased the working and living speed, thus the pressure and stress. I definitely prefer the Dalmatian way and would have loved to stay and study in Zadar much longer.
Refiye Kevser Türker, Marmara University, Turkey (summer semester 2019/2020)
My name is Refiye. A girl from Turkey who is now full of new experiences and memories. Erasmus gave me the first chance to live abroad for a period of time and learn new cultures as well as meet great people. At first I was really nervous about what was waiting for me but now I am hesitating to go back to my country from the beautiful Zadar which gave me a second home and family. I can never forget the memories and people who made this journey even more precious for me. Learning more about the people all around the world, going to destinations that one can never be tired of and far more... Even with the difficult times that we have been through, Zadar and its people hugged me and accepted me as its own. Now even before leaving here, I am looking forward to coming back and reminiscing about my experience.
Catarina Ruivo Galvão de Araújo, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal (summer semester 2019/2020)
Describing my Erasmus in Zadar in a few sentences is almost impossible. When I decided to come here I didn’t know what to expect, I had barely heard of the city but in a sense it called to me and I couldn’t say no. After four months I don’t regret my choice. I found a new home, a new family and discovered my love for Croatia. As an anthropology student there is nothing more exciting that to experience new cultures and find new people and stories.
I love to travel and doing my Erasmus in Croatia would give me the opportunity to go to new countries. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus this became difficult. Nevertheless, in my last weeks I got to see so much. Travelling to Split, visit the wonders and museums that Zadar has to offer, experience life as a true Croat. In Portugal we have a coffee culture, however this is Croatia is so much more enhanced, I found out my true love for coffee and for appreciating life without worries. Living every day with only one thing in mind: POMALO. My Erasmus gave me friends but above all gave me a family, gave me people, whom without, it wouldn’t have been the same.
The professors surprised me in a very positive way. The openness, the easiness to talk to them, the enthusiasm they all share when teaching us new things. I never once felt out of place, it was almost as I belonged here, with them. They accepted every student with open arms and gave us the world. Zadar became my home, a safe place, a place that I will keep in my heart when I go back to Portugal. All I think is of my next opportunity to visit, to see this again and to experience the interaction with people all over again. I can say to anyone who wishes to come to Zadar on Erasmus: you won’t ever regret your decision, you will learn to see life in a new way, you’ll grow as a person and you will leave with a full heart and soul.
If you think four or five months in a new city can change you, you will realize you are wrong. The beauty of the place, the atmosphere of the city, the lifestyle, they will give you a different perspective on everything. Bottom line is, coming here was the best decision I made in my life so far and if for a second you believe Croatia is not for you… I tell you… it really is.
Furkan Kubilay Yiğit, Kütahya Dumlupınar Üniversitesi, Turkey (winter semester 2019/2020)
First of all, my experience at Zadar University was awesome. People are so kind and warm so you feel yourself as if you are still studying in your own country. Academic staff and the Erasmus office is working so hard to make you feel comfortable and free during your experience.
There are lots of islands around the city and you can travel them in a short time and ticket prices are extremely affordable. Thus, you can even swim in winter months without getting sick :) Even though the courses were difficult, they have a good quality of education system.
I have learned a lot about my study field while in Zadar. Finally, ESN Zadar is trying to do their best to entertain exchange students, they throw parties, meetings, food days, etc. So do not hesitate to choose this small, cute city for your experience, you will be more than happy.
Bahar Bostan, Gazi University, Turkey (winter semester 2017/2018)
Why choose Zadar? There are millions of reasons to choose Zadar but for me the most important one is the climate. Even though I did my Erasmus in winter term, it was like summer and this was the biggest chance for us because we could travel all around Croatia that has many natural beauties like waterfalls, forests, mountains. After seeing all those beauties I understood that Zadar is the best place for me. Walking around seaside taking fresh air made me feel perfect. Drinking coffee (as Croats do :D) and watching the sunset was our daily routine with my friends. Now I really want to take back time. I wish I could watch the sunset one more time while listening the best music from the Sea Organ. Other than this, I have now sisters and
Rafał Cikacz, The General Tadeusz Kościuszko Military Academy Of Land Forces In Wrocław, Poland (summer semester 2016/2017)
I was asked to say something about my life on Erasmus in few sentences. It's really hard to keep it short, because during these 5 months so many things happened. When I think about my Erasmus experience now after one year I don't remember the struggles that I had. I remember only the huge positive impact that Erasmus+ programme and people from all over the world made on me. Erasmus is great – I believe we can agree. But student exchange in Zadar is on a totally another level. The atmosphere, the beauty of the place, ESN volunteers that are strongly involved in exchange students community – this and many, many more is what you're going to find if you decide to spend your Erasmus exchange in Zadar. You won't regret it.
Oskar Tomasz Gieburowski, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, Poland (summer semester 2016/2017)
I really found a Croatian brother's heart in me, I woke them in my everyday coffees like a Croatian fisherman in Zadar. It's amazing when you find your second home on the earth. When people you've never met before, become your family and offer the best rewards. When everything is in your thoughts and something is watching over your adventure. When the journey becomes life and life a never ending travel story, and you find the deepest sense of your life. All of whom you meet will be in your heart forever and you get to see how much you surprise yourself. All of this is AMAZING and I’m telling you now you’ve got SEE it to believe it!
Yağız Numan Dolgun, Marmara University, Turkey (summer semester 2016/2017)
I was always looking forward to an Erasmus experience in Europe to meet new people and cultures and I had the chance to do it in Zadar. To be honest, I was not so excited when I first heard Croatia, because I did not have enough information about it and it sounded small. However, the more I learned about it, the more I wanted to be there.
During my mobility, I met a lot of people from every part of Europe and Croatia with whom l shared many things. I made very close friends and I did many great things with them which I cannot forget. The culture of Croatia and life in Zadar were so special that it was beyond my expectations. I did not regret even a second of it.
I visited many other countries and cities in Europe after my mobility as well and all of them were nice. But I think Zadar was the best amongst them for anyone who wants to experience Erasmus. I still remember and miss every moment of it and it will be always in my mind."
Salima Zeggaï, Artois University, France (summer semester 2016/2017)
Travelling is an experience that changes you forever. Meet new people who come from everywhere, become a free spirit, walk across wonderful places, and become part of a unique experience through the Erasmus program. The place to be: the Croatian Erasmus Event (CEE) which was the best experience ever.
Carla and Silvia Costa, Erasmus+ interns at Department of Italian Studies, "Gregorio VII" College in Rome, Italy (academic year 2016/2017)
We are Carla and Silvia Costa, two sisters from Italy, to be exact from the city Agrigenta.
We came to Zadar for an internship at the department of Italian studies. The end of our experience is drawing closer and we can only speak in superlatives about it.
Thanks to the teachers, students and staff, we feel like we are at home at the university. The teachers we are working with are cheerful and friendly every day and that is very important! The premises of the university are really comfortable, tidy, clean and warm. The view from the building of the university window is a special one: onto the sea, which looks breathtaking and different every day. We have to admit that the location of the university, next to the sea and in the centre of the city, is unique and invaluable.
Everything that could be of interest is situated near the university and the city is beautiful. These days in particular one can feel the Christmas atmosphere: decorations, fairs, music and much more... Here in Zadar everything is wonderful!
In other words, Slivia and I would repeat this experience a 100 times!
Wioletta Turek, University of Wroclaw, Poland (winter semester 2016/2017)
I'm studying Croatian philology in Wrocław and from the very beginning I knew that my Erasmus destination will be Croatia.
Erasmus programme has given me a lot of new experiences, opportunities to meet new friends from all over the world and to get to know more about tradition and customs of other cultures. I've got a chance to experience new and different situations. In my opinion, Erasmus can be the greatest experience. When I chose Zadar, I didn't expect anything. Zadar is a beautiful small city with a soul. Now after 3 weeks being here, I'm glad that I've chosen it as my exchange destination. It can surprise me anytime.
Several groups of students have made short videos about their experiences at the University of Zadar during the academic year 2015/16. The students who participated in the videos participated in various programmes and had unique and different perspectives, and all the videos were entered in the Erasmus+ best video contest.
The videos of students who were at the University of Zadar as part of their studies are available here:
1. Filip Lebiedzinski University of Szczecin, Poland
2. Klaudia Sikorska University of Warsaw, Poland
3. Lucie Holoušková University of Ostrava, Chech Republic
The video made by trainees Agnese Cipriano and Jessica Gangemi (University of Messina, Italy) is available here.
Donata Telišauskaitė, Vilnius University, Lithuania (winter semester 2015/2016)
Am I the right person for Erasmus? Do you want to study abroad? Sounds scary? Keep reading.
I was in the same situation half a year ago. I was thinking that I really want to be in touch with another culture, but it was a bit scary for me. I had no idea what I should expect. I was a bit nervous, because before my Erasmus I had spent almost 4 months in USA. I thought that 5 more months would be too much for me. But I can honestly say that I wasn’t right. I am really happy that I had an opportunity to spend a few months in an amazing place called Croatia – the land of paradise. What is the best thing about Croatia? I lived in Zadar, Dalmatia region (Actually, I still live here, my Erasmus is not over). It is the region where the sun shines every day and you can see the best sunset in the world (see the first picture)! I thought that here is no winter, just summer. Really. You can swim in the sea in the end of October. You can pick tangerines from the trees and eat them. And do other amazing things! You can upload beautiful pictures of you and your friends travelling around the world on social networks every day, and make your friends jealous (kidding, actually it is only a promotion of Erasmus). Also I knew that I can improve my English skills and I can learn new language (Croatian) which would be really useful for my future. So I decided to go to Zadar!
OK, I made the first step, was accepted and...I was still not sure if I would go. Of course there are always some downsides. You probably do not want to travel alone. But the most important thing that keeps you where you are is just one word...home. Everybody has people around who are important enough that it makes you not want to leave them... However, you should think about your future in these times when young, educated people have a hard time finding a job. You have to make the most of your time at university and try to take advantage of all opportunities offered, including Erasmus. To gain new knowledge, improve your language skills, meet new people, have new experiences, visit beautiful places and to be a better, mature, self-sustained person after you get back home. Just to stand out from the crowd! Everybody who really cares for you will encourage you.
So what happened next? I came to Zadar. I met really nice people, I have fallen in love with everything. I love the climate, the nature, the sea, and the sunset. Everything was really cool. I have no words to describe how amazing everything is here. The studies are not so easy. Everybody thinks that Erasmus people just party, but do not study. I say that is a stereotype. I studied really hard; actually I have never studied harder. I really liked the system, because the professors give you assigned reading and you have to read it. Afterwards you discuss it, you ask some questions. Also you can compare your country with the country where you are studying now. But I think the most important thing are your friends here. I can say that I became really good friends with a couple of Croatian girls. They showed me the best side of Croatian culture and I am really happy that I had them here. I believe we will be in touch and we will meet up somewhere in the middle of the world.
Well, I can say, if you are still thinking to go on Erasmus or not - do not think, just go! It is the best experience of your life and you will never forget it. Enjoy your student life – you will not regret it.
Giedrė Burbaitė, Erasmus+ Intern at the International Relations Office, Lithuania
The internship at the International Relations Office at the University of Zadar was my last opportunity to go on Erasmus. However, it was not the first. After my Erasmus experiences in Norway (2011) and Finland (2014), I wanted to try something different – the Mediterranean coast. Croatia was definitely the best choice. Since I come from Lithuania, the weather here (even during the winter semester) was very pleasant. Palm trees, sand, sea, tourists – it was more like a holiday than work. Even in November we still had temperatures of +20 degrees. It was amazing. Also, the prices in Croatia are not too high – it depends on which country you compare it with. Of course, if you are from Lithuania or Poland then the prices will be a bit higher than they normally are in your own country. But for people from countries like Italy, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Belgium(etc), it is very cheap. It makes Erasmus even greater as you can travel more, go out and just enjoy your exchange apart from your studies/ internship.
Working in the International Relations Office was pretty interesting, especially at the beginning of the semester, when I met new exchange students every day. The colleagues in the office were always nice and supportive with any kind of tasks or personal issues. The internship in the office was a really great and different (compared with Erasmus studies) experience. I realized that I would really like to work in a place like this the future. And who knows, maybe this internship will give me some credit in getting that kind of job in my own country or even somewhere abroad.
Erasmus programme totally changed my life. I saw different cultures, traditions, travelled, met great people, made lifelong friends. I think it's the best opportunity that a student can get while studying at University. I would like to recommend to all the students to not be afraid and just try this new life experience. Believe me, you will not regret it!
Claudia Bombardo, University of Navarra, Spain (winter semester 2014/2015)
I think I made a really good decision. It was an opportunity to escape from my country and my routine. Escaping from ones comfort zone is always a little difficult to do, but every change starts by changing your behaviour: the effort you make to adapt to a new place, to know different ways of doing things and meet new people. If I had to give and advice to those people who are hesitating about doing an internship, I would tell them to not be shy and just try it. You won’t lose anything, otherwise you will win the opportunity to know and learn more about new things, which make one to grow up. Going to another country makes you be more flexible and nowadays to have this skill is very important.
Companies also look at personal skills and how you manage in several daily challenges.
Why I choose to make an internship especially in Croatia?
When I finished the university, I wanted to apply for an international job. One colleague from University told me that the university had published in the "job offers" and advertising about internship in Croatia for 3 months. Due to my previous Erasmus in Zagreb, which I had a great time and I have nice memories, I was really interested to come again to Croatia. Through this experience in Zagreb, I experienced Croatian culture and the Croatian way of life and I wanted to experience it more and get to know the country better. So, I applied and got the internship and thanks to the scholarship, which I got from Erasmus+, it helped me to live this wonderful experience, which I consider very enriching for my future.
The International Relations Office was very nice to me, anything I needed they helped me and were always trying to make me to understand every task which I was working on.
Zadar is a nice city: calm, relax, wonderful sunsets and people have an easygoing personality. One particular thing which I perceived and was funny is the way of Dalmatian people do and live… let me define with one Croatian word: POMALO!
Jana Vytásková, Masaryk University, Czech Republic (winter semester 2014/2015)
My Erasmus in Zadar has changed my view on Croatia and its culture completely. I had an opportunity to find out that Croatia is a beautiful country that has gorgeous national parks that are worth visiting even in winter, amazing cities along the coast with historical old-city centre and unforgettable sunsets. Moreover in all these places you can find good-hearted people.
After my arrival, ESN Zadar was a huge help in meeting new friends and exploring the city. Their programme prepared for Erasmus students was awesome and because of them I could soon feel like being at home. It definitely wasn’t just about partying, nearly no one from my Czech friends can say that he was diving in 8 metres or that he was in the Game of Thrones city Dubrovnik. I can! Thank you ESN!
University of Zadar surprised me with high-quality studies and friendly attitude towards international students. Nothing was a problem and everything could be discussed and solved. Apart from my psychology subjects, I had also an opportunity to sign up for other foreign languages. The beginner’s course of Croatian was obvious choice that helped me in my everyday life. Majority of people can speak English. However, it is good to be able to shop or ask on the basic things in Croatian just not to feel like a tourist all the time. Even though, locals always acted the same no matter in which language I was speaking.
Some people say that there is no reason for going to Croatia in winter. But I personally feel the opposite. The city is not crowded with tourists, the weather is very good with many sunny days (compared to Czech Republic) and also the prices for visiting other touristic places are cheaper. When Bura (cold wind) comes, you can always find a warm place to have coffee or a glass of good wine.
The final question is what will I miss the most? The entire city - it`s atmosphere, people, sunny weather, coffee breaks, sea and sunset. So, if you have a chance, definitely go to Zadar!!!
Sabine Grill, University of Klagenfurt, Austria (winter semester 2014/2015)
Hi, my name is Sabine and I’m from Austria. I’m in my master studies of business administration at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. For me it was an adventure to take the chance of being an Erasmus student. In the beginning I wasn’t sure if my English knowledge will be enough for going half a year abroad in a country which language I am not able to speak. Before going to Zadar I attended a basic Croatian language course at my university in Austria, but of course that was much too less to be able to speak in this language. So, as I thought this chance of going abroad will never come again in this way, I was brave and decided just to “go and see”.
As I found out while staying in Zadar, my English knowledge was enough. Moreover I found out that many people are able to speak English. Almost all younger people will be able to speak in English with you. And some are even able to speak German what surprised me a lot. They told me it is because they have many tourists from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Beside this adventure of communication it was also a very interesting experience to get to know another culture. Well, Croatia is not so far away from Austria and I thought it has almost the same culture. But as I found out Dalmatia is a special region with lovely people. For me it looks like everything in Dalmatia is slower. This mentality reminds me a lot of Italian people. You will always find time to go for a coffee. People like to speak to you even if you are not understanding their language. If you will just listen to them and try to understand they will be more than satisfied and become your best friend. What is more, if you have the possibility to stay in an apartment with other Erasmus people I can just recommend that to you. It is even more interesting to get to know other people from other European countries. You will get to know not just the culture of your “Erasmus country” but also other European countries. At the University of Zadar everything went well. All courses were as I thought they will be. There were no complications with learning agreement. I also had enough time off University so that I could spend time on trips through Croatia, enjoy beautiful sunsets in Zadar and of course go for coffee! So all in all I can just recommend everyone to take part of Erasmus – don’t hesitate and take this unique opportunity!