Eva Stockhausen, Germany
Why did I choose Split for the semester abroad? First of all, I wanted to stay in Europe (no United States, Australia or South Korea). And I was interested in Croatia. I have never been in this country before and heart that it is very beautiful. I wanted to get to know a new culture. And ASPIRA is offering sports management. At my college in Germany, I am studying business administration and sports management. So it fits!
After 4 ½ months in Split, I can say that I like Croatia with its beautiful nature, nice inhabitants and good food. My guests from Germany were also satisfied about the country and the people. My mother said: “The Croatians are all good looking, tall, nice and helpful! The food was amazing and the landscape fantastic.”
We travelled a lot: I have seen every city between Zadar and Dubrovnik including the national parks Plitvice Lakes and Krka, we have been in Istria and we have been on a tour of Bosnia and Serbia.
What are the main differences between Croatians and Germans or between Croatia and Germany? What came first into my mind is drinking coffee. The coffee bars in Split are always full (apart from when it is raining;-)). When you are ordering a big cup of coffee, you get a small one (in my view). And it is hard to find a ‘coffee to go’. Probably, Croatians are enjoying their coffee instead of drinking it in a hurry on the way to university, work or home. It is my feeling that Croatians are never under stress. For example, when there is a big line at the cash desk of a supermarket, the cashier is still calm, talking to a colleague or customer or changing money (and the customers in the line are not getting nervous – but I am). And I haven’t seen a beggar. In Germany, there are beggars in every city. What I like is that here are no or not so many international chains or franchises like Subway, Burger King and Starbucks. Another difference are the opening hours: In Germany, all supermarkets and shops are closed on Sundays and on from Mondays to Saturdays, most of them are closing earlier in the evening. And last but not least: The drivers. Especially the bus drivers. Are they all weary of life?;-) And who cares about speed limit or zebra crossings? In this regard: The highways are in a good condition but there is not much traffic (big difference to German highways which are always full of traffic – and for free).
For me, the life in Croatia is cheaper than the one in Germany. Food and beverages in supermarkets, restaurants and bars are a bit cheaper, the rent of our apartment as well. But the difference is not that big as I thought before. Clothes cost the same. Surprisingly for me are the different prices for electricity and water during the day and the night time.
Are there things that I don’t like about Croatia or Split? Yes, the Coke;-) And I am afraid of being run over at a zebra crossing.
The lectures are held similarly to the ones of my college in Germany, especially to the one of my bachelor studies (a private college as well): small groups, close contact between students and professors and interactive lectures.
During my time in Split, I did not only get to know the Croatian culture and mentality, but also the one of other European countries. Especially of the ones of Lithuania, Poland and Portugal (thanks to my flatmates).
Sometimes, I am still feeling like in Germany because of the stores (LIDL, Müller, dm, Kaufland, Bauhaus,…) and all the German tourists (especially in October and November);-)
I had a great time in Crotia, I am happy that I did this semester abroad and I will never forget the five months in Split.
At the end, I would like to say thanks to Ivana and Kay who are so helpful and kind.
Thank’s Erasmus+ I became more confident, also colleted experience in communicating with people from abroad, which is very important today.
Certainly I will be urging his colleagues to participate in such programs because it gives them only benefits.
Yes I’m very happy, although at the beginning we had classes in the Croatian language which was not suitable for us. Later we agreed on individual consultations in English. It was the best way because we could adjust the hours of classes to your needs. Level of communication professors on English was good. On the plus side, you can save trips such as „Turizmijada” and „Canoe Safari”. Organizing tours durig study is a very good idea because this way you can integrate a group of students.
From now Split will remind me of a beautiful beach and the sea. With Aspira I remember people (professors and students) who have positive attitude about life and are very helpful.