Study exchange Ancona Italy - Veronika Brzková

7/7/2015
I decided to study abroad at the last minute – in the last semester of my studies. But I can say that it was the right decision and I would not change it. Our university offers several options to study abroad. I chose to study in Italy as I was mostly attracted to this country.
The first step after the tender was to handle all the paperwork from both sides - the sending and receiving universities. From the Italian side somewhat stalled (probably because of the reason that I applied for the winter semester and Italians thus had holidays until September). Due to the delay in communication with the Italian Erasmus Office I got the last signature on the contract during the mobility. Unfortunately, because of that I got the grant a few days later. I recommend everyone who wants to go and study in Italy, lot of patience to solve the formalities and "paperwork". On the other hand, I have to highlight the activities of the student organization that cared for making our stay more pleasant, assistance with adapting and providing advice on the Facebook group. The first week before the beginning of school they set up some meeting events for us to get to know each other.

Studying at the Italian university is considerably different from that we are used to in our country. The subjects I studied took the form of lectures and rarely required interaction from the student. I was surprised that in addition to the theory, practice was also taught. The exception was an intensive course of European Law, which took the form of discussions and presentations done by the students. But what I appreciated was the specialization of the professors who are the top of their field and are able to bring practical examples to the students. A small complication occurred when we learned that one of the registered courses requires further study of the subject in the past, which we was pointed out by the teacher during the semester. Fortunately this problem was quite simply solved by a change in the Learning Agreement. The exams were mainly in the form of a written test or essay of 3-4 pages. This method of testing was new for me - it requires understanding of the issue and the ability to comment on a limited number of pages. As foreign students, we almost did not work with the university information system. Logging on tests was conducted by emailing the professor. As we were there only a few among Italian students the professors remembered us very quickly.

The University provides two options for accommodation in the so-called. student houses. This accommodation is more expensive than e.g. private rooms to rent, but the private room for one semester was difficult to find and usually requires advanced knowledge of Italian. The apartments in the student house were inhabited by four people in two rooms. Each room had its own bathroom and the kitchen was common to the whole apartment. The common terrace was also a big advantage. Every day, except the weekend, there was a cleaning lady who took care of the proper operation of the whole house and cleaned the common areas. The monthly rent for one person was € 270-279 depending on the number of days in the month (€ 9 / night). Only the foreigners lived in the student dormitories and therefore it was possible to speak English with the staff quite well. If you are not on campus it is practically impossible to speak English. There is, however, no need to be worried. Italians are very nice and friendly people and try to communicate with you by hands or feet if necessary.

The cost of food and service in Italy is higher than in the Czech Republic. From the grant from the EU I paid just the accommodation and food but some other activities such as entertainment and traveling I had to pay from personal resources. The university has its own dining hall which is situated in one of the dormitories. Lunch or dinner is sold for € 5. It was more advantageous to cook by myself; but if there is no time, eating in the canteen is a suitable alternative. In the restaurant it was possible to buy a lunch menu for about 10 €.

The city of Ancona lives very culturally, especially at night. The quiet hours there are from 2 AM to 6 AM. During my stay there were several events associated with various celebrations, themed markets, religious holidays and so on. Italians are very sociable and they have a totally different way of living from which we, Czechs, could learn a lot.

During my stay I visited many places worth going to (Milano, Bologna, Rome, San Benedetto del Tronto, San Marino and others). The Student Union also offers several organized trips throughout the semester. From my experience it is worth organizing these trips privately. It is cheaper and it allows you to discover new places. Italy is relatively densely interwoven by a rail network; the train tickets fall in different price categories depending on the speed or quality of railway companies. To book a ticket is better to do it in advance as then you can buy e.g. ticket Rome-Ancona (300 km) for about € 9.

Cultural differences can be seen at every step. From the way of drinking coffee, shop opening hours to spending leisure time. Because Italy has a problem with the storage of waste, all of the residents are extremely environmentally focused on sorting their waste. In the apartment we had three waste bins – for paper, plastic and organic waste. Glass and others were sorted into different bins on the common corridor. Non-compliance of sorting was strictly punished according to the accommodation manual.

In Ancona there is a small airport, where several national and international flights of low cost airlines are operated. I chose a flight from Prague to Ancona and back with transfer in Rome as a more comfortable way. The transport from the airport to the city centre is operated by buses which run at the times of arrival / departure of each flight. The cheapest transport method is probably the bus from Prague. But it requires several transfers in the Czech Republic and Italy and therefore it is not very suitable for traveling with heavy suitcases.

Staying in Ancona brought me lots of great experiences, new friends and improvement of the Italian language. I would like to thank SKODA AUTO University for the opportunity to participate in activities abroad and for the EU grant, without which it would not be possible for me to stay outside the country. I would recommend to all others to take the advantage of the possibility to study abroad!

Our student Václav Volf travelled to Ingolstadt in Germany to do his compulsory internship in Audi AG. He worked in the Department for Coordination of Fair and Exhibition Vehicles, where he supported the permanent staff in the process of planning vehicles for fairs. He was responsible for this year’s exhibitions in Detroit, New York, Shanghai and partly also for the Frankfurt fair in autumn. You can read the whole report from his stay in Ingolstadt below. 
​Martina comes from Jičín but currently lives in Prague. She completed her follow-on Master’s degree programme at ŠKODA AUTO University in 2014. Right after graduation, Martina started working for Estée Lauder, first in the HR department. She worked her way through marketing to a PR position and currently takes care of promotion of seven world-renowned brands.
She likes to spend her free time doing sports – mostly running, badminton, volleyball and mountain hiking. Also, because of her profession, she likes fashion and design.
​Viktor Myslil, a graduate of our Bachelor’s degree programme Business Administration and Operations, comes from Prague. His passion for ŠKODA AUTO cars made him decide to study in Mladá Boleslav. He also wanted to try something different than all his other classmates.
​I have been dreaming about living in a foreign country since I was small child. This wish made ŠAVS more appealing during my “university selection period” because I learned, thanks to their Open Day and a visit from the ŠAVŠ PR Department to my high school, that this school offers a lot of possibilities to study and complete internships abroad, the latter which is important in one’s future career. When I got the opportunity to spend my mandatory internship abroad, I did not hesitate a single moment. After my Study Erasmus in Slovenia, I left to spend another semester in Dublin, Ireland to work with Škoda’s Irish importer.
Mladá Boleslav is the hometown of our graduate Ing. Ivan Vaněk, who currently works for the British luxury car manufacturer, Bentley Motors Ltd., where he undertook his six-month internship as a student of ŠKODA AUTO University.
​Our graduate Michal Maruška works as a coordinator in the Connected Car and Infotainment Department. His internship involved many technical responsibilities. However, in order to further grow professionally, he needed a study programme that focused more on management. For this reason, he chose the Bachelor’s and follow-on Master’s degree programme Business Administration and Operations, both which combine the two fields in an ideal manner.
​Ondřej is a graduate of the Bachelor field of study Business Administration and Financial Management and the follow-on Master field of study Corporate Finance Management in the Global Environment.
​Our student Andrea listened to the advice of her classmates when choosing her internship. She also visited the Magna company booth at the ŠKODA AUTO University Career Day and she– this was the partner for her six-month internship.
I would recommend an internship to everyone. It is a great way to discover yourself, plus you get to learn the language and customs and most of all, it is an unforgettable experience.
Martin Dolejší, student of our Master Programme Global marketing and Sales, spend quite a lot of time abroad whilst studying at our university. Now he has three different experiences abroad: studies in Finland, internship at ŠKODA AUTO UK and also the prestigous programme, Global Village, in the USA. You can read the interview we did with Martin to see what he learnt and how he assesses his stays abroad.