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16.4.2018 - 29.6.2018 - 3rd term in Prague

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Université de Lille, France

Administration

  • You will obtain student card in 2-3 weeks
  • Without having a student card/number you can’t apply for sports/physical education courses/ offered by university
  • At the same time, you will obtain student card, confirmation of study and other legal documents needed in order to prove to the French state administration that you are a student indeed
  • This is relevant especially when applying for CAF, which is a state institution that reimburses legal students
    • In France you are entitled to a social security and state gives you money if you complete all legal steps (this is truly a lifetime experience)
    • You have to fill in a form (in French) and despite all tips and tricks available online (either in French or English), it all depends on that particular state officer that dealt with your case, whether you will receive the money or not
    • Once done (good luck), you will most likely be asked to put physical copies of some of the following documents into a sealed envelope, labelled with your „Numéro allocataire“ (you will obtain this once done with the form) and name:
      • Copy of your birth certificate officially translated (and stamped) into French
      • Copy of your passport/ID card, student card and EU insurance card
      • Confirmation of study from the Czech Republic and/or France „Justificatif de scolarité
      • Confirmation that you are indeed living in a French dormitory (Reeflex issues this at the reception) „Attestation de loyer
      • Confirmation that you solemnly sweat to have enough resources to live in France “Attestation sur l'honneur de ressources suffisantes
      • An IBAN number of a French bank
        • Either you create an account there (we recommend BNP Paribas, as the clerk spoke some English and it was done on spot;
          ESN Lille has a deal with the bank and you can even get it faster/with some money)
        • OR you use the account of dormitory Reeflex (they offer this to a limited amount of people, may or may not be an option)
      • In practice this meant we were 9 students from Czech Republic/Slovakia and there were 9 outcomes (both procedural and moneywise)
        • You are entitled to money from the next month on and not for the month in which you submitted all documents for the first time (A RULE)
          • TIP: if you arrive in France on 31.8., you have a higher chance to obtain payment for the September (NOT A RULE!)
        • When writing, do not use Czech cursive but print letters instead (if needed)
        • Bring plenty of passport photos (8-10)
      • On average, we received 174€/month but it all depends on various factors you filled in the form and especially on the particular French officer dealing with your application. Do it French way and don’t stress about it, the process WILL take some time (we applied in September and received money in mid-December/early January)
      • Yes, it’s worth it – you are entitled to this money and an extra effort goes a long way.

Social life & living

  • Campus isolated from the city centre but fully independent
  • New hi-tech library Liliad (highly recommended for studying and group presentations)
  • ESN Lille organizes various events for international students (follow their Facebook)
  • Accommodation arranged by university
    • International university dormitory Reeflex (394€/month)
    • Well equipped, new – IMPORTANT: rooms are bare and with basic furniture: chair, desk, table (sometimes), cupboards, fridge, small kitchen unit (2 electric stoves, sink, cupboard), bed (and mattress), wardrobe + private bathroom. And NOTHING else.
    • Laundromats + drier machines on the ground floor
    • Chip card for entrance to the dormitory/room (15€ fee if damaged/lost)

Transport

  • One-way public transport ticket costs around 1,60€ (usually a metro to/from campus)
  • It’s cheaper to visit the Transpole office (provider of public transport services) and apply for a plastic card instead of buying separate tickets:
    • You can get monthly ticket for cheaper or you get the possibility to get 10 rides for 11€ instead of 16€
    • One way ticket costs 1,40€ with plastic card
    • Passport photo needed + the fee for a plastic card
  • Night lines to/from city centre twice per hour and only by bus (last metro after midnight)

Shopping

  • Auchan (cheapest, huge offer), Lidl, Carrefour
  • V2 shopping mall with various shops

Sports

  • BasicFit (registration fee 30€ + each month 20€) – valid in other countries!
  • Feel Sport fitness (registration fee 30€ + each month 20€ + chip card 20€)

Services

  • Haircuts (men) around 10-15€
  • Post office near V2 shopping mall
  • Dominos and other pizza delivery services available

Traveling

  • Buses
    • Flibco: shuttlebus to/from Charleroi airport (sooner, better)
    • Ouibus: French bus company, cheap tickets around France/Wallonie
    • Flixbus: good for international/long distance travels
  • Trains
    • SNFC: French state railways, pretty expensive (TGV, regional trains)
  • Airplanes
    • Brussels-Charleroi (south airport) (Belgium) – low-cost traveling with Ryanair
  • Other
    • Blablacar: ride sharing works just fine

Art

  • Every last Sunday in the month museums, galleries etc. for free
  • Students up till 26 years of age: major discounts/free entrance across France
    • LAM Museum of Modern Arts, Roubaix Piscine Museum – recommended

Night-life

  • Rue de Solferino: bars, clubs, major night-life hub
  • On campus and surrounding neighbourhoods there is sadly nothing

 

Closing a French bank account

  • Once you have received (or not) your CAF payment, it is time for you to close your bank account. We highly suggest you do this in person while still in Lille, as it is the fastest option and it is guaranteed (?) that the clerk will execute the order.
  • However, shall you find yourself in time pressure for a personal meeting, haven’t received your CAF yet or you forgot it entirely, do not waver! It is possible to do it online via email if you follow these simple steps:
    • Write an email to your local bank branch
    • Title – Closing the bank account
      • Clôture de compte bancaire
    • Body of email, where you kindly ask them to close the bank account for you:

Madame, Monsieur, 

 

Je soussigné (Name SURNAME), titulaire du compte no (French bank account number) auprès de votre institution, vous prie par la présente de fermer ledit compte dans les plus brefs délais.

 

En vous remerciant par avance, je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l'expression de mon meilleur sentiment.

 

(Name SURNAME)

 

  • Attach 2 important files to your email:
    • Scan of your ID card so that they know it’s really you
    • Scan of this exact same text as in email, written in hand, with accurate date and place and most importantly – sign it!
  • Your local branch received all important and legal documents and it is now entirely up to clerk, whether they will accept this way of account closing. It usually works but as with everything regarding French bureaucracy it is not 100 % guaranteed.

 

University of Antwerp, Belgium

Transportation to Belgium:

  • STUDENT AGENCY  - price of a return ticket from 70 to 100 EUR or
  • EUROLINES about  1000 CZK (1 way)
  • Also possible to use low-cost airlines Prague-Brussels, but  you need  to book  the ticket well in advance to ensure that you have a bargain price.

Accommodation

  • OPTION 1
    • Accommodation can be ensured before arrival by Mrs. Vermeiere (coordinator)
    • Approximate price of accommodation: 170-350 EUR / month per person depending on the    quality and type of accommodation
  • OPTION 2
    • Rent of the rooms on:
      • studios@skynet.be (550 EUR per room per month)
      • http://www.studios-antwerpen.be/index.htm
    • Many rooms for rent also in neighbourhood  of the university
  • OPTION 3
    • Hostel on Kloosternstraat (10 minutes walk from the Grote Markt)

ATTENTION! While agree on amount of accommodation is necessary to be careful of the prices of services:  gas and electricity. If it's winter, you must pay up. Recommendation: Search accommodation all inclusive.

DEPOSIT:  1000 EUR

Food

  • possibility of local student canteen, where the price is  2.70 EUR  for a main course +  0.50 EUR for a  soup – they cook well
  • possibility of cooking  by yourself, shopping at cheaper stores like LIDL and ALDI, prices of products similar to ours, but normal supermarkets are more expensive
  • fast-food restaurants – there are many of them in the city center

Basic information about the university and study

  • The University is located in the city center.
  • Language training is provided by the host UA.
  • Internet access / possibility of using computers: at school very good computers with a good Internet connection and  university email also assigned, WI-FI connection available, sometimes falling out signal. Computer rooms close sometimes even at 5 PM.
  • The semester full of programme, you have to visit school a lot.
  • Exams take the form of essays, it requires a lot of graphs. The large volume of material, but less mathematics than in Lille or Stoke-on-Trent
  • The tests are written soon after the arrival
  • The articles from professional journals are highly recommended for studying
  • Education is based on lectures analogous to University of Economics in Prague
  • Exams during the end of March and more difficult than at University of Economics in Prague
  • The subjects Economics of European Integration and Open Economy Macroeconomics are finished with a 3-hour written exam with essay questions at the end of semester
  • It is worth to repeat the Greek alphabet
  • Library:  great, big number of literature in English, excellent books about economics, compared to University of Economics in Prague (better collecting materials for a  diploma thesis already here) shorter opening hours, but available for a few Euros lecture notes
  • Even electronic resources are at a very good level

Leisure Time Activities

  • team sports in the gym –necessity to purchase so called Sportsticker for 15 EUR
  • courses in campus, but you have to pay a fee
  • table tennis
  • bicycle with the possibility of renting -  20 EUR / 3 months
  • many parties organized ( social events)

Basic information about Antwerp

  • At the beginning you get material about the city and school.
  • Interesting museums and art collections
  • Places with live music

Gastronomy

  • delicious waffles, French fries, truffles, French fries with Andalusian sauce from local Frituurs,
  • Beer - DeKonick, Letce, Souden Carolus, Westmalle, all trapesian beers
  • Antwerp - De Kulminator - more than 500 types of beer

Travelling Belgium

  • It's worth to have weekend train tickets or so called GO PASS 10 rides for 45 EUR for people younger than 26 years.
  • Collectively organized tour in Antwerp
  • Very nice and stylish cities - Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Leuven, Nechelen, Ostende
  • Aalst – the largest Belgian carnival in late February
  • From Brussels to Antwerp train goes around 8 EUR

Other attractions and recommendations

  • Although there is agreement within the EU, it is necessary to have cash to pay for medical treatment, Czech insurance company returns consequently (Price  for entrance examinations - 20 EUR)
  • Some ATMs do not accept all credit cards.

ATTENTION! Financial scholarship goes sometimes delayed, perhaps at the end of February.

  • Recommendation of graduates is to take your laptop with you.

 

University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain

How to get there:

  • Fly with RYAN AIR: one way tickets PRAHA – BRUSEL (CRL) – SANTANDER start at 1000 CZK (buy in advance!). Calculate with extra fee for luggage (approximately 20 EUR). Despite of this additional fee, this is the cheapest way. (For more options, see skyscanner.com or kiwi.com)
  • http://www.goeuro.cz/ does not offer any train or coach connection.

Accommodation

  • University does not provide accommodation at dorms. You have to find it on your own, however, there are many possibilities and everyone from our cohort found a good one without any problems. (see idealista.com, milanuncio.com a pisos.emancipia.net. (We were also offered a help of an agency by Univeristy, however, their offers were too expensive)
  • Spanish folk are not keen on English language, you will (in most cases) need a help of your Spanish classmates. Without them, whole process could be much more difficult.
  • Price ranges from 150 – 250 EUR/month per person depending on quality/type/luck. My group had wonderful flat with big living room and view on the beach for about only 150 EUR/person/month.
  • Calculate with guarantee for energies (usually extra month payment) + payment for internet. Not all the flats are connected. In case you have to manage it on your own, count with 25-30 EUR/month, ask about period of notice). Internet mobile cost for about 15 EUR (1,5 GB + some minutes/text messages)
  • Trimester starts during January and ends in March/April. You will likely pay whole months. In case you have exams in the beginning of April, it is better to pay rent till March and find hotel/Airbnb accommodation for few days in April.
  • You will easily find a place close to school. Only one crew in our cohort had to use bus (in case of bad weather). They paid around 1 EUR per ride.

Food

  • student canteen and cafeteria: 5-10 EUR for main dish (good quality)
    Cooking: you can buy everything in smaller or bigger markets (Carrefour), prices on average the same as in Czech Republic. I spent around 5 EUR per day while cooking
  • fastfood in city centre, kebab/burger around 5eur. It takes up to 30 minutes to get from school to city centre
  • Bars a Restaurants (10-20 EUR)

University and studies

  • University is 3 km far from the city centre, however, we all lived close to Uni.
  • University provides language courses in the beginning of the stage. Lectures are part of EGEI evaluation, you will go through 10 lectures/30 hours. Worth visiting
  • University also offers additional courses (around 600 EUR). Classmates were satisfied)
  • Good internet connection in library, however, impossible to use computer. Library closes at 8 o´clock.
  • Semester starts with Micro and Macro exams from the first trimester, followed by OEM lectures. Once the exams are over, there is some free time. It is a good time for travelling or starting with dissertation – You will enjoy outcomes of both at some time. J Some students rushed to move to another destination of studies.
  • It is mandatory to attend classes, as well as, it is vital to do so if you want to succeed. I highly recommend not to miss any class, you could regret it later.
  • Tests are written in form of essays. OEM and EEI require many graphs. While it is possible to „learn OEM by heart“, EEI will challenge your logical reasoning a lot and knowing the textbook does not necessary mean victory. Besides good notes from lectures, you are expected to go through textbooks.
  • Concerning subject „Regulation“, slides are enough to pass the test, however, questions are challenging and go really deep. All in all, it is much more demanding compared to CR.
  • Professors recommend (and some use during the lectures) to read articles related to the topic. Econometrics in such analysis will be very beneficial for you since you can understand how to work with data and develop models, that you are expected to use in your dissertation.

Free time.

  • Yes, do not worry, you will have free time 🙂
  • Santander is beautiful coast city. You can expect half sunny and half rainy days, since you will be there during winter season (average temperature 13-15, however some days it was even 20-25 degrees).
  • You can spend your time outside (treks by the coast, artificial park Magdalena, running on the beach, city centre walks). You will fall in love with Santander J
  • Gym: university Gym (20eur/month) or Gym „outside“. We found one close to Uni for 30-40 EUR (with pool)
  • There are many sport fields outside for free (mainly football fields)
  • Since you will be “divided” on the flats, you will gather there for other activities: (school consultations, ,movie nights, cooking, coffee, party)
  • City centre is a pulsing place, I highly recommend to go there at least once, find a nice place, order tapas and red wine. Priceless J

Gastronomy:

  • It is a must to taste local wine. They are both better and cheaper (price of the bottle starts at 0,75 EUR and better ones such Rioja are for 3-4 Eur. You will tell the difference immediately. You will pay 1,5 EUR per 0,2l in restaurants.
  • You have to taste Tapas. (Snacks, tasting plates). Variety of tastes and combinations is never ending.
  • Try sea food at least once. (dish will cost you around 20 EUR but you will never regret)
  • Beer – tough to be satisfied as a Czech, however, Galicia Estrella is meeting our standards. Another „drinkable“ one is San Miguel. Prices in restaurants up to 3 EUR, in supermarket 1,5 EUR per one litre.

Travelling

  • One trip (to mountains) is organized by Uni, rest is up on You
  • Start with Santander, you can walk tens of km by the coast and it is worth doing so…
  • The best mean of transportation is car, we were lucky to have two cars.
  • With or without car, visit surrounding cities: the closest „must see“ is Bilbao, later on you can drive north through Gijón, León and Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela (500 km) and than to Porto.
  • If there is a gap between lectures (o rafter the last test) do visit Madrid and legendary Toledo (50 km far from Madrid, two way ticket Madrid-Toledo just for 10 EUR)
  • You will have a gap for about 14 days between 2nd and 3rd trimester. We used this period for visiting Morocco. (two way ticket from Madrid for 60 Eur)
  • If you are on budget (and don´t have a car), try BlaBlaCar or coaches (see www.goeuro.com) (on this web, you can also find trains, however, they are more expensive).

Recommendations

  • Bring your own laptop – not gonna survive without it
  • Order an extra insurance in your country
  • Bring some cash in case of troubles with ATM (some of us had problems with withdrawing money)

 

Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom

Transportation to Staffordshire

  • BUS STUDENT AGENCY – two-way ticket to London about 80 EUR
  • From London to Stoke - one-way ticket National Express bus about 20 pounds, but at arrival  transfer from London is provided for free by meet and greet bus university.
  • It is good to watch offers  of Low-cost Airlines to London or Manchester.

Accommodation

  • OPTION 1
    • Private - about 300 EUR per month per person, but the problem with renting only for 3 months.
  • OPTION 2
    • Dormitory (price around 350 EUR  per week) - rooms are not very big, but practically furnished, each room has sink and Internet access, you  live just by yourself . Kitchens and    bathrooms mutual on each floor. The dormitory must be requested in advance by coordinator.

Food

  • Food is expensive, it is worth to cook by yourself, 2-3 EUR, canteen to 5 pounds, frozen ready food in the chain ICELAND for 1,5 EUR, solidly cooked food costs 3 EUR
  • It is possible to shop at shops  Lidl, Aldi - cheaper than Tesco, weekly purchase approximately 20 pounds.
  • Plenty of Fish and chips shops, sandwich shops, Arabian fast foods are cheaper, you can also find  Chicken and chips for 1 pound.
  • Recommended  to taste Irish Cider beer (beer with something like mush)

Basic information about the university and study

  • At the beginning of the study there is so-called  Orientation Week - school provides basic materials about the city, school, etc.
  • The library and computer labs are at the university. There are very good facilities and almost no waiting time. The advantage are the opening hours of the library until 3 o'clock in the morning, but there is a problem with borrowing.
  • Macroeconomics is very helpful.
  • The emphasis is placed on understanding the substance and not just memorizing. The emphasis on home preparation. They go through interesting problems rather than the comprehensive substance. Students must read the original sources. Professors try to give students maximum, but they expect the same from students. Many students discuss with the teacher.
  • Tests are strictly anonymous, each work reads several people, the grades are strict, but it can be passed. Written essay form and selection of  2 questions from  6.  Honors gets only a few of people.

Leisure Time Activities

  • Large number of interest sport groups, sports - from windsurfing, lacrosse to yoga. At the beginning of the semester there is organized stock market, where you can choose.
  • The Student Union organizes various events - carnivals, dance evenings, etc.
  • The visit of brewery in Marathon is organized.
  • Sport facilities in campus, but expensive. Good gym in the complex (about 45 pounds for 3 months) Near the school is a local theater and a couple of clubs and pubs. Interesting information about interesting events can be known from school employee Jamie.

Basic information about Stoke on Trent

  • Stoke has a very nice environment, but not too lively - rather typical English countryside. Nearby is the Peak District - a large national park
  • The famous singer Robbie Williams was born here- there is also a museum at his birth-house
  • Industrial-postindustrial city
  • Museum of pottery and ceramics, Thursdays at Roebuck with beer per pound, Monday´s discos in Liquid
  • Stoke offers opportunities mainly to fans of beer, golf or football.

Travelling around the country:

There is an organized trip to Wales (for example Conwy town with a castle and the adjacent resort of Llandudno). Otherwise, definitely worth to see London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Chester. Is it possible to get student discounts. The train costs about 20 pounds and National Express bus about 10 pounds. Discount is about 30%.

Other attractions and recommendations

  • Opening of a bank account in England is very lengthy. I recommend Nat-West.
  • When paying in shops is better to have an embossed payment card
  • The opportunity to visit the school doctor, and he is free.

 

University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy

Accommodation

  • 260 EURO / month (all the time they held the deposit of 260 EURO, they returned it to your account  10 days after the checkout)
  • 550-650 EURO - total for the entire semester
  • 550 EURO + cleaning

Food

  • 10 Euro / day
  • 120/200/300/400 EURO / month

Transport

  • Flight ticket Prague - Bari - WizzAir = 80/110/200 EUR for two-way ticket
  • or drive car- there 400 EURO / 4 people
  • around Bari (necessary for studying):
    • 40 EURO per bicycle
    • free shuttle from campus
    • on foot
  • voluntarily around Italy:
    • 5-10 EUR/ one way (by train)
    • around Italy 200 EURO

Other costs

  • Swimming  pool- 30 EUR / 10 entries
  • Equipment for the kitchen (pots suitable for induction hob + dishes) + linen + towels IKEA = 45-50 EUR
  • Fitness - 50 EUR / month
  • Air Conditioning paid - on campus
  • Cosmetics, entertainment, clothes – the same as in the Czech Republic
  • Travelling - about 100 EUR/ month
  • Equipment for the room - 30-50 EUR

 

Xiamen University, China

Basic information about the university and study

  • Xiamen is considered  to be one of the best places where to study throughout  whole China
  • endurance and discipline in learning are unescapable in the studies, for most of the students of  the University of Economics in Prague is necessary to radically change the style of  their homework (spastic and cursory preparation is no doubt  reflected in the weak results)
  • estimated daily average of studying is from 8 to 12 hours per day
  • it is very useful to study the lectures ahead (it is very important to capture in time the fast tempo of education)
  • the system of their education is spread throughout the whole trimester, many assessed homework, quizzes, midterms, final test
  • the environment in school premises is for Chinese standards really high standard, especially nice university campus, libraries, auditoriums. Libraries are open until 22:00, the school is officially open until 24:00 (the classes  are available for studying), unofficially even longer
  • studies at Xiamen University is beneficial in many aspects,  it also certainly adds an interesting new view on China in contrast with how China is presented in the media
  • during  the public holidays students do not visit the university, but all missed classes must have been replaced later, especially on weekends
  • The Chinese are shy even coy, only few of them speak good English (especially fluent English), and this also applies to university students,  it  is almost impossible to find English speaking person outside of the University . Despite this, Chinese students highly appreciate  the fact that they can socialize with people from western countries.
  • study in China is really powerful experience with the possibility of seeing  the Chinese countryside and cities