Martin Otajovič - Erasmus in HS Regensburg
It was January 30, 2014, when an offer came to study within "some program" at a foreign university. I thought deeply about what that meant. I contacted the Vice-Dean for International Cooperation to find out what it would entail and where to go. Then came the question of whether it was not a step in the wrong direction and what I would probably do in Cambridge. After a week of thinking, I looked at the actual variants. I found out what the Erasmus program offers, which universities are involved in the program. I finally chose HS Regensburg. I researched the possibilities of financing, how accommodation is handled, etc. That really was no problem. When I became interested in all the essentials, it was pretty simple. I practically just filled in the submitted documents. I didn't even realize at the time what it would bring me.
The first genuine concern was not knowing the German language. In February, I quickly completed two German languages for the summer semester - N2 and N4 from UJP - which I passed with significant problems. Then came the first contact with Germany. I just went to a preparatory language course offered to us by a local university to get acquainted with the environment before the semester. Amazing! An empty university, just a bunch of students who don't speak German at all, have never seen each other, but are on the same boat. A unifying experience. This group held together even in times of trouble. It happened to us that we had a barbecue at my dorm and inadvertently burned down the kitchen so that it had to be replaced (by a German company, for a German price). The attached photo comes from that evening. But a large part was paid for by the insurance policy, and we all made up for the rest. Another party was held for the rest of the money. At the end of Erasmus, we drove all over the world, some home, some to another country.
I have great memories of all this time. And what did I get? Many experiences and acquaintances. And most importantly, it all affected my career. Today I am a leader in a Czech-German company, and I use my language skills on a daily basis to solve interesting tasks in the production of electrical switchboards for the beverage industry. But none of that would have happened without the great decision I made at the end of January 2014.