27 January 2020
Tomáš Skřivánek

The best cocktail

In the summer semester of the fourth year, I learned firsthand why Erasmus+ is such a great opportunity to enrich your studies with unforgettable experiences. I had the opportunity to watch and experience the arrival of spring and the gradual disappearance of snow from the tops of the adjacent mountains in the wonderful Austrian Salzburg.

The idea of going out had been on my mind for a long time, but I kept postponing the decision because of paperwork and a certain comfort that one has to sacrifice. However, in retrospect it wasn't as bad as I imagined. It was enough to submit an application, fill out a few forms, secure accommodation and, in my case, send a portfolio with a motivation letter to the school. Some time later, I was already sitting on the train to Salzburg with the exciting feeling that something completely new was waiting for me.

And also, that it about was waiting. In the very first week, during the Welcome Week, I met a lot of new people (Erasmians) from all over the world. It was fascinating to observe such different cultures in one place at the same time as the local one. To get a taste of their customs, try to learn their language, or taste their food. I really met those typical Austrian guys in leather shorts (the so-called lederhose), I found out how the real Turkish coffee prepared by a friend from Turkey and with fortune-telling from the camp tastes, or how to properly use the spirited Italian gestures of anger and their exact degrees. Although these may seem like insignificant little things, they are precisely those that complete the unique atmosphere of life at Erasmus. Finding the right people is an invitation to a semester full of fun and the best experiences.

Autor: Tomáš Skřivánek
The breathtaking view of massive snow-dusted mountains from basically anywhere always made me smile. Even from the toilet window at school! By the way, the buildings of the university were an example of beautiful modern architecture and I always enjoyed returning to them. I was equally excited about the study itself, which brought me many new perspectives and enriched my experience not only in the field of design. The classes took place in most cases in a relaxed and very friendly atmosphere, but at the same time with a high level of discussed topics, techniques and the lecturers themselves.

If I had to single out three things without which I cannot imagine my stay in Austria, they would be: a bicycle, a guitar and a camera. In Austria, I bought a bicycle through an advertisement and almost always used it to ride into the city, which is criss-crossed with bicycle paths, to school or for shopping. In addition to saving money on relatively expensive tickets, you also explore and discover the beautiful surroundings faster in the seat.

There was a piano in the entrance hall of the school where we used to gather in the evenings and play and sing together. Although everyone spoke a different language, music really became the universal language that connects and "jam sessions" gradually became almost the most common activity. The icing on the cake was a music festival organized by a school club whose members approached us in the style of "hey, don't you want to play something Czech there? We don't understand those songs, but they sound good". So, we nodded, yes, and then I really performed on stage together with my compatriot friends. One of the best moments! So, take a musical instrument, if you play, definitely with you!

In addition to Product Design, the school also had a Multimedia Arts Department where, in addition to Photography, Filmmaking was also taught. Since they are both my hobbies, I participated in courses and various interesting events in this field and expanded both my circle of friends and horizons in this industry.

Autor: Tomáš Skřivánek
A stay at Erasmus could be compared to such a big cocktail. I don't mean that only alcohol is drunk there (although I don't exclude that it is often fun), but it is a cocktail that is mixed from all kinds of interesting ingredients that you might not have known before. It quickly diminishes over time, and it is up to each person to mix it with how much and with what ingredients so as not to forget the taste. I strongly recommend the Erasmus cocktail, because it was without a doubt one of the best drinks I've ever tasted.

Tomáš Skřivánek