Skip to content

Erasmus+ exchange in Opava, Czech Republic

For the winter semester of the academic year 2023/24, I went on an Erasmus+ exchange at the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic. Before I went, I set two goals for myself – get to know the Czech Republic, language, people and to travel. Now, when I am back from the exchange, I can safely say – I achieved both goals.

Firstly, about Opava. It is a small town, close to Ostrava, the third biggest in Czech Republic, and also close to Poland. It was calm and picturesque throughout the autumn period, with all of the leaves falling from the trees, and, if you are into architecture – there is a really weird combination of buildings from communist times, and buildings from 400 years ago. If you are into parties, I recommend Ostrava as the better choice, because in Opava the “big” parties were rare. The café and beer culture are present, so you won’t miss out on that.

About the Silesian University – I am rather satisfied. The courses they offered were okay. The academic and administrative support from them was exceptional – they won’t leave you hanging. The Erasmus+ buddy helped me from the first minute I arrived in Opava – with the luggage, with the accommodation, with a new SIM card – everything to get me started in the new environment. The professors were nice and helpful. Just be careful if you decide to come to Opava – not all courses are in English, so choose wisely.

On the topic of English, maybe the biggest let-down I have with the exchange in Opava was the lack of international students. In this region, the hub for international students is in Ostrava, as it has bigger universities. In Opava, the lingua franca between the students, if I can classify it like that, is the Czech language. Most of the students here were from Czechia, Slovakia, Ukraine and to some extent Belarus and Russia – who study in Czech and speak it quite well. But, if you decide to give Opava a chance – don’t worry! The Czechs love when you try and speak Czech – they will find it funny – but they will help you learn it. And most of the students speak at least some English, so that’s a plus as well.

In regards to my second goal – the Czech Republic is in the center of Europe – and everything is in the vicinity. You have bus, train and plane connections from Ostrava, which is maybe half an hour away from Opava. For me, the best option most of the time was the train – but the buses as well were quite frequent to wherever in Europe. For cheap airplane tickets, I recommend Poland, specifically Krakow – which is 2 hours away from Opava. If you decide to stay and travel around the Czech Republic, you won’t make a mistake as well. Finding connections and tickets for destinations in Czechia is even easier. I’ll add some photos from my travels.

I strongly recommend the Erasmus+ exchange experience. Don’t overthink it, the staff at UNG and whichever receiving institution you decide to go to will help you with anything. Go, meet new people, new cultures, study a bit and travel! Europe may be a small continent, but it is very diverse. Whichever university, city or country you choose for your Erasmus+ exchange – you will learn something new and your worldview will change for the better.    

Posted in Others.