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Surprise, surprise – an unexpected meeting in the Czech Republic

Since the post below also refers to our outgoing students, I’m also posting it here …

Brno, Czech Republic, late August 2010

I’m sitting in the garden of a lovely ice cream shop in the old part of Brno and enjoying nice weather and the lively atmosphere there. I’d never been to Brno before – the reason for going there will be explained later on, and in my next post as well.

While chatting to my friends at the table and commenting the huge potions of delicious ice cream. I’m observing the people queueing at the door of the ice cream shop waiting for their “take-away” portions. And suddenly … I notice two familiar figures – two student-like girls with ice cream cones in their hands. Unforunately, the same second they turn into another street and I can’t see their faces at all. But something tells me I know them! Hm, knowing somebody in the streets of Brno? Its population is 370,000! It’s bigger than Ljubljana! I instinctively jump up and run after them, leaving my friends at the table, confused and amazed as to what I’m doing.

And to my surprise … to everybody’s surprise, actually – I wasn’t wrong! The two girls were my ex-students, two Slovene students of the University of Nova Gorica (Slovene Studies). Ksenija and Petra! We all couldn’t believe our eyes and we were so happy to see each other! Of course we were wondering about each other’s reasons for coming to Brno. And I’m proud to tell you that none of us was there for tourist purposes only! Although I’m not trying to say that travelling is a waste of time – on the contrary, I believe you can learn a lot by seeing new places and experiencing new cultures, languages, traditions … But “mission Brno” had higher, educational goals for both of us.

Petra and Ksenija came to Brno for a few weeks to attend the EILC course and learn the Czech language before spending their Erasmus exchange period in Prague.  And I came to Brno to attend the EILC reunion with my ex-EILC students from different countries who had attended the EILC course of Slovene at the University of Nova Gorica in September 2009.

What an excellent occasion to unite young people with the same interests – studying abroad, meeting new friends, learning about foreign languages and cultures! So I invited Ksenija and Petra to join me and my foreign EILC students to a trip to the Brno castle that afternoon. The students got to know each other there and we had enough time to exchange our opinions about studying abroad, the language courses, etc. By the way, Ksenija and Petra were enjoying their lessons of Czech, although the course was really intensive. To make their Erasmus period later in Prague easier, they exchanged contacts with our ex-student from the Czech Republic, Veronika, who offered her help to them.

I have to admit that I’m extremely happy that all my efforts to promote the EILC courses and Erasmus exchanges have paid off. We’ve definitely achieved our goals and helped those young people to learn new things and meet new friends.

We are looking forward to the next planned EILC reunion, and, of course, to unexpected meetings like this one as well!

Thank God the EILC courses exist.


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2 Responses

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  1. Ksenija says

    Ja, res lep in nepozaben mesec polen neprecenljivih izkušenj in malih presenečenj 😉

  2. Petra says

    Ooooo, res lepi spomini na Brno in na zanimivo poletje v tem kraju. Sredi te blazno velemestne Prage včasih prav pogrešam ljubkost tega mesteca, ki drugače zelo spominja na Ljubljano. 😉