If you think you’re hearing more foreign languages being spoken around MU this semester than in the past -you’re right! This year MU is welcoming record numbers of international students on semester- or year-long exchange programmes. This semester there are almost two hundred, as opposed to about 120 a year ago – an increase of almost 70 percent. And they will be coming from all over the globe – virtually every country in Europe (still waiting for someone from Malta, though, and Cyprus), Canada and the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Japan… a very impressive list at a university that only five years ago was welcoming no more than about 40 students a year in this way.
In addition, large numbers of other students come for shorter periods (especially for intensive Czech language courses and as part of faculty exchange agreements). Altogether we expect well over 500 international students coming to MU for non-degree studies in 2005/2006. And of course that does not include international students studying in English-language degree programmes at the Faculties of Medicine and Social Studies, or in Czech at these and a number of other faculties. And if you include Slovak students as well…
The same trend, though perhaps not quite so dramatic, can be seen in outgoing students. The Socrates/Erasmus programme sends out by far the largest number of students. This semester will see a total of 320 MU students going abroad, as opposed to 200 in the autumn semester of 2004. And for the whole academic year 2005/2006 the anticipated total is 650, about 60 percent higher than in 2004/2005. These increased numbers are clear proof of the attractiveness of the Socrates/Erasmus programme, and of the willingness of MU teachers to offer increasing opportunities to their students by signing agreements with foreign universities.
But in addition to these Socrates/Erasmus opportunities, many additional students are traveling abroad this year through agreements administered by the OIS, whether on the basis of bilateral agreements between MU and other universities, or through special scholarships offered to MU students. And then there is the possibility to go abroad within intergovernmental agreements signed by the Czech Republic with other countries, or as freemovers. All in all, including Socrates/Erasmus students, we expect around 850 MU students to spend some time abroad in 2005/2006.
Information on all these opportunities is available on the webpages of the Office for International Studies – http://czs .muni.cz. Currently, deadlines have been announced for students wishing to study abroad as “freemovers” in 2006. Also, details of possibilities for studies within international agreements have been posted. In future, you should also check the website regularly for other scholarship offers – these may come at any time, and offer a very wide range of opportunities for study in a great variety of countries.