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First impressions of Brno

We asked six international students from round the world who have come to Masaryk University this autumn semester to give us their first impressions of the university and the city. Their responses were interesting...
Dr. Nalini / India

Masaryk University was always an attraction for students from all over the world who are admirers of freedom and democracy. An invitation to do post-doctoral research in such a prestigious university - I was overwhelmed with joy. After reaching Brno, the help rendered by the professors and administrators in every step for acclimatization to the new place was splendid and marvelous, which was further extended by the Office for International Studies. I myself am put up in Lektorský dům, wherein people from different parts of the world are accommodatedů this has given me a wonderful chance to know them in person, learn about their culture and exchange ideas about education, etc., rather than just reading from books or magazines.

Furthermore, I find myself in this beautiful city of Brno, which has a rich cultural life and holds a variety of worthwhile sights - the Cathedral on Petrov, the Church of St. James, which is a pearl of Gothic architecture, the Red Church, the towers and walls of Špilberk Castle. I hope and believe that the universities in this city of Brno will definitely attract more and more students from other parts of the world.

Mary Gardiner / USA
I love this town. I was worried I wouldn’t—I was worried that I would want to go home. But now that I have become accustomed to tram #1, to the wonderful discotheques, and have met my wonderful professors, I can’t imagine going back to the States. I feel like I’ve found a little piece of heaven here at Masaryk University: I spend the day hours learning about Central European politics, a major interest of mine, and then eat smažený sýr and brambory and palačinky and then have Starobrno (which is the liqueur of the gods compared to American beer). What could be better?

Yagi Shinichi / Japan
One thing that I was surprised in around MU in the first place was a couple of Czech students kissing in front of the university buildings and other public spaces like the tram. For me, a Japanese, it’s totally amazing, because we never kiss in such kind of public spaces even though the couples love each other very much. We have strong public senses and care about every action that other people do there. On the other hand, in the Czech Republic it seems that they do not mind other people in public spaces, so any time when I see their kissing, I become shy and close my eyes to it.
Thank you.

Gediminas Rackauskas / Lithuania
I am the first student from Kaunas University of Medicine (Lithuania) studying here. So I did not know what I will find. But in Brno, especially in the university, I found a friendly atmosphere and very kind people who are ready to help you in all situations. Also I liked the social programme in orientation week, it was really a nice way to get to know more about the Czech Republic and Czech people. So I am very happy that I have opportunity to be here.

Katia Alegria Ramos Ovando / Mexico
For sure, you have seen some new faces around the faculties, maybe because some have asked you for help by saying: “Do you speak English?” Well I may have been one of them and I thank you a lot for that help. For me and for all the international students I know, it has been a big, new and really interesting experience to live in Brno and to study at Masaryk University. At first, most of us were lost in the city, then we learned about the public transportation, beer, Vinařská Residence… but most important about Czech culture. How the people are friendly and try to understand you (body language has been really useful!), the new buildings of the faculties, and all the facts that surround living and studying here. For these reasons I can say that my choice of Masaryk University in Brno will impact my life from now on.

Dovi Almeido de Souza / Brazil
Brno is a really nice place. It brings together the comfort of a small town with the facilities of a big city such as a good transport system, a great variety of affordable activities and of course an amazing higher education structure.
When I call Brno small, I of course have in mind the oppression and the problems of a big Brazilian city. The main difference, in my opinion, is not the city but its people. There is some kind of sadness in their serious faces inside the buses and trams that is strange to me. But when you get to know and talk to them you find really amazing people.