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No matter where you are from Brno's got what you need

How two exchange students from different places experienced Brno during their time studying at Masaryk University.

Solange Gaffet, Erasmus student from Grenoble, France  and Danielle Dindak, exchange student from Pittsburgh, USA.

Brno has everything you need to study abroad. Great atmosphere, inexpensive beer, and a captivating city center with lots to do.

Looking for something more than your average study abroad experience is how students from opposite sides of the world found themselves living in Brno for the semester. Danielle Dindak, exchange student from Pittsburgh, USA and Solange Gaffet, Erasmus student from Grenoble, France both found what they were looking for when they heard about studying in Brno at Masaryk University.

Not your typical destination when studying abroad both students agree that Brno is the perfect place for students.

“Brno is a good student city for a few reasons,” expressed Danielle. She talked about how the city is inexpensive, has good coffee and food, great central location for traveling, and thanks to Brno she now enjoys beer.

When asked why choose Brno over Prague, Solange said “I think Brno is better because it's smaller.” It has a student atmosphere where you can meet many people and there is always something to do.

Both students in their final year of study for their bachelors degree chose Brno for the different experience it would offer them.

Danielle Dindak was interning at Czech Television.

Danielle was introduced to studying in Brno through a unique program called Czechmates. A program where you not only study in the Czech Republic but you also do an internship in your field of study while there.

This sounded like the perfect opportunity for her to get that something more out of studying abroad that she was looking for as a broadcast journalism major with a minor in international relations.

Solange, studying psychology, knew that she wanted to do Erasmus for a year but she did not want to go where everyone else at her university were going. “Everybody wanted to go like to Canada, USA, England.” Having traveled a lot with her family, she was looking for somewhere she knew nothing about.

“I really wanted something where I would be totally lost,” and Brno gave her that opportunity since she knew nothing about the country before she saw it as an Erasmus option and she does not speak Czech.

With little knowledge but lots of excitement for what Brno would be like both students packed their bags and came to the country located in the middle of Europe. For Danielle it was a flight to Prague then a train and Solange drove with her family over 12 hours by car to reach Brno.

Upon arriving in Brno their first impressions were very different.

Solange exploring Brno and visiting popular deer park.

Solange being from a smaller city than Brno, seeing the city center for the first time she called it “mini Prague.” She was amazed by the size of it and its real city feel. Since she arrived a couple weeks before orientation began she had lots of time to get to know the city.

During this time she met other Erasmus students and they explored the city together and went to places like the deer park, Spilberk Castle, and found many things to do in the city center.

Danielle's introduction to Brno did not have her as awestruck. Coming from a tight knit community in both her home town and university, Brno to her seemed small and unfriendly. She recalls her first time eating at a restaurant in Brno.

“I was shocked by the customer service, especially coming from America.” In America you will find that good customer service is really important so coming here and it being different is an adjustment.

With her family background being from Eastern Europe Danielle was looking forward to living here and getting to know more about the people and culture.

However, she was hopeful about Brno.“Even though it had its downfalls, there are still some hidden gems here that I found in the first few days.” With her family background being from Eastern Europe she was looking forward to living here and getting to know more about the people and culture.

That is exactly what she did through studying at Masaryk, interning at Czech Television, and learning Czech.

A bit of an unusual semester for her with having to balance classes, internship, and enjoying the city she was still able to form some close bonds and learn more about the Czech culture.

Solange also decided the best way to get the most out of her study abroad experience was to immerse herself in the culture. Going to be in Brno for a year she decided on taking a Czech class and it really helped her bridge the gap between her and the locals.

She recalls going to order hot tea and she did the encounter completely in Czech. “It was the first time I didn't speak any English and I was like best day ever.”

Even with studying and getting to know the city, one of the great things about Brno is its location. Since it is in the middle of Europe, travelling to other places is not only easy but also inexpensive. Both students have been able to travel to places like Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, and many other great places during their time here.

As you can see studying in Brno has many advantages and as long as you are willing to meet the locals half way they are more than happy to welcome you to their city.

Watch one of Danielle's videoreports done for Czech Television

Univerzitní hokej

Když přijde na univerzitní sportování, je znát kulturní rozdíl mezi Českou republikou a Spojenými státy. Zakladatelé oficiálního týmu HC Masaryk University se snaží tento rozdíl zmenšit. Podívejte se na reportáž a zjistěte, jak hraje univerzitní hokej tým Penn State Nittany Lions. Připravila ji naše americká stážistka Danielle Dindak There is a cultural gap when it comes to college sports in the Czech Republic and the United States. The founders of the Masaryk University Bears' Hockey Team is trying to close this gap. Take a look at this story to see The Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions Hockey team in the US and their college hockey style of play compares to the CZ.

Zveřejnil(a) Události Brno dne 27. listopad 2017