Many people say that Brno is the best student city in the Czech Republic. Honestly, it only gets better. In 2017 Brno was marked the sixth-best student city in the world. If you are still struggling with choosing the right city for your Erasmus stay, an interview with Inês Sanches, a Portuguese Erasmus student, should help you answer all the questions.

Firstly, why did you choose Brno?

For several reasons – first, one of my main goals during my Erasmus was to travel a lot. Brno is right in the centre of Europe, and you can go by train basically everywhere. And second, I wanted a different culture from Portugal, and I was hoping to see snow because I had never seen snow before! And eventually, I did see it falling from the sky, so I was really happy.


Brno is called the student’s city; can you confirm that statement?

Yes, first of all, there are a lot of parties all the time. Sometimes I’m like – “is there a party tonight?” Then you go check, and there always is. Also, I met many people who are doing Erasmus here from all over the world – America, the UK, so many different places! So yes, I can confirm.


How did you connect with other Erasmus students? Was it hard to find friends?   

No, it was so easy! The day where I met my group of friends was during the City Tour (during the Orientation Week). I met many people from different countries there; we created a WhatsApp group to send the photos from the tour, then we started messaging, and we began making plans together! And basically, we are still planning trips together; we go to parties together… it was really easy. 


And also, I spent some time with my buddy – she’s very nice, she showed me the town, and always has stuff to teach me about the Czech Republic. She’s great. 


How many hours of school per week do you have?                                                

I have classes every day, Monday till Friday, but then we sometimes have free weeks, which is cool. You can go to parties but have school the next day starting at 7:30 or 8 am, and that part isn’t nice. But then you have some free weeks, and you can do whatever you want. And usually, I have classes from 7:30 or 8 until half past noon or maximum 1:30 pm.


You said you have some free weeks. How do you spend your free time?    

First of all, I go to Quiz Night every week; it’s so fun. Also, I went to Karaoke, and that was great too! And the parties! I’ve gone to some parties in Sono, especially the 80s and 90s parties, and I was taught some Czech songs, like Dlouhá noc.


Overall, I mostly spend time with friends, and I’m always with my camera, so I’ll have a whole album of photos from Erasmus!


You live in dorms; would you recommend it? 

Yes, I live at Vinařská dorms, and I have been planning to stay at the dorms since the beginning. The dorms are perfect if you want to have a room and not spend a lot of money. And also, if you want to have a full Erasmus experience, living in a dorm is so much better because you’re close to everyone, and even when you go from parties, you never go home alone.


I can do my laundry there, and they also have a tiny gym. I managed to get the double room, and we also have a small kitchen. And what’s more, the dormitory has a canteen. And that actually positively surprised me!


I can’t eat gluten, and I was a bit worried about that. But the canteen system is amazing because you can easily find out what ingredients the food contains, and you can simply choose the gluten-free one!


And how long before coming here did you start arranging the accommodation? 

I came here in February, and I was thinking about the dorms in October/November. At that time, I wrote an email to the coordinator, and she was very helpful. The only stressful thing was the application in January, but eventually, I got the room. They also created a WhatsApp group of all the students, and we could ask questions, which was helpful too.


Do you have some tips for students that you wish you knew before arriving?       

I would recommend having Revolut; it was beneficial when travelling. You can pay in whatever currency you need; just download an app, order a card, and then change the money from, for example, Euros to the other currency.


And I would probably create a Czech bank account earlier. I have a KB account; I think it’s free for students, and you can even choose the design on your card!


Before arriving here, I would advise every Erasmus student to buy a 3-month pass online. I did so before coming here. The process was very smooth and I can use public transport. Some people I know waited after coming here to get the pass done, but then many people were trying to do it, the system didn’t work, and they had to wait. So, I would advise creating the passport before arriving. And it was super cheap!



Last question – would you recommend going for Erasmus to Brno?     

Of course! Without a doubt! I knew I wanted to go to the Czech Republic, but I was torn between Prague, Brno, Pilsen, and Olomouc. Then I cut it to Prague and Brno. But there’s something good about being in Brno and not in Prague. Brno is a student city; you feel more like at home.