Palacký University located in the Moravian city of Olomouc is a multicultural hub for students from countries the world over. Of the university’s 23,000 students, over 4,500 are foreign nationals.
Hugo Fonseca, from Colombia studies international development and environmental studies and he says the student life and community in Olomouc is second-to-none.
“To be honest, I love Olomouc. I always say to my friends that I love studying in a small city, because we have a student community that, if you were living in a capital city, you wouldn’t have. In capital cities, people tend to be more individualistic, but here in Olomouc it’s like a community. If you go out for groceries, you meet people from your school and we recognize each other even if we aren’t close friends. We’re all living in the community and we try to be nice, the people here really care about others.”
Palacký University Olomouc is the oldest university in Moravia and the second oldest in the country, just behind Charles University in Prague. The history of Palacký University dates back to December of 1573, when it was given the rights to confer degrees at the former Jesuit College in Olomouc. Today, it’s a bustling hub for international students like Hugo, who are seeking quality higher education.
Colombia is a long way off from Czechia, and before deciding to make the move to Olomouc, Hugo considered universities where they speak his native Spanish. But he says he’s loved the challenge of living in a new place like Czechia, where the language is foreign to him.
“I know it’s really far, but they had a cooperating program with my home university. A year ago when I decided to come to Czechia, I only had two options: Spain or Czechia. You could ask why I didn’t choose Spain, where I can speak my mother tongue. To be honest, I wanted to fight with the language because if I was in Spain, it would be really easy for me. I didn’t know a word of Czech when I first came here, but fortunately in Olomouc, everyone speaks English, and I can say that all my friends speak English perfectly.”
Yael Romero is an economics and managerial studies student at Palacký University originally from Mexico, and he says, the location of the university, and the affordable cost of living in Czechia were significant factors in his decision to cross the globe for his studies.
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Author: Amelia Mola Schmidt