The International Student Club (ISC) of the University of Ostrava was set up in March 2007.
Soon after its foundation, the ISC became a member section of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), an international non-profit student organization run by volunteers which brings together 15 000 members in 420 sections based across 36 different countries.
The main mission of ISC members is to help integrate international students into their new social life in Ostrava. The primary aid provided by the club involves the provision of basic information necessary for international students to find their way around their new environment. A popular aspect of the ISC's work is the BUDDY programme, consisting of personal assistance provided by a local student to his/her international colleague.
Volunteers contact their new friends beforehand to agree on the final details, then pick them up on arrival to take them on a tour of the city and the university and accompany them to their halls of residence. These "buddies" stay in touch for the remainder of the visiting students' stay, with the local student often proving an invaluable source of advice and information to their international friend.
Another service provided by the ISC of the University of Ostrava is the ORIENTATION WEEK, which no visiting student should want to miss. It takes place during the last week before the official start of the semester, and is full of introductory programmes, tours of the city and university, and cultural and social events giving the Erasmus exchange students a chance to meet each other. The Orientation Week is launched with a welcome address from the Vice-Rector for International Relations, followed by a guided tour, and concluding in a formal/informal manner with a "Czech National Evening" held in the Marley club at Ostrava's Black Meadow (Černá louka). This event is open to all international students, their Czech buddies and members of the International Student Club, who give entertaining presentations expressing what the Czech Republic is all about. The main aim of the Orientation Week, apart from socializing, is to help international students with all the paperwork necessary to start their life in their new city.
Throughout the semester various events are prepared for the Erasmus students, all designed to make their stay more enjoyable. In the past, regular meet-ups in the Sydney club, day trips to attractive nearby tourist destinations and theatre productions have all proved popular. This semester, trip destinations include the mountain resort at Pustevny, Prague, Brno, and the beautiful vineyards of South Moravia. Museum visits and trips to the countryside around Ostrava are also planned. Apart from the regular events in the Sydney club, there will also be a series of "National4Nation" events, where the visiting students will be given an opportunity to introduce their country, its traditions, customs and cuisine to the others. The programme is flexible and other side events are organized on the basis of students' requests.
Members of the International Student Club strive to offer visiting students a top-quality and diverse programme of activities so as to make their stay here unforgettable. They are aware of just how demanding it can be to settle in an unfamiliar environment and they strive to eliminate any problems by providing advice and specific assistance. All study and no play makes Jack a dull boy, which is why the ISC of the University of Ostrava provides a unique opportunity to get to know the host country and the university city as well as experiencing a wide range of social events. We all hope that on hearing "Won't forget these days" by Wingenfelder, "our" Erasmus exchange students will stop to recall what were the best days of their lives back in Ostrava.
So if you'd like to help make our Erasmus students feel welcome here, we'd be glad for any help you can give! Contact us to find out more. You can also find information on our website.