Erasmus+ programme is getting more and more popular and most likely, as a university student, you are thinking about the idea of living in another country as well. Sometimes it is difficult to choose the best destination, especially if you don't know a lot about the given country. Hopefully, this story will help you in your decision-making process. Here are the top reasons why to choose Bratislava as your second home in university.
It was a wise decision to make Bratislava the capital of Slovakia. Even before Slovakia was officially established in 1993, Bratislava was always the administrative and cultural capital of Slovakia as a nation. The main reason was its strategic location. It is only a short drive away from Vienna and Budapest, and not that far from Prague either. So, all the other main players in European history were easily reachable, and because of that perfect location, Bratislava became a very cosmopolitan city. If you want to explore central Europe during your Erasmus programme, there is no better starting point than Bratislava. It also has an international airport from where you can catch cheap flights to almost everywhere around Europe.
For someone who is new to the city, it takes some time to get to know all the streets. Erasmus usually lasts only 1 or 2 semesters which might not be enough to get completely familiar with the city, especially if you are in a metropole like London or Berlin. However, this would not be the case in Bratislava. Slovakian capital is not too big, so you can get to know the city and its people quite well, but on the other hand, it is not so small either so that you won't get bored and there is still something new to explore every day. For an Erasmus period, it is the ideal size, and I guarantee that after you are done with your studies, you will feel like a local in Bratislava. There is no better feeling than suddenly starting to recognize familiar faces and streets of a place where you came as a newbie.
If you search for some pictures of Slovakia, the first thing that comes on your browser might be our beautiful High Tatras mountains, dense green forests and glacier lakes. Yes, we have a breathtaking nature and in total 9 national parks. If you are more into history, Slovakia won't disappoint either, because we have thousands of castles and chateaus. Many of them easily accessible from Bratislava. It also has a beautiful historic city centre with numerous museums and galleries. There is an ideal ratio between nature and history in Slovakia (and Bratislava), many of the places are very rare and unique, also listed in the Unesco World Heritage List.
Slovakia has the best food ever, and your first week in Bratislava, you might just eat halušky and drink slivovica all day long. But that's not all! As I mentioned in the beginning, due to Bratislava's location, it is a very cosmopolitan city where you can feel different vibes and different cultures. Are you fond of Asian cuisine? No problem, you will find the best Asian restaurant offering authentic dishes, as well as Mexican street food stands, pizza and pasta made by Italian families, Turkish kebabs, Ukrainian borsch and many more. You can literally taste the world here. Coffee culture is also expanding very fast, and you have a speciality coffee literally on every corner.
Being a university student is difficult. You need to study hard, maintain good grades, have a lively social life, plus you need to have a job that will cover all your activities. It often seems like 24 hours a day is not enough. I know the struggle very well. But the good news is that Bratislava is a very affordable city for every student budget. If you opt for accommodation at the university dormitories, it is very cheap, usually less than 70 euros a month. If you prefer living in private housing, it is not expensive compared to other cities either. Public transport in Bratislava will cost around 20 euros per month and trains all over Slovakia are for students completely for free. As a bonus, beer is cheaper than water and you can get a decent lunch for less than 4 euros.
Slovakia and more precisely, Bratislava is the ideal destination for every Erasmus student. Spending a few months in Bratislava is just the right amount of time to get to know the city pretty well and travel across the country. You might have a chance to check out our neighbours Hungary, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic as well. Plus there are many international students in Bratislava to make your stay unforgettable. If you are still thinking about why to choose Bratislava for your Erasmus programme, those are the reasons!
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