Erasmus (English version)
This How-to collects useful information about the Erasmus program. This How-to is always evolving; corrections, updates, infos or experiences are welcome: login and click on Edit to modify this text.
My way to Erasmus
In order to get information don't refer to the library: on the statement there's written that's better to contact it, but it doesn't give you any piece of information on hosting Universities. If you have any problem just refer to Professor Vigna and Professor Pagnoni, forget Professor Apolloni, he won't ever reply you (I have so many problems to get in contact with him, since when I'm on Erasmus! Taking part is very simple: you must have necessary requirements in order to be among the ones who will leave, but usually everybody will be part of the group, 'cause most of times there are even empty places...
To Choose: What, Where and How
Under the point of view of didactics, if you want to live a useful and deep-informatic school year, forget Spain and United Kingdom. So then, there's no many left solution: you can choose to go for a year of hard studies or a year of fun where you will get drunk all the time, drug addicted and sex obsessed! You cannot mix these two things: either you study or you kill yourself every g'day till 5 am. You might even choose a middle-way: but dear guys, when you are among 400-500-600 students from all over the World who organize parties all the time, you've got to take a strict decision: liver or brain?! :D
At this point I'd say that locations can be divided in 3 groups: 1st) Places where you can learn and get fun at the same time (Finland, Germany, France)
2nd) Places where you can die for everything except studying (you can ask Prof. Pagnoni where's better to go in order to drink, get fun and study seriously!)
3rd) Places where there's few Erasmus students but... (Chek Republic, Poland)
I didn't insert all the locations 'cause I don't know all them... I'll get some further information!
Finland and Sweden are quite difficult (expecially Finland). Excellent instruction level, both countries offer all English-version lessons. Guaranteed fun, but there are 35 degrees below zero during Winter, and I have experience about that... Temperature, up there at the North, is totally terrible. People usually get drunk (!) on Friday evening. Good number of Erasmus students (Italian as well!).
In Germany there are lots of Erasmus people, and even parties are organized continously! But you've got to work quite hard: lessons are normally in German, but some of them even in english! They don't bear very much English, so they offer free German language courses inside University. Contact Prof. Pagnoni to get any futher information. Then there's a place where Erasmus become Orgasmus: Lipsia hosts 900 Erasmus students each year! Courses level is good, but I advice to avoid any maths exam, for whom are not good at it!
In France the situation is similar to Germany, but there you can avoid to hope in German, English or Italian, ONLY French! And they hold themselves in high regard...
Now let's have a look at places where you can die for everything but study! I'm talking about United Kingdom, Spain and Greece. Instruction level in United Kingdom (ok, maybe it's too much talking about UK, Ireland level is very good), is almost ridicule. I've got a mate who's been in Kingstone (London, not Jamaica) and he's given Networks-1 exam, just studying introduction of our dear Computer Networks book! Advantages are that lessons are totally in English, and that means if you speak it at least a little bit, you won't ever have to face any problem. Level of "Erasmus fun" is ok, except English people who is quite cold. The only negative point is that taking part to Erasmus here is very expensive, expecially in London, where a 24h ticket for bus+tube costs about 7-8,00 €.
Guys, in Spain you have parties, nothing else to say! It's warm, it's great, and Spanish people are strictly similar to us, and you'll get awared as soon as you'll be there, in fact every location you will go to, you will be involved into their groups, ready to have fun for every chance!
Greece: look up Spain! With the only difference that Greeks are the slowest people all over the World doing any kind of thing! Yeah, every kind! Ok instruction level is not so excellent, but if you get in contact with some good and kind professors, you can live a great year of Erasmus there, for sure! Everything is in your hands!
Now let's have a look at the Countries where there's no many Erasmus Students, but... Incredible but true, there are places (Chek Republic, Poland and Eastern Europe) where Erasmus students are very few. In Chek Republic (Plzen) there were only 15 foreign students this year, compared with Leipzig where E-students were 900. Instruction level is very good (ask Prof. Apolloni, I guess he has optimum contacts in Poland). Actually we're talking about countries of Middle/Eastern Europe, where the Erasmus "award-scholarship" (which is of about 150,00€ per month, ridicule!) allow you to live for 20 days each month (daddy has to give you money during your staying there!). Bad note are lessons: you might be 3-4 E-students studying informatic, so professors don't prepare an english lesson only for 3-4 people who speak a little of English. For example, that's happened to me, I had to go one hour a week talking privately with each professor, but this was the maximum availability. For the rest, I had no problem, and I managed everything on my own. In Chek Republic (where I am), professors are very kind (only bad note, as said, few foreigners that means no english lessons). There are only two exams available in English: algorithms and computer graphic. 50-60% of the professors speaks English and most of them German: comminication procedure is not difficult. About fun, it's different from the other places. Here you can even die because of getting fun, trust in the old good Rostich!! There's no many E-students, but Cheks guys are incredibly very great to have fun. They're open even if there are students here from Arabia, United States and Ireland! There are pubs everywhere and people go out every night to drink and dance/shake and so on... Heaven! Girls: are incredible!! I've got a friend who's studying in Poland and he said he can get fun and enjoy his staying there, too! He as well as me! Here you can really learn and get fun, enjoying everything! Next year, I'm gonna have my thesis here, do you think I've got a bad opinion on my staying here?! One more bad note (I was forgetting it!): you must take an approval card for being a student here, and it's not so easy to get it, mind it! Have fun!!