Our debates

We discussed about the countries of Central Europe. Imagine that you get a monthly scholarship to one of them and you can choose the country to which you go. Write down what country would you choose and justify your choice.

Your essay should have at least 3,600 characters, but not more than 5000. You can’t choose the country you come from, and can’t choose Poland where we are.

Reklamy

46 thoughts on “Our debates

  1. It wasn’t so clear for me, which country I would choose for my scholarship in central Europe. I love visiting countries, I love feeling the original atmosphere of a country and I really appreciate opportunity to have real contact with a country, not just visiting only the typical places for tourists. After a short reflection I think I would choose Hungary. I have been there once for two weeks on multicultural exchange. The objects of our interest were especially culture and tools which could fight with discrimination. Than I realized how common problem of countries is to have the other nationalities and ethnic minorities. That’s why I think if I went there my observations would be concentrated mainly on the incredibly interesting history of Hungary and still current issues such as the Gypsy population, or to its own nationals outside the country, especially in Slovakia.
    Nowadays Hungary is rather small country, but not so long ago it was completely different.
    The shape of the Hungarian state has changed very intensively by the swirling story. From the great empire to a small country, which currently corresponds to about 1/3 of Poland. The shape of the boundaries very well impact on Hungarian population, and relations with neighboring countries. Their complicated story also is because of that once Hungary was part of the Ottoman Empire at other times were controlled by Austria. Similar to Poland, in 1918 Hungary declared full independence.
    Our history also has a lot in common with the Hungarian history, for example we had even one king before, we were almost the same country for a while and we were fighting against the same opposite forces. History also connects us because of years of communism and because we have chosen the same way of transformation. Only in two countries- Poland and Hungary- out of the communist system was accomplished by means of a negotiated reform. A huge part of a creating nationality is history so if our history has a lot in common that could mean that we can better understand each other.
    Another interesting aspect is that in Hungary live also a large number of Roman people. According to the data, nowadays in the country live about 108 984 – 1 million Gypsies. At the end of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries they arrived to Hungary, where the Castle Spiš received from the Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg famous safe-conduct, which showed later other Christian rulers, coming to their lands.
    On the other hand The Hungarian minority in Slovakia is the largest of the minorities living in Slovakia. Hungarians represents 8.5% of the whole country. It is associated with a new agreement after World War I, the new territorial governance set out in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. The minority therefore focuses mainly in the southern part of Slovakia.
    Regarding the factors which I would encounter on a daily basis is definitely a Hungarian cuisine. Their spicy dishes are prepared all over the Europe. It is more varied and expressive than Polish cuisine.
    Another important noticeable element is a language. In my opinion language is one of the first associations that come to mind according to a Hungarian topic. It is interesting how suddenly Finno-Ugric language arrived at that place. It’s completely different and really hard to understand not to mention the attempt to communicate. The most confusing for Poles is opposite reading letters: “s” and “sz”.
    Last but not least, a huge advantage for me as a fan of traveling is a great location of this country. As I said earlier, this is not a large country which creates great opportunity to explore not only Hungary, but also places outside the country. It takes just 3 hours to Vienna! I hope that the scholarship would give me the possibility to explore accurately this beautiful country, and also travel to the bordering countries. Despite the small border line Hungary borders with many other probably also very interesting countries which I would love to see.

  2. Moldova- the place to be
    The task seems simple enough to me, because I like to travel from since I remember with the help of my finger on the map both, literally and figuratively. Eastern countries, in turn, had always seemed to me a bit exotic with their different views, cuisine, customs, inhabitants. But usually the key to our lives is to discover the pure core of life- which includes travels to other countries, making friends with natives, acquire new goals in the form of exploring the beauty of the world. If I had to choose only one country, which builds with its nature, cities, habitants the foundations of excitement and curiosity at the same time, it would probably be Moldova.
    I would like to begin this description of a statement, which gave me the idea while exploring Moldavian secrets. Well, it is a country, which is generally not mentioned in the context of high politics, indeed economics. However, in Poland, the country has found a crowd of fans. Why is that? Ventured to that of a small private investigation. As its well known, Moldova was once absorbed by a huge creature called the USSR. After the breakup of a relationship, individual countries began to take part in a „big cleaning” and the ashes of the Soviet Union became the symbol of the new autonomous entities. Through the democratic processes in the eastern parts of Europe, all countries that once co-created the USSR, liberated from stifled by the reality that befits them live once and perhaps because today most of them maintain a good relationship because of the past. I think that might be the key to the answer.
    The geopolitical situation of Moldova seems to me very interesting , so that’s why it’s necessary to follow the development of this small state. From basic key information it should be deselected, that the official language in Moldova is Romanian, which suggests that the story comes full circle and would again belong to a larger association of countries as in the past. But now Moldava would like to do it in a democratic way, for example with the help of the society, which takes parts in numerous refendums. In the referendum held in 2008, the result showed Europe, that the votes in favor of support to this unit – nearly 30 % of the population were in favor of joining to Romania. Let’s face the fact, that after the communists governments Moldova has no longer desire for economic stagnation , political or social in general .
    Admittedly, I never managed to reach the limits of this amazing country, in the sense that I physically just never been there, but it seems to me that the country’s capital, Chisinau, is a metaphorical boiler, which casts a large variety of tastes, smells and spices mixed together, what gives us an an incredible palette of different colours. Browsing the photos capturing the spirit of the Chisinau it’s hard to believe, that we are dealing with one of the European capitals. But it’s probably just a kind of folklore that makes the city a magical place . It was founded in 1436 , and therefore had the right to see a lot. Remains of real socialism , which , after all, were reigning at the time not only as an ideology , but mostly as a lifestyle are practically visible at every step . In my humble opinion, you should look through the recent history prism, which is accompanied by the special period for the city from 1903 until now. What happened since then is a proof that history is on the agenda here. However, I think that the most difficult moment for every inhabitant was the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Why? It leads us to a few facts- especially at the time of the Soviet Union centrally controlled economy had no major problems of existence. After the collapse of the Soviet people had to find themselves in a new reality, which isn’t very gracious according to the number of emigrants- it’s still growing.
    Moldova is undoubtedly a boiling pot of culture, which I would like to see with the help of my own eyes.

  3. Czech Republic.
    Central Europe is an very interesting and full of differences region. I was thinking so long about where I want to go for my scholarship. And it took me time to chose and describe only one country. Ethnical, social, historical and also economical diversity does not make this choice easier. It is so interesting to learn the history of these countries and have opportunity to get to know new people.
    The country i have chosen from Central Europe region in which I would like to study for one month and get free scholarship is Czech Republic. First of all I want to go there because I have never been there and I was dreaming about trip to Czech Republic. Although this country is Poland’s neighbor, I always choosed west European countries. The Czech State, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under the dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire. Czech Republic is a country in Central Europe, without access to the sea. The geography of the Czech Republic is wonderful . There are lot of forests and mountains on the borders of the country, so there is a chance to me to relax during the weekend. When I would like to go away from big city.
    A little bit about the history of this country. In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in central and eastern Europe. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. But know back to Czech Republic. In 2004 this country joined like Poland the European Union. The town in which I want to stay for a month would be ofcourse Prague. I love big cities and this is the capital city of Czech Republic so I think that will be the best place for me. The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism. In 2011, Prague was the sixth most visited city in Europe.
    I would love to see also the other cities which are also beautiful and interesting like Karlovy Vary – which is known as a very good spa city or Karlštejn Castle in which is located gothic castle founded 1348. Prague is home to about 1.3 million people. Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe. The main attractions of Prague is the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter, the Lennon Wall and Petřín hill. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. I love art and fashion and this place is perfect to explore many of
    museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. Futhermore the city has a modern public transportation system which connects the city. Not like one line of subway in Warsaw.
    Very good think is that the locations of Prague is close to the other European capital cities and it take not so long time to go by the train to Budapest or Vienna. In my opinion having an opportunity to study in the oldest university in Central Europe would be a great experience and I could learn a lot and meet new people and make a friendships for the future. It’s nice to have foreign friends.
    So, without any doubt, studying abroad in Prague is an experience that can never be forgotten.

  4. Belarus was the very first country I thought I would like to travel to
    when I imagined the scenario of getting a monthly scholarship to visit any of
    the Central European countries. Undoubtedly one might ask, why a young,
    raised in a pro­western spirit person with deeply imbued democratic values
    such as myself would even bother to think about visiting a country, that is
    widely known as the „Last European Dictatorship”? Well, the number of
    reasons why would I want to visit this country is vast, but my answer to this
    hypothetical question would be plain and simple – for me it’s very personal and I find this region to be very inquiring. To conclude my introduction I just want to say that in this short essay I will be trying to clarify as to why would I prefer to visit Belarus in the first place if I
    had a chance to get a monthly scholarship.
    The first paragraph of my work I would like to devote to shortly
    explaining how did the socio­cultural background in which I was brought up
    caused that this last remnant of Soviet Empire – Belarus, especially it’s capital
    city Minsk, is of great interest and importance for me. I myself come from
    Vilnius, although my origins are not lithuanian. When it comes to national
    identity I find it very hard to tell who I actually am, despite that all the
    members of my family from my mothers side were all aboriginal poles that
    inhabitet areas of Vilnius and I was growing in a mostly polish environment, as
    I was attending to a polish school and most of the people I was socialising with
    were also of polish origin. The problem is that values and traditions that would
    strenghten my national conciousness were never cultivated in my family, nor
    did I ever speak true polish in my social life what is I guess should be blamed
    on former Soviet Union’s rusification policy. But what does this has to do with my
    sympathy towards Belarus? The thing is, that my origins also trace back to the Belarusian city of Gomel from where my great grandfather (my father’s grandfather) together
    with his family migrated to the present lithuanian capital. Only once
    have I been to Belarus, but I know very much about this country from the
    stories of my father. During the days of his youth my father had the chance to
    travel a lot throughout Belarusian SSR and after visiting Minsk he was left
    fascinated with, as he told me, staggering beauty of this Central European
    marvel. So I think that for me a month spent in Belarus would be a great spiritual and cultural experience and maybe this would contribute to helping me somehow overcome this identity crisis I am currently experiencing.
    But of course I would not travel to Belarus only for recreational purposes. If I would like to go on holiday I would rather travel someplace warm and by the sea – Crimea for instance (I wrote that when situation was still relatively calm there). Staying in Belarus for a month would provide a great chance to take a closer look on how do people struggle to live under Lukashenko‘s authoritarian regime and get to know how is the political situation perceived through the eyes of ordinary belarusian citizens. I am sure that getting to see how life in Belarus looks like without the bias of the media would help to understand the true nature of problems belarusians seem to face.
    So here is my short explaination as to why would I choose Belarus if I had the chance to get a monthly scholarship to visit one of the Central European countries. Many say, that Belarus is a highly interesting country – and I fully agree with that. And even though this scholarship situation is all hypothetical, visiting this wonderful Central European country is a life goal for me, because of the family ties, sentiment and great interest towards this last remnant of Soviet Empire.

    Due to having to travel abroad to settle a few important personal matters, I did not manage to write my essay in the first term. I hope that posting my work with such delay will not cause any problems or difficulties

  5. I had won a scholarship, so I had a chance to go for a month to Hungary. It is small country located in the central part of Europe. It is member of European Union since 2004 and member of NATO since 1999 the same like Poland. Their history and culture is very interesting. Hungary were much bigger country previous in comparison with their actual area. After Habsburgs Empire had collapsed the international position of Hungary became much less important. Territory of Hungary was sliced and taken by Romania, Slovakia and Jugoslavia after World War the First. Transylvania- very important region for Hungarians is not located inside borders of their country. In Hungary lives 10 billion people, but what is important many of Hungarians lives in Romania, which is used in hungarian foreign policy by goverment in Budapest. Hungary have common border with 7 countries. Is is a lot like for a such small country. Poland also have 7 countries in neighbourhood.
    I was a guest of Lorand Eotvos University, which is more than 400 years old. Budapest is the capital city. It has never been seriously destroyed, so you can find here many monuments, which variety shows very complicated history, which caused the presence the elements of many cultures. There are 837 monuments of architecture, which represents most of european architectic styles. There are so many attractions, that I was unable to see everything. In Budapest you can find also 223 museums and art galleries. The most important are: House of Terror, Museum of Fine Arts, Historic Museum of Budapest Some historians claim that it was settled and started up by soldiers of Ancient Rome. They had left the city after a few centuries. In 10th century Hungarians settled it again. Danube, second biggest river of Europe goes through it. It is the most international river in the world. Trade was developing Budapest for sure. After 1526 Hungary was conquested by Turks, so Budapest was part of Ottoman Empire for some time. Since 1686 Austrians had took control over the city. Hungarians had to wait to 1918 to be fully independent. We can see next similarity with Poland.
    Budapest offers the big variety of cultural events. One of them is Spring Budapest Festival in which I took part in. It is extraordinary experience, because you can find there very interesting, different kinds of arts, especially concerts. Another valuable festivals are: Budapest Parade focused on music, Budapest Autumn Festival which is bassed on modern art.
    The capital city offers many ways of education, because there are many higher schools with great tradition. Some of them are Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Budapest University of Economy, Hungarian University of Fine Arts, University of National Defence.
    I had a chance to try very original hungarian cuisine: gulasz, halaszle. They are very spicy. Hungarians have a big respect for their tradition. Folk music is still cultivated in province.
    Polish and Hungarian history is strongly connected. Maybe our languages are not similar, but our geopolitical situation now and in the past is nearly the same. We had common friends and common dangers. Friendship of our nations was created not only by the kings from the same dynasty, but also common pain and challenges. Polish the most importanst poets lived in romanticism, Hungarian too. We both had lost a lot of blood during battles for our independence against powerful enemies such as Germany, Austria, Russia, Turkey. In crucial moments of our history our nations showed solidarity to each other. For example general Bem was fighting during hungarian rebellion in 1848. In 1956, when Soviet Union defated the democratic rebellion, Polish society showed the solidarity to Hungarians. Hungary is mainly catholic country. Rest of society are protestansts, but big part don,t belong to any church.
    Some politicians from France, Germany, Great Britain claim that Hungary begin to be authoritarian country. During my scholarschip I didn’t recognised any signals of breaking human laws. In my opinion it is normal, democratic country. I had really enjoyed the time, which I spent there. I hope that I will come back there soon. I have met many friends. Polish-hungarian friendship is not only declarative. I have also tooked part in many very intresting lectures about the political stabilisation in Central Europe. Poland and Hungary have many things in common about their foreign policy.

  6. During the class, we discuss about the countries of Central Europe. If I would get a monthly scholarship to one of those countries, and if I had to choose one country, it would probably be Slovakia. In this post, I will justify why Slovakia is in my opinion a great place to live in for a student granted of a monthly scholarship. As I am not a student of international relation but an engineer studying finance, I will not base my essay on what we saw in our seminar but on fact which fit my personality.

    Firstly, Slovakia is geographically located in the heart of Central Europe as we define it during our class. Its position offer a border with 5 countries (Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland). Also it is not far away from many other countries. This is an important argument in my choice, because I like to travel but I don’t like to lose too much time in transportation so the central location of Slovakia is great. For example, Bratislava, the Slovak capital, is only 57 kilometers away from Vienna. It can be reach by train in less than an hour.

    Secondly, Slovakia is a small country. It has a population of 5.4 million and an area of less than 50,000 square kilometers. I don’t really know why but I am always amazed by the small country. In a world where we can often hear things like “not big enough to” or “critical size”, the fact that small countries succeed economically and preserve their integrity and culture is in my opinion a real proof of grandeur. As we have seen in the seminar about Slovakia, it could have never been a country, but today I feel that Slovakia is full of greatness.

    Thirdly, people in Slovakia are really welcoming. I had a chance to be invited in the family household of a Slovakian girl that I met in Bratislava. I barely knew her and she invited my friend and I to a small town called Dolné Vestenice where her family live. This opportunity was amazing for us. This town of 2600 inhabitants, crossed by a regional road, looks like any other small town in Slovakia. But in its outskirts, there were a rubber factory which produce mainly hockey puck. And twenty meter away from the gate of the factory, they were a group of flat to put family workers up. This for Western European person is kind funny and remind us of the past coal mining industry where miner houses were located really close to the mine. In addition, this weekend was an occasion for us to discover what was a typical Slovakian family weekend and some meals and liqueurs like a burning homemade slivovica.

    Besides, Slovakia has wonderful natural landscape. I really love nature and the mountain. I am a big fan of mountain biking, hiking and skiing. The Carpathian Mountains occupy a large space of Slovakia. The High Tatras, in the north close to the Polish border, is a well-known destination for hiking and skiing. Also, there is nine national parks in Slovakia protected, with a lot of lakes making the landscape splendid. Also, Slovakian landscape is full of wonderful castle of different size. Some of them are abandon, others are rehabilitated and some accept the public. A lot of those castles are at the top of some hill. It makes them dominate the area. I have always been interested in castle since I started to discover them with the secondary school.

    In Slovakia tourism is not too big. I don’t like when places are full of tourist. I lived in Paris and it is full of tourist. Paris is nice but if you stay couple of days all you are going to do is being a walking wallet for the tourism industry and wait in line couples of hours to get into the Louvre to see maybe five percent of what you could see and you will still be happy because it is Paris, London, Prague or Budapest. And I don’t really like the spirit of tourist taking as many pictures as they can of as many place as they can and the spirit of the tourism industry taking as many cash as they can to the tourists. So living in a place where it is not always occupy by tourist is more pleasant. By its size, Slovakia tourism is not as stupid as Paris.

    Finally, the national sport in Slovakia is Ice Hockey. I started Hockey when I was 14 and I had to stop it when I moved to Canada and broke knee ligament while playing. In Canada I discover a society passion for hockey. When they were a hockey game with the local team, the whole area stop working and everyone was in front of their TVs or in bars to watch the game with their family and friends. If the team wins and even sometimes if it loses, you can see flags on cars and houses, and people wearing jersey of the hockey team the day after. And I discover another way to live hockey without playing in competition. And I found the same spirit in Slovakia.

    In conclusion, if I had the chance of having a monthly scholarship, Slovakia would be the perfect location for me within the central european countries. I will be able to enjoy its natural landscape, skiing, and hockey games with the local population.

    P. Laurent

    Data sources: Wikipedia

  7. I am a citizen of Ukraine. This country is unique, and it is not my own resounding statement. This I am going to prove next.
    Ukraine is one of the many European countries had been influenced by communist ideology and directly or indirectly governed by the USSR. Ukraine is less fortunate as she directly was a member of the USSR. Ukraine is much less than fortunate because she has north-east, east, and south-east borders with Russia, a usurper of power in Soviet Union with imperialist-minded political leadership. It is hard not to agree that Russia aspires to be Russian Empire rather than Russian Federation, however, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski she can became an empire only if would Ukraine be standing on her knees. The uniqueness of Ukraine follows from the before-said, because Russian political leadership (or to be more specific, the political leader with 13-year experience) do not let Ukraine go even after the collapse of the USSR 22 years ago. What do I want to say by this? I want to say that I need not monthly but yearly scholarship to one of Central European countries. It can safe my life, because today’s pro-Russian Ukrainian authorities simply kill people with different point of view.
    Let us switch strictly to the point of my choice.
    I will let myself suppose that the majority of my colleagues would choose Czech Republic. It can be simply explained. When somebody mentions Václav Havel or Velvet Revolution, we immediately know what country he is going to talk about. However, when somebody starts up conversation with Árpád Göncz or Pan-European Picnic, a lot will need a moment to be at the same wavelengths with the speaker. And these examples are from the nearest history.
    I will concentrate on Hungary, a small, but very comely Central European country. I will let myself to indicate the city, where I would like to study. My choice is Budapest, a capital of the country, and the higher educational establishment I am interested in is a famous Central European University. Let me briefly explain the factors, which my choice is based on.
    My one-month stay in Hungary I would consider with concrete prospects, which are continuation of my studying, internship or work in this country. Thereby, I would also take into account its economic indicators. In this perspective Hungary adequately suits me, however, due to the International Monetary Fund Ranking, GDP of the country per capita is 19,497 $, conceding such Central European Countries as Poland, Czech Republic , and some Baltic States. But certainly Human Development Index (HDI) should be acknowledged as it gives more realistic picture of economic situation of this country. According to HDI Hungary rows down most of Central European Countries, for instance, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and took 5th position among Central European countries and 37th position overall. Moreover, I would like to mention another economic index that proves that the country does not stagnate. Hungary has current account surplus, which means that exports (83 billions) in Hungary exceed imports (76 billions). All before mentioned statistic data are important to understand vital activity of the country in general and its distinct institution specifically (education, healthcare etc.).
    I will let myself to go around all cultural values of Hungary as it is an obvious fact: Budapest is beautiful, marvelous city; however, I do not consider Prague to be less beautiful or marvelous. Both of them are utterly interesting cities. My point of view is shared by statistics, according to which the amount of tourist visiting the capitals of Hungary and Czech Republic is approximately equal. But I would like to pay additional attention on Central European University (CEU), the university I am interested in. It is a private university, which has accreditation in the United States. This university is unique founded in response to the Fall of Communism and designed to serve the development of open society. Central European University is an ideal variant of independent university, embodying overriding principle of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s university reform, which is the principle of university’s autonomy. This is the university I would like to study at.
    To sum up: Hungary, Budapest, Central European University – this is my final destination for my studying-trip in Central Europe.

  8. If I had a chance to go for a monthly scholarship to one of the Central European countires I would probaby choose the Czech Republic. I have travelled to the Czech Republic a lot but I never spent there enough time to fully get acquainted with what it has to offer. I have been to Olomouc, Karlovy Vary and Prague – all these cities made a great impression on me, however the biggest made Prague and that is where I would spend a month with a lot of pleasure.
    Prague has a remarkable history, as it is not only the capital of Czech state but also an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro – Hungarian Empire, which was replaced by Czechoslovakia after World War I. Prague is the city of Jan Hus – priest, philosopher and church reformer. On 6 July 1415 he was condemned to be burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of Catholic Church. He was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the sixteenth century. The monument of Jan Hus stands on the sqaure of the Old Town and is a popular place of meeting of Prague’s inhabitants.
    Other important historical events connected to Prague are the Thirty Years’ War, World War I and World War II and the post- war Comunist era. As on 1 January 1993 the Czechoslovakia split into two independent countires – The Czech Republic and The Slovak Republic. The most recognizable Czech politicians are three presidents: Václav Havel, Václav Klaus and Miloš Zeman. The country after being ruled by comunists is now a multi – party parliamentary representative democratic republic, where the President is the head of the state, Prime Minister is the head of government. The parliament is divided into the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
    What also makes me choose Prague are its architecture and culture. Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Sqaure, St Vitus Cathedral, National Museum and New Town Hall are the most spectacular buidlings. When you are surrounded by them you want to explore the city even more. In 1993 the centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. When it is time to rest after sightseeing a good place will be Cafe Slavia where Václav Havel met his wife – Olga, his friend Milan Kundera and his mentor – poet Jiří Kolář – used to drink their coffee there. Next step could be National Gallery with works of Alfons Mucha, Rudolf Fila, Bohumil Kubišta and others. There are also museums of two of the finest Czech’s ninentith century composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. The Franz Kafka Museum is also worth visiting as this German- speaking writer spent almost all his life in Prague. His grave is to be found in the New Jewish Cemetery.
    The geography of the Czech Republic is breathtaking. There are mainly forests and mountains on the borders of the country, so there is a chance to relax far away from lively cities. What is worth noticing is that Prague lays close to other fine European capitals like Vienna, Bratislava or Budapest. It takes only a few hours to get to them by train.
    The last reason for choosing Prague is Charles Univeristy. Having an opportunity to study in the oldest university in Central Europe would be a great experience. A lot of well – known people studied here so it would be an extraoridnary feeling to acquire knowledge in such a place.
    Taking all into account I think that the Czech Republic and being more precise Prague is the best place to go for a monthly scholarship. The city gives a great educational opportunity thanks to Charles University and because of a fine entertainment meaning museums, galleries, theatres and other places of interests. I hope that in the near future I will have a chance to study there.

  9. To spend a semester in Europe as a tourist is one thing, but to be as an exchange student – the perfect time to explore another culture, being one of its integral parts. Today if I have an opportunity to study elsewhere, not in Poland, I will make my life-changing choice on Czech Republic and further I’ll try to show the reasonable benefits of studying there.
    For many years this country has been playing an important role in geopolitical sense of whole Europe, staying in the crossroads, which connect its Western and Eastern parts.
    Czech Republic always attracts tourists’ eyes by its red rooftops, cluster of narrow alleys, impressive castles (over 3000) and old architectural masterpieces. Everybody knows that this country has an old history, beautiful culture and developed economy. But there is no doubt that Czech Republic and its heart-centre Prague play and an import role in the field of research and science.
    The educational system in Czech Republic is considered to be one of the best in the world according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Most of main institutions of the Czech Academy of Sciences are situated in Prague. The oldest University of Central and Eastern Europe – the Charles University – is also located there. There are some world’s finest art schools, which can draw attention of every creative person. The other advantage of studying in Czech Republic concerns the fact that educational institutes can assist students in finding part-time jobs.
    Expenses covering the stay are rather lower than in other European countries. Food and transportation is cheap. The Czech Republic is very safe and tolerant country for many foreigners, living there. The Czech culture doesn’t differ very much from Western one. But if you are from the Eastern Europe, it won’t be too difficult for you to adjust to it, sinking deep into the mentality of Czechs. Another very important aspect is that many people in Prague speak in English, so you aren’t obliged to know Czech. But studying there you will get a great chance to start learning Czech in everyday life by communicating with native speakers and attending special courses.
    Czech Republic is a good platform for becoming a good specialist in some fields of knowledge and broading your outlook. So, without any doubt, studying abroad in Prague is an experience that can never be replicated.

  10. If I was granted a scholarship to go to a Central Eastern European country, my choice would be Romania. As I graduated in International Cultural and Business Studies from the University of Passau (Germany) and my ancestors are polish, I am deeply interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of the German bilateral relations with single Central Eastern European Countries. For decades there has been a German ethnic minority in Romania in the meantime amounting to almost 800,000 citizens, I would like to learn about their history and current cultural life. The city of Cluj-Napoca in which I chose to study, is not only the second most populated in Romania (after Bukarest), it is also one of the multicultural centers of the country. It is located in western Transilvania, a region covering the northwest and central areas of today’s Romania. Cluj-Napoca was founded and built by German settlers from Saxony in the 13th century and was, at that time, the second largest city of the Hungarian Kingdom. The city’s German name is Klausenburg and in the 17th and 18th century Cluj-Napoca was the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transilvania under the Habsburg Monarchy and until today a significant share of nearly 20 per cent of the population of Cluj-Napoca is represented by ethnic Hungarians. Although the share of the German minority has strongly diminished after the Romanian Revolution throughout the 1990s (it currently amounts to less than one per cent), the German minority in Romania has always had a rich cultural life. It is for education and culture, why Cluj Napoca seems to be an interesting place for German-speaking students in Central Eastern Europe. When attending the University of Babeș-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca, I would be most interested in the international master’s courses the university offers, such as International Relations and European Studies which are held in English and in German as well. Moreover, the city is hosting one of the four German Cultural Centers in Romania (the others are located in Sibiu, Timisoara and Iais). For decades, the German minority in Romania had cultivated most impressive and long-standing literary traditions and brought about writers such as Richard Wagner and the noble price winner Hertha Müller. The aim of institutions such as the German Cultural Centers is to preserve these vivid cultural traditions as well as to foster the German-Romanian cultural exchange. To this end, the German government has provided extensive financial support (between 1990 and 2000 it provided a total of approximately € 90 million of funds in support for the German minority). In Romania, German is still being taught as a foreign language in schools. Members of the German minority, which today amounts to approximately 37,000 people, have access to the whole range of educational institutions especially established to cater for the needs of mother tongue education in German. The German-speaking tradition also continues in the area of print and electronic media. Local newspapers and radio stations exist in areas of German minority settlements as well as nationwide cultural magazines are published in German co-financed by the Romanian government and TV broadcasts are provided by the state television aiming at the German-speaking minority. Another city which I would like to visit during my stay in Romania is Sibiu. Firstly, Sibiu has, similarly to Cluj Napoca, a long-standing German-speaking tradition and from this perspective also seems to be an interesting place to explore. Secondly, another interesting characteristic is the fact that Sibiu has been administered by a German major, Klaus Johannis, for 13 years. During this time, Sibiu has experienced impressive economic development and transformed from a structurally weak province to a city with nearly full-employment attracting massive attention from investors and tourists. Thirdly, another reason why Sibiu seems to be an inspiring place is for its academic cooperation. In 2012, a project in the area of journalism studies with the title “Crossmedia and Quality Journalism. Innovations for a university journalistic education in the interconnected society“ was established by my home university in Passau in cooperation with the university of Sibiu and the university of Vienna. Its goal is to assure and consolidate the employability of graduates in journalism as well as the future viability of the journalistic training at university level in Central and Eastern Europe. Since the University of Sibiu possesses the best intercultural and specialized points of intersection between Western and Eastern Europe according to the project coordinators, it has been chosen as a cooperation partner. Students like me, who are interested in working as a journalist in future can attend international workshops and seminars in Sibiu and this opportunity links the city of Sibiu as well as Romania as a country closer to Western European cities.

    Wolf, S.: The impact of post-communist regime change and European integration on ethnic minorities: The special case of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe. In: European Integration and the Nationalities Question. Routledge, New York, 2006.

    Erfolgsmodell Hermannstadt, Deutschlandfunk. Accessed at: http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/erfolgsmodell-hermannstadt.795.de.html?dram:article_id=254883 on 07.02.1014.

  11. If I had the opportunity to go for a month to study at any country in Central Europe – I would have chosen, for sure, the Czech Republic, because it is an amazing country, which combines both Western and close to me Slavic features.
    The nature of Czech Republic is enormously variegated and colorful: rock towns and vineyards, meadows and lakes – this country is as if designed for romantic feelings. Czech nature is the perfect combination of mountains, ponds, meadows and forests. The Czech government has always cared about the unique natural resources of the country. That is why the virgin beauty of Czech nature is well preserved. The natural harmony is supplemented by medieval castles and lovely villages.
    Castles and fortresses are one the main attractions of the Czech Republic, there are a huge number of them here – about 2500. Castles of the Czech Republic can easily compete in beauty and history with the best castles in the world.
    Czech people consider their country fabulous and often joke that for visiting of all the castles you will need the whole lifetime. Castles in the Czech Republic can be found everywhere and for every taste: beautiful romantic castles, surrounded by beautiful parks with ponds; majestic impregnable fortresses; picturesque ruins. They are often located on a hill and have stunning views. Czech castles and fortresses have numerous legends and, as it is expected there are ghosts in them. On their squares, on holidays, it is organized tournaments, royal processions, fairs, lush wedding feasts and public executions.
    To all other, The Czech Republic is famous for its enormous wealth of natural sources, healing properties of which are used for centuries to treat and prevent a variety of diseases.
    Czech nation itself, of course, is also very interesting. It is impossible to identify unambiguously some dominant traits. Czechs are very quiet and reserved, friendly and hospitable. They love order and cleanliness and generally are quite pedantic (which makes them look like the Germans). Moreover Czechs (especially the older generation) are rather conservative in their views, they have zealous attitude to traditions and customs.
    Czechs have one interesting feature. All the people in Czech Republic like chilling stories, black humor and they are terribly superstitious – and there is no difference, who is in front of you: doctor of sciences or a simple housewife! In the history of the Czech Republic there were so many tragic moments that its inhabitants had to develop a little bit ironic attitude toward death. They seriously believe in all the numerous legends that densely fanned their country and its historical past. Ask them and they will be happy to talk about local myths, curses and how to protect from them!
    Without any doubt, the whole Czech Republic is fine, but, of course, I would be attracted the most by Prague, the gem of the planet and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Prague with its beauty, manifested in the grand scale and in small details, resembles Florence, though it does not imitate the Florentine architecture. Even Habsburg architectural style, richly presented in Prague differs here by Slavic indescribable originality. I would call Prague as Slavic Florence.
    Prague is very beautiful and clean city, where you can see big fishes in local water sources, where at each step there is as if lurking small miracle that brings a great pleasure, makes to feel yourself positively. Beautiful parks with roaming peacocks, bridges with statues, ancient churches, strange toys, amazing souvenirs and delicious meals.
    When I first visited Prague – it immediately became very close and familiar beginning from the first steps in the city center. I accepted it at once, realized and felt like at home. I quickly got used to the free entrance to the public transport, to time-based billing in transport, to cleanliness and order around. Particularly I became attached to ravishing architectural ensembles, streets and small houses, churches and squares. Extraordinary temples and cathedrals of Prague attracted with their divine aura that emanated from them.
    Ah, Czech Republic Czech Republic … After my story I would like right now to sponsor by myself my scholarship, pack m

  12. “A semester in Hungary”

    I believe there would be no better destination for another experience abroad than spending a semester in Hungary and its beautiful capital Budapest. The culture and history of this country have always fascinated me: from the peculiarities of the language (Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family, along with Finnish and Estonian) to the majestic architecture of its palaces and, as most Central European countries, a complicated and troubled history.

    The main reason behind this choice is actually how I find interesting and extraordinary how the Hungarians, as the only non-Slavic people in the region (with the Romanians), have managed not only to preserve their identity but to actually flourish and, in the second half of the 19th century, become an Empire (together with Austria).

    Having now spent almost two years in Poland I have learnt how much pride people here have for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a political entity unique in its nature in the 17th century. Though caused by different reasons and emerged in a different historical context, the Austro-Hungarian Empire definitely represented an anomaly at its own time as well (and if possible, even more “multi-ethnic” as we would say nowadays), but proved to be functional and fostered incredible economic development, in particular for the Hungarian part.

    Similarly to Poles also, Hungarians have always been prone to “revolt” due to external threat or occupation. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 is rightfully considered the most important and relevant episode of rebellion against the USSR during the Cold War, especially because it occurred when the Soviet Union itself was at the peak of its power and influence.

    Another aspect that intrigues me is the present political situation and the “hot topics” that are currently at the centre of debates in nowadays Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the Romani minority.

    The economic crisis and the disillusion towards the EU that followed were behind the rise of Viktor Orbán and its party Fidesz. It will be extremely interesting for me to find out the opinion Hungarians have about him, since from the outside the media have depicted him as a “cynical populist and mystifyingly authoritarian” (The Economist).
    The other issue, the Romani minority, is common to other countries, however in Hungary this group accounts for 3,5% of the population officially, with unofficial estimates going as high as 9-10%: no other country has such a sizeable Romani population and therefore first-hand impressions from the Hungarians themselves will be extremely valuable to me.
    Of course history and politics are only part of the reasons that made choose Hungary.

    The breath-taking views that the capital, Budapest, from the Chain Bridge to the Buda Castel Hill, from the Parliament Palace to the Great Synagogue are a legacy of the glorious past of a city that was the capital of a huge empire and that is today one of the richest cities in terms of culture in Europe.

    I look forward to moving to Hungary and discover the beauties of this country and get in touch with its culture, its environment and its people.

  13. If I would get a monthly scholarship to any of the central Europe country I would choose Czech Republic. However there are few central Europe countries we have already discussed about that I would also like to visit and get more information from the source: about culture, habits, traditions and mentality of people who live there. My choice is Czech Republic because it’s a very beautiful country, with great University, it is on Poland’s southern west boarder and I was passing this country few times when I was driving by the car. Czech Republic is also – like Poland – a post soviet country and have, like the countries situated in that place of Europe many struggles in the past. For example in the recent past – in the 19th century they were a part of the Austria-Hungarian empire, then after the first world war they were in the Czechoslovakia – after the second world war Czechoslovakia was in the USSR area of influence. And they also likewise Poland were on the communism influence till the about 90’s of the 20th century. It would be very curious and fascinating to see how they deal with the post communism opposites and problems, how it influenced on nowadays – compare it with Poland. Also what are the signs of the post communism times – fortunately there are less and less by each year and I hope that those communism signs will disappear completely one day. Unfortunately between Poles and Czechs is a perceptible stereotype and some sort of the aversion or antipathy. The reason of it is for many Czechs intervention of the Warsaw’s pact army in the Czech Republic. An innocent people died during this intervention. It was called the operation Dunaj. It was in August 21, 1968. Poland and current communist countries was controlled, and governed by UCCP in that times. I heard that many Czechs have aversion for Poland because Poland’s army was the second biggest-after Russian-army that stepped into the Czech’s area. But Poland was the second biggest country in the Warsaw pact, and of course Poland and other Warsaw pacts countries was governed in that times by communists so they weren’t real and independent countries. Poles and Czechs are trying to eliminate this aversion but it’s not done yet. My opinion is that every Czech in Poland and every Pole in the Czech Republic should be a role model and should give an example for other people. So it would be also my target in the scholarship – I would like to go there because I want to help in making better relations between Poland and Czech Republic, between Poles and Czechs. I know that it’s going to be hard, however not only units but many people are improving relations between our countries. If more and more people will start to think in that context of our countries, we would make better relations and eliminate the UCCP influence which still exist. Because till this aversion would be between our countries till communism-despite that it is finished-would have small influence on our countries and generally nowadays. My other important argument for going to Czech Republic for a scholarship is that I definitely would like to go to the Karol University in Prague. It is the best university in Czech Republic and it represents very high standard and science level. It has also good international opinion. Many students from all over the world are coming there. So I could exchange my opinions with them. I think that in this university I could learn a lot, not only about Czech’s. It has also great tradition, It is also the oldest university in the central Europe. It was founded in 1348 by the Czech’s king – Karol IV Luksemburski. My next reason for going to Czech Republic is to get to know better and get to know opinions of deserved and honored Czech’s heroes like Tomasz Masaryk (1850-1937) or Vaclav Havel (1936-2011). Tomasz Masaryk is a great hero in their country. He was the president of Czechoslovakia, he was named “the father of the independent Czechoslovakia”. He is the role model for Czechs. He was the philosophy professor, sociologist and the lecturer in the university in Prague. Other Czech’s important person is Vaclav Havel – writer, anti communism activist, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of The Czech Republic. He was the main figure of the velvet revolution which was very important in the Czech history. That was the events in 1989 (started by students) that were going to Czech’s independence and defeat the communism regime. From the end of 1988 in all Czech’s country was demonstrations that had becoming more and more powerful. It was the sequence of the same events in the middle-east Europe countries. After people’s fight for freedom, countries governed by communists could liberate themselves. These heroes and Czech citizens are for sure people worth to get to know closer.

  14. My choice is Slovenia. After years of fascination with Eastern Europe, while I’ve been collecting more experiences with those countries, I’ve decided to focus more on Slavic southern Central Europe with such countries as Slovenia,Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    One of the main reasons why I chose Slovenia is because my knowledge about the country is lesser then of other former Yugoslavian countries. I would like to discover the place by myself, not led by any preconceptions,media mythology and certain expectations towars the country I’ve chosen. Nowadays it may be difficult to reset our minds – due to the fact of globalisation and disposition of ethnocentrism we might be already prejudiced before going somewhere. People usually tend to have more or less defined image of the place they are travelling to, knowing f.ex. how exactly Kiev should be like as a part of post-communist territory, how Paris- as a representative of Western Civilisation or Teheran-as a muslim capital.
    My first developed and intense contact with Slovenian history, political and economic situation took place when I was reading and preparing myself to write the essay, hesitating between Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. But it was Slovenia that finally convinced me. I’ve also heard about its beauty, outstanding nature and great biological diversity but I’m going to write about it later as it’s one of the main aspects of my probable stay there.
    Slovenia is a very small country (over 20 000 km2) with a population of 2 mln and shares borders with four interesting countries :Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. I think that just before the beginning of my scholarship there, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of visiting Austria and Hungary and after finishing it, Croatia and Italy. 15 % of Slovenia inhabitants are immigrants from other parts of former Yugoslavia and their descendants and there are also two significant ethnic minorities: Italian and Hungarian. Slovenian neighbours had been influencing its culture more than fellow Balkan countries, with whom Slovenia functioned as a one country for many years. But its culture have been also significantly influenced by Catholicism and Lutheranism. The current territory was part of many different state formations including the Roman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918 Slovens exercised self-determination for the first time by co-funding the State of Slovens, Croats and Serbs. During WWII Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany and three of its neighbours: Italy, Croatia and Hungary. Slovenia played a tremendous part in the world history, being a founding member of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from which it split in 1991.During these days Slovenia was the most succesfull and the richest republic in Yugoslavia. The country stayed a bit separated from the common communist politics as long as it was possible.They’ve been also physically separated from other Balkan countries because of the mountains , and they were not highly reconciled with the imperative to live in one common formation. Now Slovenia is a parliamentary republic with a developed economy and is per capita the richest of Slavic states. In 2004 it entered NATO, in 2007 the European Union and became the first former communist country to join the Euro zone, replacing the tolar.
    My scholarship should feed my egoism and desire of travelling and experiencing. If it would last only for a one month, it’s clear for me that I don’t go there just for study reasons until it is not as prestigious university as Cambridge or Oxford. But Slovenia is a very small country with only four state-owned univeristies: in Lublana (since 1919), in Maribor, Univeristy of Primorska, and Univeristy of Nova Gorica. I would pick out the first one as it’s the oldest, the most reputed local university and is situated in a capital city-Lublana. It offers numerous scholarships and exchange programmes for foreigners and I would be glad to go there for a one month.
    Slovenia is a mountainous country with the 90 % of exceptionally high landscape. The highest peak there is Triglav (2,864 m). It is one of the greenest countries in the world, having over half of the country (60% !) covered with forests. Because of this, it is a third most forested country in Europe after Finland and Sweden. 36% of country’s land area belongs to protected nature areas and it constitutes the largest percentage among EU states. In such a small country there are three (!) climate zones: continental in hilly territories, sub-mediterranean and the alpine climate in the north-west part. Slovenia is touching Alps, Dinaric Mountains, Pannonian Plains and the Mediterranean Sea with a small portion of a coastline among the Adriatic Sea. If it comes to Lublana, I could explore many pearls of baroque and secession architecture there, of course visit National Museum and castles as well as not far-distant charming towns of Ptuj and Skofja Loka.The next direction for me is Maribor- in 2012 the city was named the European Capital of Culture. It’s the second largest city in Slovenia and the residence of Slovenian National Theatre, Modern Arts Gallery and old Jewish district area with its saved culture. Not far away from the centre of Maribor, there’s a breathtaking Pahorje Massif, called „The lungs of Maribor”. Who wouldn’t like to spend one month in this country, where nature is overwhelming everything? I love canoeing ,I do it every single weekend in the summer and Slovenia with its amazing fundament is one of the best choices for that in Europe. Trekking, going to the mountains,canoeing,short trips, exploring and enjoying Slovenian nature-these would be my main goals during the stay in Slovenia.
    As an ethnology and antropology student, I pay attention to a place and culture I’m currently experiencing. Studing cultures made me aware of all the processes of changes that are taking place in people’s lives, local communities, environment and especially in traditional culture. My interest is to rediscover traditional music of concrete ethnic groups, living often in the mountains or in different specified regions of partial isolation. With a help of Slovene native speaker I could do my very small researches also there.Coming from Podkarpacie region and living in the areas of borderlands, made it easy for me to notice how problematic ethnic identity can be. Ethnic identity of borderlands. I’m interested how the collapse of Yugoslavia influenced ethnic identity of Slovenia inhabitants, in particular those of diverse Yugoslavian heritage. What is more, Slovenia has been in feud with Croatia over borders changing since 1991 and that’s also an interesting subject for me.I would like to know how after border changes can ethnic minorities belonging to different nations live in foreign states and what is their ethnic identity.
    My visit in Slovenia would be focused on experiencing nature, sightseeing, discovering culture and most importantly- cuisine, because I’m an incredible food nerd. Being vegan makes it sometimes more difficult if it comes to trying new tastes but I always manage to find a good solution. Slovenian cuisine is a mixture of Central European cuisine (especially Hungarian and Austrian), the Mediterranean and the Balkan. In 2006, Slovenian ethnologists have divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions. Their cuisine can be also divided into town, farmhouse, cottage, castle, parsonage, and monastic cuisine. I found out the informations about national Slovenian dishes that can be prepared in a vegan way: Idrijski zlikrofi – dumplings made of dough with potato and onion filling, served with bread sauce. Struklji- which looks like Polish poppy seed cake and it’s made of dough with various fillings, usually apple, poppy seed and cheese. Fritaja- omelette made of vegetables such as wild asparagus,wild hops, chicory, tomatoes, young garlic sprouts, mushrooms,herbs and white or red wine. It looks like Italian pizza or Geoergian chaczapuri. Prekmurska gibanica- dessert, which contains poppy seeds,walnuts, apples and cheese filling. For centuries it was served as a festive and ritual dish in Prekmuje region but now it’s one of national Slovenian dishes. If it wouldn’t be possible to prepare traditional Slovenian food in a vegan way, I’d be a little bit disappointed to miss the national tastes of the country I’m visiting for my scholarship, but in Lublana there are seven vegan places . Veganism has a good reputation there because of former president of Slovenia who was vegan- Janez Drnovsek.
    Slovenia seems to be an outstanding little country, politically shy but stable and confident. Economic position of the country is very high and they are doing incredibly well. But the main reasons for me to go there are nature and architecture due to the fact I’m fascinated by Secession. Another reason to go there is Yuglosavian phase of Slovenian history and its confidence during these days and their specific culture, in particular traditional music.

    Reference:

    1. Walkiewicz W. – Jugosławia- byt wspólny i rozpad, Warszawa 2000.
    2. The internet

  15. It is quite difficult for me to choose only one country of Central Europe, because each of them is worth visiting, but if I had an opportunity to get a monthly scholarship in a state of this region, I would choose Hungary.
    I took notice of this country about five years ago, when I watched a movie called “Freedom and Love”, which shows the Hungarian Revolution crushed by Soviets in 1956. It’s a thrilling image of unequal battle between residents of Budapest, mainly students and Russian troops. This movie opened my eyes to the problem of communism in our part of Europe, and to the fact the troublesome way to democracy. In this issue, the history of our country and Hungary are quite similar.
    The second reason, why I want to visit this country is my friend, Anna. She is from Hungary, but her mother is Polish and she decided to study at our university. We were sharing a room in the dormitory last year, and she told me a lot about her country. Our conversations encouraged me to visit this state and the best solution would be to do it within a scholarship program, because in this way I would have a chance to see the country, discover a new culture, and also meet people my age.
    If I had a chance to choose a city, where I want study, it will be the capital – Budapest. This city is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in this part of Europe. People sometimes equate it with Paris, the obviously it’s not so big as capitol of France, but it has almost two millions inhabitants, which makes it one of a biggest metropolis in Europe. Budapest is the center of culture. In the city there are over 800 different monuments, which gives example of most of the European artistic styles. There are also lots of museums and galleries, which present memories of universal, European and of course national history, culture and science. Here are the greatest examples among them: the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Aquincum Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the House of Terror and the Museum of Applied Arts. Budapest offers first-class theaters, and operas. The State Opera House is considered as one of the leading operas in the world. This city is home to numerous tourist attractions. The Chain Bridge, the Ruin Garden, the Buda Castle, the Gellert Hill, the Heroes Square, and the Andrassy Avenue are some of the most visited sights of the city.
    And finally, the main reason of my visit – studies. In Hungary, especially in Budapest there are many universities, but considering my field of study, I would probably choose the Central European University although it offers only postgraduate studies. It is an English-language university, studying here I would not encounter any difficulties in communication and studying. Financial assistance is also available for students in bad economic situation as well as for capable students, in fact 90 percent of students receive a full or partial scholarship. This university includes numerous departments, for instance: Economics, International Relations and European Studies, Mathematics and its Applications, Political Science, Legal Studies and History. The education system of this university creates many opportunities for personal growth. One of the interesting offers is a one-year Master’s degree program. The Central European University is one of a few institutions, which proposes this sort of course, with the duration of such a short period of time. Personally, I would like to apply for one of the courses in the social or political field. Although I am afraid, that one month it is rather not enough to make the best of all the opportunities this university offers.
    I consider this visit would be a great opportunity and an unforgettable adventure.

  16. “Knowledge of history frees us to be contemporary” Lynn White
    “Cine are carte are parte!” Romanian proverb
    [meaning: educated man will achieve more in life]

    Education and continuous self-improvement plays an important role not only in professional’s life but ordinary person as well. My bachelor studies in international economics and current master’s in finance prove more and more times that knowledge of history and economic one especially is of unusual importance for me and my future life. It helps better to match theory with practice, and to develop new theory that doesn’t contradict with present reality. As I’m from Ukraine, any research and experience that concerns Central European countries’ development is particularly beneficial for me. The reason is that development of former post-soviet countries has something in common. Mostly all of them have own “recipe” or way of transformation to modern market-driven (more or less) countries. This experience can be employed in my home country, resulting in reformation and successful growth, and can benefit the whole Europe in addition.
    My attention catches Academy School of Economics, situated in Bucharest, Romania. It was established in 1913 as a public university and is considered to be one of the top universities in Romania. It specializes in economics, and has courses conducted in English, German and French. I would be extremely happy to go there at least for a month, get new impressions, new knowledge, dig deeper in economic history, especially transition period, asses current economic performance, and simply to enjoy beautiful Romania! And I have a strong purpose for doing such educational trip.
    Firstly, Romania is a developing, upper-middle income market economy, member of European Union (EU), the eighth largest country by area in EU. At the same time it is a country with quite complicated history that lacks continuity. It was under Ottoman domination in the Middle ages for more than 300 years and soviet occupation after World War II for 42 years. During the 1980s Romania was one of the most politically and economically isolated Central European countries. Because of Nicolae Ceausescu’s cult of personality, the country underwent the bloodiest of post-soviet transitions. The revolution was motivated by a desire for greater political and intellectual freedom and economic prosperity, but during the 1990s its goals have gone significantly unfulfilled. The lack of developed civil society, charges of political corruption the failure to transform the economy have hampered Romania’s objective of becoming a fully integrated European country. In the last 20 years, Romania has made considerable progress in establishing democratic institutions and modern market economy. Up until the late 2000s financial crisis, the Romanian economy has been referred to as a „Tiger” due to its high growth rates and rapid development. Thus transition period was crucial in Romania’s progress and I fell myself obliged to understand it more detail. Going to Romania is a perfect opportunity to do that.
    Secondly, attitude to Romanian membership in EU is contradictory. One widespread point that membership in EU is beneficial from economic point of view, as it contributes to GDP and industrial production growth, improving living conditions, financial market stability. In 2011, Romania and the IMF/EU/World Bank signed a 24-month stand-by agreement, worth $6.6 billion, to promote fiscal discipline, encourage progress on structural reforms, and strengthen financial sector stability. Romania has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, becoming the single largest investment destination in Southeastern and Central Europe. It has growing middle and upper classes with relatively high per capita incomes. On contrary, another approach shows that membership in EU hurts Romania’s economic development. This idea is backed by terrible facts: the net average monthly wage was 1,617 lei (€387) in March 2013 – the lowest indicator in EU. For a country like Romania, economic development requires taking advantage of lower wages and expanding export. But Germany remains a country exporting into Romania and leaving precious little room for Romania to develop its economy. So Romania remains importing county with huge trade deficit. In addition, one may see EU regulations dealing with private enterprises inappropriate for a developing country. This results in increasing corruption. That arguments made me think a lot, but being a EU advocate I still can’t evaluate benefits/losses from Romanian membership accurately. This issue I’m interested in and would like to examine closer. One more remarkable opinion of Dr. Friedman I’m confused of is “for Romanians, becoming European is both a form of therapy and something that will restrain the demons within and without.” I need to feel spirit of Romanian society to react adequately to this idea.
    Thirdly, there are some particular issues I’d like to investigate: Bucharest in all dimensions, Bucharest Stock Exchange and Romanian property bubble. Bucharest is the largest, the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of Central-Eastern Europe. It’s a major financial center and at the same time city with wonderful architecture.
    As a conclusion I would say that it is really fascinating walking up and down in Peleș Castle, surrounded by marvelous forests of Carpathian Mountains, practicing French with Romanian habitants, talking on important historical and contemporary issues and enjoying every minute in exciting Romania.

    George Freidman “Geopolitical Journey. Part 3: Romania”
    David Turnock “Aspects of independent Romania’s economic history”
    Steven D. Roper “Romania the unfinished revolution”
    Statistics from Worldbank.org, CIA.gov

  17. When we speak about Central Europe region we say that is great region, with great history, especially important culture, music, vivid life and strong cooperation between countries who are in this region and other regions around The Central Europe. The country i have chosen from Central Europe region in which would like to study for one month and get free scholarship is Hungary.
    I would like to study in Hungary for a lot of reasons, but the first of the reasons i want to talk about is because of a book i read four years ago – „Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from Middle Ages to the Present“ written by Piotr S. Wandycz. When i read this book i was so astonished about this region, about its history, culture and etc. (In this comment while saying this region, i mean CE). From that time i wanted to visit all the countries that book was based about – Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic. After few years of studies in my university i went to study in Warsaw for one month – my dream to live in one of these countries became true. Now i that i have studied second time in Poland, i want to visit Hungary as the next country in this region.
    Second reason I would want to study in Hungary – one month studies would help me for later studies in Hungary. From these studies i would learn the nature and culture of studies in Hungary, i would also get some opportunities to see professors, lecturers. I even could learn the basics of the Hungarian language. All these things i have mentioned is important for me, because i want to study Master studies in Central European University. This university is very famous for history studies in this region. Students from USA, Canada, Australia, Great Kingdom study in this university and opportunity to study in CEU it would great. Studies in this university is really important for me because of the long history between Grand Duchy of Lithuania, later Both Nations Commonwealth and Hungary. My interest of studies is also based on part history of Hungary studies, so it would help my studies and me as a scholar.
    Thirdly, i would like to study in Hungary because of its good geographical and geopolitical position. Studying in Hungary, opens a lot of roads to neighbours countries – Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania. While studying one month you can visit these contries for two-tree days almost without any problems. It means that strategicly Hungary is in very good geographical position. One the other hand, when we speak about geography we have to speak about Hungary as one of the most beautifull places in the world. Hungary has astonishing places like: Matra Mountains, great rivers Danube and Tisza, Lake Balaton which is Central Europe largest freshwater lake, Lake Velence, Lake Ferto. Futhermore, Hungary have 10 national parks and even more regional parks.
    Fourthly, i would like to get a scholarship to study in Hungary for one month to see and experience the culture of Hungary. Opportunity to see traditional Hungarian dances, listen to traditional Hungarian music, taste the Hungarian food or vine for both the Hungarians are famous in the world be really interesting. Of course visit museums like Museum of Terror, museums of famous writers like Sandar Marai, see places were great politicians and historians lived is very important.
    Next argument why i would like to visit Hungary is capital Budapest and what can you see there. Capital is not the only place that a person has to visit in Hungary but it‘s must a place what people from abroad should visit while they are visiting Hungary. Smaller cities, countryside is also very good places to vsit. Budapest is known for its great historic heritage, old buildings, great oldtown or the famous Buda Castle, bank of Danube river, Millennium Underground Railway which is the second oldest underground metro in the planet. Budapest is also famous for its thermal water cave system. Furthermore, i would love to visit the famous Parliament of Hungary, see monuments like Heroes‘ Square. Speaking about politics, i am myself a conservative youth organization member so opportunity to visit Hungarian Youth Conservative organizations would be also very interesting thing to do. What‘s more important that Budapest is finansial hub in Central Europe. A lot of biggest economic organizations is based there. Its one of the best place to live in the Europe according to quality of life index.
    The last thing i want to talk briefly about is how different Hungary is from other countries in this region. Hungary is not a big country compared with for example Poland, but it‘s one of the biggest countries in CE. Furthermore, only 10 mln. of people are living Hungary while in the neighbour countries like Romania have more then 21 mln. people living. On the other hand, Budapest is the finansial hub, making it really important. Hungary has a great history of technological inventions they made, which other countries in this region couldn‘t say they have.
    In the end i would like to say that i would really love to study in Hungary not only for one month but for whole Master studies and even more. I have neven been in Hungary but i like this country, i would like go to Hungary next.

    Books that i used for this essay:

    1. Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from Middle Ages to the Present. Piotr S. Wandycz

    From lectures:

    “The will to survive, a history of Hungary” – Bryan Cartledge
    “A History of Hungary” – Laszlo Koutler, Atlantisz Publishing House

  18. Czech Republic
    When I began to wonder which of the countries of Central Europe will be the place I would choose to hold a scholarship it turned out to be a very difficult issue. Central Europe has always been the subject of my interest. Maybe it’s because the fact that on the one hand they were as far away from my homeland Afghanistan, both in terms of geographical, cultural and religious issues, and yet so close, when you consider their history.
    It is also one of the reasons why I chose Poland as the place where I wanted to study. Therefore, when I began to think about another country, which would be equally interesting I thought of the Czech Republic. Firstly, due to their proximity to my current place of residence – Warsaw.
    In addition, Czech language, who belongs to the group of Slavic languages is closely related to Polish, and since it is over a year that I studied Polish language, I think it could really help me with learning the Czech language.
    Also I’ve always wanted to see Prague. I heard about the charms of this city very much and I wanted to see them from closer look. Prague rests along the banks of the Vltava River, and has been the political, cultural, and economic hot-spot of Central and Eastern Europe for over 1000 years. I’ve heard that Prague has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason: The city is itself museum-like, full of famous theatres and opera houses, open parks with political protest history, and centuries-old buildings converted into late-night discos and clubs.
    Since I’ve always been interested in history of post-socialistic republics I think Prague can be very good source of information about this subject. The galling years of communist rule linger in the minds of Czechs, and striking up conversation on the subject brings out a history and culture lesson that could only be learned from the source itself.
    I truly believe that it would be the place where I could observe how the Czech Republic have developed in such a short period of time, in principle, that is, from the moment when the first Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia yet freed themselves from the influence of the Soviet Union, and later in 1993 when there was a separation of the Czechs from Slovakia. And at the moment Czech Republic is at such a level of development that could compete with many other European countries, not only in Central Europe, but also Western Europe.
    I will surely have a great opportunity also for studies since there are many excellent universities and colleges in Prague and as far as I know they provide many courses also in English.
    I’d love to get to know the culture of the Czech closer so certainly I’d love to visit Prague’s many cinemas and theaters. The Czech Republic is the country of origin of Franz Kafka, whose work I had the opportunity to read even still being in Afghanistan. I’ve always admired his works, as did most of my compatriots, especially since it was made very famous by another Persian-speaking writer Sadeq Hedayat.
    I would also like to fulfill my dream and visit the homeland of “The Mole” and “The Neighbours”, my favourite cartoon characters from my childhood.
    My next goal would be to learn something about Czech society. Even in Poland, I had the opportunity to meet several of its representatives. At first glance, they seem to be an easy-going and open to the world nation, the people who are warm and kind to foreigners.
    Having lived more than a year in Poland I observed that Poles are mostly great believers , where religion still plays a very important role. It was very interesting for me when I learned that despite such close proximity to Poland, the Czech Republic is a country where secularism is progressing strongly, in which about 80% of the population reports themselves as atheists.
    Finally, I would add that visiting Prague could be a great trip and the opportunity to spend a nice time. I really want to explore all the sights of Prague such as Prague Castle and the Gothic cathedral, Golden Lane, Malá Strana – full of churches, palaces and gardens, and charming streets, baroque church of St. Nicholas from the eighteenth century on Malostranské Square, Loreta and many many others. And after sight-seeing I would have dumplings and I’d surely try this world-famous Czech beer, preferably on the boulevards of the Vltava River.

    AhmadShafiq

  19. Scholarship in Hungary? Yes. Definitely yes!
    Having a choice to study abroad with a good budget scholarship sounds good. I have always dreamed about visiting all of discussed countries. Each country has interesting history, culture, achievements. It is so interesting to learn the history of these countries and have opportunity to get to know new people.
    To be honest, it was difficult for me to make a choice. From my point of view it is incredibly excited to study abroad and to experience a new culture. It is not only a chance to embark on an unforgettable adventure, but also to learn a lot and to expand horizons. I would like to get to know history and customs of each discussed country. In spite of that I had to make a decision. How I did it? I started to search for curiosities from Central Europe countries. I obtained a lot of information and made a decision after all. I chose Hungary.
    Only few is aware of impact of Hungarian culture on the human development or our everyday life. Hungarian musicians, athletes, scientists, painters, poets are famous in the entire world and have had big influence on our contemporary civilization. They received about 13 Nobel Prizes. For instance Albert Szent-Györgyi isolated vitamin C from pepper and it is great discovery in the field of medicine. László Bíró invented ballpoint pen. We use it every day thanks to that Hungarian. János Neumann who had left the country and settled in the USA during the Second World War, created a prototype of modern computer. What is more, the first programming language was created by György Kemény who is also Hungarian. Moreover, Hungarian Charles Simonyi wrote a basic computer program Word for Windows. There are outstanding inventors. And let’s face it, we can’t do without these inventions.
    The tourist sector is very important for Hungarian economy. Budapest and environs make one of the most beautiful regions of the country. Budapest is home to two million inhabitants and an exciting place for tourists. Budapest is called ‘Paris of the East’. I had opportunity to see this beautiful city and I must admit it is absolutely incredible and worth- seeing place. There are countless bridges, monuments and many historical places which reminisce the past. Each human- being must see fabulous view from castle tower Várhegy and tremendous Parliament. These places facilitate to get to know and feel the culture of Hungary. No one can’t dispute Budapest is the greatest symbol of Hungary, but I can ensure there are many more worth- seeing places in Hungary.
    Thermal springs, low mountains and the biggest lake of Central Europe create a large selection.
    World has it that Hungarians was created by God to spend their whole life in the saddle. Each Magyar has horse riding skills inherited from nomadic peoples of Asia. Over thousand years after the conquer of Carpathian Basin they cultivate our customs. Many preserve that unusual tradition and is called ‘The best riders of Europe’. Frankly speaking, I am keen on horse riding therefore it is excellent place for me. At every turn you can come across a well- equipped stable. What is interesting, there are not many restriction in Hungary which forbid tourists to ride round parklands on the horse’s back (in contrast with Poland). I would like to spend my scholarship at the university which is situated next to the stable. I will chance to learn something new from the best riders of Europe!
    So what it comes down to is that Hungary is an incredibly exciting country. Hungary has rich culture, interesting history and customs. For years Poles have strong ties with Hungarians. That liking is caused by an established conviction that nations have similar personality traits. An old proverb says ‘Pole and Hungarian cousins be’ concerning the historic friendship. Moreover, on 16 March 2007, Poland’s parliament declared 23 March “Polish- Hungarian Friendship Day”.
    Let me just recap what’s been said so far. I would love to win a scholarship to Hungary for many reasons. I hope I will feel good there. Studying abroad is always memorable, invaluable time. Certainly, it will be opportunity to expand my knowledge about Hungary’s culture and own character. It provides also opportunity for total immersion in a foreign culture in a way that tourist travel cannot.

  20. Serbia as my dream direction

    Since I remember I was interested in the history of Europe, especially the Balkan area. For me it is a blend of religions, cultures, national spirits – time has shown that it is very explosive, but for me as a future political scientist, also very fascinating. Transformations that occurred in this area after World War II were often tragic, which is something that Europeans might not realize. Nevertheless, despite the general knowledge of the Balkans, I have never been there. Monthly scholarship would be an excellent opportunity to do that! Out of all the truly diverse countries in the region, I would choose Serbia. Why is that? In the international dorm I met a Serb named Jovan. I was intrigued by his stories. Besides, there are several other reasons why Serbia is my dream direction.

    Let’s start from the beginning. From a tourist point of view, Serbia is primarily a high and beautiful mountains in the western part of the country, near the border with Bosnia – national parks Zlatibor and Tara. Surely I would like to go there – I like hiking, crystal clear lagons, a little wild, unspoiled places. As we all know, Serbia does not have access to the sea, but I do not mind. – If you are considering study in my country, you should choose Belgrade or Novi Sad, suggested Jovan. Capital is famous for University of Belgrade with the head office on the Students’ Square, which is the largest research center. Country still is not in a good shape, but universities offer a high level of education based on a long tradition. I heard about well-developed political science, which I am interesting in. I doo not want miss center, Kalemegdan – Turkish fortress, the largest pedestrian street Knez Mihaila and embassies street – Knez Milosas, where you can see so-called war memorials, which are ruins of bombed embassies. It is a city of history, old and new, place where multicultural neighborhoods are intermingle: for example Skadarlija, bohemian hangout and Zemun, the old Jewish province. – Yes, but all of that you can read on the Internet, said Jovan. In fact you have to be prepared that you will see a stray dogs, mountains of garbage, car wrecks, pervasive fumes, smoke fires, gray concrete architecture of socialist realism. The country is not free from such problems as poverty, corruption, high unemployment rate, he added.

    But believe me, I’m not looking for a very popular and crowded resorts, spectacular attractions. I like learning a new culture, the authenticity and visible blemishes of history, which makes Serbia even more tempting for me. In addition, the price compared to other European standards also are affordable. Saving will allow me to explore other corners of the country or go further and visit the most splending spots on the map of the former Yugoslavia.

    The second center is the University of Novi Sad – a city of students, multicultural and at the same time beautiful in its own way. If I could choose, I will rather go there, but honestly not because of the science center. It is a city where my grandfather was born and it is also the main reason why I would like to see the city and the whole of Serbia. When grandpa was 5 years old, he emigrated with his parents to Poland. In the 80s, the family made an attempt to return to native country, but they did not have opportunity to do that because of economic considerations. Grandpa always told me about ,,Serbian Athens” : many nations living there, the mix of languages, religions, Petrovaradin Fortress known as the „Gibraltar of the Danube”, gorgeous views on the blue river. Admittedly in family albums survived only two pictures of Novi Sad, but even then it is very intriguing. I would like to see all these places I know from family stories, maybe try to find our relatives, take thousands of pictures and show them to my grandfather. He often said that he go down memory lane, but does not have the balls to go on such a long journey. I wonder if he recognized Liman – a quarter of the city, where he lived with his family.

    I talked with Jovan about a touchy subject, which my grandfather invariably avoid – Serbian history. I realize that this is a painful and difficult issue, but on the other hand, I would like to learn more from the real sources. Jovan mentioned that he really likes in Poland that we nourish history each step of the way, honor national heroes through monuments, plaques, museums. In turn, his compatriots perfectly remember the crimes and war which took place in their country. They are not proud of some historical facts, even ashamed. Some of them pretend that disgraceful acts never happen and try to erase them from consciousness. Unfortunately, It seems like my grandfather doing the same. However, I presume that there are people, especially young groups, who are willing to talk about it. I have so many questions for them, because I know that read articles or publications will not give the authentic situation prevailing in the country.

    Everyone knows about my interests relating to the history of the Balkans. I try to encourage them to visit this region. If I had the opportunity to go for a monthly scholarship to Serbia, I would ask everyone: who’s coming with me?

    1. Jovan Ilić, ,,The Serbian question in the Balkans : [geographical and historical aspects]”
    2. Mihail Arandarenko, ,,Reforms in Serbia : achievements and challenges”
    3. Alex M. Dragnich, ,,Serbia and Yugoslavia : historical studies and contemporary commentaries”

  21. Romania

    Central Europe is such an interesting and full of differences region that I had a huge difficulty to chose and describe only one country. Ethnical, social, historical and also economical diversity does not make this choice easier. One thing which could help me to do this task was a project about Romania which I have been doing a few months ago. When I was preparing this project I was totally interested in that wonderful country, especially in Romanian history.

    In many ways, I consider Romania as a country very similar to Poland. That similarities are particularly visible in such an area like history. Thanks to the scholarship I might explore it better than ever. On the premise that I would be given a status of one of the Bucharest universities’ student, I may have access to libraries and their enormous repertories. The topic which interests me the most is transformation period. Whereas other countries of Eastern bloc went through this process rather in peaceful way, Romania was in really hard situation many times. I find it very fascinating how Romania has been evolving from a communist state to democratic state of law. I would like to make research and get to know how Romanian people perceive that changes. It can be educative if I compare the results with evaluation of Polish transformation.

    As a student of European Studies I would like to retrace Romanian path to European Union extensively. It will be really exciting experience to ask Romanians if they are satisfied with access to that international organization or not. In addition to that, I could check how Common Agricultural Policy is realized in that state. Particularly, I would like to know if European Rural Development Policy, which is second pillar of Common Agriculture Policy, have influence on development of the Romanian country. Since my bachelor and master’s thesis is connected with that policies I would have an unrepeatable chance to compare Romanian and Polish implementation system of European policies. According to the statistics, Romania is one of the poorest states in European Union. I think that membership in such an organization is a great chance for modernization and economical growth.

    Owning to the fact that in Romania there are a couple of minorities I would like to analyse their relationships with Romanians and Romanian authorities. The biggest number of problems appear in communication with Hungarians and Romanies. I want to know in what way Romanian government deal with that difficulties. As far as I know there are some articles in Romanian constitution which talk about respect for minorities’ rights. Staying in Romania could help me to verify if this rights are observed in reality.

    Taking all things into consideration, Romania is the country with broad horizons to develop but I am also sensible of challenges which Romanians have to face in near future. If authorities of this country do its best to continue good changes, Romania will be a great place to study and to live in. I would like to participate in that important process. The scholarship could give me a chance to take a good look at it.

    What is more, I choose this county because it is one of the biggest countries of the region. As far as I am concerned, Romania could be Poland’s partner, especially on European Union area. We have got many similar problems and alike point of view on many issues. It could be a great background to support each other e. g. during the negotiations.

    The only country from Central Europe which I have visited before is Montenegro. Therefore, I really would like to know other countries of the region. Romania certainly could be my following direction on Central Europe’s map. I believe that writing this essay is only first step to visit Romania in the future.

    I enclose a couple of materials which could be useful in exploring Romania and encourage you to get to know more about this beautiful country.

    Bibliography:
    I. Monographs:
    1. Boia Lucian, Rumuni: świadomość, mity, historia, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, Kraków 2003.
    2. Darski Józef, Rumunia: historia, współczesność, konflikty narodowe, Instytut Polityczny, Warszawa 1995.
    3. Demel Juliusz, Historia Rumunii, Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich – Wydawnictwo, Wrocław 1986.
    4. Eberhardt Piotr, Między Rosją a Niemcami. Przemiany narodowościowe w Europie Środkowo Wschodniej w XX w., Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 1996.
    5. Eliade Mircea, Rumuni: zarys historii, Homini, Bydgoszcz 1997.
    II. Websites:
    1. http://countrystudies.us/romania/8.htm
    2. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/History_of_Romania.html
    3. http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Romania.htm.

  22. I came to Poland and I do not regret it a single bit, I have had a blast here and I would have liked to talk about it, especially because Polish people ALWAYS ask me surprised, after I introduce myself to them: Why Poland? WHY did you choose Poland over all other countries in Europe!? I would have liked to talk about my experience so far living here, what I think if this great country and its decent people but since I’m not allowed and must choose another country in the region then my choice is either between the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia. And I would have to go with the Czech Republic at the end, and that’s my final answer.

    But please, let me tell you first why Estonia and Latvia were in the list of candidates: Just like in the case of this great country of Poland, it is mostly about politics. First of all, these countries in the region are one of the few in the world that treat Communism just like they treat Nazism and Fascism, zero tolerance for ALL three! And that to me is extremely admirable. I simply cannot accept living in a country where people think Nazism and Fascism are abhorrent, loathsome and bannable, but give a free pass to an ideology that has murdered, and continous to do so, much more people than those two ideologies combined! Double standards are unacceptable for me, either ALL of these ideologies are allowed -the American way, freedom of speech/Bill of Rights- or they’re all inadmissible -i.e: the Visegrad way, their number one goal was in fact to get rid of all the remnants of Communism http://www.visegradgroup.eu/about/history, akin to the de-nazification process after World War II-, you cannot have it both ways. To me this is primordial, especially because I come from a country where communists are still doing what they do best: Mass murder.

    Second of all. this two countries -Estonia and Latvia- have shown tremendous courage trying to prevent Soviet, and later Russian, influence, trying hard to maintain a national identity and that is very commendable. What’s most remarkable is the tiny size of these nations and their proximity to Moscow and yet they manage to ‚give the finger’-pardon the crassness- to those U.S.S.R. nostalgics in Russia. Even after being threatened with nuclear genocide, these small countries don’t back-down: In 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7608106.stm and again in 2013 and 2014 http://defensetech.org/2013/12/17/russia-moves-missiles-near-poland-lithuania/, http://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/nato-russian-rhetoric-heats-up-over-missile-defense-moves-20140203 their dignity and courage doesn’t dwindle a bit; There are other countries to commend and praise in the region for their gallantry in fending-off foreign intereference, like Lithuania -starting with the Sajudi uprisings-, there is also Romania, Hungary and so on. but there are more things to this two Baltic nations that caught my attention away from their neighbors’ but I don’t want to dig too much into that since I have yet to talk about my pick.

    But If I HAD to choose between Latvia and Estonia, I would clearly go with latter, one reason for it is that I’m a geek, a technology enthusiast at heart. In the past decade the Information Technology(IT) sector in Estonia has become one of the fastest growing in the world. A modern education system and an emphasis in entrepreneurship has been a key driving force beind this rapid and robust development, thanks mostly to the goverment of Toomas Hendrik, a self-described geek http://www.i-policy.org/2012/12/estonia-decodes-it-future.html Estonia is already in a high position in this sector and it’s aiming even HIGHER! A very ambitious government and civil society makes this possible and who wouldn’t like to be a part of that? Indeed, a great example for other countries around the world to follow.

    Now, on to my number one alternative to Poland: At the beginnning I clearly said I would choose the Czech Republic over the rest. Why? Well, besides politics, there is the economic part, the Czechs were the first to reach first world status among the Central and Eastern European nations, and all that in less than a decade and without much help from outside. And that is a very impressive feature taking into account how bad the communist clamped down on the Czechz compared to other countries in the vicinity. The standars of living, the quality of life in this country exceeds that of many, even in western Europe http://www.eapn.ie/eapn/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/poverty-in-europe.jpg and that still holds true to this day, unlike say countries like Romania who haven’t find it easy to reach that level yet, unfortunately, even after more than two decades!

    Videogames. Yep, after politics and the economy, this is one of the main reasons for me to go with the Czech Republic. Again, I’m a geek, so it’s only natural. It’s my teenage dream -cause as far as I remember my childhood dream was to become, among a other things, an Egyptologist- to end up working in the videogame industry, although I always like to lay-down Plan C, D… and so on. Plan B for me is to still try to get into the game industry. After Poland, the Czech Republic has the most dynamic and ever growing number of development studios in the region, well stablished game companies like Bohemia Interactive and its subsidiaries like Black Element Software , 2K Czech, Madfinger Games, Warhorse and SCS among others. Very successful and high quality products come from these companies and it’s only getting bigger and more organized.

    Finally, there’s also another thing I must mention, equally important, why I chose Poland and would pick the Czech Republic over Latvia and Estonia. And that is because the former countries have rejected the adoption of the Euro. If these countries had gone that way I would honestly had chosen another place to study outside Europe, a country like Japan -as expensive as Euro countries for me but FAR more exotic and decent than Western European and Nordic countries-, Taiwan, Canada(a few special provinces), the U.S.(some specific States) … just to name a few. And that’s a wrap!

    Santiago.

    *P.S: Professor. Sorry for delivering this so late, there’s no excuse at this point, I apologize. Hope you still accept it.

  23. I would like to visit Romania because of several reasons. Romania was one of the least visited countries in Europe, till 15 years ago. Closed for more than 40 years behind the „Iron Curtain” and almost isolated from the rest of the world by a tough communist regime until 1989. Romania is a land of many genuine treasures that are waiting to be discovered. Why I would like to visit Romania? The straight answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries of Southeast Europe. Romania is considered by many the most beautiful country in Eastern-Europe. Romania still claims regions that seem bastions of a medieval past long since lost elsewhere. Romania has majestic castles, medieval towns, great hiking and wildlife and outstanding landscapes. No journey to Eastern Europe would be complete without paying a visit to Romania. With an area of 92,043 square miles (238,391 square kilometer).
    Romania is the largest country in Southeastern Europe with a population of approx. 22 million inhabitants. Along with the Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Serbs, Turks and other minorities also live in the country. Most of them are of Greek-Orthodox religion, but there are also many Catholics, Protestants, Evangelical, Muslims and others.
    Romania has it all, from the bustling and cosmopolitan city of Bucharest, to towering mountains in the ancient Carpathians, to beautiful beaches on the Black Sea.
    I would like to visit also Transylvania the unique land a vast province of Romania with its lovely medieval towns and fortresses at the foothill of the Carpathians, rich with precious Saxon heritage treasures. The Transylvania region in the western part of the country is a beautiful mountainous region with outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and mountain biking, that can be enjoyed all year long. During visiting Transylvania would like to stay active and start hiking and mountain biking. A couple of fine places to see during my journey to Transylvania would be the historic and medium-sized city of Cluj-Napoca, or the medieval city of Brasov that’s cradled in between two almost-vertical green mountains. Romania is probably also the last place in Europe where you can still see unspoiled countryside, with the traditional rural civilization still alive. I would like to take some time and relax in the countryside. I would like to be sure of forgetting all the stresses and strains of the western world. During me journey would like to discover new places in Romania such as the northern provinces of Maramures (in northern Transylvania) or else Bucovina (in northern Moldavia), with their old handicrafts, friendly people fiercely dressed in their folk costumes, horse or oxen-drawn carriages (horse-drawn sleighs in winter), with colourful villages where time seems to have stood still. Definitely when I will be I Transylvania I would like to visit Dracula’s Castle in Bran, the Borgo Pass or his birthplace in the medieval „Upper Town” of Sighisoara. Visiting Romania wouldn’t be successful for me without taking a few days trip to Bucharest where I would certainly enjoy the tree-lined boulevards, the delightful parks, the monumental city dating from the end of the 19th century – early 20th century, when Bucharest got the surname of „Paris of the East” or „Little Paris”.
    I would take advantage of being there to attend an evening performance at the Opera, a symphonic orchestra concert or a savoury play at the Yiddish Theatre (the oldest in Europe). Bucharest is located in the southern central part of the country. I hope to discover also Romanian cuisine, some tasty meals excellent wines and other local drinks. I would like to also discover some off nightlife which is centered in the old town and the northern part of the city. After spending few days in Bucharest I would like to visit Romanian seaside. I have heard that the Black Sea coast is often visited for health purposes. Romania has a huge richness of mineral and thermal springs spread across the country, associated with many other natural factors. I would like to take some treatments and spent some time in spa.
    The Romanian people are known for their hospitality, friendliness and general interest in foreigners. I have heard many people speak English, and I consider it as a plus and a reason why I should visit Romania.

    I hope to discover Romania for the first time and hope it will meet my expectations. So, come, visit and enjoy Romania with me.  

  24. I came from Poland and if I have to choose a country for a monthly scholarship it will be probably a Czech Republic. Many people can ask me why. Well, the main reason is that Czech Republic is a state which I always been interested to. Especially their history, way of life, culture, literature and of course the most important factor which is people.
    The Czech Republic is a gorgeous, small, landlocked country located in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Germany, Slovakia and of course Poland. In the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains, Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country. This country is rich in natural resources such as coal, soft coal, clay, graphite and timber.
    First of all I want to mention about a recent history our southern neighbors. At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks decided to establish a new state called Czechoslovakia. During World War II, the Czech Republic included into the Third Reich. Were liberated in 1945 by the Soviet army, from 1948, together with Slovakia formed the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic closely associated with Soviet Union.
    With the collapse of Soviet Union in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful „Velvet Revolution.” On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent „velvet divorce” which without bloodshed brought to life the two sovereign countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 1999, the Czech Republic became a member of NATO was accessioned into the European Union in 2004.
    Poland link with the Czechs more than is generally remembered. Mieszko I in 966 was baptized at the hands of Czechs. and St. Wojciech, who was born in the Czech Republic is the patron of Poland.
    Czechs are our neighbors, and our location makes the find ourselves in a similar sphere of influence so after the Second World War found ourselves together in the target zone of Soviet influence.
    Already on these examples, we can see that the Polish and Czech history is intertwined. Beginning from the baptism of nearly a thousand years ago to today’s times: socialism, entry to NATO in 1999 and into the European Union in 2004.
    Continuing not only the history but also the culture including architecture and daily life in the Czech Republic are very interesting for me.
    When I think about the Czech republic first thing that comes to my mind are beautiful cities such as Karlovy Vary, which are the greatest spa town in the Czech Republic, visited by patients from all over the world; Ceske Budejovice famous for its pretty old town and Budvar beer. The market of the city is almost a perfect square with an area of about a hectare which makes it the largest square of this type in Europe; Krumlov which is one of the most beautiful towns in South Bohemia. Thanks to preserved medieval buildings, the city has been scribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage and finally last but not the least the most beautiful of cities – Prague – capital of the Czech Republic where are accumulated a vast amount of historic buildings and monuments. Prague extends on both sides of the Vltava river crossed by bridge decorated with gothic sculptures. Currently, the bridge is called „Charles Bridge” in honor of King Charles IV. Above the town rises the Prague Castle, which was the seat of Czech rulers. Of course, in the capital of Czech are countless things to see and those I have already mentioned are just a drop in the ocean.
    In addition is worth to saying something about the famous people who originate from this beautiful country. Undoubtedly (at least in my opinion) should recall the name of Vaclav Havel, who was not only a novelist and playwright but also a politician, anti-communist activist, the last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech. His name is recognizable not only in the former Eastern bloc countries, but also in many parts of the world.
    Also noteworthy are people such as: Franz Kafka excellent writer who was born in Prague, author of the work called ”The Trial”, Jaroslav Hašek, which brought to life the character Schweik or Helena Vondráčková – the famous Czech singer.
    Summarizing, these beautiful places, eminent artists, great atmosphere, historical relations with Poland and many other things that there is no space in this essay to mention about them made the Czech Republic would be the goal of my journey. Being there on a monthly scholarship I could get to know the country of our southern neighbors as well as I could learn from them a lot and look at the world around us from their perspective.

    Aneta Suchta

  25. After the II World War countries from Central and Eastern Europe were controlled by Soviet Union leaded by the Communist Party. It was a tough period of many people’s life. They were separated from the Western part of Europe, people whose relatives lived behind the Berlin Wall couldn’t see each other or even send letters. Living conditions in Eastern Europe were terrible, but of course not the same in every country. I was born in the 90’s, so I don’t remember these days, but I’ve heard many stories connected with them. For me it’s really hard to imagine how to live with bare shelves. When Soviet Union fell apart new governments started to form. Since these happened everything more or less slowly started to change. Nowadays countries of Central Europe are different than they used to be, but in my opinion lot of people still imagine them as the countries they were in the past.
    If I have an opportunity to choose one country from Central Europe, where I get a monthly scholarship I think I would choose Hungary. I also have a friend who is studying Hungarian studies and he told me that there is a possibility to get scholarship from the Visegrad Group. This is an cooperation of four countries from Central Europe: Polish, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic.
    Of course one of my first reason, why I would like to go there is proverb known both in Poland and in Hungary, which can be translated this way:
    Pole and Hungarian cousins be,
    good for fight and good for party.
    Both are valiant, both are lively,
    Upon them may God’s blessings be.
    Once I have met Hungarian and I have a small chat with him. He turned out to be a really nice person. He helped me with my problem, although I didn’t even ask him for it. He was very protective. After our talk he offered me to communicate on Facebook. If I could go to Hungary at first I would tell him about it, so we could finally meet.

    My main reason, why I want to go on scholarship to Hungary is their educational offer. I heard lot of good opinions about their universities. One of the most popular Hungarian university is Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem (ELTE). This is the biggest university in Hungary and one of the best known in Europe. According to information from 2011 ELTE occupied first place in the ranking of the best universities in Hungary. In this university there are about 32,500 active students. ELTE has two campuses: the buildings of humanities and law faculties are located in Pest, students of faculties of natural and social sciences learn in Buda. What’s really interesting is that four of the students of ELTE received the Nobel Prize. Two of them later became lecturing in this Hungarian university. It’s also one of the oldest Hungarian universities, it was founded in 1635. In this university there are eight faculties: Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Informatics, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Elementary and Nursery School Teachers’ Training, Faculty of Science. I think that their offer really suits my preferences. Hungarian libraries are probably full of one of their most interesting book called The will to survive. A history of Hungary written by Bryan Cartledge. Unfortunately I haven’t met this book in our polish libraries, so I hope, that in Hungary I would find it in English version. The author of this book spent three years of his life as an ambassador in Hungary and he studied in the University of Debrecen, which is also one of the best Hungarian institution of higher education. I have read this book only partly, but there is one book which I have read and I found it really interesting. This great masterpiece was written by Denes Lengyel and it is called Korona i mecz: opowieści z dziejów Węgier. I’ve never met this book in English version so I’m not sure about English title.
    Other reason, why I would like to choose Hungary as a destination of my journey, is their food. In Poland we know only a small piece of cooking in Hungary. One of their most often used spice is paprika, which is added to almost every dishes. I’ve heard that it is not true, that there is a habit to season everything very spicy. They are using paprika, but it is the type, which isn’t very hot, but rather mild. I would like to taste all their traditional dishes like: Halászlé – soup prepared from fishes living in Lake Balaton, the Danube or the Tisha rivers, bográcsgulyás – goulash cooked in cast-iron kettle.
    There are more advantages of getting a scholarship in Hungary and one of them is the beauty of the country. Budapest is one of the most interesting cities in Europe. Usually there are about 2500000 tourists a year and mostly they are coming abroad. City is divided into two parts Buda and Pest and the border between them is the Danube river. In the city there are many tourist attractions and there are over 800 monuments of art. My friend, who was in Budapest told me, that there are few famous museums, which are really worth seeing. I would like to go to the Hungarian National Museum and to Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. Additionally there are also a few theatres, where many plays are produced. In March is held Budapesti Tavaszi Fesztivál. It is a cultural time of 200 events, gigs, performances.
    To my mind Hungary is one of the best countries to choose on scholarship in Central Europe. There are many advantages of educating and living in Budapest. It’s a beautiful city with many high-quality universities. Besides people, who are living there are very kindly and helpful, probably almost everyone will try to help you if you have any problems, for example with reaching some place, even if you don’t know their language. Besides it is very interesting country with many cultural events and tasty cuisine. Unfortunately I don’t know what’s the situation with expenses on living, but luckily if you are in scholarship you will achieve some financial assistance.

  26. Magdalena Konopka

    Supposing someone gave me a monthly scholarship, I would definitely opt for Hungary as my destination. I have been discovering Hungary only for a week but this country put a tremendous impact on me. I was totally astonished by its history, culture or language
    (despite difficulties I managed to learn some hungarian words). In this essay I would like to present merits of choosing Hungary as a place to visit and study, even for a short period of time.

    I must admit that choosing a country to study was a compound problem for me, because all countries from Central Europe have their incredibly fascinating history and worth-seeing places. Hungary has approximately 10 million inhabitants, so it is not a power when it comes to european greatest population. Nor has Hungary extraordinary traditions – Hungary also has european and christian background. Even though I would opt for Hungary because I am really curious how does everyday life in this country look like.

    Hungary is the best option for me because of my innumerable hobbies, such as history, politics or law. To begin with, I would like to put an emphasis on hungarian history, which is really intense. Firstly, hungarian country exists over 1000 years on european continent. Hungary’s specific role in european history is based on struggling for independence all time long. But Hungarian people have a strong will of freedom which enable us, Polish people, to be with them on the same wavelengths. Hungary survived Mongols’ invasion or Turkish conqueror in the Middle Ages. They fought with bravery to cherish their precious freedom and it finally happened, after collapse of Austro-Hungarian Empire in twentieth century. I would like to highlight the fact that Poland had kings coming from Hungary, such as Ludwik the Hungarian or Stefan Batory. Still in later times, our nations had equal aims, plans or enemies (like Ottomans Empire or Habsburg’s family). What can’t be really underestimated is, for example, polish-hungarian companionship during nineteenth century and fight “for our and yours freedom” which made eminent people as Józef Bem or Lajos Kossuth our national heros.

    Furthermore, the factor I really appreciate when it comes to studying in Hungary, is to observe hungarian political system from a closer view. It’s really involving, observing how Victor Orban, hungarian Prime Minister, rules his country. Many governmental decisions are controversial, such as an obligation to give many back by young people who look for jobs in other countries after graduating hungarian public universities. Moreover, it seems extremely interesting for me which path will Hungary choose for the longer period of time: european or national one. This whole situation looks like a never-ending story.

    If I had an opportunity to study in Hungary, I would absolutely choose the capital city – Budapest. This city is called “ the Paris of Central Europe”. Well, I must admit that this statement includes far more than a grain of truth. Budapest has innumerable bridges, monuments, many historical places which reminisce the past and ,finally, breathtaking Parliament. Not only Budapest is worth seeing. There are much more places which are obligatory to visit: Balaton, Debrecen, Northern Hungary or Transdanubia. Hungary is a country with picturesque views and awe-inspiring nature, even though Hungary does not have an access to any sea or high mountains.

    There are many other possibilities to explore Hungary’s potential during the scholarship. What’s worth attention, it’s hungarian music. For example Franz Liszt’ music, who was a well-known composer, conductor and music teachar in nineteenth century. Being in Hungary, I would love to try traditional and mouth-watering hungarian dishes, such as Gulyás soup or Pörkölt. Lust but not least, this scholarship will enable me to find bosom friends from another country.

    Taking everything into consideration, it seems to me that a scholarship in Hungary would be a milestone in my life. Not only will I perceive another culture and way of living, but I will also broaden my horizons and deepen my interests such as history or politics. Secondly, such scholarship enables the opportunity to look at world from bigger perspective. I am absolutely convinced that such experience would assure me that everything is up for grabs if you are enough passionate to try.

    Bibliography:
    Davis, Norman “Europe: A History”
    Kontler, Laszlo “A History of Hungary”

  27. Below please find my statement of purpose to study in the Czech Republic.

    Studying abroad is not only gaining knowledge on different subjects, but also learning more about the world in all its variety and uniqueness and hopefully acquiring new skills to bring improvement of social life and management of social services and processes in my native country.
    I have a number of reasons for seeking to study European Politics at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University, which seems the most attractive one among other Czech higher education institutions for me. As I’m interested in Czech history, the name of this university has immediately caught my attention. It is named after Thomas Masaryk, the founder and first President of Czechoslovakia. He is an extremely important figure in Czech history, an eminent researcher of Czech national identity. He was the one who was brave enough to admit that the first document in Czech language dating back to the 12th century was falsified, for which he had been criticized a lot, but managed to live through it.
    As I’m applying for a scholarship for concrete program of studies, I’d like to explain the reason why I’m interested in studying European politics there. Firstly, my field of study is closely linked to the chosen course. As my major (Eastern European studies) is correlated with political science, I have a strong interest in exploring European Politics. I cannot but appreciate the opportunity to get involved in the course of studies which includes comparative politics and European integration. This program will let me focus specifically on the region of Central and Eastern Europe, explore the experiences of post-communist transformations, and acquire a thorough understanding of the political developments in post-socialist countries.
    Next I would like to pay special attention to the fact that Masaryk University is situated in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. This is a very interesting region bordering on Slovakia. Unlike the western part of the Czech Republic (especially, the south-west of the country), which is strongly connected with Bavaria, Moravia is closely linked with its southern neighbour, Austria, the capital of which used to be the capital city of Habsburg’s Monarchy in the 16th century. As I’ve studied German language in Goethe Institute and possess some knowledge of German history and culture, it will be very interesting for me to spend some time in the Czech Republic, which was deeply germanised during the reign of the Habsburgs. It would be remiss of me not to mention an opportunity to visit Prague, which used to be the centre of Jewish and German culture, and enjoy its marvellous architecture during the time of my studies in the Czech Republic.
    It is also an interesting fact for me that, being a Poland’s neighbouring country, 80% of the population of the Czech Republic are atheists. The secularization of Czech Republic is really deep, although the western part of the country is known to be protestant, while the Moravians are stereotypically atheists (it is obviously due to the fact that the Habsburgs took power in the region). I find it curious to compare the lifestyle and values of Czech and Polish people, two neighbouring, but still different nations.
    As I’m seeking to get a scholarship in this very country of Central Europe, I cannot but take into consideration the fact that it is the birthplace of such outstanding figures, as a political theorist Miroslav Hroch, the author of «Comparative Studies in Modern European History: Nation, Nationalism, Social Change», a sociologist and historian Derek Sayer, the author of «The Coasts of Bohemia», an Art Nouveau painter Alfons Maria Mucha, a bloody nationalist known both in Czech and beyond its borders, and many others. It’s hard not to mention The Good Soldier Shvejk, the main character of a wonderful satirical novel by Jaroslav Hashek.
    For me studying at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Masaryk University will be a perfect chance to learn about the historical background and the contemporary life in the Czech Republic (and Central Europe on the whole) from the inside which is, undoubtedly, the best way of getting knowledge. Moreover, studying there will provide me with the opportunity to meet smart interesting people from around the globe. Such a significant part of education as intragroup communication is especially important when studying social sciences. Exchanging opinions and sharing experience will help me to improve the understanding of cultural differences. Being a representative of Belarus, a former Soviet Union country, makes me an interesting student of an international group as the life of my compatriots is totally different from most European and especially non-European countries.
    Having enhanced my academic background at Masaryk University I will be able to produce some useful analyses of Czech social issues, thus helping to compare it to Belarusian and Polish ones. My ambition in the long run is to get an idea of the social structure of various nations and bring changes for the better to my home country.

  28. „The direction is to Hungary”
    I would like to start with writing here that I was an Erasmus in Germany because I was not allowed to go to Hungary but it was always in my dream. The reason of that is history of Turkish nationality. As you know Turkey was born after Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire was the power which was leading in three continents which are Asia, Europa and Africa. I am interested in European part. If I talk about Ottoman Empire and Europa, directly I think about two countries which are Hungary and Austria. Between those two countries Hungary is more interesting for me because My ancestors were in Hungary for a long time. That is why still if you go to Hungary, you can feel some historical atmosphere about Ottoman in Hungary. Maybe when I write this sentences some of you will be angry at me because they were fighting that time but it is nice to see some cultural heritages in Europe from my side. Besides that also I would like to see some similar part between Turkish people and Hungarian people. I think that it is obvious thing that there are some integration of Turkish culture into Hungarian culture. I am sure that all you will agree with me about this opinion which is when you see something similar to you, you become happier than before. It can be one word, one type of explanation way, or how is your reaction for any situation.
    Second thing is I am interested in languages although I studied statistics and now finance. I like surviving with hard things. As far as I remember Hungarian language is the hardest second language after Chinese language. So If I live in Hungary for sure I will want to learn how to speak Hungarian and I will feel different and proud of myself when I can speak Hungarian because this language is hard. It may not sound interesting for you but for me it always worked in this way. Even I know that many Erasmus students in Poland think that Polish language is useless out of Poland that is why they do not want to learn it. They can be right but however learning this language makes my brain working so I can not imagine how nice it could be nice learning Hungarian.
    Third thing is it is touristy place. Hungary is full about history so it makes this country more touristy place. Because of this reason even if you do not know Hungarian language, you can easily have a contact with other people by knowing English. Besides that anytime you have a chance to meet new people from all around the World and also maybe you can see some people who comes from your country, I am sure that it makes you feel at home. Also because of this place you can make your knowledge bigger and more experienced only by living there. It means that you do not need to pay any punishment for having experience. The history gives you a lot of class about the life. It is one of the best thing.
    The last and more important reason is financial situation. As many of you know Hungary is not expensive country when you compare it with others. If you have some scholarship or you are paid to be somewhere, you want that this place is cheap to live and travel. If you are in Hungary easily you can travel in all Hungary with not paying a lot of money for transportation so, you can visit all cities in cheap way. Secondly when you go to shopping malls you do not need to pay a lot of money for food and, it is also for accommodation. Because of this reason you can taste all of their traditional foods. Besides that as far as I remember Hungarian night life is full of fun and cheap so, you will not hesitate to go out whenever you want. You can go crazy with all this easy-going Hungarian people. It will help you to know those people better.
    As a conclusion Hungary is the best place for me to go because of economical, historical and being in different atmosphere and different language reasons. I believe that Hungary makes me really more experienced and more satisfied about being in central Europa.

  29. Scholarship to one of Central Europe countries could be a great experience but also a fascinating time to meet new people and explore other culture. If I had a chance to spend a month in other country, I would choose Czech Republic.
    Our south neighbor has almost exact climate as ours, despite the fact it is more mountainous. Czech Republic got beautiful landscapes and national parks, even more travelling between them is easy and convenient. Public transport such as trains or buses are not as expensive as it may seem. Cities of Czech Republic are breathtaking as well. Capital city Prague is gorgeous with its old looking buildings in old town and modern innovations spread around the city. Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of second World War. If I were there, I would love to see famous Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter, the Lennon Wall and Petřín hill. What’s more, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
    Traveling through city is no problem thanks to well organized public transport. Prague has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world. It contains Metro, buses, trams and also cable cars. All services have a common ticketing system which is very convenient, especially for students.
    Every big city in Czech Republic is offering multiple attractions and monuments worth visiting. The one I am most determined to see is Karlovy Vary. This city is very colorful and marvelous looking. It is famous for popular film festival and glass manufactory.
    I also had chosen Czech Republic because of their language. I find it really beautiful and easy to learn. Luckily even without getting familiar with this language you can easily communicate with people – many Czech’s know English and for me as a Polish it is even more easier because our languages are familiar.
    Culture of Czech Republic was an another reason that decided about choosing this country. This country was a birthplace of many talented people who gave us wonderful music, books or films. One of the most influential Czech novel is ‚The Good Soldier Shweik’ written by Jaroslav Hasek. The novel is set during World War I in Austria-Hungary, where Shweik fights for Austro-Hungarian Army. His adventures are full of funny situation and includes many plot twists.
    It is really hard not to mention about one of the most famous cartoons in Poland that came from Czech – ‚Krtek’. ‚The Mole’ is an animated character, created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Mole adventures had educational influence on many children in many countries. It is one of the most recognized characters from cartoons.
    Czech is also known for its cuisine and beverages, mostly for beers. It is a home country of first pilsner and lager beer „Pilsner Urquell’. The Czech Republic also boasts a growing number of top quality small breweries and mini-breweries seeking to continue the age-old tradition of quality and taste, which is appreciated by customers, including me. I would also like to try typical Czechs dishes like, typical Czech dumpling Knodel, Schnitzel or Bramborak – Czech pork chop with potato fritters and white cabbage.
    My visit in Czech republic would be a trip, where I could explore this country and know better it’s culture, language. I would love to go to typical Czech restaurant in one of Czech’s cities and try some national dishes listening to folk music. I think scholarship like this is a great opportunity to learn about history of another country or just simply to try living in a place, where everything is in foreign language. It would be a challenge, finding myself in a whole new place that I want to discover and get along with. Luckily Czech Republic is a friendly country and open for tourist, which is really convenient and encouraging. I think it would be a well spend month, that provide an experience of a lifetime.

  30. Scholarship to one of Central Europe countries could be a great experience but also a fascinating time to meet new people and explore other culture. If I had a chance to spend a month in other country, I would choose Czech Republic.
    Our south neighbor has almost exact climate as ours, despite the fact it is more mountainous. Czech Republic got beautiful landscapes and national parks, even more travelling between them is easy and convenient. Public transport such as trains or buses are not as expensive as it may seem. Cities of Czech Republic are breathtaking as well. Capital city Prague is gorgeous with its old looking buildings in old town and modern innovations spread around the city. Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of second World War. If I were there, I would love to see famous Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter, the Lennon Wall and Petřín hill. What’s more, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
    Traveling through city is no problem thanks to well organized public transport. Prague has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world. It contains Metro, buses, trams and also cable cars. All services have a common ticketing system which is very convenient, especially for students.
    Every big city in Czech Republic is offering multiple attractions and monuments worth visiting. The one I am most determined to see is Karlovy Vary. This city is very colorful and marvelous looking. It is famous for popular film festival and glass manufactory.
    I also had chosen Czech Republic because of their language. I find it really beautiful and easy to learn. Luckily even without getting familiar with this language you can easily communicate with people – many Czech’s know English and for me as a Polish it is even more easier because our languages are familiar.
    Culture of Czech Republic was an another reason that decided about choosing this country. This country was a birthplace of many talented people who gave us wonderful music, books or films. One of the most influential Czech novel is ‚The Good Soldier Shweik’ written by Jaroslav Hasek. The novel is set during World War I in Austria-Hungary, where Shweik fights for Austro-Hungarian Army. His adventures are full of funny situation and includes many plot twists.
    It is really hard not to mention about one of the most famous cartoons in Poland that came from Czech – ‚Krtek’. ‚The Mole’ is an animated character, created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Mole adventures had educational influence on many children in many countries. It is one of the most recognized characters from cartoons.
    Czech is also known for its cuisine and beverages, mostly for beers. It is a home country of first pilsner and lager beer „Pilsner Urquell’. The Czech Republic also boasts a growing number of top quality small breweries and mini-breweries seeking to continue the age-old tradition of quality and taste, which is appreciated by customers, including me. I would also like to try typical Czechs dishes like, typical Czech dumpling Knodel, Schnitzel or Bramborak – Czech pork chop with potato fritters and white cabbage.
    My visit in Czech republic would be a trip, where I could explore this country and know better it’s culture, language. I would love to go to typical Czech restaurant in one of Czech’s cities and try some national dishes listening to folk music. I think scholarship like this is a great opportunity to learn about history of another country or just simply to try living in a place, where everything is in foreign language. It would be a challenge, finding myself in a whole new place that I want to discover and get along with. Luckily Czech Republic is a friendly country and open for tourist, which is really convenient and encouraging. I think it would be a well spend month, that provide an experience of a lifetime.

    Also my man is super sweet and he deserves a big kiss for writing this thing for me, so I had more time to learn other crap. I think I should send him some cute picture of me on messenger.

  31. The country that intrigues me most in Central Europe is Slovakia. I have spent my vacation there multiple times, and haven’t felt that there is anything unusual about this country, but now as a student i have different perspective. For 3 years i have learned a lot about Japan – a country that has clear,natural borders, over thousand years of distinct identity as a state and what you have described as „Great History”. Slovakia is a complete opposite to that and it is very visible even in Central Europe.
    When i was in Slovakia guide told me that, as a state, Slovakia is an artificial entity. He explained to me that, even though Slovakian nation have lived there since long time, until the breakdown of Czechoslovakia there was no Slovakian state – that whole history of Slovakia is either Czech, or more important – Hungarian. In his eyes Slovakia is just an distinct ethnic region – the northern Hungary.
    Yet, in spite of lack of what allows most countries I know to justify their right to govern itself, and independent Slovakia exist. In my studies I have read some opinions from the far right groups and I discovered that both Japanese and Polish rightist have very similar attitude about a lot of things. Especially about the relation between the state and the nation. I wonder whether in Slovakia discussion about such things looks like in the other countries, or is it visibly different because of unique Slovakian history. I also wonder how would Slovakian nationalists respond to arguments about importance of Hungary and Czech states in Slovakian history, and how do they see their role in the Europe as a members of a small nation living in a young state.
    The other thing that i would find interesting is what do Slovakians think about they culture, and relation with neighbouring countries. Do they see themselves as a fortress under siege, because of hungarian nationalism and lack of strong conviction in other countries that independent Slovakia is justified entity. Or do they think that they position between bigger countries as a beneficial in the context of European Union, and that they should be proud of their position and that different cultures had influenced their own.
    Another thing i would find interesting problem in Slovakia is Romani people. I do not know a lot about their culture and history, but they were very visible in Slovakia when i visited it. I wonder how they are seen, and in what way they influence Slovakian identity. I also wonder, how such big and distinct minority shapes not so big nation. Also stateless nation in a state that has been acquired by a nation just recently is also interesting problem. In Poland, or in Japan, there are no such groups, yet discussion about minorities is quite visible, so I think i could learn a lot from Slovakian – Romani relations.
    There are also thing that are not directly connected to my studies. I lived for 15 years just next to Slovakian border, in Rzeszów, and I noticed sentiment for old Habsburg empire, so I wonder how this part of history is seen in Slovakia, especially in context of contemporary European integration and Slovakian – Hungarian relations. As I said, i have been in Slovakia, and its neighbouring countries many times, I wonder how would I perceive my past experiences if I would learn more about relations between those countries.
    To sum up, I consider that Slovakia would be very interesting, as it provides contrast with the countries i am familiar with. I think that I would have variety of topics to choose from. Also, for me personally it would be a good lesson to see this country as something more than holiday destination.
    Jakub Najda 1st year of BA – SEW

  32.   If I get scholarship in one of Central Europe countries, I probably choose Czech Republic. Its total population is around 10.5 million. It is one of most developed and most visited country in the Central Europe Region. There are many reason to go to Czech Republic than other Central Europe countries. I will give details in terms of history,geography, cost of life, education system and culture in order to explain why I choose there.
      Firstly, Why I am thinking Czech Republic? If I have opportunity, I would choose Prague city. It is amazing and fascinating city to spend funny times. It is very modern European Metropolis with full of music, art, and other cultural events. I think that people never get bored there. While there are very old and qualified libraries there to read a lot, people may have relaxing time in very kind of social activities such as classical concerts and very kind of tours. Because it is one of major tourist destination city in central Europe. And there is a international environment for students too since the city is mostly preferred one for Erasmus programs.
      Czech Republic has long and rich history as a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia and Soviet Union. After 1992, Czechoslovakia was separated into two country as we know Czech Republic and Slovakia today. During 1990s, it had transition and transformations to adopt free market economy and liberalization after leaving Soviet Union with “Velvet Revolution”. And then country joined European Union in 2004. Its history fascinates people to see and observe historical developments. Studying such country which has mix history make possible feel it.
      Czech Republic is in heart of Europe and one crossroad of European Culture. It has great location in Central Europe with having neighbour of Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia. Being near to Berlin, Cracow, Vienna, and Bratislava attracts regional trips. Also, Its forest and mountains are worth spending time as nature beauty during studying years.
      Cost of life is not expensive in Czech Republic in comparison to Western Europe and not different than other Central Europe countries. They do not use Euro as currency. Czech Koruna is very valueless to other currencies. So It is one advantage for person from Turkey. For example, price of meal for lynch or dinner in inexpensive restaurant is around 5 euro while prices of one bottle of milk and water (1.5lt) are 0.7 and 0.5 Euro. And quality of life in Czech Republic is ranked 25th of 59 countries in worldwide index in 2012 according to MD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013. It has best result among Central Europe countries.
      Czech Republic has also qualified education system and research quality. According to Pearson Index ( http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com/), it is ranked as 22th in the world. It has even better position than developed countries such France and Italy. Its three universities are ranked in 500th according to one reputable institution (webometrics.info). Charles University in Prague which has history more than 600 years is shown as one of best 200 universities in the world. Therefore, It seems that It has long tradition to teach.
      Czech language belongs to group of Slavic language. It is very big advantage for those who intent to learn since languages in Slavic group such as Slovakian, Polish and Russian has similar grammar structure and pronunciation. So If I start to learn Czech language, it will be way to learn other Slavic languages too. For instance, If I had chosen Romania or Hungary, I had not had such advantage.
      Czech Republic is in intersection of many cultures. They were affected by German, Slavonic, and Jewish cultures during years. We can observe there both Western Europe culture, Slavic cultures and Communist life style by Soviet in their architecture. So it reflects rich Central European culture with its cultural heritage. There are fascinating 12 places including museums, castles and historic gardens in UNESCO World Heritage List to worth spend long times and entertain during studies.
      In leisure times, different kind of activities takes places there with music and movies festivals like Prague Spring Festival and FebioFest. As a fun of Prague Film Orchestra, I will often attend all events of them. As various kind of sport, golf is becoming popular sport there. For instance, while they have 55547 registered player there, it is just 1419 in Hungary and 7200 in Slovakia. So I think that Prague will be ideal country to relax as well as I study there. It will be impossible to forget moments spent there.
      

  33. If I get a monthly scholarship to one of the countires of Central Europe, for sure I will choose Hungary.

    To begin with, The Republic of Hungary is a medium sized country located in Central Europe. Its strategic situation in the crossroads between the Western and Eastern parts of Europe has played a large part in shaping both the nation and its inhabitants alike. The Magyars, as Hungarians call themselves, are not original natives to the area, but are believed to be a part of the Finno-Ugric languages. This sets Hungarians and their language apart from other European inhabitants of neighboring countries.

    It is a well-known fact that throughout its history, Hungary was often invaded by its powerful neighbors, with control passing from the Ottoman Empire to the Austrian Empire, and finally falling under the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain. With the end of Communist rule in 1989, the Republic was established, and a free Hungary was eager to begin a new era of rapprochement with the West and start the process of globalization.

    Forty years of communism left Hungarians expert at finding what they call „the little gate,” an alternative way in, a work around. They’re reputed to be the only people who can enter a revolving door behind you and emerge ahead. They also have an opinion on everything, so much so that it’s said if you have three Hungarians in a room, they’ll form four political parties.

    One should note here that Hungary’s economy has been rapidly transformed from a centralized economy to a free market economy in the recent years, and it is a part of the EU’s single market. It has shown strong growth and has received high foreign investment as well. However, this, in turn, led to the recent economic crisis heavily affecting the country. With its strong foundation, though, and its potential not yet fully exploited, Hungary can look forward to a future of continual development and rise in importance in international politics.

    Let me start justify my choice.
    Firstly, why Hungary is so attractive to me is that the Hungary is a highly musical country whose traditional folk music inspired such great national composers as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály. I have finished musical school, and there we have studied a lot about composers (especially abou Liszt, listened to his symphonic poems). The composer is such a big deal here that, although Liszt was born in what is now Austria, spoke German and French but no Hungarian and died in Germany, they renamed Budapest International Airport in his honor for the anniversary of his 200th birthday, in 2011. The reason? The village he was born in was Hungarian at the time, and he described himself as Hungarian. Liszt Ferenc (in the Hungarian naming convention, the family name always goes first) also has a square named for him in Pest.

    Secondly, I’m very interesting in pottery. The earliest Hungarian pottery dates back to the 9th century. The art of making pottery still flourishes. The most familiar Hungarian pottery features traditional flower patterns that are also seen in embroidery on skirts and blouses.

    What is more, Hungary has very special places. Some of them are remote, hidden and old the others are spectacular, vibrant and full of tourists. Hungary proudly possesses one of the most stunning capital cities in the world. Hungary is fast becoming a hot-spot for spa breakholidays. The country is blessed with an abundance of natural thermal spring. Water in Hungary can be soothing too. With its wonderful spas, the Hungarian capital provides an ideal place to refresh and renew. Just to mention one, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of Europe`s largest bath complexes. The history of Szechenyi Baths is a living history. In recent years there have been big changes, like the the opening of the Szechenyi Bath Hospital in 1982, taking care of daily 178 patients. And now it is opened for tourists. Also there are held amazing bath parties, and Széchenyi Thermal Bath became an exciting and futuristic venue for the younger generation. Undoubtedly, I would like to visit one.

    As I have been to Hungary 3 times I couldn’t pass over in silence about Heviz lake. It’s Europe’s largest thermal lake – a warm water lake situated in a peat-bed. The 4.44 ha water-surface lake is surrounded by a 60.5 ha nature conservation area. Springs of different temperatures diffuse in a narrow cave, and became a constant (38,5 °C) temperature stream when entering the lake. Beautiful water lilies, brought to Hungary at the end of the 19th century, dot the lake, supporting the eco-life, with leaves slowing down evaporation, and creepers protecting the medicinal mud on the bottom of the lake. The beauty of the natute there is indescribably.

    Although there is one the most popular lake in Hungary – Balaton. Lake Balaton the so called “Hungarian Sea” is a natural paradise for grown-ups as well as children. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe. This area is undoubtedly Hungary’s most popular summer destination. The lake is one of the precious natural treasures of the country which captivates every foreigner or native Hungarian. This is a kind of place where tourists like to return. Probably I would like to visit it.

    The thing that needs to be said is that the Hungarian cuisine has a worldwide reputation. Hungarians describe it as spicy, flavorful and intensely flavored. One of the secret ingredients of the well-known Hungarian meals is certainly the Paprika. This seasoning certainly became the pride of the well-known Hungarian cuisine.

    Also Hungary is famous for its winemaking. It has long tradition in Hungary. The country’s climate and soil are favorable for quality wine growing. Hungary is Europe’s legendary wine destination. This little, Central-European country has indigenous grapes varieties and has produced wine since Roman times. Some of the famous wines are Bikaver – known as „Bull’s Blood” – and Tokaji wines. They’re late-harvest dessert wines that come in six degrees of sweetness. Tokaji is so good that Louis XIV of France called it the „Wine of Kings, the King of Wine.”

    Moreover, Hungary has several world heritage sites. (Budapest, Pécs, Pannonhalma, Tokaj, Aggtelek, Hollókő, Hortobágy, Fertő). Each place has a very unique atmosphere. Hortobagy National Park is a must–see place. Whenever Hungary is mentioned somewhere throughout the world, it is sure that Hortobagy is also referred to.

    Thirdly, what could be for students attractive to go to Hungary is that the country has one of the highest rankings, per capita, for Nobel laureates, with 13 winners going back to their first, in 1905 (for physics), and the most recent, in 2004 (for chemistry). Hungarians have also invented many things, from the biro ballpoint pen (named for inventor László Bíró) to computer science (János Neumann) to Rubik’s cube. As minister of state for economic strategy Zoltán Cséfalvay recently said: „I am very proud to be able to say that everything was invented by a Hungarian.” He was joking. Sort of. Besides, the country has one of the highest tallies of Olympic medals (482 across both winter and summer games).

    In addition to, Hungary is committed to becoming a higher education hub. Universities in Hungary are welcoming growing numbers of international students, both on exchange programs and for full degrees, and are increasingly offering courses taught in languages other than Hungarian, most commonly English. Four universities in Hungary appear in the QS World University Rankings 2013/14: the University of Szeged (ranked 501-550), Eötvös Loránd University (551-600), University of Debrecen (601-650) and Corvinus University of Budapest (651-700).

    It is often said that the capital city, Budapest is the „Little Paris of Middle Europe”. It is famous not only for the monuments reflecting its own 1,000-year-old culture, but also for the relics of others who settled here. Remains from both Roman occupation and much later ruled by the Turks can still be seen in the city. After the Ottoman Empire the union with Austria has a particular influence on the city’s form and style. The capital has two sides, Buda and Pest, stretching along the banks of the Danube, representing two different characters of the city. Suburban Buda and its historic castle district offer medieval streets and houses, museums, caves and Roman ruins. The dynamic Pest side boasts the largest parliament building in Europe, riverside promenades, flea markets, bookstores, antique stores and café houses.

    Fourthly, Budapest is the best place for a real cultural adventure. The capital of Hungary is home to a wide variety of attractions. The Chain Bridge, the Buda Castle, the Gellert hill, the Heroes Square, the Andrassy Street are some of the most visited sights of the city. Budapest offers first-rate theaters, and operas. The State Opera House is considered as one of the best of the world. Budapest has a lot to offer. Museums and galleries, churches and synagogues, palaces and historic buildings, baths and pools are presented together with the influence of Secession in the city. There is an unmistakable feeling that something out of the ordinary is just around the corner, but what it will be is up to you to find out…

    Finally, internationally renowned events attract many students. Hungarians love gathering to enjoy festivals of food, wine, dance or music. Some of the most popular are: Sziget Festival, Balaton Sound, Debrecen Flower Festival, International Opera Festival.

    In conclusion, without doubt I would like to go to Hungary, because this country is so rich in culture, customs, nature, etc. And I was so impressed when I had visited Hungary first time, that I have a feeling every time to come back there. Monthly scholarship to Hungary will be for me like a present from the destiny to feel again Hungarian atmosphere.

  34. “May you live in interesting times”
    Chinese proverb

    Fact that Chinese use aforementioned proverb as a curse may be a clue. Despite perverse affiliation of this far east civilization to harmony and long lasting balance, it catches something important. Interesting times may not be particularly well for individuals – when wind of history starts to blow, it is rather not good to stay outdoor. On the other hand, I assume that interesting times are not so bad as well, boredom does not sound much more tempting… Undoubtedly, course of current events in Ukraine deserves to be qualified it as an example of „interesting times”. Spread of Euromaidan across (almost) whole of Ukraine and frequent attempts to seize governmental and Region’s Party offices suggest that situation is attaining revolutionary character. Therefore, the choice of destination for monthly scholarship could be only one – Ukraine.

    There are several reasons why I would decide to choose this country. First of all, Ukraine has reached point in which it has not been for centuries. It’s people disgruntled by Wiktor Janukowicz refusal to sign associate agreement with the European Union and authoritarianism, struggle for political objectivity and national sovereignty. Contestation of contemporary status quo brings up issues of self- perception. Emerging new national identity is manifested by disapproval of too close links with Russia. In such volatile situation, during my stay in Ukraine I would have opportunity to look at these events with internal perspective. I am very interested in social phenomenon’s like social upheavals – massive public discontent provides opportunity to observe reaction of people, their attitude and assessment of ongoing events. I would be extremely curious whether spirit of protest is shared by common people who are not engaged in any activity and what do they think about government and opposition. Other argument which influences my choice is a problem of emerging national identity stalled between soviet times and national hero Bandera and UPA. I am fascinated by multisymbolic environment in which post-soviet monuments are mixed with different one related to „national” aspects of Ukrainian history. It would be very beneficial to speak with young people, fellow students and see how they perceive their national identity, history of their nation, place of Ukraine in the world and its future.

    Different set of arguments justifying my choice of Ukraine is more touristic. Monthly scholarship is a good opportunity to travel and familiarize with cultural and historical heritage of Ukraine. It would be great opportunity to follow residues of Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth (and attitude toward them) in the land, which quite awkwardly because of its peripheral localization is treated as a centerpiece of the XVIIth century history of Poland. My imagination would push me to visit Eastern Ukraine which as a historical region is known as „Wild Fields” and as I anticipate look at the unspoiled nature and steppe. Other fascinating region is Zakarpacie, which thanks to geographical location had been exposed on Hungarian and Moravian influence through ages.

    I regard Ukraine as an interesting country which has a lot to offer for everyone who spent there their time. Monthly scholarship would be a great opportunity to witness its unique culture, history and what is the most important meet people. Being there especially during so important period of time, which hopefully will be a turning point in the history of Ukraine would be a privilege. I am convinced that choice o Ukraine is the best one.

  35. If I got a monthly scholarship to one of country of the Central Europe , I would choose the Czech Republic. There are so many countries of the Central Europe but I would consider this one because I have never been to the Czech Republic and I have a huge need to get to know that country.
    Nevertheless, I have heard a lot of very interesting things and oddities about this country and I think that it also encouraged me to go there.

    First of all, I am very fascinated by the oldest bridge on the area of Czech Republic. It is located in Pisk and it was probably built in the 3rd quarter of the 13th century. What’s more, this bridge is one of the oldest in the Central Europe. It is usually named Old Bridge but sometimes also Stag Bridge. What I found interesting, the legend says that the bridge had been called by the name of a “person”, who first passed across it. Unfortunately, it was not a person but an animal – a stag. So that’s why people name this bridge in that way. I would be very excited if I could also pass across it, because I have heard that the view from this bridge is breathtaking.

    Secondly, there is another bridge in the Czech Republic, in Prague, which is also breathtaking and amazing, but it has one serious drawback – over 35 years, about 300 people have committed suicide by jumping from it straight into the river. Moreover, the majority of suicide were committed by men and only every fourth person was a woman. Probably because of it, it is named “Suicide Bridge”. Apart from that, the view from this bridge is excellent and it’s probably the most beautiful landmark in Prague.

    Furthermore, Prague is probably one of the most beautiful capitals of the Central Europe countries’ and maybe of the whole Europe. I am very impressed by monuments, for example old astronomical clock “Orloj”, dating from the 15th century. This clock has also a legend and it says that Prague councilors deprived the master, who constructed the clock, of sight, so that he would not replicate the clock.

    What’s more, I am totally impressed by “Dancing House” and I think that it’s an amazing idea of modern architecture. In spite of the fact that this building was constructed in 1997, it looks like the most modern building. It looks like an ordinary building but we can perceive in this construction a dancing couple, which transforms this building from ordinary to extraordinary.
    If we want to admire other exciting architecture from 16th century, we have to visit Cesky Krumlov – a small city located on the banks of the Wełtawa River. There are a lot of monuments, which are dated from 15th century, for example: Castle Town, Old Town with a Town Hall, museums, churches and one monastery, and a lot of other historical buildings. What I found interesting, nowadays this historical, small city is used to shoot movies, for instance „The Illusionist” from 2006.

    With regard to old castle towns I would also like to visit the castle district named Hradczany, where is the Prague Castle, which was a former seat of Czech kings. I’d like to do some sightseeing of this historical masterpiece in order to imagine that I am moving in time.
    I remember some historical fact from 1618 regarding this castle. In those times took place the Defenestrations of Prague. It was an act of throwing someone or something out of a window. In this case two imperial deputies had been thrown out from a window of the Prague Castle. Despite throwing out from a high altitude, deputies survived. The Catholics thought that it must have been a miracle but the truth was they fell on some leftovers, which were thrown out the window after the great feats.
    This happening was probably a direct reason of the outbreak of the Thirty Years War. What’s more, according to the Guinness Book the Prague Castle is the biggest, in terms of the occupied space, castle in the world.

    What is by far interesting, Czechs are the record-holders in the consumption of beer. It is weird but they drink much more litres of beer than Germans! The Czech Republic is characteristic of a big variety of beer. Next to the famous brands of beer there are a lot of local brands, which have their own taste.
    In addition, it’s worthwhile to mention that despite the fact they are our neighbours, our attitude to life is totally different from that of Czechs. They know how to be satisfied in life and above all they don’t constantly complain about everything as we do. Moreover, unlike us, they can maintain cleanness even in the streets and personally I think that we should learn this habit, because as a result, our attitude to life would be different as well.

    Bibliography:
    1. Václav Toušek, Czech Republic: portraits of regions, Ministry for Regional Development of the Czech Republic, Praga 2005
    2. Krausowa-Żur Izabela, Czechy. Gospoda pełna humor, wyd. Bezdroża, Warszawa 2010
    3. P. Roubal, V. Veber, Prague perspectives (I) : the history of East Central Europe and Russia, The National Library of the Czech Republic – Slavonic Library, Praga 2004

  36. If I had an opportunity to get a monthly scholarship in a Central European country of my choice, I would choose Lithuania.

    I’ve travelled to this Baltic state a few times, I’ve been greatly impressed by its architecture and historical buildings. I’m also fascinated by Lithuanian multiculturality. The minorities – Polish and Russian – form a visible percentage of the total population of this small country and the representatives of both nations have played significant roles in Lithuanian past. There are also traces of the communities whose number has significantly fallen over the centuries (Tartars, Karaites, Russian Old Believers) and of the exterminated Jewish community which once was one of the biggest and most influential in the world. It is a tremendous experience for a Polish citizen – grown up in a homogenous society consisting in 95% of Roman Catholic Poles – to visit Vilnius and see Orthodox churches, Catholic churches, Uniate monastery, two Protestant churches (of Lutheran and Reformed denomination, respectively) and a synagogue within one Old Town complex (plus a Karaite temple in the newer Zverynas district). The former capital, Kaunas, is another striking example: apart from Catholic and Orthodox churches (including one Old Believer) there exists a synagogue (still active, over 70 years after the infamous and brutal Kaunas pogrom of 1941) and a mosque. In the province, the domination of Roman Catholicism is far greater, but the remnants of diversity are still to be found in such a surprising places as Sorok Tatari, a village which, according to a popular legend, was founded by forty Tartar families rewarded for brave fighting in the service of Grand Duchy of Lithuanian.

    My visits to Lithuania have made me interested in the state’s history, especially nineteenth and twentieth century, the formation of the national movement (and even the Lithuanian national feelings with the intellectual elites hesitating between Polish and Lithuanian identity), resistance to russification, building of a modern state in the interwar period and the partisan fight against the Soviet annexation in the 40′. I believe that a longer stay would make it possible to understand better the small, but independent Lithuanian nation and its strong national feelings. It would also allow to watch, at least for a short period, how the finally independent country deals with the current problems: economic backwardness, high unemployment and poverty rates as well as the need for complex modernization.

    Last but not least, I enjoy learning foreign languages and I’ve once had an opportunity to take up basic Lithuanian course which closed after a few months due to insufficient number of participants. Although Lithuanian is a language of just one national group, which in addition tends to decrease in number, I would be glad to be able to speak it well. It’s not a common situation when an archaic, complicated language survives, given the expansion of both Russian and Polish culture in the immediate neighbourhood. Lithuanian language did not only survive the russification attempts (which included a ban on Latin alphabet publications, forcing to print Lithuanian texts in cyrylic script), but also produced its distinctive literature.

    Seeing the everyday life in Lithuania would doubtlessly permit to understand this country better than pure reading of books and papers on this topic. Although the situation in Lithuania is quite frequently covered in Polish media, they tend to concentrate on the fate of the Polish minority; what’s more, the accounts of its situation often contradict each other, presenting it either as „extremely bad” or as „rather good”. They also often accuse Lithuanians of extreme nationalism, which leds to historical revisionism and hostility towards the foreigners. A monthly scholarship could be a good opportunity to confront these stereotypes and reality.

  37. Romania: Why would I prefer to study in this country? (Ghenadie STINCA) + Bibliography

    Firstly, when a student from Moldova is asked such a question, he/she cannot remain impartial, due to the particularities of the Moldo-Romanian common history. Too many feelings are involved here. I foreign student coming to Romania won’t be able to experience at full scale, the deep thrilling and soul-lifting feelings the Moldovan student will sense. Romania and its universities – both of them aren’t just an ordinary state and typical educational milieu, where you can come and just waste your time. It’s something more than that. It’s about that feeling of coming to the milestone of the (Romanian) national spring to gulp “uncontaminated” life-giving water imbued with an essence of common Dacians ancestors. Coming in Romania, it’s like returning home.

    Romanian Universities are becoming especially in the last years a favorite destination for Moldovan students. The number of Moldovan students coming to study in Romania is rising exponentially every twelve months. The Romanian government in its turn is very sensitive when it goes about young people from Moldova who want to study in Romania. It is not a secret to claim that there are more special privileges for students from Moldova than for others “foreign” students and the first ones know it.

    Besides, it sounds attractive to make studies in a country that together with republic of Moldova once formed a great country – Great Romania. When coming to Romania, most of Moldovan students have that feeling of divine revelation to find out that they are surrounded by a condensed fraternal Romanized space without Russified words swarming in Moldovan society. Romania has a different mindset tightly linked to our common Dacian archetype, totally different from the expansionist Eurasian one.

    I personally have a very positive attitude of Romanian universities and less about Moldovan ones. Well, I must admit that this is a biased view. OR, I attended two different Moldovan Universities and I was satisfied of the quality of provided subjects… to some extent. The core problem within Moldovan Universities is less science-factor related and more human-factor related. I want to stress that you can have solid studies almost everywhere, if you are seriously determined by accurate principles and accept to be guided by the right Polar Star (qualified teachers) that can guide you through the wilderness of the illiterate jungle of ignorance in which we were born and reach successfully the bank of the vital knowledge.

    Romanian universities are attracting me by their more flexible and approachable education system. I believe that if I would have the opportunity to study there, it would guarantee me the certainty of getting better skills and become more prepared for a competitive career anywhere in the world. I consider that attending a Romanian University, can help you fulfill many of your ambitions and get alongside qualitative studies a new set of know-hows that will help you get the tag of an “expert” everywhere.

    I am more tempted to leave a Moldovan University for a Romanian one, as there you can find a broader range of choices of undergraduate and postgraduate programs that are lacking unfortunately in the quasi-poor Moldovan educational system. However, I am wrong to state that education environment in Republic of Moldova hasn’t a high level of academic excellence. The point is that there must be taken into consideration the truth – there is not a garden without its weeds.

    To make a long story short, the main reasons Moldovan students including myself have a “weakness” for Romanian Universities can be formulated in the following “postulates”:

    1.A MATTER OF PRESTIGE: Students from Moldova are making an almost instinctive psycho-emotional association of Romanian Universities with the Romanian’s membership of European Union. When speaking about EU, within Moldovan society persists the stereotype of an EUROtopia and EUROldorado where everything is gold-shining. Moldovan students are consuming this stuff in great quantities and most of them are at risk of becoming dependent. A Moldovan student is difficult to believe in the existence of the other side of the coin: to accept the reality that in Romania as well as in the whole Romanian educational system all that glitters is not gold. Romanians also have problems to cope with (according to some of my friends studying there). But this is already a whole new story.
    Mostly, Moldovan students are choosing well-known Romanian universities such as – Bucuresti (capital), Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, Baia Mare, Timisoara, Constanta, Galati, Suceava, Ploiesti, Craiova. Later on after the graduation, around 10% of students are returning in Moldova (according to some polls I recently read). The other 90% means that Moldovan students have decided to stay there and try to build their own American dream in a Romanian company /institution or maybe to go further in Western Europe.

    2.THE QUINTESSENCE OF ROMANIAN LANGUAGE: People of Romania and Moldova have a lot in common, starting from common ancient history and ending with same traditions. One of the most striking common constituent that is still forging our two (once, one NATION divided by the Eurasian Red Empire) nations is the Romanian language spoken in both countries. Nevertheless, people from Republic of Moldova think that they speak a different language named Moldavian. They continue to be victims of poisoned prejudices planted by the linguistic ideology of the Soviet Union, the one guilty in the creation of that artificial language. The idea of Moldovan language still parasitizes the fragile identify of Moldovans and overshadows the path to their right self-determination.
    The question of what language Moldovans are speaking causes a lot of frustration and fuss within Moldovan society. This often leads to conflicts and hatred that divides people between so called „good-nationalist-Moldovans” and „bad-cocky-Romanians”. Fortunately, the younger generation tends to more Romanian-identity oriented and name their language as Romanian. Many Moldovan students are going to study in Romania NAMELY to improve their oral communication and polish their language and of course get rid of Russified words from their vocabulary. Going to study in Romania could help me „repair” my Romanian.

    3. SPECIAL STATUS AND EURO-BENEFITS: As a rule, Moldovan students have certain learning and accommodation benefits. But, the main benefit considered by Moldovan students is that of obtaining a diploma. That automatically makes you qualified for the European labor market and implicitly offers you the chance of earning more money and better life conditions. On the other hand, Romanian studies can provide more economic security for alumni when they return to Moldova. I mean, in case of returning home, one can have more job opportunities and even able to start his/her own business.

    4. EASY ACCESS TO ROMANIAN SCHOLARSHIPS: Students from Moldova can obtain Romanian scholarships easier. Moreover, such advantages like lower tuition fees and cheap living costs for students if to compare with other European universities make it simpler and more attractive to apply to a Romanian University. Besides, let’s not forget about the special and symbolic short distance between Moldova and Romania’s borders. This geographical feature offers us a wonderful occasion to come home during almost every major holiday.

    In my opinion, the scholarships offered to Moldovan students by the Romanian state embody a true bridge on the way to the genuine Romanian civilization, more intact and relatively less infected by the communist germ than Moldova. I would like to go to Romania in order to have a more qualitative and less corrupted education, than in my country, where the apparatus of many Universities is still the subject of old labels inherited from Soviet times. On the other hand, I do not mean exactly the Soviet education system because it was considered once, as one of the best. I mean here namely the Moldovan Ministry of Education and the whole educational staff that is operating in the didactic field. Many of them are still prisoners of the Soviet mentality and have problems to adapt to the actual teaching methods. MAYBE, I am wrong here. If to be emphatic and put ourselves in their shoes then we would discover why Moldovan teachers cannot be effective in majority of cases – it’s about misery wages and lack of any stimuli to invest as much knowledge as possible in the Moldovan youth.

    Romanian scholarships contribute somehow to the closeness of the two sides of the Prut (river) which separates our countries: Romania and Moldova. Going to study in Romania, it can help you become more aware of what kind of problems Moldova is facing with. Far away from the homeland, I could better trace and realize the existing issues in the Moldovan society, created by a manipulating political system, that is led by local oligarchs.
    I truly believe that Romania has more chances and opportunities than Moldova. It is clear as crystal and Moldovan students are fully aware of it. The country has more perspectives related to geographical location (access to sea, mountains with beautiful sceneries and ski resorts), to tourism segment (historical notorious castles, e.g.: Dracula’s Castle, centuries-old monasteries), to the illustrious Romanian culture (Mihai Eminescu, Ion Creanga, Mircea Eliade, Nicolae Iorga, Eugene Ionesco, Constantin Brancusi etc.) and the last but not the least: to the EU membership aspect.

    Why would I prefer to study in this country? Because it is worthwhile!

    Bibliography:
    1). The Romanian Education System, Bucharest, 2001;
    2). Raport: Starea Invatamantului Superior in Romania, Bucuresti, 2010;
    3). Romania is waiting for you, Bucharest, 2011;
    4). Traiectoria tinerilor basarabeni veniţi la studii în România, Bucuresti, 2012 ;

  38. I allways had a dream to visit post-soviet union countries. Studying in one of these countries with a good scholarship sounds great. Aspecially if you think Latvia it is realy incredible idea. As a economist i am interested in economic development of post-soviet union countries especially Latvia. But why Latvia?
    Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and by a maritime border to the west with Sweden. If you are studying in Latvia it also means that you will have opprtunity to visit other post-soviet union countries by even bus. One of the reason of choosing Latvia is etnic structure of population. Latvians and Livonians (about 400 people), the indigenous peoples of Latvia, form about 62.1% of the population, while 26.9% are Russians, Belarusians 3.3%, Ukrainians 2.2%, Poles 2.2%, Lithuanians 1.2%, Jews 0.3%, Romani people 0.3%, Germans 0.1%, Estonians 0.1% and others 1.3%. It seems great opporunity to see people from all over soviet countries. Latvia’s natural beauties have attracted international tourists for many generations. Its many miles of white, sandy beaches , forests, parks are great places to see. Latvia boasts some 12,000 streams and rivers, around 3,000 lakes and some of Europe’s most active Salmon spawning grounds. One of the great opportunities is to see Riga which is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With more than 500,000 inhabitants , Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states and home to more than one third of Latvia’s population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltic Sea region. This great city plays very important role on growing of Latvian economy. The city is placed on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture. The city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2014, along with Umeå in Sweden. The city hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and the 2006 IIHF Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships. It is home to the European Union’s office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). Riga is served by Riga International Airport, the largest airport in the Baltic states. The most important reason is to examine latvian economy after collapse of Soviet union. One of my aims as a economist is to investigate economic situation and entegration to European economy.
    Some information about Latvian economy is that
    The economy of Latvia is an open economy in Northern Europe and is part of the European Union’s (EU) single market. Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1999, and a member of the European Union since 2004. Latvia is ranked the 21st in the world by the Ease of Doing Business Index prepared by the World Bank Group, According to the Human Development Report 2011, Latvia belongs to the group of very high human development countries. Due to its geographical location, transit services are highly-developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronic devices. Furthermore Latvia was involved to euroze and started to use euro in 2014.
    As i mentioned above visiting to Latvia realy sounds great. While getting around in incredible nature of Latvia examining the economic development of latvia gives me lots of opportunities as a economist. Besides all these, I would like to see custom and traditions, great nature and kind people of this country at the same time. As a student from Turkey visiting Latvia contributes not only to my education, but also to my life experience. I hope that one day I will be in Latvia.
    MEHMET DOGAN

  39. If you receive a monthly Scholarship for University in central Europe, which country you like to choose and justify your choice.

    When I think about central Europe that it is possible I receive scholarship I will chose Czech Republic country, University of Prague.

    Czech Republic

    Index
    • Introduction
    • Geography
    • History
    • Economics
    • Culture Race and religion
    • University of Prague
    • Reference

    • Introduction:
    In this essay I am going to have a short explanation about one of central Europe country, Czech Republic. One of University that if I want continues my studies I like to chose it, University of Prague.

    • Geography
    The geography of Czech Republic comprises of part of Silesia Bohemia and Moravia. A land locked country, the Republic of Czech is bordered by the Slovak Republic to the east, Austria to the south, Germany to the west, and Poland to the north.
     Natural resource:
    Hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber.
     Weather:
    The seasons are distinct. Summer (June to August) receives the highest temperatures and heaviest rainfall. The cold, bitter winter months of December, January and February often see temperatures reaching as low as -5°C in the cities and -10°C to -15°C in the mountainous areas (-30°C at higher altitudes).

    • History:
    Part of Czechoslovakia until the „velvet divorce” in January 1993, the Czech Republic has a robust democratic tradition, a highly-developed economy, and a rich cultural heritage.
    It emerged from over 40 years of Communist rule in 1990, and was the first former Eastern Bloc state to acquire the status of a developed economy. It joined the European Union in 2004.
    Communist rule had lasted since the late 1948, when the restored prewar democratic system was overthrown in a Soviet-backed coup. The „Prague Spring” of 1968, when Communist leader Alexander Dubcek tried to bring in liberal reforms, was crushed by Warsaw Pact tanks.
    In 1989, as the curtain was coming down on communism in the Kremlin, the dissident playwright Vac lav Havel emerged as the figurehead of the country’s „velvet revolution” and became the first president of post-communist Czechoslovakia.An era ended in February 2003 when he stepped down as president. It had been interrupted for only a few months at the time of the separation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Mr. Havel becoming first president of the former.
    Mr. Havel saw the ghost of former Soviet military influence exorcised in 1999 when the country was granted full membership of NATO. He left office having led it to the threshold of the EU. His old rival and successor as president, Vac-lav Klaus, oversaw accession to the union, despite harboring strong reservations over the benefits of EU membership.
    In addition to its developed industrial economy, the Czech Republic now attracts tourists to some of the finest Baroque, Art Noumea and Cubist buildings in Europe.

    • Economics
    The Czech Republic has one of the most developed industrialized economies. It is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. GDP per capital at purchasing power parity was $27,100 in 2011, which is 85% of the EU average.
    The principal industries are heavy and general machine-building, iron and steel production, metalworking, chemical production, electronics, transportation equipment, textiles, glass, brewing, china, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals. Its main agricultural products are sugar beets,fodder roots, potatoes, wheat, and hops
    The Czech Republic is a stable and prosperous market economy closely integrated with the EU, especially since the country’s EU accession in 2004. While the conservative, inward-looking Czech financial system has remained relatively healthy, the small, open, export-driven Czech economy remains sensitive to changes in the economic performance of its main export markets, especially Germany. When Western Europe and Germany fell into recession in late 2008, demand for Czech goods plunged, leading to double digit drops in industrial production and exports. As a result, real GDP fell 4.7% in 2009, with most of the decline occurring during the first quarter. Real GDP, however, slowly recovered with positive quarter-on-quarter growth starting in the second half of 2009 and continuing throughout 2011. In 2012, however, the economy fell into a recession due to a slump in external demand. The auto industry remains the largest single industry, and, together with its upstream suppliers, accounts for nearly 24% of Czech manufacturing. The Czech Republic produced more than a million cars for the first time in 2010, over 80% of which were exported.

    • Culture and religion:
     Population:
    the population of the Czech Republic is on the rise especially because of increasing fertility rate and decreasing mortality rate due to advancement in medical treatment. As per the census of 2001, 90.4% of the 10.28 million ethnically and linguistically belong to the background of the Czech. This apart, there is an interesting mix of the 3.7% of Moravian, 0.5% of Polish, 0.1% of Hungarians, 0.1% of Rom, 1.9% of Slovaks, Magyars, 0.4% of Germans, Greeks, 0.1% of Silesia, and Vietnamese. As per the estimates of 2005, the sex ratio of the Czech Republic population is around 0.95 males per female and the literacy rate is 99.9 % as per 1999 estimate.
     Language
    The ethnic Czechs tend to speak Czech as a first language, while the small Slovak minority speaks Slovak and the Moravian speak Moravian, which is nearly identical to Czech although many Moravian prefer to separate the two. Czech (and the other two languages) are western Slavic languages and are very similar to each other and to Polish.
    English is the most common second language in the Czech Republic and most young students learn the language in school. The fluency of each individual drastically varies as most young people in Prague speak quite well, while in smaller towns the fluency tends to be poorer. German is also taught, but in much smaller numbers.
     Religion
    Most of the people in the Czech Republic are not religious and either claim to be religiously unaffiliated or atheist. Among the rest of the population, Catholicism is the most commonly practiced religion.
    Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament)

    • University of Prague
    There are many Universities in Prague, but as my field of study is Economics I explain a short overview University of Economics of Prague:
    University of Economics, Prague (VIE) • the biggest Czech public university of economics • almost 20 000 students • certified with “SECTS label” and “DS Label” by the European Commission • ranked by the Financial Times • appraised by the Ed universal Ranking as one of the best “business schools” in Central and Eastern Europe • two Master’s degree programs were certified with EPAS accreditation by EFMD • cooperates with more than 200 partner universities • approximately 700 outgoing and ongoing students annually • member of numerous international organizations and networks such as CEMS and PIM • high quality study environment.

    • Reference:
    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr13242.pdf
    http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/university-economics-prague/undergrad
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/czech-republic/weather
    http://www.mapsofworld.com/czech-republic/geography.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17220018
    http://www.indexmundi.com/czech_republic/economy_profile.html
    http://www.oecd.org/eco/outlook/czechrepubliceconomicforecastsummary.htm
    http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/czech.html
    http://safaritheglobe.com/culture_czech_republic.aspx
    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr13242.pdf

  40. Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Choosing as Bosnia and Herzegovina was a easy choice to study abroad considering a person who has lived in Turkey as homeland. There are so much reason to choose Bosnia.
    Firstly in Turkish media is broadcasting the news or documentary about Bosnia very oftenly. Relationship Bosnia and Turkey has coming from Ottoman empire. Latterly Turkish government is trying to make more close relationship between two countries. From Turkish angle, “Bosnia is brother country”. And so we know so much thing about Bosnia then other central europe countries..

    But, In fact, history of country has seen many wars and damages along its path. From middle-ages (Byzantine, Ottoman Empires) to end of Cold War Bosnia couldn’t see the freedom. After Yugoslavia divided February 1992, Bosnia declared it independence. But ethnical diverse became big problem of Bosnia. In same year Serbians started to try control of the county. Then tree years of war in Bosna was started. (burası taraflı görünmesin?) Christian Serbians fight with Muslim Bosniaks. Approximately 100.000 people died during Bosnia War. In modern war history of europe, may be it was most painful. Analysts were saying UN only watched this crime without any action. Today also we can hear the comments of Bosnian people; “UN is not doing anything for peace of Syria like how did in Bosnia War 3 years”. 1995 war ended by NATO forces..

    Wars demolished of so important things in the country… Bosnians still trying to heal of their life and their wounded country. And i think they are very successful about it.

    (I must cut the subject and say now; When i am writing this essay also funny thing happened now: One of my Turkish friend broadcasted a journey photo on facebook: Mostar’s bank machines. These machine has door handles. You are opening and taking money by using door handles Like is said; Turkish people prefer to see Bosnia..)

    By Bosnians government works for EU membership so many thing changed in the country. Country made many of agreement about education system. Under Bologna Criterion, universities are giving high level education. And because of the European Association of Quality Assurance education system seems good. Also Bosnian education system aiming to follow the global movements. Therefore student exchange programs are important for this improvement.

    Bosnia’s culturally diverse is most important thing for studying in there. Croats, Bosniaks and Serbians, muslims, christians and jewish; they are in different beliefs and they had war history. But it was because of strategy of powerful countries. They were living in peace like today. Because they are all Slavs. So we can see the similarities of their culture. I want to see also similarities and different things about their life, language, architecture etc..

    Todays Bosnia’s capital city named Sarajevo was under siege along 3 years. City famous with cultural and religious diversity. Therefore city is called “Jerusalem of Europe”. Inside the city, walking on Miljacka riverside will may be explain how history change today. People of Sarajevo are very hospitable. Baščaršija is big and old bazaar of the capital. Its constructed 16 century by Ottoman Empire. And National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina named Vijençnica, also explains Austro-Hungarian period of Sarajevo. I guess Vijençnica library is still under restoration, reconstruction work. All books was destroyed on war.
    Visiting the Bosnia and Herzegovina i will not limit myself only one entity. I will of course go Republika Srpska. In there Sutjeska National Park is famous about how they protect their selves from Nazi occupation. Its very old forest with very important nature science. High rocks with very old trees. In there I can see beautiful Skakavaç waterfalls too.

    Beautiful thing is perfect green mountains of Bosnia.. Inside the forest there are little houses of villagers. And lakes between mountains. I am imaging that everywhere like paint…

    I will not take time by the forelock of seeing Hutovo Blato. Its nature and bird reserve. View is perfect. If i go there in winter time i will have chance to see around 10000 birds in there…

    Stari Most is most famous bridge of the country. In Bosnia war bridge has destroyed and sources are saying EU is spend 15 billion dollars to restore this bridge. This bridge is inside the Mostar city. “Most” as a noun means bridge in Bosnian language. And Stari Most means the bridge passes along the city Mostar. This city in the list of UNESCO. Rivers are passing under historical architectural bridge and buildings. And we can see waterfalls in our journey…

    I love Southeastern Europe music, its very enjoyable. I only really know Bosniaks music sound. And i like it so much, if i have time i will learn ethnical music and musicians of the whole country. I believe music is combines the world. This will determine my route in my education journey.

    And also Bosnia seem very chaste and quiet. To sit in the countryside is the one of my imagine, of course with hearing the local music of there. I heard that Bosnian people are very friendly. I can make long pleasant conversation with them. That will make me learn nature and the history from the real sources.

    I heard that meals are very close with Turkish meal; like “döner” and “ayran”. I will see foods of country how they are similar and not…

    I wish to see also their annual days. Traditional days with dance, music and foods. But also i want see annual day of wars. If i can coincide of this event it will be perfect timing for my journey.

    Arman Ergül

  41. Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Choosing as Bosnia and Herzegovina was a easy choice to study abroad considering a person who has lived in Turkey as homeland. There are so much reason to choose Bosnia.
    Firstly in Turkish media is broadcasting the news or documentary about Bosnia very oftenly. Relationship Bosnia and Turkey has coming from Ottoman empire. Latterly Turkish government is trying to make more close relationship between two countries. From Turkish angle, “Bosnia is brother country”. And so we know so much thing about Bosnia then other central europe countries..

    But, In fact, history of country has seen many wars and damages along its path. From middle-ages (Byzantine, Ottoman Empires) to end of Cold War Bosnia couldn’t see the freedom. After Yugoslavia divided February 1992, Bosnia declared it independence. But ethnical diverse became big problem of Bosnia. In same year Serbians started to try control of the county. Then tree years of war in Bosna was started. (burası taraflı görünmesin?) Christian Serbians fight with Muslim Bosniaks. Approximately 100.000 people died during Bosnia War. In modern war history of europe, may be it was most painful. Analysts were saying UN only watched this crime without any action. Today also we can hear the comments of Bosnian people; “UN is not doing anything for peace of Syria like how did in Bosnia War 3 years”. 1995 war ended by NATO forces..

    Wars demolished of so important things in the country… Bosnians still trying to heal of their life and their wounded country. And i think they are very successful about it.

    (I must cut the subject and say now; When i am writing this essay also funny thing happened now: One of my Turkish friend broadcasted a journey photo on facebook: Mostar’s bank machines. These machine has door handles. You are opening and taking money by using door handles Like is said; Turkish people prefer to see Bosnia..)

    By Bosnians government works for EU membership so many thing changed in the country. Country made many of agreement about education system. Under Bologna Criterion, universities are giving high level education. And because of the European Association of Quality Assurance education system seems good. Also Bosnian education system aiming to follow the global movements. Therefore student exchange programs are important for this improvement.

    Bosnia’s culturally diverse is most important thing for studying in there. Croats, Bosniaks and Serbians, muslims, christians and jewish; they are in different beliefs and they had war history. But it was because of strategy of powerful countries. They were living in peace like today. Because they are all Slavs. So we can see the similarities of their culture. I want to see also similarities and different things about their life, language, architecture etc..

    Todays Bosnia’s capital city named Sarajevo was under siege along 3 years. City famous with cultural and religious diversity. Therefore city is called “Jerusalem of Europe”. Inside the city, walking on Miljacka riverside will may be explain how history change today. People of Sarajevo are very hospitable. Baščaršija is big and old bazaar of the capital. Its constructed 16 century by Ottoman Empire. And National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina named Vijençnica, also explains Austro-Hungarian period of Sarajevo. I guess Vijençnica library is still under restoration, reconstruction work. All books was destroyed on war.
    Visiting the Bosnia and Herzegovina i will not limit myself only one entity. I will of course go Republika Srpska. In there Sutjeska National Park is famous about how they protect their selves from Nazi occupation. Its very old forest with very important nature science. High rocks with very old trees. In there I can see beautiful Skakavaç waterfalls too.

    Beautiful thing is perfect green mountains of Bosnia.. Inside the forest there are little houses of villagers. And lakes between mountains. I am imaging that everywhere like paint…

    I will not take time by the forelock of seeing Hutovo Blato. Its nature and bird reserve. View is perfect. If i go there in winter time i will have chance to see around 10000 birds in there…

    Stari Most is most famous bridge of the country. In Bosnia war bridge has destroyed and sources are saying EU is spend 15 billion dollars to restore this bridge. This bridge is inside the Mostar city. “Most” as a noun means bridge in Bosnian language. And Stari Most means the bridge passes along the city Mostar. This city in the list of UNESCO. Rivers are passing under historical architectural bridge and buildings. And we can see waterfalls in our journey…

    I love Southeastern Europe music, its very enjoyable. I only really know Bosniaks music sound. And i like it so much, if i have time i will learn ethnical music and musicians of the whole country. I believe music is combines the world. This will determine my route in my education journey.

    And also Bosnia seem very chaste and quiet. To sit in the countryside is the one of my imagine, of course with hearing the local music of there. I heard that Bosnian people are very friendly. I can make long pleasant conversation with them. That will make me learn nature and the history from the real sources.

    I heard that meals are very close with Turkish meal; like “döner” and “ayran”. I will see foods of country how they are similar and not…

    I wish to see also their annual days. Traditional days with dance, music and foods. But also i want see annual day of wars. If i can coincide of this event it will be perfect timing for my journey.

  42. If I get a monthly scholarship to one of the country in Central Europe, I will go the Romania. This country is as much interesting as much beautiful. Romania boasts unique culture, which is caused by its location and particular historical legacy. The Romania has a very rich historic, a lot of monumental buildings, people who’s leave there are very nice and polite and In my opnion Romania has a lot of common with Poland culture.
    Romania is, as its inhabitants, ofter regarded as the meeting point of three regions : the Central Europe, the East Europe and the Balkans, but it seems to be more connected with the Central Europe than this two other regions. Romanian unique identity has been possibly developed from melting of the Roman and most likely of the ancient Dacian elements, combined with various other impacts.
    In Romania we can see a lot of different culures which are mixable. We can see influence east and west cultures and monumental buildings connect different traditions. For a young person who like to visiting other country this state is perfect. The capital is a lively place where someone cannot be bored. When I think about Romania I also think about music about great composers or about the opera. In Romania is a lot of folk festivals and others nation celebrations. Romania’s culture is very similar to other European culture with some influence from Oriental parts and Slavic countries. The traditional Romanian folk arts, including dance, wood carving, ceramics, weaving and embroidery of costumes and household decorations, and fascinating folk music, still flourish in the country.
    Romania is adorned with many wonderful Orthodox monasteries, some of which date back to the 13th century. Medieval towns, fortified churches, painted monasteries, wooden masterpieces and outstanding ancient Dacian ruins are just some of the attractions that make up Romania’s exceptional cultural heritage.
    25 of its beautifully preserved architectural gems have been included by UNESCO in the World Cultural Heritage in acknowledgement of their natural, scenic and monumental appeal. Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are : Horezu Monastery, Medieval fortified churches of Transylvania, Historic center of Sighisoara, Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, Wooden Churches of Maramures, Dacian Fortress of the Orastie Mountains.
    Located in the south- eastern part of Europe, a country of interesting wildlife, sports facilities and interesting sights and places . The most beautiful regions undoubtedly the delta of the Danube. There is also the deepest canyon in Europe – Bicaz gorge . There are mountains, forests , sea , castles, folklore own wine. In Romania, there are undoubted attractions , but you have to look for them . Sighisoara is a little known , like Bran with the legendary Count Dracula , but the surest place of residence is Poienari Castle – located in the southern part of the country . Transylvania in general is one of the most visited regions. There can also skip Bucharest where there are historic churches and monasteries , magnificent buildings , gardens and parks. Tourism center of Brasov in Romania is the well-preserved old town, numerous cafes and pubs . Romania is also a great country for people who appreciate sports and active recreation , a country with huge potential tourism opportunities , poorly used , certainly the lack of funds for investment .
    The capital of Romania is Bucharest . It’s rare that capital is not represented almost no tourist attraction. Visitors to Romania focused on the mountains , Transylvania , Moldova and the Black Sea coast . The explanation is simple . Bucharest suffered a lot due to earthquake , World War II and, above all , the period of the rule of Ceausescu . Historic architecture destroyed the forces of nature or human . Despite this, in Bucharest is one to watch , we have there, including several interesting museums. They special view is also interesting. There you can admire numerous museums , including the Museum of Natural History , Museum of History Museum of History Bucharest and Romania. When it comes to religious buildings , it can be observed numerous Orthodox churches . In the northern part of Bucharest ‚s Arcul de Triumf, the monument which was modeled on the triumphal arch located in Paris. These and many other monuments represent the culture of Romania.
    It Transylvania is a cultural center of the country. Great monuments can be found in large cities with a rich history, we admire the picturesque villages and towns. We’ll see cows strolling the streets, at the picturesque cottages perched decorated in an original way and often seen houses with a tower. We’ll see picturesque Moleciu de Jos, situated at the foot of the mountains, Rasnow, peasant castle, Brasov, majestic city, almost like our Krakow. Bukovina is considered the most picturesque land of Romania. The enchanting landscape of gentle hills and valleys like our Beskydy. We will meet there many monuments, including: the famous „painted monasteries” in the list of UNESCO as well as the rich folklore and multinational culture.
    This are the main value why is worth to go to Romania if i get a sholarships. In Romania it is a lot of things which we can do or see. It is very interesting country with special culture, history and beautiful nature.

    If I get a monthly scholarship to one of the country in Central Europe, I will go the Romania. This country is as much interesting as much beautiful. Romania boasts unique culture, which is caused by its location and particular historical legacy. The Romania has a very rich historic, a lot of monumental buildings, people who’s leave there are very nice and polite and In my opnion Romania has a lot of common with Poland culture.
    Romania is, as its inhabitants, ofter regarded as the meeting point of three regions : the Central Europe, the East Europe and the Balkans, but it seems to be more connected with the Central Europe than this two other regions. Romanian unique identity has been possibly developed from melting of the Roman and most likely of the ancient Dacian elements, combined with various other impacts.
    In Romania we can see a lot of different culures which are mixable. We can see influence east and west cultures and monumental buildings connect different traditions. For a young person who like to visiting other country this state is perfect. The capital is a lively place where someone cannot be bored. When I think about Romania I also think about music about great composers or about the opera. In Romania is a lot of folk festivals and others nation celebrations. Romania’s culture is very similar to other European culture with some influence from Oriental parts and Slavic countries. The traditional Romanian folk arts, including dance, wood carving, ceramics, weaving and embroidery of costumes and household decorations, and fascinating folk music, still flourish in the country.
    Romania is adorned with many wonderful Orthodox monasteries, some of which date back to the 13th century. Medieval towns, fortified churches, painted monasteries, wooden masterpieces and outstanding ancient Dacian ruins are just some of the attractions that make up Romania’s exceptional cultural heritage.
    25 of its beautifully preserved architectural gems have been included by UNESCO in the World Cultural Heritage in acknowledgement of their natural, scenic and monumental appeal. Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are : Horezu Monastery, Medieval fortified churches of Transylvania, Historic center of Sighisoara, Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, Wooden Churches of Maramures, Dacian Fortress of the Orastie Mountains.
    Located in the south- eastern part of Europe, a country of interesting wildlife, sports facilities and interesting sights and places . The most beautiful regions undoubtedly the delta of the Danube. There is also the deepest canyon in Europe – Bicaz gorge . There are mountains, forests , sea , castles, folklore own wine. In Romania, there are undoubted attractions , but you have to look for them . Sighisoara is a little known , like Bran with the legendary Count Dracula , but the surest place of residence is Poienari Castle – located in the southern part of the country . Transylvania in general is one of the most visited regions. There can also skip Bucharest where there are historic churches and monasteries , magnificent buildings , gardens and parks. Tourism center of Brasov in Romania is the well-preserved old town, numerous cafes and pubs . Romania is also a great country for people who appreciate sports and active recreation , a country with huge potential tourism opportunities , poorly used , certainly the lack of funds for investment .
    The capital of Romania is Bucharest . It’s rare that capital is not represented almost no tourist attraction. Visitors to Romania focused on the mountains , Transylvania , Moldova and the Black Sea coast . The explanation is simple . Bucharest suffered a lot due to earthquake , World War II and, above all , the period of the rule of Ceausescu . Historic architecture destroyed the forces of nature or human . Despite this, in Bucharest is one to watch , we have there, including several interesting museums. They special view is also interesting. There you can admire numerous museums , including the Museum of Natural History , Museum of History Museum of History Bucharest and Romania. When it comes to religious buildings , it can be observed numerous Orthodox churches . In the northern part of Bucharest ‚s Arcul de Triumf, the monument which was modeled on the triumphal arch located in Paris. These and many other monuments represent the culture of Romania.
    It Transylvania is a cultural center of the country. Great monuments can be found in large cities with a rich history, we admire the picturesque villages and towns. We’ll see cows strolling the streets, at the picturesque cottages perched decorated in an original way and often seen houses with a tower. We’ll see picturesque Moleciu de Jos, situated at the foot of the mountains, Rasnow, peasant castle, Brasov, majestic city, almost like our Krakow. Bukovina is considered the most picturesque land of Romania. The enchanting landscape of gentle hills and valleys like our Beskydy. We will meet there many monuments, including: the famous „painted monasteries” in the list of UNESCO as well as the rich folklore and multinational culture.
    This are the main value why is worth to go to Romania if i get a sholarships. In Romania it is a lot of things which we can do or see. It is very interesting country with special culture, history and beautiful nature.

  43. Romania: Why would I prefer to study in this country? (Ghenadie STINCA)

    Firstly, when a student from Moldova is asked such a question, he/she cannot remain impartial, due to the particularities of the Moldo-Romanian common history. Too many feelings are involved here. I foreign student coming to Romania won’t be able to experience at full scale, the deep thrilling and soul-lifting feelings the Moldovan student will sense. Romania and its universities – both of them aren’t just an ordinary state and typical educational milieu, where you can come and just waste your time. It’s something more than that. It’s about that feeling of coming to the milestone of the (Romanian) national spring to gulp “uncontaminated” life-giving water imbued with an essence of common Dacians ancestors. Coming in Romania, it’s like returning home.

    Romanian Universities are becoming especially in the last years a favorite destination for Moldovan students. The number of Moldovan students coming to study in Romania is rising exponentially every twelve months. The Romanian government in its turn is very sensitive when it goes about young people from Moldova who want to study in Romania. It is not a secret to claim that there are more special privileges for students from Moldova than for others “foreign” students and the first ones know it.

    Besides, it sounds attractive to make studies in a country that together with republic of Moldova once formed a great country – Great Romania. When coming to Romania, most of Moldovan students have that feeling of divine revelation to find out that they are surrounded by a condensed fraternal Romanized space without Russified words swarming in Moldovan society. Romania has a different mindset tightly linked to our common Dacian archetype, totally different from the expansionist Eurasian one.

    I personally have a very positive attitude of Romanian universities and less about Moldovan ones. Well, I must admit that this is a biased view. OR, I attended two different Moldovan Universities and I was satisfied of the quality of provided subjects… to some extent. The core problem within Moldovan Universities is less science-factor related and more human-factor related. I want to stress that you can have solid studies almost everywhere, if you are seriously determined by accurate principles and accept to be guided by the right Polar Star (qualified teachers) that can guide you through the wilderness of the illiterate jungle of ignorance in which we were born and reach successfully the bank of the vital knowledge.

    Romanian universities are attracting me by their more flexible and approachable education system. I believe that if I would have the opportunity to study there, it would guarantee me the certainty of getting better skills and become more prepared for a competitive career anywhere in the world. I consider that attending a Romanian University, can help you fulfill many of your ambitions and get alongside qualitative studies a new set of know-hows that will help you get the tag of an “expert” everywhere.

    I am more tempted to leave a Moldovan University for a Romanian one, as there you can find a broader range of choices of undergraduate and postgraduate programs that are lacking unfortunately in the quasi-poor Moldovan educational system. However, I am wrong to state that education environment in Republic of Moldova hasn’t a high level of academic excellence. The point is that there must be taken into consideration the truth – there is not a garden without its weeds.

    To make a long story short, the main reasons Moldovan students including myself have a „weakness” for Romanian Universities can be formulated in the following „postulates”:

    1.A MATTER OF PRESTIGE: Students from Moldova are making an almost instinctive psycho-emotional association of Romanian Universities with the Romanian’s membership of European Union. When speaking about EU, within Moldovan society persists the stereotype of an EUROtopia and EUROldorado where everything is gold-shining. Moldovan students are consuming this stuff in great quantities and most of them are at risk of becoming dependent. A Moldovan student is difficult to believe in the existence of the other side of the coin: to accept the reality that in Romania as well as in the whole Romanian educational system all that glitters is not gold. Romanians also have problems to cope with (according to some of my friends studying there). But this is already a whole new story.

    Mostly, Moldovan students are choosing well-known Romanian universities such as – Bucuresti (capital), Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, Baia Mare, Timisoara, Constanta, Galati, Suceava, Ploiesti, Craiova. Later on after the graduation, around 10% of students are returning in Moldova (according to some polls I recently read). The other 90% means that Moldovan students have decided to stay there and try to build their own American dream in a Romanian company /institution or maybe to go further in Western Europe.

    2.THE QUINTESSENCE OF ROMANIAN LANGUAGE: People of Romania and Moldova have a lot in common, starting from common ancient history and ending with same traditions. One of the most striking common constituent that is still forging our two (once, one NATION divided by the Eurasian Red Empire) nations is the Romanian language spoken in both countries. Nevertheless, people from Republic of Moldova think that they speak a different language named Moldavian. They continue to be victims of poisoned prejudices planted by the linguistic ideology of the Soviet Union, the one guilty in the creation of that artificial language. The idea of Moldovan language still parasitizes the fragile identify of Moldovans and overshadows the path to their right self-determination.

    The question of what language Moldovans are speaking causes a lot of frustration and fuss within Moldovan society. This often leads to conflicts and hatred that divides people between good-nationalist-Moldovans and bad-cocky-Romanians. However the younger generation tends to more Romanian-identity oriented and name their language as Romanian. Many Moldovan students are going to study in Romania NAMELY to improve their oral communication and polish their language and of course get rid of Russified words from their vocabulary. For me personally is quite a serious motivation. In my case, I admit that I am not able to speak the literary Romanian spoken in Romania. My level of “Romanian” language can be matched with the Moldavian language spoken in Republic of Moldova: full of Russian words and hybrid words, or as I prefer to call them mutant words – a gross linguistic mess shaped in a creepy Russian Frankenstein laboratory, that often make us feel ridiculous when we are speaking it.

    3. SPECIAL STATUS AND EURO-BENEFITS: As a rule, Moldovan students have certain learning and accommodation benefits. But, the main benefit considered by Moldovan students is that of obtaining a diploma. That automatically makes you qualified for the European labor market and implicitly offers you the chance of earning more money and better life conditions. On the other hand, Romanian studies can provide more economic security for alumni when they return to Moldova. I mean, in case of returning home, one can have more job opportunities and even able to start his/her own business.

    4. EASY ACCESS TO ROMANIAN SCHOLARSHIPS: Students from Moldova can obtain Romanian scholarships easier. Moreover, such advantages like lower tuition fees and cheap living costs for students if to compare with other European universities make it simpler and more attractive to apply to a Romanian University. Besides, let’s not forget about the special and symbolic short distance between Moldova and Romania’s borders. This geographical feature offers us a wonderful occasion to come home during almost every major holiday.

    In my opinion, the scholarships offered to Moldovan students by the Romanian state represent a true bridge on the way to the genuine Romanian civilization, more intact and relatively less infected by the communist germ than Moldova. I would like to go to Romania in order to have a more qualitative and less corrupted education, than in my country, where the apparatus of many Universities is still the subject of old labels inherited from Soviet times. On the other hand, I do not mean exactly the Soviet education system because it was considered once, as one of the best. I mean here namely the Moldovan Ministry of Education and the whole educational staff that is operating in the didactic field. Many of them are still prisoners of the Soviet mentality and have problems to adapt to the actual teaching methods. MAYBE, I am wrong here. If to be emphatic and put ourselves in their shoes then we would discover why Moldovan teachers cannot be effective in majority of cases – it’s about misery wages and lack of any stimuli to invest as much knowledge as possible in the Moldovan youth.

    Romanian scholarships contribute somehow to the closeness of the two sides of the Prut (river) which separates our countries: Romania and Moldova. Going to study in Romania, it can help you become more aware of what kind of problems Moldova is facing with. Far away from the homeland, I could better trace and realize the existing issues in the Moldovan society, created by a manipulating political system, that is led by local oligarchs.

    I truly believe that Romania has more chances and opportunities than Moldova. It is clear as crystal and Moldovan students are fully aware of it. The country has more perspectives related to geographical location (access to sea, mountains with beautiful sceneries and ski resorts), to tourism segment (historical notorious castles, e.g.: Dracula’s Castle, centuries-old monasteries), to the illustrious Romanian culture (Mihai Eminescu, Ion Creanga, Mircea Eliade, Nicolae Iorga, Eugene Ionesco, Constantin Brancusi etc.) and the last but not the least: to the EU membership aspect.

    Why would I prefer to study in this country? Because it is worthwhile!

  44. There are a lot of places I would like to visit. However, if I have an opportunity to choose scholarship to every country in Central Europe, it would be Czech Republic.
    I have visited this country twice as a child and it is enough to made a really good impression on me.
    Of course, I was in the capitol of Czech Republic, Prague. This city is a very lively, intense and colorful one. Crowded streets and bridges from beautiful epoch. Prague, in my opinion, is the city of lights, probably because it has an amazing scenery during the night, which I simply adore. If you are there and see all those amazing views, you feel better, your life have different motion, which incite you to do and try a lot of things.
    Prague is a special town. This city is a collection of amazing sights from the period of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and contemporary. Monuments of the Old Town are a catalog overview of almost all ages with well ornaments, roofs, finishes, narrow streets and famous figures of the Charles Bridge. Furthermore, up the hill is proudly watching Hradcany Castle, the seat of ancient kings.
    Like I said before, Prague looks the most beautifully at night. Someone who has never been in this city, do not understand specific climate, which you cannot observe in any other European country. The illuminated castle is eye-catching and encourages to the night sightseeing of the narrow streets and join the road to one of the small, but magical pubs in the old-fashioned style. When I came back from Czech Republic, I read some about this country and it makes me even more to go there for more than one day.
    I am a huge fan of art, art in general, so views, things, sounds and moments give me the strength to live. This is the reason I would like to see every single monument there. If we start the walk around the city, it is mandatory to start from the Old Town, where we can still see original houses from the eleventh century, and each of them has its own unique name. The Hall is a seconds mandatory element of sightseeing. What is more the building attracts attention by the clock with moving figures.
    Further, with narrow streets of the Old Towne, we go straight above Wełtawa, the river with a getaway to the Charles Bridge. This Bridge is one of the most famous and the oldest one in the Europe, which even more identify city than the castle. This Bridge is also connecting with a superstition, which says that if you touch the statue of Jan Nepomucen, it will bring you luck and happines.
    In addition to traditional monuments, beeing in Prague you can also spend time in another interesting way. This what attracts the Czech Republic is a beer, obviously. Not without reason, the city is called a gold one, right? The beer has a unique taste here, and brings the pleasure of specific climate of Czech beer’s tavern, which is plenty of laughter, loud of talks and a great atmosphere of fun. Czechs are second nation after Germans in beer consumption, which clearly reflected on the men’s bellies.
    Prague, is also the abundance of food. Czechs like to eat rich, with huge amount of calories and greasy. I suppose that this characteristic is the main reason I would like to live there for a while. Food is kind of art too, isn’t it? In their menu we can find: noodles, potatoes, pork. There is full of places to eat, typical restaurants or a friendly dining rooms to try Czech’s dumplings.
    Apart from places and viwes I love meeting new people. I clearly remember that people there were very friendly, loud in a good way and funny. I hope I would find people with this specification easily. Such beautiful places should lure good people with bright souls and minds.
    I heard that they say there, that every single Czech is a musican. If that is true I believe that people there are very creative.
    What I found interesting is that in Czech are two Valentine’s Day terms, of course 14th of February and suprisingly 1st of May. The parton of it is the biggest Czech romantic poet, Karel Hynek Macha. People say that Paris is a capitol of love, but you can see that is the biggest mistake ever.
    The second curiosity for me as an agnostic person is that Czech as a typical post-communistc country, remaining long under the influence of this system, Czechs are considered as the most atheistic country in Europe. The main objection, which puts them there is a waste of temples. Churches in the Czech Republic are really beautiful, and very few of the faithful people come there on Sunday. However, the Czechs do not have any problem with that, faith is a matter of choice. This is connecting with Czech history associated with Jan Hus and the Battle of White Mountain. Czechs were originally the Lutherans, forcing them to quit their religion and it resulted in the current situation.
    The language is similar to my native one, Polish, but sometimes the Poles should be very careful and it would be better do not say some words, because normal, neutral polish words in Czech are in using as vulgarisms. It is better to not “searching” anything, even more anybody, because our neighbours are using this word for “having a sexual act”, what is a really small difference…
    Prague is not the only place, which is worthy to see. For instance, Pilzno is a city for beer-enthusiasts, where from 1307 beer has been producing. Next one: Karlove Vary, which is known all over the Europe because of medical spas.
    Czech society is characterized by good manners and a large attachment to the traditions of the state, and especially the patriotic values​​. In the culture of the Czech on special place is cinema. International star is a Czech director – Milos Forman, who is the creator of the greatest works of cinema: „Amadeus,” which won five Oscars, „Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and „Larry Flynt”. One of the symbolic figures representing the Czechs are: soldier Szwejk and of course the most popular cartoons like: “Neighbours”, “The Mole”, “Rumcajs”, or “Cypisek”. Everyone wants to be in the country where they are from!
    I heard that the Czechs are bourgeois and very punctual. Although we are neighbors, we belong to the Slavs, people can be surprised how different life looks like just south of the border.
    There is a lot of places I would like to visit all over the world, but visit in neighbourhood sounds also good for me. I would find out how many things and features we are alike and how strong we are different. I hope that one day it will be possible and I will try to make it possible.

  45. Study and live in Romania
    Having a choice to study abroad with a good budget scholarship is something exciting. As a person come from Middle East and more specifically from Saudi Arabia, a country has a long history with United Kingdom and United States, maybe the first country jump to the mind is USA which most of my friends had chosen and graduated from American universities. However, in my case Europe is best choice.
    But why is Europe? And where is in Europe? The West? Or the East? But why not in the heart of Europe?
    First of all, why did I choose Europe? Europe has a rich history in old ages and modern, has ancient and historical places to visit and you could feel the smell of history around you. Having interest in history, literature and cultures that encouraging me to take any chance to explorer as many countries as I can, and tracing historical monuments and civilizational, so where is in the world place is better than Europe!! .
    Secondly, where is in Europe? Every country has its advantages and disadvantages and some countries like in the west may have a lot in common as well as in east but in order to explorer more and knowing better, in my opinion, it is better to be in heart of Europe that give you an opportunity to meet mixture of cultures.
    Romania is one of most interesting countries to study in, I am not just talking about academic study program or a student life in Bucharest for example, but to learn more about European cultures and have a chance to visit the neighboring countries, because it has a unique geographical location.
    To take a decision about a country to study in you should take in account many things, like:
    Education system
    Romania has a strong education system and a long history in teaching.The first institutes of higher education that functioned on the territory of Romania where Academia Vasiliana (1640) founded by prince Vasile Lupu in Iasi as a „higher school for Latin and Slavonic languages” and the Academy of Bucharest opened at the end of the 17th c. by the prince Constantin Brancoveanu. And, the first Romanian universities were established by PrinceAl.I.Cuza – the University of Iasi (1860) and the Bucharest University (1864) – under whose rule was issued the first Public Education Law (1864), which regulated the whole system of school education from primary to university education.
    Nowadays, Romania has a modern education system and its universities are recognized in European Union and other countries.

    Geographical and history
    The Romanians have an old and rich history. The ancient name of this territory is Dacia. It was inhabited by Getic and Dacian populations. After the wars against Rome, between 101-102 and 105-106, Dacia became a Roman province providing the basis for the formation of both the Romanian people and language. Romania lies in the Central-South-Eastern part of the European continent. It is one of the medium-sized countries of Europe. Romania neighbors Moldavia, Ukraine, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and coasts the Black Sea. That gives the student a very good opportunity to travel and experience variety of cultures. Also, it has a rich history which is mixture of cultures between Western European and Eastern European and Balkan.
    For me this information is enough to make my mind, who can resist this chance?

    Economy and cost of live
    Romania has a developing, upper-middle income market economy, the 17th largest in the European Union by total nominal GDP and the 13th largest based on purchasing power parity. The collapse of the Communist regime in 1989, reforms in the 2000s (decade) and its 2007 accession to the European Union have led to an improved economic outlook. Until 2009, Romanian economic growth was among the fastest in Europe (officially 8.4% in 2008 and more than three times the EU average).
    Cost of living in Romania by comparing with some Western European countries like United Kingdom is almost nothing. A person could live in an excellent accommodation; have dinner in good restaurants and care nothing about his/her budget, moreover travelling between cities, visiting museums and historical places all are affordable.

    Culture of Romania
    The most interesting thing in Romania is the co-existence and harmony between the cultures of different races. According to the latest statistics in 201, Romania has ethnic group as follow: 89.9% Romanians, 6.5% Hungarians, 3.3% Roma and other minorities about 1.3%. Furthermore, Romania has unique culture as a result to many reasons like geographical position and long and spectacular history.

    Traditions
    A researcher in Romania could surprise how some of very old and fascinating traditions could survive in era of technology, some people argue that the Romanian proud in their culture because that they could save it, but it cannot be this the reason because most nations are proud in their culture and traditions, however, most of them lost most their traditions.
    In conclusion, after reading about Romania especially the history and culture I highly recommend every student who could have a scholarship to a European country to consider Romania one of his best options.

  46. Frankly speaking, probably I will have a great dilemma. It is not a simple choice. I have always dreamed about visiting Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and Hungary. On the other hand, after a thorough rethinking topic I would like to choose the Czech Republic.Especially I would like to study in Prague in the Charles University(the first Universyty in central europe). without a doubt it will be great opportunity to learn more about this interesing country. In my opinion Prague has got special art-academic atmosphere. It will be very pleasant live and study in one of the most beautiful city in the hole world.
    I mean the great landmarks like: The Prague Astronomical Clock(installed in 1410), St. Vitus Cathedral at Hradčany or the most famous bridge-the Charles Bridge.
    In addition to these wonderful places I’d like to visit Prague Congress Centre. I am interested in international relationship that is why I would like to see house where took place NATO summits.
    I am sure that during my freetime I will have many interesting things to do. I like art.
    As we know from a few hundred years old Prague is the cultural capital of europe. The most attractive for me is Národní Divadlo where took place the premières of Mozart’s Don Giovanni- one of my favorite masterpiece. In my opinion worth of seeing is the Municipal House which is home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra and The Prague State Opera (Státní opera) performs at the Smetana Theatre.
    When I get tired of the music(It is unlikely) I can go to National Museum (Národní muzeum), the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Alfons Mucha Museum, the African-Prague Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Náprstek Museum (Náprstkovo Muzeum), the Josef Sudek Gallery, the National Library and the National Gallery. I heard that in Prague is one of the biggest and the best ZOO in europe. I would like see in and compare with polish one. Daily live in capital city of Czech republic is very comfortable. There are very advanced infrastructure of public transport. The tube has three major lines extending throughout the city, tram system now operates various types of trams. What is more Prague has got a friendship agreement inter alia with Warsaw. I can feel almost like in home. Currently, the city plays a very important role in the international arena. Prague was the location of U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech on 5 April 2009, which led to the New START treaty with Russia, signed in Prague on 8 April 2010. In the end I going to learn more more about Czech Republic history. I realize that it is a very complicated and complex but I try do it. I am interested in what war happened many yers ago when The Czechs lost their national independence to the Hapsburg Empire in 1620 at the Battle of White Mountain and for the next 300 years were ruled by the Austrian Monarchy. With the collapse of the monarchy at the end of World War I, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed, encouraged by, among others, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. On the other hand also the latest history for example The 1968 Soviet Invasion or The Velvet Revolution.
    To sum up. Without doubt I think that Czech Republic is one of the most important country in central europe(in the past, the present and the future) It is the main argument why I will decide go there. What is more I love Czech food. I never refuse-Svickova knedlik: Czech dumplings, made from either wheat flour or potato, have similar look and taste like heavy white bread. Four or five slices of dumplings are placed on a side of the plate along side beef steak or pork soaked in cream vegetable.

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