'I’m afraid to leave my country. I don’t like unfamiliar people and places'
Law student Pavel claims to be profoundly pro-European, but says he 'has not had the chance to study in another country. I speak English, German and Russian, but I’m not sure how useful it would be to go overseas.' Sometimes the reason is financial, as for Michal, a first year university student. He would like to go abroad, but missing a semester or two would mean losing his job, which he can’t afford to do.
Quality, if you please!
Another reason for this lack of mobility seems to be ignorance of the available programmes. Although the journalism department’s magazine Babylon promotes European programmes, Dana, a young journalism student, says that 'with Erasmus, I think you can only go study in Great Britain, or maybe France.' Her friend, Katarina, is totally against leaving the Czech Republic: 'I’m afraid to leave my country. I don’t like unfamiliar people and places.'
Livia, a twenty-year-old in her fourth year of law, has never thought about going abroad to study: 'Perhaps I am too old … plus, I have a dog.' She doesn’t really feel that Europe is important to her, though she thinks it is important to learn about other cultures. Even when there are those who do wish to go abroad, doubts arise as to the quality of host universities. For Michal, 'the country is not important, it’s the tradition of the university that counts, that’s the place to study.' He has read a book on journalism in Australia and thinks that journalism is very well taught there, 'so why not go there,' he says. One of his classmates, Jan, would like to to add some overseas study to his curriculum, 'but it would depend on which establishment I would go to. It must be of a certain quality, at least as good as the Charles university.'