Alois’s study exchange experience at Algebra University in Croatia

Embark on an inspiring journey with Alois, our 21-year-old student from Epitech Nice. Alois’s fascination with IT started during a brief internship at the age of 15, setting him on a path towards discovering the boundless opportunities within the field. Drawn to Epitech’s innovative teaching methods and project-centric approach, he found his passion for Data Science flourishing by the end of his first year.

Alois’s  4th year abroad – Studying at Algebra University College in Croatia

For my 4th year abroad, I wanted to stay in Europe, for reasons like family proximity and the perks of EU membership, including the Erasmus scholarship. With a passion for data science, I explored universities across Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, and Romania. However, the high cost of living in northern Europe led me to consider Balkan countries. After thorough research, I found Algebra University College in Croatia, with its modern campus and tailored programs suited to real-world needs, making it an ideal choice.”

Arrival and First Impressions:

“Before arriving in Croatia I’ve received helpful insights about life there from a HomeInZagreb representative. Surprisingly, there’s a significant French presence at my university, with about 20 French-speaking students during the winter semester. The university organized three integration days before classes, offering assistance with paperwork and fun activities like guided tours. As a French person, I found Croatian culture quite familiar, with shared traditions like celebrating Christmas and similar culinary tastes.”

Highlights of the Study Exchange:

“From a professional perspective, I’ve developed expertise in sought-after areas such as machine learning, affective computing, and data visualization. Additionally, we’ve completed cybersecurity courses and have the opportunity to pursue CISO certification. Regarding the campus, as previously mentioned, it’s modern, equipped with fiber optics, spacious break rooms, a cafeteria, and powerful computers (note: keyboards are in QWERTZ). Notably, amenities include a data center and a PS4, all contributing to a student-friendly environment.

Classes are scheduled in the evenings, allowing Epitech students ample time for extracurricular activities like working on EIP projects, going for walks, or participating in sports.

On a personal note, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the local gastronomy, particularly the abundance of meat dishes. While my travel opportunities were limited due to the demands of my Master 2 program, my brief visit to Zagreb left a positive impression, with attractions such as the Dynamo football stadium, karting tracks, and vibrant bars.”

Personal Growth and Cultural Insights

“This experience introduced me to new people, with whom I often socialized by dining out, going to bars, and enjoying activities like go-karting. We aim to stay connected and perhaps reunite in the future.

Croatia, previously part of Yugoslavia, has endured war, leaving traces of its history visible. Despite being a relatively young nation, Croatia boasts a captivating and intricate culture and history. In Zagreb, museums and guided tours offer opportunities to delve deeper into this rich heritage.

At the school, students have the option to enroll in modules focusing on Croatian language and history, which I highly recommend. Croatians take great pride in their heritage, and attempting to converse in their language can foster connections and be warmly received.”

Advice for Future tech4 students

“When planning a trip to Zagreb, it’s useful to carry cash as many establishments, particularly in the old town for purchasing fruits and certain bars, may not accept credit cards. Since January 2023, Croatia has adopted the euro as its currency, eliminating the need to convert euros to kuna.

English proficiency among older individuals may be limited, so consider using a translation app for Croatian communication.

If you’re attending the same university as I am, rest assured that the administration is highly responsive and efficient. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance if needed.

Upon arrival in Croatia, prioritize obtaining your residence permit promptly, as the process can be lengthy. Personally, I experienced delays, waiting almost five months after sending my documents two weeks after arrival.”

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