SSST Stories



May 4, 2018

Student mobility contributes to individuals’ personal and professional development and equips them with transferable skills that are valued by employers and society. Students  improve their foreign language skills and develop greater intercultural awareness, but they also develop soft skills, such as being able to quickly adapt to changes and new situations, solve problems, work in teams, think critically, be tolerant of different views and communicate effectively. Mobility boosts job prospects, encourages labour market mobility and opens minds to different cultures. A 20141 study showed that the risk of long-term unemployment at least halved for mobile students compared to those who stay at home. A third of former Erasmus students now live with a partner of a different nationality.

Since its launch in 1987, the Erasmus programme has seen not only a constant increase in the number of students taking part, but also in the quality and diversity of the mobility activities on offer

As part of the Erasmus programme, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology has established collaboration with Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Germany. Our staff, faculty and students have had the pleasure to participate in trainings and exchange with FAU.

We are proud to share another success story – an amazing experience of Zerina Mandžo, our CSIS student who took part in students exchange with FAU in 2017.

In September 2016, I applied for the Erasmus exchange programme and was selected to spend my Summer semester at FAU as SSST student. The whole procedure for enrollment, visa and subject selection asks for a lot of time and patience and it is not easy to find compatible subjects that match the program in your home country. Every university has different rules and different groups of courses. Exchange students must be prepared for numerous corrections, difficulties, and overturns. On top of all of these difficulties, finding accommodation in a foreign city may seem like you have hit the black hole, and that there is no way out of it. However, it is well-know that after a great effort and investment, a period of relief is forthcoming.

I see a number of reasons why everyone should put their best foot forward and embrace the opportunity of studying one semester in another country. First, a student will get a taste of what studying abroad means. They will get to meet new cultures, new people, and their customs. There is something magical in exploring every corner of the city, and building a completely new life. I mentioned the word “new” several times. This single word is the best explanation of what this programme represents. During your stay, you will become more responsible, you will get to know yourself better. You will test your limits, make new friends, learn a new language, or improve it, and you will travel (a lot!). Personally, I was completely amazed with the FAU courses, and I learned many things. I improved my knowledge of German language, to the point where I could fluently speak with my neighbours and friends. From this point of view, I spoke German more often than Bosnian, even with my Bosnian colleagues. I suppose that is because of the fear that someone could understand me (there are many Bosnians abroad).

This particular programme took what was not valuable and necessary in my life, made me stronger, full of self-esteem, and taught me that there are still good people waiting to help you overcome your burden and difficulties.

As Audrey Hepburn once said: '' I have been lucky. Opportunities do not often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.'' I grabbed my opportunity, and I would do it again.

I would like to thank the staff of FAU International Office for being there for me every time I needed them, my professors for their great understanding and SSST for thinking about me and my needs in every single moment during my stay in Germany.

Many thanks to prof. Belma Ramić-Brkić and Franziska Kreuzer. Without them, my experience abroad would have been unimaginable.”

Zerina Mandžo, CSIS student, SSST


Many thanks to Zerina for sharing her experience and to everyone making her academic endeavor possible.

We encourage all of you to apply, grab your opportunity and make your own story!


Story done by Lejla Selmanović, Head of PR

Photo credit: Zerina Mandžo, private collection


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