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Successful Welcome Week and Welcome Day for Incoming Students Held at University of Zagreb

The University of Zagreb organised its Welcome Week for incoming foreign exchange students in the summer semester of academic year 2022/2023. Of the 400 students, most came to study in Zagreb as part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ mobility programme. The largest number of foreign students came from France, followed by Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

The Welcome Week was held from 20 to 24 February 2023. During the Welcome Week, the Academy of Dramatic Art hosted academic lectures on Croatian culture and heritage, its religious tradition, as well as culture shock and acculturation. In addition, the students could enjoy an organ concert at the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.

Professional sightseeing tours in English were organised at multiple time sessions presenting the cultural and historical centre of the city of Zagreb. Throughout the week, the students had the opportunity to visit and join guided tours at the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, where they could view a presentation on Nikola Tesla's achievements, tour the mine replica, check the energy transformation and renewable energy sources collections, and explore the permanent museum exhibition. For all students coming to Zagreb after the Welcome Week, especially those from non-EU countries, an additional guided tour of Zagreb and a visit to the museum were organised.

The Welcome Week concluded on 24 February with the Welcome Day, held in-person for the first time since the pandemic, at the cinema hall in the University of Zagreb Student Centre. The opening speech for foreign students was given by the Vice-rector for Students, Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Professor Boris Brkljačić, PhD.

The rest of the programme included the presentation of the University in general, as well as explaining the options specifically concerning the English-taught classes. Furthermore, those interested in studying Croatian as a foreign language were encouraged to consider doing so at the University's language school Croaticum. Croatian students, members of the Erasmus Student Network Zagreb (ESN Zagreb), an association co-funded by the International Relations Office through the Erasmus+ programme, held a presentation about living and studying in Zagreb and announced the activities they will be organising for foreign students over the course of the summer semester. The students received welcome gifts, including useful information material regarding the University of Zagreb and the Erasmus+ Programme. All was wrapped up with an informal get-together/networking and a welcome drink. The Welcome Week and Welcome Day programme are fully financed by resources from the student mobility Erasmus+ Programme.

The Erasmus+ Programme is a bilateral exchange programme, which also regulates the outgoing mobility of Croatian students wishing to study at one of the partner universities in the European Union as well as outside the EU. The International Relations Office manages almost 500 UNIZG students who are to study or do a traineeship abroad in the summer semester of academic year 2022/2023. The majority of students will attend universities in Spain, Portugal and Italy, or do professional traineeships under Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian employers. All Croatian students received an Erasmus+ scholarship.

The International Relations Office wrote a project proposal at the public invitation of the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals, which was positively assessed, granting the University of Zagreb  € 5,245,518 of EU funds in 2022. From these funds, base scholarships of €500 and €550 euros per month were awarded to Croatian students, with the possibility of receiving an additional €250 per month for students eligible for inclusion support and students with fewer opportunities (both categories in the current year academic year 2022/2023). Students who “green travel” can receive an additional bonus of €50.