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Successful "Welcome Week" and "Welcome Day" for Exchange Students at the University of Zagreb

The Central International Relations Office of the University of Zagreb organized its Welcome Week (Tjedan dobrodošlice) programme for foreign exchange students who arrived to UNIZG in the winter semester 2023/2024. The majority of the students came to study in Zagreb as part of the Erasmus+ Programme, with the highest number coming from Spain, France and Germany. The University of Zagreb also hosted a dozen students from Ukraine. In total, more than 450 students participate in the exchange during the winter semester.

The Welcome Week was held from 25 to 29 September 2023. Over the course of the Welcome Week and taking place at the University Rectorate building, the students had the opportunity to attend academic lectures on culture shock and acculturation, Croatian religious heritage, the Croatian education system, and Croatian culture and history. As part of the programme, the students also enjoyed an organ concert at the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, performed by Professor Pavle Mašić.

Professional guided tours in English around the cultural and historical Zagreb centre were arranged in several time slots.

The Welcome Week culminated with the Welcome Day, which was held in the grand auditorium of the new UNIZG Rectorate building for the first time. The main welcome speech for foreign students was given by the Vice-rector for International and Inter-institutional Cooperation, Prof. Jurica Pavičić, PhD. The students were also welcomed by the Head of the Central International Relations Office, Branka Roščić, PhD.

Afterwards, the students were provided a rundown on the University of Zagreb, the options for studying in English, and the possibility of learning Croatian as a foreign language at Croaticum. The Erasmus Student Network Zagreb (ESN Zagreb), an organization co-financed by the Central International Relations Office through the Erasmus+ project, was introduced by its president Lea Sorić, who gave a presentation about living and studying in Zagreb, and informed the students about the activities that ESN will organize for them during the winter semester. The students received welcome gifts, including a ticket for the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb. All was wrapped up with an informal get-together and a cocktail party. The Welcome Week and Welcome Day is fully financed from the Erasmus+ mobility programme funds.

The Erasmus+ Programme is a bilateral exchange programme, under which the outgoing mobility of Croatian students wishing to study at one of the partner universities within or outside the European Union is realized. The International Relations Office is managing nearly 500 UNIZG students who are to study or do a traineeship abroad in the winter semester 2023/2024. Most of the students will attend universities in Spain, Italy, and Portugal, or do professional traineeships under Spanish, Italian and Portuguese employers. All Croatian students received an Erasmus+ scholarship.