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Jan Kotouček, Brno University of Technology,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Slovenia is a relatively small country in Central Europe with access to the Mediterranean Sea. At first glance, there's quite a number of mountains, hiking is almost a national sport there.
Ljubljana is the capital, situated in the middle of the country. With three hundred thousand inhabitants is the largest city in Slovenia, extending along the river called Ljubljanica. The city's nightlife is concentrated arout the rive, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants. Above the river the Ljubljana Castle rises. During the summer, the city is full of tourists, English language it's quite common. The best transportation provides bicycle, although you can get everywhere on foot. I would definitely recommend to visit a part of town called Metelkova. Practically, it is a city within a city. To another recommendations include Tivoli park and a twelve-story "skyscraper" Nebotičnik from which, however, is a beautiful view of the entire city.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
From Ljubljana you can travel both by bus and by train to the surrounding parts of Slovenia. Relatively close to the rock Smarna Gora is located . It is also quite a nice trip to the city of Maribor. I would definitely recommend visiting the town called Bled.
Institut "Jozef Stefan" is located quite close to the dorms Rožná Dolina, its about 10-15 minutes on foot. It is the largest institution in Slovenia dealing with a whole range of disciplines from physics, chemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, information technology, reactor physics to energy and the environment.
My internship was focused on a synthesis of fluorescent nanoparticles and their subsequent analysis on electron microscopy.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
The pay was, due to expenses, sufficient. I received all of it in a single payment after cca 14 days.
At the institut, everyone speaking English, there was no problem to understand each other. Due to tourism, English is also common in shops and restaurants. After a long time will find a little similarity between Slovenian and Czech language.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
I was staying at dorms called Rožná Dolina. The dorms are located near the Tivoli park and to the center of city or to the work it's about 10-15 minutes on foot. During the summer, the dorms are quite quiet, although I recommend earplugs (sometimes its better with it). The price was 75 euros per common room. If your roommate is from Slovenian, you have a big chance that you will be in the room alone. What I didnt knew was that its more or less irrelevant when you are leaving or arriving. You always pays for the whole month. Accommodation was arranged through IAESTE Ljubljana.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
The IAESTE local group helped me deal with everything you need to arrange. Every week they organized a meeting in a local pub. And over the weekend we had a possibility to do some hiking.
Meeting other foreign students
On the dorms Rožná Dolina, specifically in block 4, all the students on exchange programs or internship were accommodated. Probably, you can encounter with a few Czechs. At the institut I worked just with the locals.
Sport and culture
In Ljubljana, during the summer there are plenty of cultural events, such as summer theater, concerts and festivals. As I mentioned above, I would recomme to visit the urban part of Metelkova. The campus Rožná Dolina, has a playground for football, basketball and tennis court. Tivoli park is suitable for jogging and other outdoor activities.
Food, local specialties
The students food discounts stars from 15. 8. Every month you have approximately twenty vouchers at a discount (for every weekday). You can use more coupons in one day, but between every use there must be an interval of 4 hours. This system works in selected restaurants throughout the city. You need to activate the Slovenian sim card and you need to make registration on the website to get this discounts.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Via email, skype, facebook and mobile phone.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Apart from the above probably no more. Btw beware of shop opening hours on weekends.
What not to forget with you
Sturdy shoes for hiking, earplugs and your own dishware.
Benefits of the internship
You will meet new people, make new contacts and you will explore other places.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Cooperation with IASTE was without problems. The communication via email was quite quick, they usually responded the next day. On Facebook there is a group called IAESTE Ljubljana, where you can find other informations about trips and events in general.
Overall experience with IAESTE
Cooperation with IAESTE (as in the Czech Republic and Slovenia) was positive. I do not know what more to say, I'm hoping that this wasn't my last internship.
Other useful links
For information about opening hours and location of banks, post offices and shops of all kinds: http://odpiralnicasi.com/