Ugljesa Petrovic – ”The IBCM exchange program is an unforgettable experience”

We have always mentioned that student exchanges are much more than a semester abroad, and for our International Marketing and Sales student, Uglejsa Petrovic, this opportunity turned into an ”unforgettable experience”.

Ugljesa is spending his 6th semester as an exchange student at our Partner Institution ISCAP, one of Portugal’s largest and most prestigious public Polytechnic Institutes. To learn everything about his experience, his thoughts and perspective on this Erasmus + exchange, we conducted a short interview. You can read his story below.

Portugal in one word?
Ugljesa: Unique.

ISCAP in one word?
Ugljesa: International.

Your new friends in a word?
Ugljesa: Open-minded.

Your experience so far in one word?
Ugljesa: Perfect.

What were your first impressions of Portugal and the people there when you arrived?

I was impressed since I arrived. It is always exciting to see places I have never seen before. Portugal is a beautiful country, because of its culture, good student life, and also because of weather, which turned out to be warm, same as local people. I can say that people here are very positive, always ready to help and friendly. Having international friends is such a pleasure. They are little bit different, but curious about other countries, culture, life and so on.

What are some similarities and differences between ISCAP and IBCM?

ISCAP and IBCM have both international environment and students, but when it comes to number of students, it is much larger number at ISCAP. As for university history, it is known that ISCAP has a long history and a great reputation. Student life in Porto at ISCAP is very exciting. All students, professors and university staff are very helpful, especially to Erasmus students. The courses are more interesting and challenging, so during the brake at university there are student restaurants, cafeterias, beautiful arranged park where students can relax and prepare for next lectures. They have a lot of students associations that are very active, one of them is ESN which provides a lot of benefit. (Discounts in markets, lower price on Ryanair flights, free entrance in clubs and much more). ESN create every weekend events for foreign and local students, so it is a great opportunity to meet and talk with other students, but also creating a friendship for a lifetime. As far as teaching staff are considered, I can only mention they own a lot of knowledge, ready to share with students, always available to us in case we need something, and by all this I don’t think that there is any bigger difference with IBCM. The difference is grading system, at ISCAP grades go from 1 to 20.

How did you decide to apply, what were the criteria?

A study abroad was something I thought about, what I read about and inform myself from students that had a change to be in Erasmus exchange programme. Being a student does not mean to belong to only one university or to study only in one country, but to be part of global student population, that strives for universal system of value, common to all students of the world. An important segment of these value is the exchange of experience, knowledge and connecting with students. Studying in another country is a step towards personal independence, the breaking of prejudices and the expansion of the perspective, and upgrading of the value that we carry with us from the environment in which we grew up. At a foreign study I decided to consider that I can only enrich my field of experience from a stay in another university. There were several criteria that I had to meet before applying for exchange program at ISCAP. Like – having a good grades, good attendance sheet, knowledge of English language, sending motivation letter and after all just to be patient.

What was IBCM’s role during application process?

First of all, I wouldn’t be today in this kind of situation without them, IBCM staff had a big role in communication with Incoming Office of ISCAP. They are the main reason, so I would like to use this chance and say that I’m really thankful to all IBCM staff, especially to Mirjana and prof. Gabrijela. Also the last one but not least important one is my colleague Bujar, that had a chance to experience student life in Porto, I’m thankful for all the provided information.

What is your message to students who plan to go on exchanges abroad?

Exchange program is an unforgettable experience, which can only bring you positive things. If you are ready to try something new and go in adventure of experiencing new life situation you definitely should be part of the students mobility. You will be able to meet new people, new cultures, get new experiences, and all that in a beautiful and pleasant ambient, surrounded by Erasmus friends. Since I’m on Erasmus program in Porto I would like to recommend you not to leave Porto without trying surfing, visiting other cities of Portugal, learning a bit of their beautiful language, trying national food, vine, and of course don’t forget to bring a lot of energy, since Porto has a lot to offer. Be brave and dare to make the greatest step in your life.