It's already July and we know it – you're getting excited for the journey that awaits you. The amazing and crazy journey that is Erasmus in Zagreb. We bet it's fun to plan out your clothes, search for a plane and imagine all the awesome friendships, trips and parties you will experience.

But is it also kind of... stressful? Not only the world is turning upside down, but you're about to experience a totally new situation. You're coming to a whole new city and a university that you don't know everything about. Those kinds of things really CAN be challenging and demanding and we get it – but it doesn't HAVE to be like that at all. Here's a solution – get a local friend in rescue!

 

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STOP RIGHT THERE. We see you. Don't panic-install Google Maps, Yelp or any kind of those apps – you won't need them. Ask a real local and they'll tell you the truth. Whether the truth is bad, expensive, far, extra fun or really yummy. And let us tell you – Croatians are known to be warm and welcoming hosts. You won't regret having one of them on your speed dial. Also, no, Tinder won't really make you friends, but a buddy program might. And paying for Netflix will be an unnecessary cost because with a cool buddy you won't be spending your first days on Erasmus binge-watching shows alone in your room.

You have questions you can't find the answers to on the World Wide Web? Something like:

„How can I find accommodation that's actually good and close to my uni? What does close to my uni even mean?

What is the best courier from which I can buy a SIM card in order to have 4G whenever I go?

 What are the teachers and exams in Croatia like?  

Do Croatians use cash or card more?

Trams? What's that?“

 

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We got that covered, too. We mean, your new local BFF for sure has.

And of course, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The COVID-19 situation in Croatia. What is it like? Is anything open, are people acting normal? The most honest and reliable answers you can get are from people actually living here and experiencing everything like it is. Your local buddies.

So, after totally convincing you you need one, what actually is a buddy and the ESNbuddy program? And how can you apply? A buddy is a local student that is willing to help you and will try to answer all of your questions. He wants to show you and teach you about his own country and culture but at the same time is keen to learn about a new culture and language. Both local and exchange students apply for this program using the Papaya app. The app uses multiple algorithms which connects you to the perfect buddy. When you and your buddy match, you both get an email with the info of the student and their contact.

To be the Paris Hilton to your Kim K (WARNING: making them clean your closet is NOT allowed) or to be the Toby to your Leo (we can’t actually make them take you bowling), apply here:

https://papaya.iter-idea.com/auth

 

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