Erasmus incoming students experience

Katharina's Erasmus Experience

Erasmus+ KA 103, Incoming SMS, winter semester 2023/2024
School of Medicine
Voutes University Campus  (Heraklion)
Katharina Victoria Henners, undergraduate student, Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf (Germany)

I really enjoyed my time in crete. It is an island so beautiful that even when we took a 3 hour drive to the west we just kept saying that even if the destination would be as beautiful as we expected the drive alone would have been worth the trip. But then the destination always was even more gorgeous than expected. The greek people in and out of the hospital were all super friendly and we found it very easy to connect with locals and were often invited out for a drink.

My favorite place in all of crete is Elafonissi, I would suggest going in the evening to see the sunset. Then it is less crowded and you can really see the pink sand. And every Erasmus Student should go eat at Peskesi in Heraklion, it is the best food I had in Crete.

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Erasmus+ KA 103, Incoming SMS, winter semester 2022/2023
Dept. of Political Science
Rethymno University Campus 
NATALIE RADMICOVA, postgraduate student, University of Jana Evangelisty (Czech Republic)

Communication with professors was not always easy. Some of them did not respond to my emails or did respond after a long period of time, which is problematic if you need enough time for your study duties. During the program, students had to look up contacts with their professors and contact them. I saw, many students struggled with that however, one mail from the local coordinator might be helpful. The mail with this webpage , where I found all my professors. I appreciate it if the information on the web page were refreshed and complete (with office hours and the location of the professor’s office). That would make the whole study much easier for me. On the contrary, when I met the professors in person, they were always helpful and kind. If some professors from the department were not responding to me, they suggested contacting the professor themselves. This way, I would like to thank them for their kind attitude. However, I do not want to be so critical of the University of Crete, perhaps I am only affected by my own experiences from my homeland university in the Czech Republic.

The last lines are dedicated to the city and its surroundings. Rethymno is a city of many possibilities. If you are keen on art, sport, religion, history, gastronomy, and nature. Staying in Rethymno is the right choice for you. If you decide to slow your daily pace, you can spend your day in cosy cafes, in the municipal garden, or just strolling along the beach. If you decide to move your body, you can exercise in one of the local gyms or you may attend the university gym which is fully equipped and for students is for free. I personally prefer running outside, so I chose running along the beach.

Many sports events take place here, in Rethymno. I participated in the Arkadi run and that was an amazing experience if you are into running you should definitely run the race. I can also recommend the city market which is held regularly two times a week and it is worth it. Fresh fruit and vegetables for cheaper prices than in the stores, and overall, the market culture is great.

I am not surprised that the concept of “kalokagathos” originally comes from ancient Greece. Two libraries in the city – the municipal and university library provide a comprehensive collection of titles, and calm room for learning, a municipal art gallery of contemporary art, and other places enable the refinement of the soul and conversely tich sports activities, additionally, sea and salty air and coastal promenade, where you can empower your body perfectly fulfilling my perception of kalokagathos.

One final piece of advice – Don’t be afraid of the sea even in the coldest months. Cold-water exposure brings many benefits to your body even your soul will be enriched.


Erasmus+ KA 103, Incoming SMS, winter semester 2022/2023
Dept. of Primary Education
Rethymno University Campus 
MICHAELA AUGUSTOVA, postgraduate student, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)

My experience begun a week before the semester started. Obviously, I was very nervous of the new, unknown environment, not to mention that this was my first time this far away from my family and friends, and don’t get me even started with the fear of meeting new people and making friends from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting new people. Well, I very much enjoy getting to know them, but the circumstances that precede it, that’s a real horror for me. The beginnings were difficult, adjusting to the new culture and a totally different school system. Luckily, I met few people that made this bureaucratic adventure bearable. The fact that some teachers do not teach their classes in English and gave us essays to write instead, gave us many opportunities to explore the city surroundings and the whole Crete as well. We were able to rent a car a enjoy beaches and hikes across the island.

Overall, this experience gave me many positive, but also negative encounters. The positives are meeting great people and becoming friends, traveling and finding new interesting places, or an apartment with a roof garden with a see view. I was really glad to take up Greek language lessons. The teacher was amazing and even though we went through topic really fast, I am now able to hold basic conversation in Greek, and that is incredible. Lastly, the not very pleasant experience was getting on a university bus. When I found out how hard one must fight to get on the bus, I was in shock. Also why do people walk so slow on the sidewalk? I guess I am rather a fast walker, and to be honest, walking on sidewalks was the hardest part to adjust to from the whole Erasmus experience.


International Credit Mobility (ICM), KA107 2019-2022
Studies, Department of Philosophy and Social Studies,
University of Brasilia (BRAZIL)
Spring Semester 2022 (21.03.2022-18.07.2022)


My Erasmus International Credit Mobility KA 107 experience in Rethymno at the University of Crete has exceeded my expectations. I feel welcome both in the city and at the University. All my interactions have been very positive. I can see how the community does not hold back in efforts to make me feel comfortable and able to work and share my research. I'm very thankful for all the staff and especially for my supervisor. I'm sure that this period of my Ph.D. will make a difference in my career and personal life for the better.

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International Credit Mobility (ICM), KA107 2020-2023
Traineeship, Department of Preschool Education,
School of Foreign Languages of Shenzhen University (CHINA)
Spring Semester 2022 (7.2.2022-22.7.2022)

My experience at the University of Crete is perfect and unforgettable which is far more than I have expected. The Erasmus group is like a big family. Everyone is so nice, friendly, and helpful. The city is full of sunshine, friendly Greek people, and lots of events to join. I enjoyed a lot at the beaches, the hiking routes, and some road trips with my friends here. Besides, the staff in the International Office are super nice, who helped me and gave me a lot of care all the way when I needed them. My responsible professor Marina is also a very cute and charming person. I learned a lot from her. I am really happy that I made my choice to come here and met so many wonderful people.

I am here for one-semester traineeship from Feb to July in the Department of Preschool Education. Due to my previous working experiences as a Chinese and English teacher before my Master’s Program, I found it worthwhile and essential to observe and draw references from each other. During my kindergarten observation here, some phenomena regarding teaching methods and pedagogies are so inspiring, for instance, the professional one-to-one guidance to children with behavior problems, the skills the English teacher used to lure the children to speak targeted English words, the play-based teaching strategy etc. Besides, the Greek lesson every week is a great way for me to keep in contact with most Erasmus students and promote my understanding in the kindergartens. In light of the entire traineeship, I also completed a program report and a paper about the comparative study of the early childhood education system in Greece and China. More importantly, I also set up the framework for my final thesis on Greek language education policy. I hope my thesis could add up the understanding of Greek education system for the Chinese research field and promote more research interests between the two countries.    



The city of Rethymno and the “green” perspective of urban environment through the eyes of two young Erasmus students

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Two young ladies, Sara Domenichelli student at Bologna University in Italy and Sarah Sophie Woegerbauer from Austria, student at the University of Linz, decided to travel to Rethymno and join UoC School of Primary Education, within the Erasmus+ programme  and during the spring semester of 2020/21.

Associate Professor Ms Marianna Kalaiτzidaki forwarded environmental sensitization and education as part of the “Urban Environmental Education” course. Lectures were offered entirely in English, so that the two students could actively participate. 

Through a project they were assigned, they had the opportunity to have a close look at the way local people felt and behaved towards natural environment, stressing the need for deeper understanding and respect.

Having completed their study programme, the two students are leaving UoC and the city of Rethymno having made close friends, not only among other international students but also among local people. Friendships made while in Crete have been described as their “safety net”. They felt both welcome and protected, regardless of the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the long lockdown that followed.

For more information, please go to:

Erasmus students Experience during Covid 2019 - 2020

adriana altieri

Adriana Altieri
Sending Institution: University of Salerno, Italy
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Dept. of Philology
Acad. Year 2019-2020, spring semester

When I started thinking about a destination for my Erasmus, Crete, and therefore Rethymno, had not been considered. Subsequently, however, my tutors brought to my attention the possibility of using one of the two places available to deepen and at the same time expand my knowledge of Greek culture and the world. It was explained to me that our University had a particular interest and desire in assigning this place to students who were engaged, like me, in a classical path and who could profit from this experience from more than one point of view. Finding accommodation in Rethymno, despite the rather low cost of living, was not so easy because the city welcomes many tourists and university students.

After sending a lot of emails, I finally found an apartment that by the standards of the place could be called expensive but in my opinion, the location, the size, and comfort it was equipped with, made the rental price realistic. Getting to Crete was quite easy, although it is true that you need to stop over at Athens airport for most of the year, until the tourist season starts. Rethymno is a city that I would recommend to everyone: cheap, welcoming, characteristic. You can't get bored: the city offers more than one possibility to have fun. The taverns, lighthouse, clubs, clubs and restaurants overlooking the sea: every evening you can enjoy something different. The University of Crete is very aesthetically beautiful and at the same time well connected to the centre. It can also be reached on foot but I personally would not recommend it because it is far from the centre, situated on a hill. Rather, I would recommend using the buses, available every ten minutes and very cheap, or in principle taxis, also not too expensive. The impact with the university system was not the best for several reasons: completely different teaching methods, communication and understanding with the secretariats sometimes difficult, difficulties in communicating with teachers.

However, I must admit that, over the months, I have been able to see all the positives and potential of the new method of study and, thanks to the intense and present work of our secretariats and my tutors, I was able to solve all the different critical issues. At the same time, the professors of the Cretan University proved to be very understanding and collaborative with us Erasmus students. From the very beginning, I made friends with most of the Italian students, most of whom had been attending this University since September. Thanks to them I was able to get to know places and local people and experience the life of a real citizen of Rethymno. Over time I also got to know other Erasmus students from other countries that I will never forget. Unfortunately, the beautiful friendships that were being born experienced a stalemate when the covid-19 arrived. I have to admit that I experienced this period with a lot of agitation since I noticed how much the local people were not really aware of the situation, thanks to the fact that I knew very well that in my country the reality was much more serious. It wasn't so much the fact that I couldn't leave the house that made me uncomfortable, but rather the fact that my family was going through a difficult time and I couldn't help. To this was added the fact that I had planned to return to Italy only for the Easter holidays and that in the end it was not possible. Fortunately, the period ended rather early and, thanks to the online lessons, it was possible at that point to organize the day in the best possible way and make up all the lost time enjoying the joy of being able to meet all my friends again. So in conclusion, I would like to recommend not only the Erasmus experience but also and above all the choice to carry out this beautiful university moment in a city like Rethymno.

 erasmusturkeyYunus Emre Başıdinç
Sending Institution: Kocaeli University, Turkey
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Dept. Political Science
Acad. Year 2019-2020, Spring Semester

Hello my name is Emre. I came from Istanbul. I am studying Political Science in Kocaeli University in Turkey. In Rethymno there is no student dormitory for Erasmus students but it's not that hard to find a accommodation. I found a shared flat in the city centre from the Facebook group which is for helping accommodation to Erasmus students. My roommate was Cretan and that was also great for me for learning more about Greece and Crete.
Beginning of the semester everything was going well. The International Office of the University was oriented and helped us very well. Also ESN helped too much and they made great trips and events for meet the other Erasmus students. Until the lockdown everything was so normal and funny. I got used to living in Rethymno, learned the city, culture, foods etc.
I think the Covid-19 pandemic made my erasmus experience unique. The whole 2.5 months during the lockdown. I had a chance of see and live in empty Rethymno. Because normally the city always has a lot of tourists. Unlike the other Erasmus students I experienced ordinary city life inside the local people more than student life.

Thanks to Greece's successful struggle with the epidemic, we returned to normal life earlier than the rest of the world. After the pandemic, life continued with all its beauty in Crete. I improved myself very much while doing my assignments for my classes. All my professors are very helpful and kind and they helped me a lot to improve myself.

I met very good people and discovered very beautiful places. I feel Crete like my second hometown. I will miss Crete and island life. Goodbye Crete until next time!


Andrea Mello
Sending Institution: University of Salento, Italy
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Department of Economics
Acad. Year 2019-2020, Spring semester

 My Erasmus experience in Crete starts in early February. Mild temperature, friendly people, friendly Erasmus students, university staff and teachers available, English language known by all.  The only difficulty in my first month is to find a spacious and suitable apartment for me. 

The evenings take place in clubs and cafes with other Erasmus students.  

The start of the pandemic was not a simple moment.  Parents are worried, you don't know what will happen and what is best for your health.  The only thing to do is to calm down and respect the rules of the country where you are staying. 

Fortunately, Greece has been quick to close all businesses, parks and universities.  In the two months of lockdown it was essential to have a good internet connection and a spacious apartment.

 It was not easy for anyone but I took advantage of the lockdown to study more and be able to pass all the exams.

Important was the reply from the University of Crete which immediately provided us with all the information and useful advice.  The University staff was helpful and quick on the many questions that we Erasmus students had.  The university was quick to deliver online courses.  The teachers were sympathetic to us and quick to respond to e-mails and provide tutoring services through skype or zoom platforms.  There has been a good job by everyone without which this experience could have been unpleasant.

Unfortunately, after the lockdown, the Erasmus group had become smaller.  

The last month I visited the island of Crete with its beaches and historical places.  A really beautiful and very organized island for young people and tourists beyond the bad situation in which I found myself.  I recommend anyone to do their Erasmus in Crete in the city of Rethymno. I will definitely be back on vacation.

 chiara ferrari Chiara Ferrari
Sending Institution: University of Verona, Italy
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Dept. History and Archaeology
Acad. Year 2019-2020

I’m Chiara Ferrari, Erasmus student from Italy. I stayed in Rethymno for both semesters and I can surely assume that the second semester, due COVID-19 situation, has been really difficult.

Personally I had to do my own quarantine before the lockdown came in all the Greece, and it has been stressing and full of anxiety due to the situation in my own country. I was so worried about my family, because I’m from one of the cities that were mostly influenced. I felt lost and stressed also because was impossible to go on with the preparation of the exams and to write the essays. I was literally living in the night and sleeping during the day. I was so lucky because I lived in a big house with another Italian Erasmus student and a Greek student, that changed their status from flatmates to close friends. We had so much time to spend together, and I can’t imagine how it would be if I was living alone in a small house/studio. I really recommend to all the Erasmus students that in the future will come, to try, at least, to live with someone else, instead to stay alone. It was very helpful and we saved each other during the worse times.

It was difficult because I saw people leaving, I saw friends too much stressed about the situation that had to leave because they couldn’t manage the anxiety and stress. It was sad that we couldn’t say goodbye in a good way, maybe in front of a beer with some music in the background.

Fortunately here in Rethymno the situation was great, we were allowed to hang out for exercise, and, at least, breath. 

Fortunately, also the whole lockdown ended fast. It was great because finally we had the occasion to meet other Erasmus students that, personally, I didn’t meet before. We became friends and it was helpful because we started to study together, and our lives came back to the “normality”.

In attached the photo of one of lasts dinner we had together. One of my best memories from the second semester. The university and especially the International Office were super available and worked hard in order to permit to all the students to go on with their studies. They offered a full help in order to solve every problem and to contact the professor during this difficult time. Fortunately, every student had the occasion to finish all the exams, so I can surely say that the whole experience in UOC was great.

 Eliška Jelínková

Sending Institution: Charles University,  Czech Republic

Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Dept. of Philosophy and Social Studies

Acad. Year 2019-2020, spring semester


My personal Erasmus experience in the era of COVID-19 was strongly affected by the uncertainty of the whole situation. The information we received either from UoC or from our home universities were scarce and often chaotic or delayed. It was also very uncomfortable to be in a country which language I do not speak fluently because I felt strongly the necessity to rely on second-handed information and the inability to read newspapers, keep myself up to date, etc. On the other hand, I highly doubt that the situation would be much better in my own country. I naturally regretted the lost opportunity to immerse more in the local culture, especially regarding the practice of the Greek language as I believe that languages need to be put to use while learning, especially in the early stages. However, altogether I do not regret staying in Crete, on the contrary - even though the situation was tough, I made some deep connections, discovered beautiful Cretan nature and lovely towns, and gained knowledge I believe I would not in my own country. It was intense, stressful, but enriching and it is certainly an experience that I will deeply cherish and remember for the rest of my life. 

Marianna Fierro

Sending Institution: University of Salerno, Italy

Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Dept. of Philology

Acad. Year 2019-2020, spring semester


I was in Rethymno from February to June.

I chose this destination because I have a strong passion for ancient Greek and the professor in Italy responsible for Erasmus immediately recommended this destination.

I started to find home, together with my colleague, on the facebook group but it was not very easy. Fortunately after several attempts, we succeeded and the house was comfortable and beautiful.

Reaching Rethymno was not very easy: I had to make several stops and finally, of course, the bus.

My stay in Rethymno was very pleasant. From the beginning I met a lot of people, many Italian guys and the city offers a lot of fun and comfort.  With my friends we preferred to go to characteristic Cretan places, like the taverns and there we made friends with many owners who told us some curiosities and a bit of history about Rethymno and all Crete.

Even with the university, I had a very good time. The professors were all very helpful, if I needed help and contacted the secretariat the answer was immediate.

The university system is very different from the one in Italy and for this reason, I am happy to have experienced this way of studying because I think it made me grow a lot.

I am very happy to have chosen this destination, I am very satisfied with my stay in Rethymno and I would immediately recommend it to some students who are preparing to do the erasmus.

Leonardo Capezzali

Sending Institution: University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy

Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Department of Philology

Period: Spring Semester 2017-2018


My Erasmus experience in Rethymno

Why I choose Rethymno

My name is Leonardo and I come from Rome, Italy, where I study archaeology. I did my Erasmus in Rethymno in the spring semester of the academic year 2017-2018. The reason why I choose Rethymno as my destination are several: first of all I wanted to go to Greece because it is a country full of history, culture and archaeological sites, so absolutely perfect for my studies; then I found out that the University of Crete is one of the best in Greece, and this is another factor that induced me in choosing this destination; last, the possibility of living in little town for some months, among the natural beauties of Crete, escaping from the busy life of a big city such as Rome, definitively drove me in choosing Rethymno as my Erasmus destination. 

 Living in Rethymno

Despite my pessimistic thoughts, finding an accommodation in Rethymno was really easy: I found a good apartment right in the middle of the city thanks to an announcement posted on the Erasmus Accommodation group on FB; generally the quality/prize rate of the flats are really convenient (at least compared to those ones of my home city) and Erasmus students are really good welcomed. The social life in Rethymno is absolutely great! People are really open minded and very welcoming towards strangers: I had the possibility to experiment the warmth of the local people from the beginning thanks to the ESN members who helped me in coming in contact with the Greek culture and introduced me to the local lifestyle; thanks to the activities they organized (trips, parties, international dinners) they managed to make the Erasmus experience one of the best I have ever done.  Studying in UoC Campus was a great experience: the professors are really helpful and local students are always disposal to help a foreign student and to share their culture with him. Then, the location of the Campus is simply breath-taking: located on the top of a hill it gives an amazing view on the Aegean Sea. A view that you can also enjoy from the big library of the Campus: very well supplied and architectonically impressive. Rethymno is a student town so it is full of young people who animate the streets and the places every time. If you like to party you will not get bored here: the town is full of pubs and bars; discos and clubs are open almost every day and the entrance is free! During the day there is nothing better than going to the beach to chill or playing volleyball under the warm Cretan sun. After my Erasmus I can say that this experience has absolutely overpassed my earlier expectations; I am really enthusiastic to the time I passed in Rethymno and I am looking forward to doing it again.

Suggestions to other students

Personally I made a lot of trips in the island, with ESN or by my own and I can say that this is probably the best thing I could do during my stay: the beauties of the islands are simply outstanding and they deserve to be seen. From the most famous or the most hidden beaches, to the hiking in the mountains, to the several archaeological sites, to the local villages, you will be plenty of activities to do and places to see. So I suggest you not to miss these opportunities thanks to which you will be able to see some of the best places in the Mediterranean. So take part to the ESN trips or travel by your own: there are not as many wonderful places as Crete! I have been really enthusiastic of having passed some months in Rethymno; life here is completely different from the one I am used to in Rome: having the possibility to reach every place on foot instead of passing hours on public transports or in the car made my life there much easier and less stressful, considering that in Rethymno you have the same all the commodities and comforts you can find in a big city. So I suggest especially the students who use to live in big cities to experiment the life of Rethymno: you will be really pleasant of your decision!

What is Erasmus for me: Erasmus is…having the chance of becoming an international citizen.

Sanya's Erasmus Experience


Sanya Raeva

Sending Institution: St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria

Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Department of Philosophical & Social Studies

Period: Spring Semester 2017-2018

My Erasmus Experience 

My Erasmus was once in a lifetime experience, it was like living in a parallel universe. One of the greatest things about doing an Erasmus is that there most probably nobody knows you and you are free from fulfilling any expectations. Another thing is that you meet a lot of different people and you interfere with them. This experience was super useful for me also in professional field because it helped me improve both my English and Greek as well as my communication skills. Currently, I am working as an event coordinator and I believe Erasmus had an impact on me taking this decision.


About University of Crete.

Lefteris is a great coordinator, super helpful and calm even with stressed out people like me. Maria Poulopoulou– the greatest language teacher I have ever had… and I’ve had a few. For 2 years in Bulgaria I didn’t manage to learn as much Greek as I did in Rethymno. Prof. Panos Theodorou made me read a book which I am still thinking of. Dr. Vafeas gave me an assignment thanks to which now I know a lot more about the Bulgarian sport achievements. I use the possibility to thank them all!

About the place.

First of all I felt home since the very first moment there. Thank you ESN people for this! I come from Bulgaria and I study in Sofia University, Balkan studies. In Bulgaria I was used to live in a dormitory – small room, in Crete – I lived in a big apartment with balcony twice as big as my room in Sofia, with beach and palm trees right in front of the building.

In Rethymno I felt the very Greek spirit and hospitality everyone in the videos and movies is telling you about. We were singing and drinking in taverns almost every night and it was never ever boring. In Crete I was brave enough to hitchhike without any fear and I definitely don’t regret it.

Crete is the only place where I have seen more beautiful views than in my dreams.

There are at least 3 more things that I have never done before going there but I would like to keep them for myself. Go there and discover yours! 



About the people.

Rethymno was the place where I managed to found a girl gang. It was the first time in my life when I was able to communicate with the same girls during more than one week not because I was obliged to but because I wanted to. This feeling, guys, I cannot explain. Other Erasmus people found “The one” there, who knows… So many different people, so many experience, so much fun… I strongly advise you to take this opportunity. These 5 months were the best time of my life.

Sanya's Erasmus Experience

sanya1Sanya Raeva
Sending Institution: St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Department of Philosophical & Social Studies
Period: Spring Semester 2017-2018
My Erasmus Experience 

My Erasmus was once in a lifetime experience, it was like living in a parallel universe. One of the greatest things about doing an Erasmus is that there most probably nobody knows you and you are free from fulfilling any expectations. Another thing is that you meet a lot of different people and you interfere with them. This experience was super useful for me also in professional field because it helped me improve both my English and Greek as well as my communication skills. Currently I am working as an event coordinator and I believe Erasmus had an impact on me taking this decision.