Saturday, 30 August 2014

Get your local experience with International Student Club!

To be in touch with a local person while studying in Brno is undoubtedly a valuable and priceless experience. However, not all of our international students (degree, Erasmus or other exchange students) are aware about the possibility of having a “buddy” who helps him or her during his stay at Masaryk University. Therefore we asked Šárka Abíková, an International Student Club Board member, to tell us more about the tutoring, or buddy system“, for international students in Brno.

Please, tell us some basic information about the International Student Club in Brno.
International Student Club Masaryk University Brno (ISC MU Brno) is a non-profit organisation on voluntary basis established in 2003 and a member of ESN (Erasmus Student Network) since 2004. Each semester, we take care of more than 500 students and we have approximately 300 local tutors.

I Love Brno T-shirt Everywhere

What is the fundamental idea behind tutoring? What is it about?
Tutoring is about helping the international students during their study period in Brno, and much more. Tutors help students before their arrival, when they arrive to Brno and also during their stay here with everything they need (help with paperwork, translation of Czech language while dealing with institutions, buying tram ticket, showing the city...). At the end, they almost always become good friends and keep in touch for many years after.

Are you also cooperating with  international degree students or just exchange students?
Yes, we are cooperating with both these groups. Every international student at Masaryk University can contact us and we will assign him/her a tutor. He/she can also become a member of ISC, as well as students on Erasmus+ work placement can.

Let’s imagine a situation: an international student comes to Brno for the first time, he/she is a little bit confused and doesn’t know what to do. How can you help her/him?
The first contact with the tutor is made before the student’s arrival and when he/she arrives and gets off bus/train or plane in Brno, it is the tutor who he/she meets first. Tutor always picks the student up from the arrival point and helps him/her to find the dormitories/flat where he/she stays.

International Student Club Masaryk University Brno Board 2014
Apart from taking care of students when they arrive, are you also keeping in touch with them during their stay in Brno?
ISC Masaryk University Brno provides on average one activity per one day! We organise trips, sport activities, culture events, pub quizzes, board games, country presentations, language courses, special events, parties and much more.

Can you give any tips or advice to the students coming to Brno to study at Masaryk University?
Do not forget to bring a scarf if you are here during the winter! J  You do not need anything special to live here, everything is easy to get. Just bring your good mood and good spirit. You can also use your time for travelling; take advantage of Brno’s strategic location at the heart of Central Europe.  

What was the best moment, or the funniest moment, with international students for you personally?
Orientation Week at Masaryk University
I have been member of ISC for almost 4 years; therefore it is very difficult to name just one thing. I think the strongest experiences are always the first ones. I remember the best my first tutoring experience, a Polish exchange student, I remember strongly the first guiding exchange students in Brno, I remember the first teambuilding I attended. I also experienced a lot during this year as a member of the Board.

If any local students are interested in being someone’s buddy, should they contact you? What are the positive sides of being a tutor?
If interested in being tutor, you should register into our database on, and then you receive first email with more details. In case of any questions, you can always contact me on email mentioned below.
Tutoring is the possibility to be on an exchange in your own country! You practise the languages, you get to know other cultures and you make friends all around the world. It is the part of university life you will never forget.

If an international student is interested in having a buddy, what should he/she do?
After registration to our database, they receive email to inform them when the application for tutoring is available and then they can apply to become a tutor. They can always contact me on email or mobile phone. All contacts are available on

Any additional comments?
I consider International Student Club to be an important part of Masaryk University student life and I wish each student to get his/her own international experience.

More information available at

The interview was made in cooperation with Šárka Abíková - Tutoring Coordinator and a Head of Human Resources of International Student Club Masaryk University Brno. Thank you! 

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