Students from 11 countries embarked upon their academic journey at Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv on 23 September 2022. Assoc. prof. Nadya Cherneva, vice-rector in the sphere of International Cooperation, assoc. prof. Boryan Yanev, institutional Erasmus+ coordinator, as well as the members of the IRO greeted the newly enrolled students and wished them success in their endeavours.

The meeting opened with a short film dedicated to the participation of Plovdiv University in the Erasmus+ programme. Additionally, a presentation was delivered for the new students which acquainted them with the history, structure, and activities of the university. They also learnt more about some practical peculiarities of the educational processes they will interact with. What is more, coordinators and representatives of various faculties attended the event, and they provided the students with useful and faculty-specific guidance.

As a pertinent conclusion to this part of the meeting, the audience enjoyed another short video dedicated to the story of two former Erasmus students from Poland. They shared personal impressions about their experience as students and trainees at Plovdiv University that turned out to have left an memorable trace in their professional and personal lives.

In the afternoon, the Erasmus+ students were taken on a short tour of various facilities of Plovdiv University and they visited the libraries of different departments, and other centres.

On the next day, the students went on a walk in central Plovdiv, as per our tradition. They got to know the cultural and historical heritage of the Ancient city. Among the highlights of this tour were the Ancient Theatre and the Regional Ethnographic Museum.

This enjoyable experience was followed by a lunch break during which the students tasted traditional Bulgarian cuisine in a friendly atmosphere that disposed them to share their thoughts on the similarities between the dishes they were trying and the ones that are traditional in their home countries. Many of them were inspired to study Bulgarian Language and Bulgarian Folklore at Plovdiv University.

The Saturday afternoon was undoubtedly the culmination of the walk as the students visited the Bishop’s Basilica which showcases the awe-inspiring magnificence of ancient mosaics.

On the following day, Plovdiv University was the host for a meeting between the representatives of the Erasmus Student Network and the Erasmus+ students from all Plovdiv universities. This organisation includes young and motivated people who provide assistance to exchange students in an effort to facilitate their mobility. Their slogan Students helping students speaks for itself.

This meeting acquainted the students with the structure and main functions of ESN as well as with the calendar of upcoming events that the network organises. The numerous photographs taken at these events capture the first shared emotions and unforgettable moments.