Sergei Zotov, a PhD student in Anthropology from the Russian University for the Humanities in Moscow, came to study at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for four months in 2016.

“At UAB I studied history of science, but mostly I worked in different archives, libraries, took part in conferences, gave a talk about my project and had a lot of conversations with researchers.

Then after my Erasmus+ experience, I started another project and was granted with DHI Moscow stipendium for historians specializing on German history for 2 months, which I have spent in HAB, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Then I was granted with 5 months’ research stay in the same place by DAAD. After that I also was invited to work there on an iconographical project about alchemy, which topic was very similar to mine. I am still there and I like this work very much.

During my Erasmus+ stay in Barcelona I have not only worked on my project and  met great people from all the world interested in Middle Ages and history of science, but also started writing a book about Middle Ages, «Dark Ages in Agony» (https://telegra.ph/Medieval-Suffers-promotional-excerpt-01-28 ), together with two friends of mine. I have used a lot of material from the libraries in Barcelona, which was very useful for parts of the book. I have never expected the success of this project: more than 40 thousand copies of our book have been printed, and even an audiobook has been made. “Dark Ages in Agony“ has been short-listed for «Prosvetitel» („Enlightener“ in Russian, http://premiaprosvetitel.ru/en/info/?572 ) award for non-fiction books. Our book is in all the bookshops and libraries in Russia, and in some bookshops all over the world too.

Anything that was difficult? Everything connected with money took me an enormous amount of time to resolve. I had lot of problems with my bank in Spain. During my stay I found out that renting a room in a flat in Barcelona is very expensive, and almost all my grant funds were spent on paying the rent and buying food. Nevertheless, I was very happy during these months. I could advise to find the flat before your mobility experience. I recommend to use on every mobility opportunity one can find, and spend this time working a lot and with fun”.