These are our interviewees from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Arts, now to the questions themselves.
Why did you choose the University of Ostrava?
Chenjelani: Before picking the University of Ostrava, I had to do a mini research about it. I found out that the University offers a wide range of programs in its different faculties. Due to its variety of programs, it gives you an opportunity to choose what you would want to study. This is what made me choose the University of Ostrava. In my case, for instance, I study Mathematics and the structure of the Master of Science in Mathematics is excellent. It is a program that may make one land him/herself in the industry or indeed academia.
Leta: You know; I enjoy Mathematics so much. It seems that I was born for this so I was looking for a suitable university as an opportunity to learn more. In the middle of that, I got the chance to apply for a scholarship position at the University of Ostrava which is offered for particular countries by the Czech Government. Even though many students applied for this scholarship position, it was me who got the spot and I am very glad to have this opportunity.
Ara: When I was deciding where to continue my studies, I was looking for a master’s program in English and then the University of Ostrava came out as the most suitable choice to me. From the affordability and cost of living to the quality of the education and fair reputation among similar sized universities and rankings, to the fact that it is in the Czech Republic and therefore I could travel and connect with people throughout the whole of Europe and other parts of the world. The other reason I choose the University of Ostrava, was the quick and helpful response from international student services, which helped me greatly in every step of the way, especially with the visa related issues I mentioned earlier; I personally could not thank them enough.
Ianina: The main reason for me to apply to the University of Ostrava was the study program. I saw an opportunity to combine both linguistic and literary subjects in equal proportions. The application process was simple and easy.
What does your student life look like at the UO?
Chenjelani: Much of my time is spent on school work as it is the primary goal that I am here for. But as you cannot experience the environment by spending all the time in the room with books, some time I also spend on moving around the city to different places. Ostrava has a good number of exciting and beautiful places to visit. You can visit the Ostrava Zoo, Nová Radnice (New City Hall), museums, and many other places. I do most of my shopping in the city center at the Karolina shopping mall.
Leta: I am very happy about what has been waiting for me after I arrived. I enjoy the closeness and friendliness of the teachers and the willingness of all of the staff and coordinators of the University. They have made my daily activities easier. Coming here allowed me to meet people from different universities and countries, and I am very happy to have such an incredible time to get to know other cultures, lifestyles, and make friends.
Ara: The quality of studies is high, as it is through the rest of the country, but what I also really like about the University is a more relax vibe that it has, nothing is really pushed upon you, this sometimes can be bad thing, but generally it is a relief from the mundane and unrealistic time limits. Everyone from the staff to the teachers are very understanding and mostly focus on useful and practical aspects of the studies as much as possible. That creates a comfortable and friendly environment that I don’t think every university can boast. Because of visa related issues I could not come to the country for the first semester of my studies, but the teachers were super helpful provided me with others direct streams and recordings from the classroom and I was even enabled to take exams remotely.
Ianina: Being a creative person I value freedom a lot and the university has provided me with freedom of choice in terms of subjects and master thesis topic. I decided to take all the literary subjects possible and got pleasantly surprised by how perfectly they complimented each other. I’m naturally talkative and active person and in the case of the Faculty of Arts it can be an advantage and you’ll be given a chance to become a faculty ambassador. The ambassador takes part in promo activities, getting lots of attention and free merch. I love it 🙂 As well as I loved being a trainee at the International Center where I was helping my colleagues and getting an insight into academic life.
Anything that you would like to add about your studies or Ostrava?
Chenjelani: If you are coming from countries like mine, one major thing that stood out to me over my city is the transport system which is superb and it makes movement easier. One thing that may make you miss your city (if you come from a country with warm climate like me) is when it starts freezing in winter.
Leta: I enjoy exploring new things and historical sites. I have seen a lot of them, especially cultural heritage. I have seen that Czechia is a very historical country and they still take good care of their historical sites, which I appreciate greatly. Ethiopia is also a very ancient and historical country but we are unfortunately not that good at maintaining them.
Ara: I like the fact that Ostrava is not a large metropolitan city, but big enough to have everything available, from services to recreational activities.
Ianina: Right now I am working on my Master’s Thesis so this year the board is going to be enlightened on the matter of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s brilliance. I am also getting ready to apply for PhD. In English Literature, of course.