Studying Abroad – Keti’s Adventure in Slovakia

Studying Abroad – Keti’s Adventure in Slovakia

Hello! Tell us something about yourself. 

My name is Keti and I am from Albania. Two years ago I decided to study abroad and I made a very unusual choice (at least my family thought so). I decided to study psychology in Slovakia. The bachelor’s program here for psychology is only offered in Slovak, so I prepared myself to undergo a full year of learning the tricky Slovak language. My university of choice was Comenius University, the oldest and best in the country. What describes me as a person? Well, I like to read a lot (luckily, Bratislava has many amazing bookstores!), I am a bit impulsive and I love to talk about people, the world, what is currently happening and so on.

What is the word that best describes your experience abroad?

Unpredictable.

What was the best thing that happened to you during your experience abroad?​

I got the chance to learn a new language from scratch and to meet the people that are now my best friends.

What was the worst experience you had? ​

Waiting endlessly at the foreign police office to get the study permit.

What is your favourite word in Slovak? Why? ​

Zmrzlina – it means ice cream and the sound “zmrz” makes reminds me of walking on snow or breaking a piece of ice.

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What is the best food you had in Slovakia? 

The best food was, without any doubt, chocolate.

Was there a situation that made you step outside of your comfort zone? 

When I started my first year, I was (and still am) the only foreign student. I didn’t speak Slovak as fluently as the natives, although I understood everything in class. I was afraid to become part of discussions about several topics because I thought that no one would understand my point. It was very comfortable being passive but it grew upsetting when I saw that I knew the answer to the professors’ questions but I simply didn’t have the courage to speak up.
One day I pushed myself and answered despite the anxiety I felt, and I have not regretted it.

What is the biggest difference between your host and home country?​

Slovakia is very quiet and tidy compared to Albania. It is a refreshing change but sometimes I simply miss the hot temperament and the spirit of the people in my Mediterranean town.

Where did you live? Was it difficult to find a place? 

I have lived in dormitories. It was not hard to find one, everyone in Bratislava knows them. The cost of the rooms vary from 50-100 euro per month.

What is the best mean of public transport in Bratislava?​

Buses and trams. Very comfortable and fast.

According to you, what should a person visiting Bratislava definitely do there? 

Try the traditional dishes and see if they like them.

Which cities have you visited during your stay abroad?​

From Bratislava it is very easy to reach Vienna, Prague and Budapest. So I did not hesitate to jump on a train and visiting them all.

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Why did you choose Comenius University?

Comenius University is in the list of the top 500 Universities in the world, and it has a very attractive list of degrees you can pursue.

What was your favourite course?

My favorite course was social psychology.

What were the professors like? 

The professors were very friendly and most of them sometimes tried to be as informal as possible to the students to make the lectures more interesting.

Did you study more or less than at your home university?​

I did not have to study a lot. I have a feeling that in my home university I would have to study much more.

Where did you meet most of your new friends?

In the corridors of the dormitory.

What is the most important thing you learned from your experience? 

To be polite to people even when they anger you with their opinions .

When it comes to problem number one – money, what is the best way to save money there?

Choose the shops where you go shopping wisely!

How much money did you spend monthly on:

  • Rent  – 50 euros
  • Public transport – 10 euros
  • Food – 90 euros
  • Academic material (books, stationery, printing – 10 euros
  • Internet, mobile phone plans – 5 euros
  • Clothes – 30 euros
  • Clubs / bars, cinema – 30 euro

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Goodbye! Mirupafshim!

One thought on “Studying Abroad – Keti’s Adventure in Slovakia

  1. I studied abroad at the University of California, Santa Cruz, 10 years ago and it is one of the best experiences I ever had.
    Initially, the UK exchange students were very snooty about how much better the UK system is. By the end of the academic year we were all in tears to be leaving and my return to UK university highlighted further just how stimulating and engaging the UCSC experience of teaching had been.
    I have no negative takeaways from my experience of studying abroad. It gave me the opportunity to travel widely whilst having a base within the US and develop a broad cultural understanding. It’s also been the one element of my education employers have been most interested in discussing with me in interviews and I have a group of good friends based around the world.
    To anyone considering a year abroad – JDI!

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