Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Why Masaryk University?

Many people ask about where you work now, where you study now, where you live now… But only few manage to discover why. Little children ask why all the time, because they want to understand. Adults don’t need to understand that much, they need to know. Simple information, simple replies, and simple statements about how the world is. But why the world is? That I do not know. What I know is why some people study at Masaryk University, and I will tell you.

The adult fact is that they already study here and that they are from abroad. My childish curiosity inquired why and I understand how international students manage to pick us out. It is only simple information picked out of the profound presenting that MU pursues abroad. Or is it not?

My wife and her family have all attended Masaryk University and they recommended it,” says Daniel, one of our truly adult students. It really is people who shape our decisions. Ywet, on the other hand, didn’t know anything about European universities: “My educational background was equivalent to the requirements that were given by MU, and so I chose that one.” Some students, however, seem to seek and hunt and chase information so that they know everything. “The international teachers with a bunch of experience made me finally decide for the Faculty of Social Studies,” recalls Maja. Not only university reputation and teaching techniques, but also the city which shelters all the faculties has its advantages, as “the location of Brno seems to be in the center of Europe,” points out Kawa. It may be the official image that Masaryk University paints, or it may be its students who know other students, who then know other students, who might as well know some other students too… and then it is forums, reviews, advice, and sometimes plain chance and luck that bring foreign students to Brno.

I recall myself why my head – or my heart (whichever it was) – brought me to Brno, directly to Masaryk University. It was reputation and prestige combined with my passion for the subject I pursue – but it was not any pamphlets, official webpages, nor options presented at high school, which lead me here. It was friends. The more open and honest a friend is, the more he can help you decide. My friends described their experience and it took me to the university I love today. Now it’s my turn to help others decide. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Finding Friends at MU

Finding friends when being new at the university may seem to be a very challenging quest. Masaryk University is full of international students, who are either happy to live a new life, or struggle to discover people of same interests and fitting personalities. I – a student myself – went out to question them for you and find out how hard a task it is to find fellow friends at uni.  

Kawa from the Faculty of Informatics says that 'friendly' was his very first impression of the Czech people: “Later on, during my life in Brno, I received the attention and assistance from them whenever I needed.” His colleague Aubrey adds that “once you break through to the Czech and Slovak people, you truly make friends for life.”

However, there are students struggling to break the ice with the Czechs. “In terms of student life, I would say it is much easier to make friends with international students than with the Czech students, most probably because we don't attend lectures together,” says Isaac, a student of Economics.  But as our promising medical student Thomas points out, “nationality isn't really important as we are an international community where everyone knows everyone”.

Simon, too, feels to spend most of his time with the internationals. He says “it’s because it is easier to communicate with them”. Making friends sometimes means to skip the easier option, though, and try harder. If the language gap appears, there always is the common feeling of being a student. And students unite. As Karar – another future doctor – puts it: “It was very easy for me to make friends, and I think all the other students feel the same, because we are all on the same boat.”

All on the same boat sailing down the academic river to the great sea of knowledge, all that way down or up, we have the chance to make friends. Some have it harder than the others, but it all counts down to the efforts we make. Those who seem cold outside may always bear a warm smile behind their expression. Some students fight for their Czech friendships, some stay with their international family until the end. What stays important is that none stay alone.