Greetings from the Czech Republic!

The NMSTU students, studying at the Technical University of Ostrava under the exchange program, send their regards from the Czech Republic to their fellow students and teachers!

Ekaterina Olifer (major: Engineering of technological machines and complexes), Veronika Laptova (major: Electric power engineering and electrical engineering), Alexander Feofanov (major: Mechatronics and robotics) and Evgeny Sukhanov (major: teachers’ training, specialization: computer science and economics) will stay in the Czech Republic till late February of 2020. The academic exchange program covers the majority of expenses, offering free education and accommodation. Ekaterina Olifer, 3rd year student, shared with us the details of two months of her new life.

- Difficulty #1 that you faced in the Czech Republic?

- Lectures. As courses are given in English, it was very difficult to switch over and comprehend lectures in English. At first, I even had a headache, and academic performance was not high. But as time goes on, you get accustomed to everything. Now it is much easier. I also had some difficulties, for example, with payment of the fare. You should pay the fare at the entry and validate the card at the exit, as the duration of travel influences the price. It was unusual for me.

- Tell us a few words about your study, special features of the education system in the Czech Republic.

- I am very lucky, as it turned out that all my courses were fully interactive. Moreover, I have very understanding teachers, who are ready to make clear any issues or misunderstanding. Most of all I was surprised by the course on CAD-Industrial Design, and I am still surprised. We are involved in designing, but we do not have a beamer. Although there is a monitor between every two student computers, and the teacher uses it instead of the beamer to open and show the task. It is rather an individual training, although in the class there are seventeen students or so. I like it; it is very convenient and practical.

- Expectation vs. Reality: did you get disappointed or, on the contrary, delighted with anything?

- Yes, of course! This is my first trip abroad; everything is a new experience for me. Although some places in Ostrava look like in Magnitogorsk (laughing). But they say that here everybody finds a part of the home city. And in general, expectation had extremely much in common with reality. Everything is fantastically interesting! I am delighted both by weather and daybreaks. In Ostrava every morning is incredibly beautiful. You do not know what weather will be in the evening: may be fog, or rain, or strong, gusty wind.

- What was the most amazing story that happened to you in the Czech Republic?

- This was a day when I felt great shock, joy, despair and happiness. It was my trip to Prague. I intentionally travelled there alone. Having departed from Ostrava at night and arrived at the Prague central station in the morning, I stood and broke into tears. I was in a foreign country, I was in Prague, and I was alone. I was paralyzed by fear and feeling of freedom. I was stricken with panic and cried. Policemen came to me and asked, whether I am ok. It seems to me that this made me get myself together and stop panicking. I learnt a lot of interesting and surprising facts about the Czech Republic and Slovakia during the tour to Opava guided by our teacher. We visited the castle, Catholic Church, walked all over the town. I was surprised that we could travel with the teacher to another town so easily, suddenly, instead of visiting the lecture. It was fantastic!

- To sum it up, going back to the beginning: you participated in the exchange program because …?

- To be honest, I do not know why. I could not believe till the last that I would win the scholarship and go to the Czech Republic to study. Perhaps, I just hoped to try my hand at something new and interesting. And my hopes have been justified! I want to express my deep gratitude to the university for offering such opportunity!

We wish students a fruitful studying experience and eventful days! We invite all the rest to take part in our section “We are abroad” by contacting the International Office of NMSTU: rooms 424, 426; 45/2, K.Marx street; tel.: +7 (3519) 22 04 67.

Svetlana Konstantinova,
Information Policy Office, NMSTU

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