Nearly 10,000 km away but feels like home anyway. Would you believe it? A Nicaraguan alumnus of the University of Hradec Králové thinks so! He also agreed to share his feelings about studying and living in the Czech Republic. And much more!
HEART OF EUROPE: IDEAL FOR MULTIDISCIPLINARY FIELDS
Hello Elvin! You graduated from Central European Studies in 2019. Did you stay in the Czech Republic after your graduation? Yes, I stayed because I am currently studying for my Ph.D. in Latin American Studies at the same university. This Political Science study programme is focused on the Latin American region, and my master´s degree in Central European Studies was a multidisciplinary programme that combined knowledge of history, culture, politics, and economy of the Central European region.
What was the most important factor which convinced you to come and study in the Czech Republic? I came to the Czech Republic for the first time as an international exchange student only for one semester in the winter term 2015-2016, and I fell in love with the country and the culture. So, when I got the chance to come back to study for my master’s degree, I did not think twice about it.
Considering your profession as a lawyer, is your study experience from the Czech Republic something special to include in your resume? It definitely is. In Nicaragua, I am a lawyer, and I am aiming to combine my knowledge of laws with multidisciplinary fields such as the historical, cultural, economic, and political knowledge of Central Europe that I acquired in my master’s degree, and the knowledge on political science focused on Latin America that I am acquiring in my current Ph.D. studies.
WORK OPPORTUNITIES AND LIFE IN PRACTICE
Do you think that the Czech Republic can offer enough work opportunities for international students and graduates? Yes, I think so absolutely. It is good that the Czech Republic allows international graduates to apply for special visas right after graduating to look for a job or to open their own business. I was working part-time as an intern at the international office of my faculty, and since Spanish is my native language, I was working as a Spanish language teacher at a language school. Additionally, I worked as a project assistant at People in Need, which is one of the most important NGOs on human rights.
In terms of advice, I would say to apply on time for a visa or residence permit because employers will always ask for it to sign the contracts. I would recommend joining groups on Facebook to look for jobs available to English speakers.
Did you support yourself financially, did your family help, or did you receive a scholarship? I received a scholarship from the Philosophical Faculty at the University of Hradec Králové and I complemented my living expenses with the incomes from my part-time jobs, the financial support of my family, and from another scholarship for good study results. I kept that scholarship every semester.
How would you judge the costs of living in the Czech Republic? I would say that the costs of living in the Czech Republic are affordable. Despite the variation in the prices in terms of accommodation, for instance, it is possible to find good options to live in. The other expenses such as food, transportation, clothes, entertainment, and so on are affordable.
DISCOVERING HIDDEN SKILLS
What is your favourite Czech word and why? My favourite Czech word is láska (love), and it is my favourite because when I came to the Czech Republic for the first time, I fell in love…And love made me write poems in Czech!
In hindsight was your decision to come study in the Czech Republic, right? Would you make the same decision again? Yes, definitely, it was the best decision I have ever made. I have always felt at home here, and I would like to spend the rest of my life in the Czech Republic.
Thank you, Elvin, for your time and willingness to share your experience with studying and living in the Czech Republic. Fingers crossed for your future career in academia!