Czech people taught me how to love my life

1 August 2022


I am Shourouk Touchan from Syria (Aleppo). In 2009 I was on a trip with my dad (he is a professor in the electric faculty in Aleppo University) to Vienna and we visited Brno. When I saw Brno I noticed its small size, with cozy house. I was drawn to Brno old city. After I found out that I can get a scholarship for studying in the language, I decided to come to Czech Republic to do my PhD in Brno. To me it is a safe and peaceful city. In 2010 I traveled to Brno and began pursuing my dream. First, the I studied Czech language and after a year I became a PhD student in Brno University of Technology, in the Faculty of Architecture.

My specialization field was urban design and architecture, in Brno city there was a big library which gave me the opportunity to research enough and read useful books. Also, the Czech Republic is in the middle of Europe, which allowed me to travel around and see other cities and learn more about urban design and architecture.

In Czech there are really wonderful cities like Český Krumlov and Prague and Karlovy Vary. Each city has its own architectural character. I feel lucky as an architect to have lived in the Czech Republic and have learned more about architecture.

In university, I received a lot of support from my supervisor. He was very kind to me; his advice was useful and helped me finish my PhD in time. Students were also helpful and friendly. The only difficult thing for me was the Czech language. I have had to practice a lot.

I noticed some wonderful cultural differences there like the fact that people   put a lot of effort into sending gifts and cards by mail. Czech people also taught me how to love my life by doing activities every weekend like nature trips, dancing or going to a restaurant with people from other countries. Brno is really safe city you stay out later without any fear.

I finished my PhD in 2015 and now I live in Cairo and I work as an assistant professor at the university. I thank my experience in Czech for the job because during my PhD studies I was teaching, which made me more confident in presenting and helped me gain a strong character and rich knowledge in my field.

My advice for future international students – Czech is a wonderful and safe country with beautiful nature. Please enjoy the nature more than the restaurants and clubs and also enjoy the culture, it is so special. Connect more with Czech people and speak Czech with them so you can learn the language faster.