Experience with Studying in Slovakia
My name is Albertine and I am a young student from Cameroon living in Bratislava, Slovakia. I arrived in Bratislava on 10 September 2010 and from 11 October 2010 to 30 June 2011 I studied Slovak language at the Centre for Language and Academic Preparation in Bratislava. I finished with a passing grade, and I have to say I was happy to have succeeded in this language course because when I arrived, I did not speak English, I only spoke French, so my language teachers had trouble making me understand However, I did not know what to expect the following year.
In October 2011, I was accepted to the Comenius University in Bratislava. I became a student of psychology and social work, but everything was really different. Firstly, I was the only black person in my classroom, secondly also the only foreigner, so I had many difficulties with integrating in the school environment, everybody was looking at me, asking me questions about my origins. Since all materials were available only in Slovak language and at that time I could not speak Slovak very well, teachers were very hard on me and they expected me to be at the same level as the Slovak students.
I remember I was supposed to write a presentation for the Law course, and I wrote mine, but the professor said that I had copied it from internet, and when I told him “No, I did it by myself”, he refused to believe me and said he would go and tell administration of the university, and they will not let me sit the exam. I was very sad, because it was not true, I had redone that presentation 3 times, and finally I was satisfied with it. Moreover, we were allowed to have 3 absences to this teacher’s class. I had 4, only because the fourth time there was no presence list to sign in. I tried to explain the teacher, but he told me that I would repeat the course next year, so I was very angry with that professor because I was trying to be a good student.
After reflecting on what had happened, I decided to change schools in that same year. I was transferred to another school in the second semester and began to study at “Vysoká škola zdravotníctva a sociálnej práce sv. Alžbety” in Bratislava and the school has provided me with accommodation.
I have to say that this school has a lot of projects in many countries in Africa. Today everything goes well, currently I'm a third year student of social work and as future social workers, and we are doing school practice. Regarding this issue, school is helpful to my future career. So I feel better at this school than at the Comenius University.
Even though I still have some difficulties with Slovak language, by the grace of God all will be well.
One more thing, I like the system of studying in Slovakia.
The article has been written with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and the International Visegrad Fund. The article reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.