Annual student fairs open up new opportunities for countless students, including Novinta. In Jakarta, where she was studying for her bachelor's degree, the European Education Fair is held annually. It was there that Novinta encountered a Czech embassy employee working in Indonesia’s capital. “I wanted to pursue the social sciences, and I was recommended Masaryk University as being the best choice. So here I am – it was that simple,” laughs Novinta, for whom another attraction was the proximity of Brno to other major European capitals.
Brno means comfort to me
The MU graduate was thrilled as soon as she arrived in Brno. “Everything is within reach, public transport is unparalleled – and all those picturesque cafés. It's wonderful,” she raves.
The biggest surprise for her, however, was the Czech people. Despite the initial prejudices she had, Novinta was pleasantly surprised by the smiling faces and friendly behaviour of Czechs, as well as the international environment. “You meet people from so many corners of the world here. Not just students but also working people,” she explains.
Despite these positive experiences, she couldn’t avoid culture shock since Czech culture differs by 180 degrees from Indonesian. Novinta noticed the first difference when exploring Brno's pubs. “The attitude towards alcohol is completely different here. For us, it's a sign of luxury, but here, it's part of the culture,” she claims.
“Czechs also take much better care of themselves. You can do whatever you want as long as you don't limit someone else, and I like that. In Indonesia, one misstep and you immediately become the centre of attention,” Novinta adds.
Although Novinta's dream of wandering around university buildings dissipated with the beginning of the pandemic, online education and professors did not disappoint this graduate. “The environment was so international. We were taught by people from Hungary, the United States and Germany, and they were always ready to help or provide constructive criticism. They wanted us to be the best version of ourselves,” Novinta recalls. She also praises the variety of subjects and discussions that took place within them.
The teachers didn't leave her hanging even when writing her final thesis, but her experience was once again different from what she had in Indonesia. “During my bachelor's, teachers helped me a lot and were very involved. At Masaryk University, I feel freer and more independent. The teachers guide us, but the rest of the work is up to us. I prefer this approach,” explains Novinta, for whom working on her thesis became the most memorable experience during her studies. She interviewed Indonesians who had fled into Czech exile, lost their citizenship and waited decades to become Czech citizens.
A Degree as a ticket to the job market
Brno became a new home for Novinta, and she decided to stay there with her Slovak husband after completing her studies. She began building her career at Zebra Technologies, where she works as a marketing coordinator. “My degree in cultural sociology helped me even during the job interview. The confidence in the English language and excellent communication skills I acquired through the university made it easier for me to secure the job,” she explains.
Even in her busy daily routine, communicating with managers and salespeople, and overseeing marketing operations, she doesn't forget the years spent at the university. “If you're hesitating over whether to apply, go ahead and do it! Brno can become your new home too,” she concludes.