Deciding where to study for her bachelor's degree wasn't exactly easy for her because her boyfriend is from Europe, so she was not only looking for the perfect university for her but also for him. After a few months of deliberation, they both finally decided on Masaryk – Inga, on the Faculty of Arts, and her boyfriend, on the Faculty of Social Studies.
However, their move to Brno was complicated by the pandemic, as the entire first year of their studies was online. She stayed in Canada at first, but the time difference meant that she had some classes at 2 a.m., so she moved to Europe in the second semester. She ended up doing her first year of study from Iceland, where most of her family lives.
“My parents are from Iceland, but they’ve lived in Canada my whole life. But every summer I go to Iceland for two months, where most of my family lives, so I am also fluent in Icelandic. So sometimes I have a bit of a problem introducing myself - one time I say I'm Canadian, the next time I say I'm Icelandic,” explains Inga, who is also fluent in French.
She moved to Brno last summer, when she was finally able to meet her classmates after a year studying together online. She enjoys her current in-person classes much more, as she likes working in a team, discussing in class, and studying together with others in groups, something she missed during the pandemic.
“I was very pleasantly surprised by Brno and MU as a whole. I like it much more than I expected. When I moved to this unfamiliar environment, I was very scared, but now I am excited. Brno is a very nice city, and there is always something to do here. Plus, the food prices are very reasonable, so I can enjoy going to restaurants and cafes with my friends very often, in comparison to Canada and Iceland. where it’s not that accessible because of the higher prices,” laughs the student.
She also enjoys spending time at the faculty and studying in the library or on the grass on the quad, environments she finds pleasant and friendly. She likes her classes too, and she says you can tell the teachers enjoy what they do. It's not easy at school though, because she has to study regularly and read several books a month. But she doesn't mind that at all because she loves reading; it’s her biggest hobby besides music.
“Linguistics isn't exactly easy either, but I've already learned a lot. I have the advantage of being a native speaker, and some things come naturally to me, but I still have to learn the rules, so for many things, I started from scratch. It's a lot of fun, though, especially when my classmates ask me why that is, and I try to explain it to them. I'm getting to know my language from a whole new angle.”
Inga will be finishing her bachelor's degree in June and plans to go somewhere else in Europe for her master's degree to get to know another country and education system. However, she considers her choice of studying in the Czech Republic a good one.
“Everyone around me was surprised that I didn't go to a Western country to study. But in fact, the quality of teaching at MU is very comparable to Canada, and the tuition fees are lower, which many of my Canadian friends didn't know. Getting a degree abroad is not automatically more expensive. And it also enriches you, culturally and personally,” she laughs.