Study Abroad Story: Olga’s Slovenian Adventure
A short interview:
Olga is a yoga teacher from Russia (Volgograd). She lives in Slovenia with her family and their dog. She finished tourism faculty at Turistica, Primorska University 6 years ago. We asked Olga some questions.
Olga, please tell us how did you decide to move to Slovenia?
- My stepfather is Slovenian, but we were living in Russia at the time. When it was time for me to decide what to do after middle school, he asked me if l want to try and enroll in Slovenian university. First, we tried university in Maribor, but I wasn’t accepted because of a lack of documents. A year later I applied for university in Portorož (my dad was there personally) and everything worked out.
Where did you live while studying?
- The first couple of weeks I lived with some random girls in a shared apartment, one of them was my schoolmate. After that, when I met more people I found an apartment with more suitable roommates. On average I changed an apartment once a year and it was not a big deal.
How fast did you learn Slovenian? Was it hard for you to study in a foreign (Slovenian) language?
- I already had some knowledge when I moved (I spoke Slovenian fluently when I was 3yo for a year, then we moved back to Russia), so I could understand a lot. At first, it was tough at lectures, I wrote down everything and then translated almost every word. But by the end of the school year, I was able to answer all the exams and tests in Slovenian with some help of English. Also, all the professors were very understanding. If you show them your interest and readiness to work, there will be no problem with the language. In addition, everybody speaks English (also Italian at the seaside) fluently. In my second year, I had a Slovenian roommate and she was always happy to help with the written assignments or just with the grammar.
Did you work anywhere?
- Not during school, it is quite hard to find a job without a language. I had two summer practices, in a tourist agency and as a waitress. But a lot of students are working while studying, the most popular places at the seaside are casinos, bars, and hotels.
What about free time and student life?
- Well, Portorož is a resort town, so there is a lot of fun in summer and on winter holidays when people from all over Slovenia (and also some Italians and Germans) arrive to the coast for parties. But you know, when you are a student you can have a decent party every day everywhere And in addition, the distances are so small that you can easily go to parties in Ljubljana or even to Vienna.
Do you recommend this university and faculty for those who want to study tourism?
- Definitely yes. If you are interested in working with people and you are communicative – this is for you. University organizes some trips (we were in Berlin). There are also a lot of possibilities for student exchanges with this university and other fun stuff like, for example, this university has a rowing team which you can be a part of.
Photos from her private profile: