29.10.2018 23:56

Since I was a little girl I have known I had to leave because of the situation in Belarus, says a 20-years-old student

Autor: Veronika Verešová | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Angelina Magiľnitskaja, a young, good-looking brown-haired girl from Belarus, moved to Czechia when she was seventeen years old. It was immediately after she graduated from high school. She says since she was a little girl she has known she had to move somewhere else. The unfavourable political and economic situation in Belarus forced her to do that. “At the beginning, I did not know where I should go. Then I had to finally decide, and Czechia seemed to be the best option,” she describes her decision.

Brno - It has been three years since Angelina moved from her home country, Belarus, to the Czech Republic. She was freshly out of high school back then. Now, a 20-years-old slender woman with glasses and a pleasant smile is sitting in front of me. She chose Czechia because studying there is free of tuition also for foreigners. She only had to acquire the language skills. “Czech is very similar to Russian. Since I spoke Russian, it was not so difficult to learn your language and that is why I started looking for all available information about the local universities,” she says.

Angelina spent her first year in Brno where she attended the courses of Czech language at Mendel University in Brno. Brno was her choice because there are not so many tourists compared to Prague and, she was forced to use the Czech language more often. Her original plan was to move to Prague and start studying at the University of Economics after she once finishes her language courses. However, she did not count with one option – falling in love with the city itself and the university. She ultimately gave in and started studying at the Masaryk University in Brno.

According to her, surprisingly, the first months were the easiest and the happiest. “I was not yet aware of all the disadvantages. Everything was very interesting and new. I could travel, taste new cuisine and meet several new people,” she describes her first feelings in a foreign country. The second year was the hardest. Angelina started studying at the university and she felt that she had to go through the process of socialization again. She did not know anyone, she closed herself and stopped talking with others. “I got to experience the other side of the coin as far as being a foreigner,” a young Belarus says with a sad voice and eyes sight aiming at the ground. However, based on her attitude and the way of expressing herself, she has ultimately come to terms with the reality and is choosing to be relentless instead of giving up.

She left home at a very young age, therefore Angelina was forced to grow up sooner than what is usual for the Czechs. “I did not see maturity in being able to cook or being able to earn money. Rather, it is about starting from the very beginning in the new country and there is no one to help you. You have to rely on yourself. The hardest part is to find people and environment you feel good in. I miss home a lot, but it is not so horrible now,” she says. Angelina is also the kind of person who does not have a problem adapting to a new environment. She misses her house where she grew up the most and her parents, but they come to visit her frequently.

According to her, the situation in Belarus is not so bad as in Russia. Corruption is not so wide-spread there as it is in their neighbouring country, but the level of education is very low. “They still use student’s books which were written during the age of the Soviet Union and educate students about central planed economics at economic schools,” she explains disheartened.

Moreover, approximately 70 percent Belarusians do not attend colleges because they want to study what they love but because they do not find a good job without a university education, so they study anything available. “A job which does not require university education in Europe surely does require it in Belarus. However, the employers do not care what degree one acquired. Everybody cheats, professors usually allow that, plagiarism checkers are not used, you can buy your thesis on the internet and so on,” she says with a little cynic sad smile. An average salary in Belarus is 2.200 crowns, an average salary when you have university education is 5.000 crowns.

Angelina is very satisfied with Brno and she loves this city. She has kind of gotten used to the life here. Therefore, she does not think about going back home. There is no possibility of a career growth for her and this young student is not sure at all if she could apply her knowledge gained in Czechia. “Besides, it would be very hard to work in a Russian speaking environment. I have not had any classes in this language, so I do not know the terminology,” Angelina smiles.

Klíčová slova: Belarus, education in Belarus, foreign country


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