INTERVIEW: Bektore Mansurov spent a study stay in Bratislava: "Studying in Slovakia is a good idea!"

Meet Bektore Mansurov, originally from Kazakstan, but a Master's student at Marmara University in Turkey. With the help of the National Scholarship Programme, he has spent a study stay in Slovakia, and he loved it! Read more about his experiences, tips and studies in the article. 


Where are you from, what is your field of study/research and why did you decide to come
to Slovakia?

I am Bektore Mansurov, from Kazakhstan. I am studying for my Master's degree in the field of International and Comparative Education at Marmara University in Turkey.

Why I chose Slovakia? The education level in Slovakia is quite good compared to other countries in the world and it is possible to study in three languages at the same time at universities.

Also, since it is in the centre of Europe, I chose it for easy access to other countries and to learn the culture and language of the country. I feel lucky to have studied in Bratislava, the Slovak capital. There are various historical places to visit in the city and castles with beautiful architecture.


What is the focus of your scholarship stay?

My scholarship stay consisted of successfully studying and actively attending classes at the University of Economics in Bratislava. Besides the courses, it was a good opportunity for me to do scientific research on the term project under the consultancy of Assoc. Prof. Denisa Čiderová and to learn the Slovak culture and language closely. In the 2021-2022 Spring semester, I took these subjects at the University of Economics (EUBA): European Union (English), Slovak for Beginners I. (A1.1), Communication across Cultures (English), Slovak Language for Beginners II. (A1.2), and European Union Enlargement and External Relations. I have chosen these courses to study more extensive work in the field of International and Comparative Education in the European Union and to gain additional knowledge that may help me in my future profession.


What are the differences between Slovakia and your country?

There are differences between Slovakia and Kazakhstan in terms of geographical location, traditional culture, and education system. Since I am studying in Slovakia, I would like to explain the differences with Kazakhstan in terms of the education system. In Slovakia, undergraduate education at universities is free if you know the Slovak language, but in Kazakhstan you can enter university on a paid basis or with a high score in the state exam. In addition, when we look at the undergraduate education period, it takes 3 years in Slovakia and 4 years in Kazakhstan. As a result, education has the same qualifications but different systems.

What did the scholarship stay give you professionally and personally? Would you recommend NSP to others?

My scholarship stay gave me the experience of improving myself professionally in the field of multicultural education and conducting scientific studies in terms of my profession. Culturally, I learned the traditional culture of Slovakia and the Slovak language as a foreign language at A1.2 level. My goal is to improve up to B2/C1 level.

NSP is a scholarship program that supports all citizens of the world (students, researchers, teachers) who want to study or do a research project in the Republic of Slovakia. If you have the opportunity, I will definitely recommend that you take this chance for your study or research. Studying in Slovakia is a good idea!

Do you have any tips for future international students that would like to come to Slovakia with
NSP? What are your recommendations to do and see in Slovakia? Do you like Slovak gastronomy?

My advice to international students who want to come to Slovakia with NSP, I would recommend learning some basic Slovak language and getting plenty of energy to travel the country. If you are under 26, you can travel by rail to all cities of Slovakia for free. That’s why I recommend incoming students to see the city of Bratislava, Kosice, Brezno and the beautiful Tatra
mountains. The regional dishes of Slovak cuisine are as colourful as the Slovak countryside itself. Any Central European country is famous for its dumplings, only in Slovakia you can find real delicious bryndzové halušky. I really like Slovak cuisine. For example, gulášová polievka, garlic soup, bryndzové pirohy, vyprážaný syr and Kofola as drink. Dobrú chuť!