We are happy to inform that our student of General Aviation, Maria Dosheva from Bulgaria was accepted to the NAWA project «Digital Ambassadors». As a participant of this initiative, she will promote Polish education and Poland in her home country and abroad.
Natalia Filimoniuk: Firstly congratulations! We are really happy to know that our students will represent Bulgaria in this project. What did the application process look like? Was it difficult to apply?
Maria Dosheva: I found out about it before the Christmas holiday. Our EU Club received this invitation from Ms Mazur, with the explanation of what the programme is, how it works etc. It was a chance to participate in promoting Polish education – so why not? And I’ve applied.
As far as I remember they required some personal information (name, age, what are you studying etc.) and also some short tasks. For example, if you promote Poland on your blog, what would you write in 150 words? Or another task – what would you mention about something interesting when you came to Poland, maybe some interesting traditions, something that you don’t have in your country? And the final one – a short essay about why you decided to come to Poland, how did you do it and how’s your experience so far?
The funniest task for me was to post a picture that will describe my Polish experience. I remember I asked myself «What’s that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to post a picture of a plate of pierogi? Will it be clear that I am in Poland?» (laughing) But then I found the perfect picture from our EU club trip to mountains, with an iconic and typical Polish landmark in the background. It was the perfect description of my experience.
Do you remember that moment – «Congratulations! You are officially accepted to the programme»? What were you thinking at that time?
Of course, I was happy. I guess it was the beginning of February when I got the email from the coordinator that I was accepted to participate. There was also some information about our first meeting, so I was really motivated to see and it would be a great step to find out something new. Very soon after that, we received the agenda and descriptions of our meetings. It was really interesting to know what’s gonna happen ahead. So yeah, I was very excited.
Unfortunately, quarantine destroys a lot of plans. What about Digital Ambassadors? Have you had your first meeting at least?
We had only one meeting in Warsaw and two via Skype. Of course, because of this unexpected situation. Still, we were lucky to have our first meeting, planned just a week or two weeks before the official quarantine. The first day was like more presentation day about NAWA, all the scholarship opportunities for foreign students, more about the goals of the Ready Study Go Poland campaign and, of course, the integration party. It was really fun.
The next day was even more interesting, in my opinion. We were in the Facebook Office where we had workshops with a few people. We discussed some tips & tricks in social media with examples based on big companies’ marketing, and some real projects in Poland – e.g. we met the creator of Mania Nauki podcasts. So it was a really practical and interesting workshop.
What now? Will you have some online classes/meetings or will the project be postponed?
Even without this locked down, we would have these Skype conferences, as the Ambassadors are all around Poland. We have people from Kraków, Łódź, I am from Rzeszów – so it was planned to have some activities online, as it is just unnecessary to go to Warsaw every two weeks. We just discuss our ideas, sum up what we’ve already done, what we want to do and so on. For example, NAWA’s Wikipedia page is now available in 6 languages. So we are still working, but just from home. The next task is to present the ways to promote Polish education in our countries. So we will talk about it and find out the best options and strategies for the future.
I am happy to mention that you are also a UITM Ambassador. However, you are also in the Student’s Council, EU Club and just a very active student. So can I say that you are a very ambitious person?
Well, I don’t know. These things just happen in my life. I didn’t plan to be a part of all of these initiatives. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to participate. People just invite me, offer to apply etc., so that is why I am here. If you try to do something on your own, sometimes it is really hard, but when there are people around you it just motivates you to do more. So that was the reason why I am involved in all these initiatives.
As I know you were also involved in school radio. So is it right to sum up that you just really like to be a part of something bigger?
I like to improve myself and be surrounded by people. Both of them. Maybe not to meet new people that much, but I like to be with people that I am already friends with. I remember when I came to Poland, I decided to concentrate on my studies only. But as you see, I still have a lot of extra curriculum. Here people are different, they are more motivated and they want to achieve more. So this is the main motivation why I try to do more.
Based on your experience now and in your two years in Poland, what will you say to foreign students or young people who want to study in Poland and Europe?
They should know that if you want to go to study in Europe, England and Germany are not the only options. In Poland, you can also have good quality education and a nice experience. Another point, if you don’t speak the local language, you will still survive here. It is not a problem at all, as the University guarantees you an international environment and it will show you that language is not the most important aspect of studies. It is not hard to adapt, especially when you have more than 1500 people who are in the same situation.
Now a difficult question. What about your plans? It is impossible in some way to plan anything now, but still, what are you planning to do during your last year at UITM?
I think I will do small things every day. It will help not to stop and be at the same place.