From an early age, I could not stay passive. At school, I participated in almost all available competitions, from geography, through math, physics, and robotics. And I represented my class at the student council.
Outside school, I spent my time volunteering at the local youth center, where I helped with events and summer camps. Here I found my passion for youth work and social responsibility.
As a 16-year-old, I received a full scholarship to attend UWC Maastricht (United World Colleges, The Netherlands). Even though I only knew basic phrases in English, after few difficult months and sleepless nights, I became a very active member of the community. In the summer of 2016, I graduated with a bilingual International Baccalaureate Diploma.
After two years in the Netherlands, I travel to the other side of the world, where I spent my gap year helping in the launching of UWC Changshu China. Here I worked to strengthen the community, organizing events and assisting the IB Coordinator. This was my first proper work experience, additionally in a multicultural and diverse environment. My favorite responsibility was to take care as an assistant House Mentor for those 40 amazing people in the picture.
After three years abroad, I returned to Slovakia to study at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA). In June 2020, I successfully defended my thesis on The Role of the Roman Catholic Parish in the Civic Life of Slovak Rural Communities. I graduated with honors, with a major in political science and a minor in sociology. During my studies, I joined and funded several student organizations, and attended numerous academic conferences, where I presented my work. With my friend Mária Dudžáková, I published a short guide on writing essays for secondary students.
During my studies, I interned and later worked at the non-governmental organization Institute for Active Citizenship, where I spend my time on projects mostly in primary and secondary schools with a focus on civic education and youth participation (ex. Schools, changing the world). Here I gained my first experiences with education research.
Student Council for Higher Education (Slovakia)
In 2018, I was elected to represent my college in the national Student Council for Higher Education.
Already at the first meeting, I was active and I initiated the project Quality Assurance Student Experts (Erasmus+ KA203), which I am still coordinating. The transnational project aims to train student experts in higher education quality assurance. Already more than 100 students from Slovakia and Hungary were trained.
In October 2019 I was elected by the General Assembly of Student Council to serve as Vice-president for Foreign Affairs. My key activities during my mandate included:
- representing Slovakia at the Board meetings of the European Students’ Union, on various international conferences and lastly at the EHEA Ministerial Conference 2020,
- leading, analyzing, and presenting a survey on the impact of the pandemic on students in Slovakia, with over 4500 responses (link),
- Student mental health week.
During my time in the presidency, I focused on the topics of:
- higher education quality assurance,
- pandemic and education (interview on national radio),
- student-centered learning (workshop),
- internationalization and international students in Slovakia,
- higher education governance,
- academic fraud.
I stepped down from the position of Vice-president in April 2021.
My whole CV can be found here.
I hope you are inspired by my story and would like to support my studies at the University of Oxford. Your donation will help me to continue my story.
What am I planning to do after Oxford?
My story does not here and after my studies at Oxford, I plan to keep being involved in the development of education, whether through research or via involvement in the educational policy. The educational sector is undergoing massive shifts, the role of formal education is in question as well as the problems of accessibility and meritocracy. I believe that the experiences and knowledge from Oxford will help me to contribute to these developments.
Higher education institutions specifically in Slovakia are undergoing at the same time massive reforms in their accreditation, financing, and governance. Not only higher education, but all education at all levels in dealing with the pandemic, which is reshaping the way we learn, teach and do research. Educational systems are trying to prepare graduates for the fast-changing labor market and life after school, which is greatly affected by many global challenges we are facing. After finishing Oxford, I plan to apply what I learned there, spend more time with these challenges in education, and do my part in its development.
Thank you for your support and for becoming part of my story.