Testimonial: Surabhi Adhikari and Santosh Rupakheti





a student of Business – Tourism from Nepal





a student of Mechanical Engineering from Nepal



How did the experience of living abroad change you? What kind of person were you before you left for Slovenia, and what kind of person have you become now?

Santosh and Surabhi: I think the experience of living abroad changed us in a positive way.

Santosh: The most importantly, we have gotten self-independent.

Surabhi: Yes, here we have to take care of everything on our own, which made us very independent. I think I have also became more confident, as back home my self-esteem was lower. Here in Slovenia I am getting very confident as I am realising that I can do things on my own. Additionally, we have grown strong. But Santosh more in a physical way, for his nature of student job. (laugh)

How do you find Maribor as a town?

Surabhi and Santosh: We love Maribor. It is small, peaceful and clean. There is a lack of people, which we prefer. We both like the area around Drava river. By the way, did you know that the name “Drava” origins from the Sanskrit word?

Surabhi: When Santosh was thinking of applying for the study abroad, I was initially not interested to go with him. But when he told me to “google” Slovenia, I immediately loved it. I like the safety, smallness and cleanliness of the town, and I appreciate its serenity.

What was your main motivation to decide to study at Academia?

Santosh: Before applying to Academia, we were both studying in Nepal, but did not complete our studies. I wanted a change, so I decided to try my luck abroad. The USA always seemed too artificial to me, and I have been interested in mechanical engineering. Thus, Academia seemed as the best option: it offers the study and the life-style that I have always wanted.

Surabhi: As I said, after Santosh mentioned that he wants to study in this country, I wanted to go with him. My parents would never allow me to study abroad alone, but going with my cousin seemed like a good idea. When I showed the program and the description of Slovenia to my father, he immediately agreed. I have chosen to study Business Tourism at Academia as my long-term interest into this particular topic.

What are the things that you like about Academia and which things are you disappointed about?

Santosh and Surabhi: We did not have any particular expectations about the study at the college, but were positively surprised about Academia upon our arrival. What we like the most are the lectures. In Nepal, one has to study massive books for exams and the professors only read from those books. At Academia, the professors freely speak in the classes and give practical advices from their own experiences. We like our professors, and they are all fluent in English.

We are here to be successful in studying and good grades really matter to us.

What do you think about Slovenian people?

Santosh and Surabhi: The Slovenians are really nice and helpful. The majority of people speak English. Sometimes we are stopped on the streets by the locals, asking us where we are from. It is funny. We did not make much friends with locals yet, but we have a Slovenian friend, who is married to a Nepalese. They both live in Slovenia and we often meet.

What are the main differences between your home country and Slovenia?

Santosh and Surabhi: It is difficult to describe the exact things, but the main difference is in food and diet. Sometimes we ask our Nepalese friend to bring us some ingredients from Nepal. The other thing is that Nepal is underdeveloped country and Slovenia is developed. It is difficult to point out what exactly is different, but at least roads here are better, traffic is more structured, buildings are different than those in Nepal. Additionally, also the people and the lifestyle is different. Slovenians origin from one culture and follow the same customs, whilst in Nepal there is a variety of religions, races and celebrations. The Slovenians all basically celebrate the same holidays because they are from one culture. However, there are as well a lot of similarities with Nepal, that is why we did not have much difficulties to adapt in Slovenia, especially when it comes to the climate and environment. There are cold winters and hot summers in Nepal as well, plus both countries are small and boost with natural beauties, such as mountains, forests and rivers.

How do you spend your free time?

Surabhi: I usually cook Nepalese food at home, watch different movies and study. We both like to roam around the town, especially near Drava river. I do not go out much without Santosh.

Santosh: I also like to watch movies and football as well. I am a big fan of the latter, enjoying to view matches on TV with other flatmates. Surabhi also started to watch footfall since we arrived to Slovenia (laugh). Me and my friend have just recently bought a bike and we explore Maribor. Additionally, I have just gotten a student job.

Is it difficult to get a job in Slovenia?

Santosh: As I said, I have a student job in Mercator, located 8 kilometers from our apartment, but I go there by bike. Sometimes I work 4, sometimes up to 10 hours. It can be physically difficult but it is fine. All the employees there are Slovenians, one is Bosnian, but they all speak English with me.

Surabhi: I do not have any job. It would be nice to have it, but it is not a must.

Surabhi and Santosh: Actually, our first priority here is to study. Our parents both strongly support us and expect us to be successful at the college, so we truly invest our energy into the college. We do not want to disappoint our parents. They also think that if we get an additional student job it is great, but we should be focused on doing good at the college.

At first, we were very demotivated about the student job opportunities here, as other students were very negative about finding a job in Maribor. But we soon realised that the student jobs market in Maribor is really big and it is not so difficult to get a job. One only has to actively search for it, that’s all. A negative side of finding a job in Slovenia is the language. As we do not speak Slovenian (yet), we are aware that some employers rather hire Slovenians, for the communication obstacle. But there are employers who take foreigners as well.

What is your advice to the future students? What should they expect?

Surabhi: Learn the Slovenian language prior to departure, if possible.

Santosh and Surabhi: We think that Slovenia is a good choice to study. If you have genuine intentions to study, you can come here!

Contact Santosh at santosh.rupakheti@student.academia.eu

Surabhi at surabhi.adhikari@student.academia.eu

and ask them about their experience at Academia.