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"I have many opportunities to develop my skills and to perform in front of an audience"

Studying here is different, but in my experience, it is high quality.

Anna Mária Babčanová from Slovakia

Bachelor in Music Performance - Western Classical Music

Please introduce yourself.

Hi! My name is Anna Mária Babčanová, and I come from Slovakia. I am a first-year student of the Bachelor's Programme in Music Performance - Western Classical Music (flute). 

My first contact with music wasn't with the flute but with the piano. I started to play when I was 6. Later I have started to play a recorder and, finally, the flute. I always knew that I wanted to study music, but the flute as the main instrument won after finishing my high school studies. 

Why did you choose Norway?

I didn't choose this university because of Norway as a country, but because of the professor. I had good recommendations from my flute professor from Slovakia and two other flute students studying at UiA. However, I was also curious about the system of schools in Norway because it's one of the best school systems in the world. It is interesting to see other possibilities and different ways to improve things to work better.

When looking at universities, what stood out about UiA?

I found the programmes in the university's offer attractive, especially music performance. It includes not only the performing itself but also other things related to the music and music market. It looks to be very enriching and practical. Students of this programme are effectively preparing for various jobs.

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

Now I am laughing about it, but when I came here, my first thought was - well, I will be happy when I learn myself to accept this cold "summer weather". It was not that cold, but I came from 38 degrees (Slovakia) to 18 degrees (Norway on arrival day), so it was a big shock for my body. On the other hand, after few days I saw Kristiansand as a beautiful city, with marvellous nature. I was impressed.  

What do you think about your course in particular? 

I think it is very well designed for all the needs of the studying musician. Most of the professors are successful professional musicians. They teach us with enthusiasm, and they are dedicated to the individual needs of students. Students feel support and willingness to help basically from everyone.  

What do you like about Kristiansand and why? 

From my point of view, I like that Kristiansand is not a capital city, which means it is smaller and calmer. I can also go to the seaside whenever I want, which I highly appreciate - Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe.

What was one thing you discovered about Norway that was unexpected?

I did not expect that people can be extremely polite as here. Yes, Norwegians can be shy, but I like that aspect because they are reliable, helpful, sensitive, and friendly. It may take a longer time to know them, but it is worth it. 

What would you like to share about UiA to your home country?

In few words, almost everything. Studying here is different, but in my experience, it is high quality. Moving to a foreign country may be challenging, but I think it is worth it. And coffee here is excellent! 

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities?

Absolutely! I have many opportunities to develop my skills, perform in front of an audience, meet new people, and participate in various events or masterclasses.