The Ostrava Student and Alumni Meetup, held on 12 October, brought together students, alumni, universities and regional partners.
This year's final meetup for international students, graduates and Czech students of bachelor's, master's and doctoral programmes from all over the country took place at the new City Campus of the University of Ostrava. We held this event following a series of meetups under the banner of the Study in Czechia and Czechia Alumni initiatives. We also organised similar meetups this year in Sweden, Spain, Moldova or the USA. Through these events, we connect international graduates and students with domestic institutions, as well as with the private sector, and spread the good name of Czechia internationally. Through events such as this one in Ostrava, we aim to strengthen the community of international students in the regions, responding to their need to build further ties here after graduation, as their professional career is just beginning. We believe that by building this diverse community, we can support educational and research activities in the region well into the future.
We organized the Ostrava International Student and Alumni Meetup in cooperation with the University of Ostrava and Ostrava Expat Centre. It was also attended by representatives from other universities in the region, such as Silesian University in Opava or the VSB - Technical University of Ostrava, who presented educational opportunities including scholarships and benefits for graduates provided by universities, and student organisation Erasmus Student Network Ostravská. Representatives of companies from the Moravian-Silesian region also presented career opportunities to more than 100 participants from 59 countries.
"The community of around 50 000 international degree students in Czechia is very important for our everyday life,” says Ivana Adamiková, Head of the Centre for International Cooperation at the University of Ostrava. Up to 50% of these students stay in Czechia after completing their studies and thus help the domestic labour market. At the same time, international influence is also important for Czech students. “Academic and social interaction with students from all around the world can provide our students with real educational and career benefits. It helps students to confront different interpersonal and communication styles, which makes them better active listeners and critical thinkers. And in my view, that’s what the society needs in these days more than ever,” concluded Ivana Adamiková.
The event was also enriched by a live performance of the musical trio Osamělé palačinky. This was followed by a rich programme - during the Alumni Talks, alumni of regional universities discussed their journey from being students to accomplished professionals together in a moderated debate, showing the power of education in the Moravian-Silesian region. Ostrava Expat Centre then gave an overview of how to decide what to do after studies or how to find a job in Czechia as an international graduate.
During the informal networking, the international participants, who came not only from the region itself had the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with other current and former classmates, students from other regional universities, professors, and the alma mater itself. The networking activities made it easier to break the ice and make new contacts.
"We believe that the international experiences change individuals and society for the better. We strongly value all international students and alumni here in Czechia. The number of international students is growing each year which is good news for our society. Whether you decide to stay or move after you finish your studies, we want to keep the relationship running to strengthen the Czechia Alumni network and support you and cooperate on many other levels, whatever you’ll be doing,” said Soňa Lippmann, Head of Communication and Analytical Division from the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research and emphasised the continued support and cooperation within the network for the future as well.
We are looking forward to the next International Student and Alumni meetup, where we will see you next year.