"Abertay University has a very international environment"
Ondrej Dlask tells us about his "fantastic" experience at Abertay!
Located in Dundee, Scotland, Abertay University provides students with a small, manageable campus, a close-knit community, and excellent professors and teaching staff.
For International students, Abertay is a soft place to land. The small class sizes, supportive professors and advisors, and personal attention mean that you are never lost in the crowd. You’ll have a chance to be a part of a new international “family” and we look forward to welcoming you!
Beth Meehan, North American Engagement Lead External and Corporate Relations, Abertay University
SchoolApply caught up with second-year student, Ondrej Dlask, a Marketing and Business major from the Czech Republic, to learn about his adjustment to a new city and new university.
Location: Dundee, Scotland (UK)
Student Name: Ondrej Dlask
From: Czech Republic
Graduation: May 2021
Definitely Digital and Social Media Marketing. I had the opportunity to work on a project for a real company and focused on the areas of marketing that interest me. In groups, we were supposed to create an overall digital strategy for all the digital channels used by the company. In fact, this module helped me realize that this would be something I would like to do in the future.
Favorite school event:
There are so many interesting events held throughout the year by the university and school societies, it is too hard for me to choose just one.
Five words to describe Abertay University: Friendly, Modern, Compact, Family, Exciting
Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Ondrej Dlask and I’m 22 years old. I am currently a second-year student at Abertay University and am expecting to graduate in May 2021. I am from the Czech Republic and before coming to Scotland, I had only lived and studied in my home city – Prague, Czech Republic.
What were your school experiences like before university?
I studied at a grammar school for eight years, which taught me a bit of everything, however, as it offered such a broad range of subjects, I had no idea what I would like to study further. That is probably the reason why I ended up studying Humanities at Charles University in Prague. It was again a broad range of subjects, but I did not like this very much and left the program before the end of the first year.
How did you hear about Abertay University and what made you decide to study in the UK?
My decision to go to Scotland and especially to Abertay was maybe a bit unusual. As I said, I didn’t like what I was studying back in the Czech Republic. Moreover, my girlfriend was already studying in Scotland so I was looking for something close to it and Dundee was the closest city. So, I didn’t have many expectations for Abertay, but even if I did, I am now sure that Abertay would exceed them.
Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university?
I would not say I had any large issues with adjusting to my new life. It was a bit tough to find friends in the beginning as I was a bit shy when it came to speaking in English. Understanding the famous Dundonian accent was, of course, challenging. However, the university offers peer mentoring, a program in which older students help first-year students with any issues they may be having adjusting to life in a new city and university.
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What were your first few days at Abertay University like?
I was initially surprised by how compact the campus is – if you stand anywhere outside, you are basically in the middle of everything, in between the library, the student center and the main university building. From there, the main two accommodation halls are just a five-minute walk away.
While exploring the campus, it struck me as very modern. Abertay has actually even been named the Top Modern University in Scotland this year. Before the first class, I was obviously very nervous and anxious about how everything is going to go, but as everyone was very friendly, those feelings quickly evaporated.
What degree did you pursue and why?
I am pursuing a degree in Marketing and Business. I actually changed my degree just a week before the academic year started as I originally applied for a Sport and Management degree. I had the opportunity to work for an advertising agency during the summer before starting the university and this sparked my interest in marketing, so I decided to change my degree at the last minute. That was also my first proper interaction with my university and they replied to my request within an hour with a positive response! Since then, I have really become very interested in marketing and I am enjoying the course, so don’t regret changing my mind at all.
Did you take part in any extracurricular activities?
At the start of this academic year, I founded the Marketing Society with my friends and I am its president. The aim of the society is to connect marketing students or anyone else interested in marketing and build upon the knowledge gained during their studies. This is done by organizing guest speakers or workshops on various marketing topics to improve our skills. We also organize pub socials and we recently organized a pub quiz to raise money for the UK’s men’s mental health charity, Brothers in Arms.
Did you have a job while studying?
Yes, I have actually been working several jobs. In my first academic year, I was a bar assistant at a hotel bar and then later, I used the opportunities provided by the university and began helping to organize events within the university as a Student Event Helper. This academic year, I became a part of a Student Social Media Team creating video and image content for the university’s social media channels in cooperation with the Communication Department. I am currently also working in a Marketing Support position within the university’s Marketing Department where my responsibilities include content management on the website, data collection and analysis and production of marketing videos. I can’t appreciate enough the opportunity to receive work experience that is relevant to my degree. In addition to all this, I have improved my time management skills and have maintained great academic results while working enough to sustain my budget.
What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at Abertay University?
My experience has been fantastic so far! There are a lot of international students and lecturers at Abertay so it has a very international environment. Everyone is very friendly and extremely approachable, including the academic and other staff within the university. I have never been afraid to ask about anything and have always received help with everything I asked.
The university is located in the city center, it is just a five-minute walk from the city’s main square. It is close to everything important, including two shopping centers, cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars. There is a lot to do in terms of sporting activities and there are many university sporting leagues. Moreover, V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, has just recently opened and there is also the Dundee Contemporary Arts Gallery. The city of Dundee, especially the waterfront, is currently under renovation and it is becoming a very vibrant and modern place to live.
What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Abertay University?
I would definitely recommend Abertay to anyone considering studying in Scotland or in the UK. The school’s biggest strengths are its friendly environment, small size and its location in the sunniest city of Scotland. In addition to all this, the university offers approachable, knowledgeable lecturers and endless opportunities to improve in your field of study and shape your future.
If you want to find out more about Abertay University, click on its SchoolApply profile page for more information!