Author: Stefan Alijevikj Picture credits: Marija Grujovska
“One of my strongest memories from my childhood is that of my grandfather’s stamp collection. My grandfather had the chance to travel to many different places of the world and the most precious things he always brought with himself back home were his stories. Those stories were materialized in the stamps that after every travel he would carefully stick in his stamp book. Exactly looking at the stamp collection and listening to my grandfather’s stories sparked a strong interest in cultural diversity. My then subtle discovery of the notion that there are many ways of being human has channeled my interests and passion ever since and drove me in pursuing a degree in social and cultural anthropology,” writes Marija Grujovoska, coming from Macedonia and who is conducting her studies in Vienna, Austria in the field of Anthropology.
Further on she adds: “Studying anthropology is probably one of the best choices I have made, considering the ways it has shaped my personality. It has taught me many things that I find very relevant for my life, one of them being that the reality that we live in is not the only reality out there and that there are people in the world that live their lives in ways unimaginable to us, yet so normal to them.”
Apart from anthropology, Marija also likes photography and visual story-telling. She considers photography to be a positively powerful medium for when used in the right way and as per for stories – they have played a big role in her life and as much as she enjoys reading and looking at them, she enjoys telling them. Now, here is Marija telling her story for Mladiinfo:
Mladiinfo: Why you have come with the decision to study abroad and enroll in Vienna?
Marija: “I came up with the idea about studying abroad quite early in my high-school years, since I had to satisfy my curiosity for the rest of the world. Even though I was not sure what exactly I am going to study, I knew it won’t be in my home country. Considering the fact that one of the most affordable options for studying abroad are the German speaking countries, I started learning German intensively. I decided for Vienna once I knew that Anthropology is what I want to pursue and the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna suited my interests the best.”:
MladiinfoHow is the educational system in Vienna different than in your home country?
Marija: “My experience with the universities back in Macedonia is not first-hand. Everything I know about studying in Macedonia comes from my friends and family. However, one of the most visible differences is the highly individualized approach that the University of Vienna has towards its students. Basically, the students are able to choose themselves how many subjects and exams they want to take during the semester. The choice of subjects depends completely on the students themselves. This approach has both pros and cons. On the one hand, as a student you have a complete freedom to design your study the way you want to and on the other hand, this means that you have all the responsibility if something goes wrong. It also means that since you don’t have a fixed schedule, you also don’t have a fixed study group, which could make things harder when it comes to your social life in a foreign country.”