Milica Marić comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina and is an Alps-Adriatic Scholarship holder. She talked with us about the benefits of the scholarship programme and why she decided to study International Management at the University of Klagenfurt. She also shared experiences from her Erasmus+ semester abroad in Germany and how all this affected the way she sees the world now.
Tell us something about yourself, where do you come from, what are you studying at the University of Klagenfurt?
My name is Milica, and I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics, and I am a Master’s student of International Management at the University of Klagenfurt. My main interests are accounting and finance, so I am currently writing my Master’s thesis in International Financial Reporting. I am also interested in statistics, foreign trade and FDIs.
I also like travelling, meeting new people, reading, running, and exploring new places. Besides my mother tongue, I can speak English, French and German.
How did you decide on your desired study programme? Was it clear from the beginning what you wanted to study? Why did you choose the University of Klagenfurt for your Master’s degree programme?
I chose International Management because it is an English-taught Master’s programme that covers my topics of interest. Also, the University of Klagenfurt is well-ranked and has a good reputation, so those were two main reasons for applying. Besides, I wanted to master the German language, and many of my friends who study in different cities in Austria had a positive experience with the Austrian education system, so this encouraged me even more to pursue the programme of International Management.
You are an Alps-Adriatic Scholarship holder. How is that for you? In what ways did you benefit from the scholarship?
Yes, I am an Alps-Adriatic Scholarship holder, and to be honest, it is one of the best experiences in my education. The tuition-fee waiver and monthly scholarship eliminated all my worries about financing my Master’s programme and, coming from a relatively low-income country, that was a major concern for me. Without it, I would probably need to work part-time to finance my degree, and I would not be able to dedicate myself fully to my studies. Therefore, I can say that this scholarship is also responsible for my good grades.
Also, having the support of AAU and the International Office means a lot when you are a student in a foreign country. In the event of a problem, you always know whom to refer to and ask for help, so you feel safer in a foreign environment.
I also think that being an Alps-Adriatic Scholarship holder will serve as significant reference for future employment, which will make my CV stand out among others.
Tell us a little bit more about your semester abroad (Where are you currently studying? For how long have you been there? Do you find this experience rewarding and in which way? etc.).
The Master’s programme in International Management has a mandatory period of studying abroad in its curriculum. I chose to go on an Erasmus+ exchange at the University of Marburg, Germany, mostly because I liked the courses they offered, and I also wanted to continue learning German. I’ve been in Marburg since October 1st, 2020. For the first three weeks I had an intensive language course (luckily in person), and from November until mid-February I attended lectures. Currently, I am waiting for the results of the exams.
The experience itself is unique. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many obstacles in terms of travelling to the host country, and I was in Germany when another lockdown was imposed, so sadly, I did not get the full Erasmus experience. On the other hand, I got to know a lot of new people, experienced different learning methods, and I learned about the German culture.
Has your view of the world changed through your studies in Austria and during semester abroad? If yes, how?
I would say yes. I experienced different educational systems, got to know many new people from different parts of the world, and became more comfortable with living in a foreign country. I learned to adapt more quickly to a new environment, and I now tend to take on more new challenges, as completing Erasmus during the COVID-19 pandemic was more challenging than during normal circumstances.
Would you also recommend spending a semester abroad to other prospective outgoing students? Can you tell us why?
Definitely. Even though coming to Klagenfurt already means studying abroad for lots of students, I would put an emphasis on the possibility to choose from a large number of courses at different universities. Students have the opportunity to attend courses that they otherwise couldn’t access, and also to master a foreign language. Besides that, it always feels good to meet new people and cultures, and to travel around the host country.