Shaheera Ajmal: Olomouc is the best place to live

thursday 22. march 2018, 15:55 – Text: Tereza Kučerová

Besides two master programmes taught in English (Adapted Physical Activity and Physical Activity and Active Living), the Faculty of Physical Culture also offers one PhD programme for international students, Kinanthropology. There are currently four students studying this programme full-time and two more students decided to enrol in the combined form. Today we bring you an interview with Shaheera Ajmal from Pakistan, who is a second year student of Kinanthropology.


Why did you decide to study a doctoral programme at Palacký University Olomouc?

I was at Palacký University first as an Erasmus student from Belgium (editor´s note: Shaheera studied International Master in Adapted Physical Activity in Leuven which is a programme in partnership between the KU Leuven and Palacký University Olomouc) and I liked everything here. After that, I got an offer to do a PhD here, so it was a great opportunity for me and I decided to apply. I interacted with some professors and faculty members of the university while I was on the exchange programme and all of them were so supportive, which made me decide to come here.


Did you find it difficult to go through the admission procedure?

Not at all. I think it was the easiest application procedure and the coordinators made it even more easier. Everything was clearly explained on the university website and there were not very strict requirements for application, unlike some other universities.


Can you describe the first months of your study at the Faculty of Physical Culture? What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome? What surprised you most?

I still remember the time when I was preparing to come here. I was a bit worried but once I reached Olomouc, everything was great. My coordinator helped me with everything, from getting a tram pass to opening a bank account. I think the only challenge that I have to face here is the language barrier. Most people don´t want to speak in English even if they know the language. They are too shy to speak.


Are you satisfied with the study?

Yes, I am. Everything is planned in the programme and there is also some flexibility to choose the courses for each year of study.


Are the teachers and other staff helpful?

Very much.  Everyone is so supportive and helpful, they are always willing to help me whenever I have any issue. And the professors are really smart and intelligent.


Are you happy with the facilities and the library?

The atmosphere at the faculty is very pleasant and the labs are very advanced, equipped with new technology and devices. I can find almost all the books related to my research field in the faculty library. For some of the physical activities, there is a separate building, AC Baluo, and we can use these facilities with a student membership. I really like the swimming pool and gym there.


How do you like living in the dormitories? What do you think about the campus and the canteen? 

I really love Neředín dorms, I feel like at home there. And the great thing is that it’s just next to my faculty, so I don’t have to use any kind of public transport to get to the faculty every day. The dorms are new and they are cleaned by the cleaners regularly. The food in the canteen is tasty and very cheap so mostly I don’t cook lunch because I like to have lunch in menza (university canteen).


Do you get any financial support from the faculty?

Yes, I am receiving a monthly scholarship (J. L. Fischer Grant) which covers my tuition fees.


Do you consider Olomouc a good place to live and study? Is it safe? What about the costs?

I think Olomouc is the best place to live, it’s very safe and peaceful. It’s can also get very lively during the week but at the weekends, it´s mostly quiet because most of the Czech students go back to their homes. I really like going for a walk in the centre and enjoying the environment when it’s quiet.

Overall, the Czech Republic is cheap and Olomouc, because it’s not a big city, is even cheaper. Nothing is expensive here, like food, rent, public transport...


Would you recommend the Faculty of Physical Culture to future students? Why?

Obviously, it’s a good choice if someone wants to continue in the research field. The faculty is well developed and it is developing more and more thanks to new devices, advanced technology and interesting research ideas.


If you had to describe your experience with studying at the Faculty of Physical Culture in Olomouc using five words, which ones would you use?

Peaceful, positive, enlightening, fun, friends/memories.