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"It was like breaking free"

Vjola is a Master's student from Albania. Since she was a child, she always knew she wanted to explore more, maybe move to the capital, or maybe farther away. Watch the film and read the text below to get to know her story.

 

 

"In Albania where I grew up it’s really family oriented. In my town I always had a big family around me. But I always knew that I would leave – move to the capital or even farther away. And my family knew this too, and encouraged me.
After my bachelor’s I worked as a software developer. It’s well respected and easy to get a job. But that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to use my creativity, to do research, and use the computer more as a tool. I started looking at different masters’ programmes in technology, engineering and design all over Europe. I started working on my English, too. I decided on Sweden because of the programme in immersive technology, the innovation and openness of Sweden, and the opportunities after you graduate. I had thought about coming to Sweden when I was growing up, and when I came here it all turned out to be true.
I really like being able to have deep conversations with the people here about technology and innovation. Everyone has their things they’re interested about but they’re also easy to talk to, even when it gets pretty deep. I’ve learned how to give better feedback and put myself into other people’s shoes. How to express myself more naturally, even if I have to work at it a bit.
These two years have been the most significant years in my life—both personally and for my career. Before this, I don’t even remember who I was or what I was trying to do with my life. But now I’m becoming a leader.
When I left Albania, I thought that coming here would give me more confidence and upgrade my skills so I could go back to my country and make a contribution. But I realized that I first need to focus on myself first. And coming here was like breaking free and becoming more of myself, not being judged and, yeah, just being happy with who I am."

Vjola Velikaj

To learn more about the master's programme, see Master's Programme in Design for Creative and Immersive Technology.

Visit su.se/study for more information about studying at Stockholm University.

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