SEDS NU alumnus Akmaral Tokbergenova about an online semester in University of Stavanger, Norway

SEDS alumni Akmaral

SEDS Master of Engineering Management program students Ildar Beisekenov and Akmaral Tokbergenova were chosen for the Academic mobility program and have successfully completed an online student exchange program in University of Stavanger, Norway for the Spring 2021 semester.

We asked Akmaral to share her story and impressions after completing the semester.

– Please tell us about yourself.
– I was born in Taldykorgan and after graduation I moved to Nur-Sultan, to continue my studies. I received the bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from SEDS NU. And this year I’ve graduated Master of Engineering Management program.

– You went through the contest to study spring semester in University of Stavanger, due to the pandemic you had your studies online. How was it to attend digital studies with lectures and communication online?
– Since I had already taken several online courses at NU due to the pandemic, this was not unusual for me. However, something was still different, and I really liked it. Of course, studying online in my hometown, given the 4-5 hours difference, was really difficult because while everyone was enjoying their evening time, I was attending my online lectures. This semester completely changed my daily routine, but it was worth it. This daily routine also had positive aspects, as I could devote my daytime to other interesting activities.

I want to note that despite the online format of training, the professors tried their best to preserve the feeling of live communication and learning. My classmates did the same. I am very grateful to them that they were sympathetic to the fact that I was in another country and always took into account the time difference, trying to adjust to the time convenient for me.

– How did you feel the learning outcome was?
– I think that despite the online training format, I received a very good package of knowledge that I can use in the future. Some courses turned out to be something completely new for me, thanks to them I learned about such concepts and concepts that I had not even thought about before. Despite the fact that something was new to me, thanks to the professional work of the teachers, I mastered all the acquired knowledge well.

It was an unforgettable experience. I met new people, made friends, and felt like a part of a completely new community, despite the pandemic and distance of thousands of kilometers.

– What are your plans for the future?
– Since it was last semester for me in my Master’s program, I already have some plans for my future work. With Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and now a holder of a Master’s degree in Engineering management, I’m planning to combine both these directions and work as an Information systems engineer. And I already have an offer from local public medical organization, which wants me to work on digitalization of medical processes of this organization.

– Other experiences that you want to share with students that are thinking of applying for exchange abroad?
– The only thing I want to say to students thinking about posting to an exchange program is to be bold. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet new people, do new things, and take new courses for yourself. All this will bring positive results. Try to be as active as possible, even if you are studying online. For example, during my online studies, I managed to become a member of the 2 Winners research team, where we study and create digital twins. As part of this team, I attended a lot of online seminars and various interesting courses, for example, 3D modeling.

Therefore, I advise new students to make the most of the opportunities. Attend online seminars, try to communicate more with your classmates and learn something new, because it has become so accessible now, in the world of new technologies. And if a person really wants something, no pandemic will become a hindrance for him.