Kristiāns Bokta: Students Need to Develop Self-directed Learning
Kristiāns Bokta, a student of the study programme “Communication and Public Relations”, has graduated from Balvi State Gymnasium and is currently approaching the end of his first year at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA). Kristiāns calls ViA his second home and shares his impressions about studying at the university. Kristiāns Bokta, a student of the study programme “Communication and Public Relations”, has graduated from Balvi State Gymnasium and is currently approaching the end of his first year at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA). Kristiāns calls ViA his second home and shares his impressions about studying at the university.
Why did you choose to study at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences?
Like every secondary school graduate, I had to make a difficult decision - what to do with my future? I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to a profession that would employ both hemispheres of the brain. I really like to be creative and communicate with people. After graduating from Balvi State Gymnasium, I paid attention to the offers of higher education institutions, and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences had an excellent academic reputation, as well as a great student environment. The turning point was at the moment when I started to pay more attention to the social media accounts of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. The university videos where students and graduates shared their experiences and thoughts about studying at ViA struck a chord with me. Therefore, at the moment when I could apply for studies, I had no doubt that ViA would become my second home.
What was your first impression of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences?
Already when submitting the documents for studies at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, I felt a special atmosphere and the kind attitude of the university. I remember, when entering Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, everyone was in a positive mood and with a smile on their face. I had a feeling that they had been expecting me here for a long time. Of course, the first day at the university was full of anxiety because everything was unfamiliar. However, it was wonderful to meet my future classmates and the godmothers of my class. After the first day at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, I was completely convinced that the coolest time of my life is about to begin.
What do you like about Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences?
I really like that Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences has an inspiring study environment and a friendly atmosphere. The staff treat students as equals and do their best to help us on a daily basis as much as they can. Studies at the university are very different from the previous learning process because students need to plan their time more and develop self-directed learning. Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences has successfully supported us because the transition from secondary school to university has been very smooth. Undoubtedly, the sense of community is strong.
In your opinion, how does Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences stand out?
Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences is unique in that it is not big, and everyone has the opportunity to feel a sense of community and realize that we belong to one big family. The university offers the opportunity to get out of one’s comfort zone and do something that has not yet occurred to anyone. An environment has been created here where students have the opportunity to experience more than the question and answer learning process. Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge to others, as well as to interact and communicate freely with their teachers.
How are you doing in distance learning? What did you like better – in-person or remote studies?
The first study year and distance learning sound a bit ironic, but life plays different jokes on us. Adapting to distance learning was not as difficult as I had originally thought. In addition, the Webex platform we use in the study process was really easy to set up, and it didn't take long to understand how it works. Distance learning has proven that effective time management and motivation is the key to success in distance learning. Of course, I miss meeting my classmates and friends, as well as the experience of real student life. I am glad that at least at the beginning of our studies we had a small opportunity to be present and get to know the life of students. Gradually, I have started to get used to distance learning. If I had to choose one or the other model, I would definitely say that I want to return to in-person learning, but I am already used to distance learning and could also continue this way.
What difficulties (if any) have you encountered in distance learning?
I am pleased to say that distance learning has not caused any difficulties. During this time, the lecturers have been great and have managed to organize excellent lectures. If there are any technical problems during the study process, we are able to overcome them together. Of course, you can always wish for more motivation, but it's a matter of time.
Did you have the possibility to live in the student hostel? Tell us about your impressions!
Yes, I spent my daily life in the student hostel until the beginning of distance learning. I can surely say that living in the student hostel is undoubtedly the most rewarding and necessary life experience that every student should enjoy. Living under one roof with so many different people really allows an individual to see the world from a whole new perspective. The student hostel is not just a place to spend the night, it is part of a close group of friends where you can ask for help, advice from your classmates and other people, or just talk at the student hostel kitchen. I believe that life in the student hostel will bring quite a few surprises.
Based on your impressions of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, how would you describe it in three words?
In my opinion, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences is best characterized by family spirit, professionalism and opportunities.