What is it like for our Indian alumnus to live in Karviná and study PhD at our faculty? We asked!

  • Michal Stoklasa
  • 09.11.2022
Ing. Sarath Thulaseedharan Mallika, MBA, earned his master’s degree (Ing.) at SU SBA in June 2020. In 2021, he started studying for his PhD in English in the same field, Business Economics and Management. He was the first international Ph.D. student (if we omit Slovaks) to study at our faculty.

Authors: Mgr. Denisa Palionová, Ing. Veronika Novotná

What made you leave your native country and go to the other side of the world? 

Sarath: “I’ve always wanted to travel abroad and study at a foreign university since I was a kid. I’ve always been intrigued by how people in Western countries live their lives, and I believe that international involvement and a foreign degree would help me gain confidence and improve my career-building skills.” 

How did your family react to your decision? 

Sarath: “Before moving to the Czech Republic, I had already completed my Master of Business Administration (MBA) in India. My parents were confused about my decision to pursue another degree in a similar field, and they were also wondering how it would help me build a better career. In the beginning, it was very difficult to convince them as they always wanted me to stay with them. They asked me to find a university in my state if I wanted to study again. But other members of my family stood by me, especially my sister, who helped convince my parents.” 

Why did you opt for the Silesian University? 

Sarath: “The guidance counsellor in my town told me about the Silesian University. I once went to his office because he and his staff were assisting students in finding good universities and courses. I began researching all of the universities, courses, and countries available on the internet. I chose the Silesian University primarily because of the affordable tuition fees, but also because the Czech Republic has a lower cost of living than the rest of Europe and is one of the safest countries in the world.” 

What was the most difficult thing after arriving in the Czech Republic? 

Sarath: “One thing that was and still is the most difficult for me is definitely the language.” 

How and in what ways does the education system in India and the Czech Republic differ? 

Sarath: “The Indian system of higher education is largely based on the British system of education. Courses are available only in English (the language of instruction is high school English). Students and teachers often maintain a very formal relationship and universities frequently evaluate students based on their academic performance rather than their overall performance. University education in India focuses more on theoretical knowledge and examinations are held according to a given schedule, giving students no flexibility in choosing dates and schedules. What I liked about this system in the Czech Republic is the kind of friendly relationship between students and teachers and the flexibility it provides to students. The way the exams are conducted compared to India is very relaxed and students are given more dates and options to decide when to take the exam.” 

How do you perceive the study atmosphere and relationships between students? 

Sarath: “The study atmosphere at Silesian University is the best I have ever experienced. I graduated from one of the top universities in India, but the experience I have had at Silesian University has been excellent and I have always appreciated the way the faculty and other staff have catered to our needs. The International Office has always been there whenever we needed help and support.” 

How often have you gone home during your studies? 

Sarath: “Once every year.” 

What is your favourite memory of the Silesian University so far? 

Sarath: “Every memory of my studies at the Silesian University and my stay in Karviná. I am proud that every faculty member has worked every day to provide the best experience for their students. I cannot thank them enough for making me feel like my decision was not a bad one.” 

What appealed to you most during your stay in the Czech Republic? 

Sarath: “What attracted me most was the beauty of the country and the lifestyle of the people. I liked how people enjoy every second of their lives.” 

Are you planning to stay with us permanently? 

Sarath: “I’d love to. But I haven’t decided yet. It’s something I need to discuss with my family.” 

What did you do after your graduation from Master’s? 

Sarath: “After I graduated in 2020, I worked for an American company as a Staff associate in Brno.” 

What made you decide to continue with PhD studies? 

Sarath: “I always loved teaching and it has been my passion for many years. Having a PhD degree will definitely help me achieve my dreams.” 

How has your first year as a doctoral student been? 

Sarath: “It was challenging as I was the first student enrolled for the programme in English. But everyone in the department supported me and helped me when in need.” 

Do you work and study at the same time? 

Sarath: “Yes. I am working as a full-time employee (homeoffice) for a travel and tourism company in Brno.” 

What are your recommendations for international students who are considering studying at the SU? 

Sarath: “In my experience, they will not regret their choice of university and country. But it depends on their requirements, perceptions, and priorities. If their priority is affordable quality education, they are in the right place.” 

Some interesting facts about India: 

  • The traditional Indian women’s robe sari is made up of a single five to nine-metre-long strip of cloth. 
  • The popular game “Snakes and Ladders” originated in India. 
  • India was the first country to mine diamonds. 
  • India has the world’s second-largest population of English speakers (followed by the United States). 
  • India follows a six-season calendar, recognizing spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, prewinter, and winter. 
  • Measuring 600ft (182m) in height, the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India is currently the tallest statue in the world. 
  • India is the world’s largest producer of milk. 
  • The Golden Temple of Amritsar feeds up to 100,000 people – regardless of race, religion, or class – for free, every single day. 
  • The concept of arranged marriage continues to exist among Indians and it is a fundamental part of ‘Indian Traditions’. 
  • Women in India own 11% of the world’s gold.