Show academics

Sophia is taking a master in Smart Systems Integration

Eriola-Sophia Shanko is from Albania/Greece and is currently finishing her master thesis in Smart Systems Integration (SSI).


Sophia is a master student at our Joint International Master in Smart Systems Integration. Photo.What was the most educating and interesting thing about the SSI-master?
– The creation and manipulation of objects not visible to the human eye. The SSI MSc gave me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge on fabricating, simulating and characterizing such bodies, in theory and action. I was amazed by the substance of the material I was being taught and I am really happy I managed to get the most out of it.

What surprised you the most about the master?
– I have a list to provide in regard to this question! The lab technology, the student- teacher interaction, the friendship bond between the students. But the most surprising was the expertise of each institute on the area I was covering in my curriculum material.

The master consists of three different institutions in various countries. Each institute specializes in a specific part of my MSc’s curriculum. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was getting the best from the best.

Why should students pay for this master when there are other masters at least here in Norway which are free?
– What you pay is what you get. There are many masters around the world that would not cost a penny, and if I was going for the money I would go for those, too. But what about their competence? The technology and substance of course material provided in each case differs. I chose this MSc after many hours of search!

What is the most rewarding about being in three different countries the two years you study for the master in SSI?
– Moving and settling down from country to country has not been an easy case. But the personal development I got through the everyday interaction with people from different cultures, the horizon broadening due to the experience in living in other countries and the beautiful friends I made during these two years, are the most rewarding.   

What is the most challenging about being in three different countries the two years you study for the master in SSI?
– My BSc has been in Greek, so I had to adjust to being taught in English. It didn’t take much to adapt but it was definitely challenging.

In addition, this has been the first time I left home for time longer than a week. Therefore, I missed my family and friends a lot… at least in the beginning! Then I got used to it.

Is this an opportunity for students to get a network and a job abroad?
– Absolutely! It was easy for me to find a summer internship in a company in Norway, and then a thesis project in Switzerland. The MSc is known in the market and competitive to the masters in Europe. Whoever wishes to work abroad; the SSI is a powerful tool.    

Can you get a job in your own country with this master?
– Unfortunately, there are not many companies I could work nowadays in Greece with my qualifications. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I found a couple upcoming ones and I am confident that the moment I will decide going back, I will be instantly “absorbed” from the market.