"The most transformative years of my life" - Interview with Evianda Noka, Class of 2021
Meet Evianda Noka from Albania, who graduated from LCC International University in 2021 with a degree in Contemporary Communication. Evianda describes her four years at LCC as the most transformative years of her life. So, what is it that made her studies at LCC so special? We recently sat down with Evianda to reflect on her time at LCC and how this education impacted her life post-graduation.
2017 was the year when Evianda decided to take a brave step into the unknown. LCC and Lithuania were the unknown to her since it was the first time she had left her home country and traveled alone. Evianda describes how she was limited to only her home culture, and coming to LCC, she would live and study with people from all over the world. And although frightening at first, this would turn out to be one of her favorite parts of life at LCC.
“The reason why I grew as a person was in part because of opportunities, but mostly it was because of the people that surrounded me. Classmates, dormmates, mentors, and professors. Grades, of course, are important, but at the end of the day, the memories with the people who encouraged me are the ones that are here to stay. Of course, it was challenging being away from my home country, away from my family, but the community at LCC became my family over the years. I learned a lot from them, from their struggles, cultures, and values. But you have to push yourself to meet people. For me, the initial challenge was meeting people outside of my own Albanian community. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet people from all the different countries.”
From the beginning of her studies, Evianda wanted to be active and involved in the leadership opportunities at LCC. As a sophomore she served in the Spiritual Life Team; during her junior year she was a First Year Seminar leader, and as a senior, she served as a Resident Assistant in the dorms. All of the positions contributed to her personal growth over the years, especially being a Resident Assistant. As she described, “Being a resident assistant was the most challenging out of all the leadership positions. It was all a great growth opportunity, especially since I had to do it through the covid restrictions.” Evianda also remembers having great mentors at LCC, who encouraged her to keep growing as a person.
During her time at LCC, Evianda also started something called “Vox Pop”, a video series interviewing students, faculty, and staff about their opinion on different matters related to life at LCC. She describes this project as her “love”. She said, “When we first started “Vox Pop” with my friends Albina and Natalia, no one knew about it. However, towards the end of my studies, even professors approached me asking about it.”
Thanks to her academic achievements and leadership positions at LCC, Evianda received a highly competitive merit-based scholarship to study Master’s in Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden. She shared, “The university selected 3 students out of 50 to get this scholarship. And I believe that I got it because of my four years at LCC. My professors were always encouraging me. Their office was always open. We would be sitting for hours talking about how to achieve our goals. I also know that God has used this time at LCC to build me up.”
We also asked Evianda to share a piece of advice with the incoming freshmen. She said, “Always go for the thing that scares you the most. For me, at first, the thing that scared me the most was leaving my country and family. But I took that challenge. So, if you want to grow, go with the thing that scares you the most. Go for it.
Just leave your comfort zone. If you don’t, your worldview is going to be limited and you will never know what beautiful things are out there. At LCC, you are out in the world.
LCC International University is a North American-style university in the heart of Europe. It offers liberal arts education, which for many of the students, such as Evianda, turns the four years of studies into the most transformative and impactful years of their lives. Learn more about studies at LCC here!
6 Jun 2023