Mgr. John Mark Chavez Opon

My name is John Mark Chavez Opon and I am 26 years old. I originated from the Philippines but lately I have been living in Slovakia for almost 6 years. My hobbies include singing, reading literature and travelling. I came to Slovakia in the year of 2013 as a full time foreign student at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. I had been studying there for 5 long years and I have finished my Masters degree just recently.

Since my early age I viewed teachers as model citizens of which occupation attracted me so much that it became my life goal. Therefore, after finishing high school, without hesitation, I enrolled in a program of pedagogy at a municipal college in the Philippines. During the sixth semester of my studies I was presented with an attractive offer developing my further studies at a higher level – at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra respectively. I enrolled in English Language and Culture during my Bachelor’s study and continued on at the Masters-degree level studying English Language and Literature.

If most Europeans claim that their first visit to the USA was accompanied by cultural shock, then the transfer from Far East to Europe was a similar experience. Its cultural aspect positively extended my general outlook, but different university system and new teaching methodologies became a great challenge at the beginning of my studies. In spite of my near-executed plan to give up the studies, the teachers of the UKF were encouraging me to hang on. At the end of the first semester, they had exhaustively analyzed my situation in order to uncover where my drawbacks might have been. Thanks to their pedagogical professionalism, they soon succeeded in solving my problem. It turned out that the UKF system was too different from the methodology used in the Philippines. Under the guidance of teachers I soon managed to overcome this trouble.

I am currently employed at a very prestigious secondary school Gymnázium Párovská – as an English teacher. I spent a lot of time researching various schools in this city, and I happen to find this institution to be the most modern, high quality and of a very good reputation. Also, my friends and colleagues confirmed that this is one of the best secondary school in Nitra. Having this information, to be a part of their teaching team became my desired target. I immediately submitted my application for the position, and luckily enough, I got the job even though that it was my first work interview ever.

My whole experience in Slovakia, especially good times at university, has taught me great lessons in life. Now that I am starting my career and living my life as a teacher is a dream which came true. Thanks to my great mentors who inspired me to pursue higher targets, for which they offered their never ending encouragement, I managed to achieve one of my most important life goals. This journey was not easy, but having the right people around me made eventually the impossible doable. I have to say that I am a proud product of KLIŠ at UKF in Nitra.