Nada Ihanec, MSc graduate in Physics and Astrophysics

Nada, why did you decide for Master’s studies of Physics and Astrophysics at the School of Science?
When choosing a master’s study programme I had the impression that studying Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Nova Gorica will give me the broadest insight into astrophysics. I’ve always been keen on this study area and when I saw the course syllabus at the School of Science, I simply knew it was the right choice for me.

Why did you find your studies at the School of Science so special and what did you particularly like about them?
Besides various courses dealing with astrophysics, I really liked the fact that there were only two students enrolled in my year of studies, so the lectures were more relaxed, almost individual, which contributed to a better understanding of the subject, and at the same time it gave me self-confidence in aking questions – first during lectures and later also at international conferences. I also liked the way the lectures were organised – we had two or three courses a week, which lasted for some weeks until we covered all the study matter, and then we took the exam. This enabled me continuous progress at individual courses, which turned out to be extremely effective. At most of the courses, English language was regularly used, and this was another advantage since good knowledge of English is of key importance in science and astronomy.

Your studies offered a large variety of elective courses. Why is such a wide range of electives useful for students?
I was fascinated by the large offer of courses in the area of astronomy – from High Energy Astrophysics, Dark Matter Physics and the Theory of Relativity to Multi-wavelength View on Astrophysical Objects.
This gave me a broad insight into all areas of astrophyisics and is a great basis for further studies, no matter which area you eventually choose.

Whom would you recommend this study programme and the profession itself?
I would recommend the Master’s study programme Physics and Astrophysics at the School of Science to all those who are interested in astrophysics and would like to obtain a degree in this field.
After finishing my MSc study, I enrolled in PhD study at the University of Warsaw – Astronomical Observatory, and I am currently in my 3rd year of studies. At the beginning of the academic year I also got the opportunity to work as a »Support Astronomer« for the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma for ten months. Here I am currently performing observations with the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope, and I also take part in testing the new WEAVE instrument at the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope.
I think that my decision to study at the School of Science of the University of Nova Gorica played a key role in my current and future academic career, and at this point I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Andreja Gomboc, who was my mentor for my Master’s thesis and also later, during the European Space Agency (ESA) Prodex Project, Gaia Transients.

Foto: Nada Ihanec archive