There are a lot of people at the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera with an interesting life story. One of whom is our dear colleague and Professor of Dentistry, Arlinda Luzi Luzi. She was interviewed by intern Amélie Windels, one of our temporary assistants at the International Relations Office who comes from Belgium and the Flemish KH Leuven University.
Arlinda Luzi Luzi has been a Dentistry Professor at the university for more than eight years. She is one of our international professors from another European country, Albania to be precise, which is where she studied and worked for a year as a professor of surgery. One day she participated in a Scientific Conference, which is what brought her to Valencia, and that’s the moment her life changed, all because of this visit. In Valencia she met her future husband, which became the main reason behind her to move from Albania to Spain.
Since she was very young, she has always been clear on what she wanted to do: Arlinda wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. After finishing her initial studies, she had various options, among them was the option to continue her studies and do a Masters. Her parents advised her to study dentistry as there are a lot of employment opportunities and she would be at the end of her training before she would even be able to specialise in medicine. As she has said, her decision to study dentistry has been one of the best she has made her whole life.
The challenges of an international career
On arriving in a new country, she decided to peruse her studies with a Masters in Endodontics at the Universitat de València. Her path to becoming a dentist in Spain was not easy. There were problems with the recognition of her studies in Albania and enrolling in the course, but little by little she overcame all the obstacles that stood in her way. It was also difficult to find a job in Spain because of the economic crisis that was happening at the time. In order to better integrate into the local community, Arlinda had to learn a new language (Castilian Spanish, which she speaks perfectly) that she added to here fluent English, Italian and her native language – Albanian. She also had to get used to a new culture and the customs of our country.
She told us that being a professor of Dentistry makes her feel like she is doing her dream job. She is now doing the job that she always wanted to do: being a teacher and what’s even better is she is doing it in an area that she has always been interested in.
It is easy to say that Arlinda is uniting her two passions, teaching and dentistry. Arlinda enjoys being in contact with the patients and the students and considers them both to be an important part of her work. In the same way that she loves the combination of research and teaching and being able to pass on her knowledge to the students. She explains that she can’t comprehend the idea of doing research without being a teacher.
Written by Gabriela Onofrejová, intern at the Faculty of Health Sciences.