University Life in Hungary – Through Polish eyes29.03.2010.
Related article:Hungarian Studies for foreigners in the Balassi Institute
„Few of my friends went on ERASMUS earlier than me. They were in Norway, Greece, Spain, Slovenia, the Netherlands, so I had to choose something new and equally nice. And of course 'the Pole and Hungarian are two good friends, they fight and drink their wine together' so I thought it would be a good place for me!" - says Iga Wawrzynczak, who studies International Relations this semester at the Corvinus University of Budapest.
Similarly to Iga, a number of Poles decide to come to Hungary each year, in order to complete a semester at university here. Naturally, their motivations vary. Among the students interviewed by felvi.hu, some realise an old desire by a partial educational program in Hungary, while others choose the country only because of its proximity and in hope of a cheaper living as compared to Western European conditions.
The Hungarian program is the most popular
Polish youths interested in Hungarian Studies can choose the discipline in three cities, Krakow, Poznań and Warsaw within Poland. It is not compulsory for them to attend a partial program in Hungary, but 10-15 Polish students study at ELTE nearly each semester.
„I find this an extremely good opportunity to acquaint with Hungarian culture more closely and learn the language better. A daily connection with language helped me a lot, and by now I am not afraid to speak, know more about Hungarians and Budapest." - we have learned from Joanna Kozakiewicz, student of Hungarian from Poznań, who spent a semester at ELTE a year ago, with a Polish state grant.
Students interviewed by felvi.hu are satisfied with the program at ELTE, and an important factor they emphasis is that during their scholarship period they not only have an opportunity to learn about Hungarian culture and learn the language within the framework of university courses, but can also be participants of the culture and daily users of the language. They spend a semester in Hungary, most often with a Polish scholarship. However, naturally, there are some exceptions here, too! Among these is Anna Gołembiewska, who was granted the one-year scholarship of the Hungarian Scholarship Board Office after spending a semester at ELTE, and is thus spending her second semester at the Balassi Institute.
After completing a semester in Hungary, several of them plan to return to Budapest later with a degree in Hungarian, to find employment here for a few years.
English language exchange studies in other fields
In this semester, there are ten Polish ERASMUS students studying at the Semmelweis University, which is highly popular among foreign students - as one of them, Kamil Chorążka has told us.
Polish students participating in the ERASMUS and CEEPUS programs study Economics and international relations, also in the capital city. Altogether six students arrived to the Corvinus University of Budapest from Krakow, Warsaw and Wrocław this semester - as we have learned from Ildikó Kánya International Rapporteur.
Currently one Polish student is studying at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics - as we have been informed by Gabriella Nagy, a member of the Erasmus and Exchange Office staff.
Five students arrived from Lublin to the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Humanities located in Piliscsaba this year with an ERASMUS scholarship - a Hungarian fellow student has reported. Beside their disciplinary studies, they participate in the one-semester English language Central European Studies university program.
Life in Budapest
Exchange students interviewed by felvi.hu enjoy their stay in Budapest, they think that they made the right choice. Joanna emphasised the colourful cultural programs of the capital city: „there are a lot of interesting concerts and exhibitions!" Several of them added that Hungarians are nice and helpful people, although they often face difficulties in the streets or at the marketplace, as few people, mainly the young speak English.
They praised student life, mentioning Hungarian students who support them and organise programs for them. So they participate in outings and different events from time to time. Apart from this, international student life takes place in popular pubs in the city centre where they can meet in the evenings. Some of them even have a student pub in Budapest where they are regular guests!
The geographical distance is not so big between the two counties, and they also belong to the same region. However, when a Polish student arrives here, the difference he immediately recognises are the much higher prices. „Unfortunately, life in Hungary is more expensive than it is back in Poland." - as we have learned from Anna.
„To be honest, the scholarship is not enough to cover the rent, food and, e.g., the transport." - as Kamil, a student participating in the ERASMUS program, like many others from Poland, has told us. Those with a Polish state scholarship are luckier in this respect. „The scholarship covers our costs: we can go to the theatre or movies, and even had some money for beer! So I cannot complain!" - Joanna added.