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Stipendium Hungaricum Gala 2018
The Hungarian government launched the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme five years ago. Thanks to that, this year there are more than seven thousand international students studying in Hungary. Every fourth international student of the University of Pécs is studying here with the Stipendium Hungaricum. However, among the higher education institutions of Hungary, we are the only one hosting a special welcome event for the newly arrived scholarship students, giving them a great time and an opportunity to get to know each other. The University of Pécs organized the Stipendium Gala for the third time, in the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter on 26 October 2018. The moderator of the event was Péter Árvai, deputy director of the Centre for Internationalization and Connections.
The room was filled with elegantly dressed students taking selfies. Attila Miseta rector and Zsolt Páva mayor greeted the audience. István Tarrósy, the director of the Centre for Internationalization and Connections gave a warm welcome speech, starting with a Hungarian greeting: “Szép jó estét kívánok mindenkinek! (Good evening, everyone!)” He also let students say the name of Pécs out loud, which might have sounded slightly different before, something like “pex” or “pix”. “Welcome to one of the most international universities of Hungary,” – continued the director. “Why is that you may ask? Because of you. You have made an important decision to take this opportunity to study here with this scholarship. I hope this will be the best decision you ever made, to come to Pécs, to study here and to graduate, and meanwhile become attached to the community here. Half of your hearts will be Hungarian.”
István Tarrósy emphasized, that both the city and the university will do everything in their power to make the students feel at home in Pécs, he said: the presence of the international students adds tremendous value to the community.
Beautiful songs performed by Samuel Akinola opened the show. The Nigerian student of the Faculty of Health Sciences achieved the prestigious third place in the Voice of PTE (UP) competition in 2018, he certainly enchanted the audience with his fantastic voice, and soulful performance.
Two students, Shairil Bhardwaj from the Faculty of Humanities, and Khan Fakhar Mahmood from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology spoke about their experiences in Pécs. Their main message was to:
„be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, because it is worth it.”
“This diversity is beautiful” – emphasized Khan Fakhar Mahmood, who explained to the audience when he felt a bit lost regarding his studies, and how he immediately received help and support. He added: he will be able to share numerous stories about this period with his family. He finds Hungary especially beautiful, and the people here world citizens. He highlighted how grateful he is for the professors Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology for the well-organized education system, fitting in has been very easy for him.
Shairil Bhardwaj said that it took her four months to think of Pécs as her home. According to her one of the reasons, why that was made easier was that she had the opportunity to travel around in Europe, always coming back to Pécs as the final destinations. She thinks that it is important that she got to know many people from other countries, who are like a second family for her. She feels thankful for being able to realize the almost unbelievable independence and freedom that she experienced through this scholarship.
After the buffet dinner, the Eszterlánc band followed by Mongooz and the Magnet gave great concerts. The former introduced traditional Hungarian music, while the latter are another success story at the University of Pécs: the band was founded by international students studying in Pécs, whose music is now well known in Hungary.