As you probably noticed, more and more Chinese students appeared on the streets of Veszprém in the last few months. You can practically see them almost all around town. So we decided to look into this mystery.
First of all we contacted Gábor Söveges, the international officer of our university, who coordinated these Chinese students’ arrival. We got to know that totally 65 students came from China with the help of a recruitment agency in Beijing since September of 2014, 16 of them just arrived at the end of March. This agency helped to recruit the students from the beginnings.
We also heard that most of these students start their studies in the University of Pannonia with an intensive English or Hungarian language course. It mainly takes 2-3 semesters provided by the Faculty of Modern Philology and Social Sciences. At the end of the preparatory language course, they should have an appropriate level of English or Hungarian before they begin their studies at the university. They can only start the desired BA programs after passing this preparatory period. In the case of the newcomers, we got to know that after this 11 of them will begin their courses at the Faculty of Business and Economics, 3 will go to the Faculty of Modern Philology and Social Sciences and 2 will attend lectures at the Faculty of Information Technology. In most cases, they would only like to get a Bachelor’s degree here in Veszprém. Some indicated though that they would not like to stop after the BA, which they already admitted at the application process.
The Chinese students mainly decided to study in Veszprém for of the training supply, the affordable tuition fees, and the existence of the previously mentioned language courses.
Luckily, some students shared their impressions and emotions with us about Hungary, giving us some personal information about them. Our first interviewees were Kerry and Anna who arrived in Veszprém at the end of March. They said that they heard many positive things from other Chinese students who have already studied here, that is why they decided to come to Hungary as soon as possible. Kerry said that she didn’t know anything about our country before her journey, so she didn’t have too much expectation. Despite, she has only had positive surprises so far. She is impacted by the architectural style and the beautiful environment of Hungary on top of the friendliness of the warm-hearted locals. They have already made some journeys in the countryside, e.g. they visited Lake Balaton with their friends; but Kerry also has some further plans for the future like visiting the Christmas Market in Budapest at the winter.
Filan and Kevin also helped us to get more information about how Chinese students feel about staying and studying in Hungary. However, they have more experience about our country as they have been here since last November. They mentioned that the beautiful environment and existing relationships between their former school and the University of Pannonia had a huge impact on making their decisions. They think that the Hungarian people are really friendly and always ready to give some help if needed. In spite of this, there are things they miss from home. Filan mentioned that sometimes he misses his family and his country very much, but he really likes to live here. Kevin said that he has only a few things that he misses because he can live almost the same way as in his hometown. He can eat nearly the same foods but he prefers them more spicy. He thinks that locals mainly use sugar and salt for flavouring their foods that is why it is not easy to find a well-flavoured dish here. As they are about to finish their language courses, they are planning to continue their BA studies. Filan will study environmental engineering while Kevin goes for tourism and catering from the next semester.
Gábor Söveges also confirmed the arrival of more Chinese students in the next semester, so be prepared to meet 20-25 new-comers in the autumn of 2016. In case you would like to get acquainted with a different culture here is a chance to visit and talk to them first hand!