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“I am in love with Hungary” – interview with the 3000th international student

Monday, 28 November, 2016

We asked Mohamed Omar Youssef Shaaban Mahmoud, the 3000th international student of the University about Pécs, about studies and about his experiences. He has been here just for a few months, but he already feels at home and has great future plans in Hungary.

Photo: Mohamed Omar Youssef Shaaban Mahmoud
On the day of the ceremony.

 

Why did you choose this study programme at the University of Pécs?

I chose to study international relations at the University of Pécs because I love what the programme consists of; I am very much interested in political science, I love history, economics, sociology and also languages and this programme offered me the chance to study all of that in one place. In addition to this I looked at the different acknowledged universities rankings websites and the University of Pécs was always in very good positions. And, of course I read about Hungary in general and Pécs specifically and I was in love with it before I came here. I knew it was the right place to pursue my education. Now, 2 months later, I am certain that I made the right decision to come here and I am very glad I did.

 What are your experiences about your study programmes?

My experiences have so far been absolutely positive. A pleasant surprise I found on my first week was that my class consisted of around 25 students coming from around 20 countries. The classroom is a truly international environment. Such diversity and sharing my lessons with enthusiastic people coming from the different corners of the globe adds a lot to my experience and my education, especially since I'm studying international relations. The subjects are great, and the teachers are professional with a vast knowledge and they are always very helpful. So, everything is really motivating me and it has been more than great so far and I am enjoying my education here very much.

 

 

Why did you choose this study programme at the University of Pécs?

I chose to study international relations at the University of Pécs because I love what the programme consists of; I am very much interested in political science, I love history, economics, sociology and also languages and this programme offered me the chance to study all of that in one place. In addition to this I looked at the different acknowledged universities rankings websites and the University of Pécs was always in very good positions. And, of course I read about Hungary in general and Pécs specifically and I was in love with it before I came here. I knew it was the right place to pursue my education. Now, 2 months later, I am certain that I made the right decision to come here and I am very glad I did.

 What are your experiences about your study programmes?

My experiences have so far been absolutely positive. A pleasant surprise I found on my first week was that my class consisted of around 25 students coming from around 20 countries. The classroom is a truly international environment. Such diversity and sharing my lessons with enthusiastic people coming from the different corners of the globe adds a lot to my experience and my education, especially since I'm studying international relations. The subjects are great, and the teachers are professional with a vast knowledge and they are always very helpful. So, everything is really motivating me and it has been more than great so far and I am enjoying my education here very much.

How do you like Hungary and a city of Pécs?

I am in love with Hungary, I had already known that Hungary was a lovely country before I came here and when I arrived here it was even better than I thought. My favourite thing here is, undoubtedly, the people. I love the Hungarian people very much. I am always warmly welcomed, and always greeted with a smile. I can see how people are interested when I say I am from Egypt, and often asking me about my home country. In addition to this whenever I needed help, I could easily find it. The Hungarian people are incredibly kind, warm hearted, and welcoming and I am grateful for everything they have done for me so far.

What are your favourite places in Pécs?

My favourite place in Pécs is the historical area near the city center. I love the small streets there, the small colourful houses, the cosy shops, this area just gives me a comforting feeling I cannot really put in words.

What do you think about the public transport, about the food, about your accommodation?

Public transport, especially the buses are an important part of my everyday life here. I had some problems at first because I was not familiar with the bus system, but with time I adapted and everything was clear to me. I got the monthly ticket for the bus, and it makes moving around the city much easier. Regarding food, I have still not fully experienced the Hungarian cuisine, I would love to though, but there are many kinds of food similar to those in Egypt, like Falafel and Kebab. Also this week I tried Hungarian homemade Fasirt and I absolutely loved it. And about my accommodation, I live in Szántó Kollégium which is a university's dormitory and I can say it is quite good. It offers an international community; I can find the necessary facilities and the staff are very helpful. I think I will probably move into private accommodation though in the next year because I believe this is more comfortable for me.

Photo: Mohamed Omar Youssef Shaaban Mahmoud 
Omar with his girlfriend's family 

What do you miss from home? Where there any surprising difference between Pécs and your home county?

Of course the thing I miss the most is my family. Although we do talk everyday, I miss how it feels to be at home and with my parents and my two brothers. My mother's hug, my mother's food, these things are irreplaceable. I also miss the weather very much, here it is a bit too cold for me. But it is worth it though and hopefully soon I will be reunited with my parents. I guess the biggest difference is that Hungary is completely green and full of nature while Egypt is rather yellow.

 

What do you do in your free time?

Every weekend I travel to the north of Hungary to spend as much time as I can with my beautiful girlfriend who is Hungarian, and with her lovely family. They have introduced me to a lot cultures and habits and of course the food of Hungary, and they always try to teach me a bit of Hungarian as well. So I absolutely love my weekends.

 

What do you think about the other foreign students of the University of Pécs?

Other foreign students are everywhere around me, in the dorms or in the classroom like I have mentioned, and they are an important part of my day-to-day experience, and they definitely make it better. I can learn something new everyday, meet new people from everywhere in the world. Pécs is truly a students' city.

What are your future plans? Do you have future plans in Hungary?

It has been my goal since a long time to work in politics in the hopes of making things better in my home country, in the same time I would also love to teach at the university level, therefor, after getting my degree I plan to pursue further education, hopefully at the University of Pécs to obtain a master's degree and later a phd degree. I feel at home here and I plan to stay here for a long time.

 

What do you mean for you that you were the 3000th international student of the university?

Being the 3000th international student is a great honour, I am lucky to be here and I am thankful and grateful for all that the University of Pécs, the city, and Hungary have done for me so far. I aim to return this favour by being a good model, and by spreading the word to others and encourage them to study in a beautiful country like Hungary and a fantastic place like the University of Pécs.

 

How did you like the ceremony?

I was honoured and lucky to be invited to the ceremony and to meet with Professor Bódis, the rector of the university and to be sitting next to the great people who were being rewarded for their life-long works during the ceremony. It was an unforgettable experience and I am grateful for the invitation.


www.pte.hu/english