I GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL

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1 EXPERIENCE REPORT Study Program: Organization Studies (OS, Organisatiewetenschappen) Exchange semester: Fall Academic year: 2014/2015 Host University: University of Pécs Country: Hungary I GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL The school and its surroundings: The city I lived in was Pécs. I think it is the 5 th big city of Hungary. Of course it is smaller than Budapest but I really liked that about the city. It is big, but you are able to get to know almost all of the exchange students and it s not so easy to get lost in Pécs. The university is located through the whole city in comparison with Tilburg University this was a minus. But you could reach all parts of the University with public transportation and it was even in walking distance, than it was a walk of around 30 minutes to go from the Business faculty to the faculty of Humanities. At these two faculty s I had courses that I followed. The faculty of Business was the biggest faculty, there was a sort of coffee corner and you could lunch there, also the library was really close to this faculty. The faculties were kind of close to the city center and it is thus possible to go to the city center and eat your lunch there. Király utca was the main street with lots of bars and restaurants, this was around 10min walking from the faculty of Business. The university even had a dancing university, you could follow here one dance class for free, this was really cool. Pécs is really an awesome city it has a lot of culture and the main square is absolutely amazing. The city has a lot of beautiful cultural things to visit. They also had two kind of markets, a Christmas market, with hot wine, food and other things to buy. They also had the wine festival in the beginning of September, of course again with wine and food. There was a great atmosphere there. Then there was the TV-tower which gave an awesome view over the city. Furthermore, Pécs is really close to the border with Croatia, it s easy to visit other country s from this point. There are a lot of faculty s at the University of Pécs. The ones that were important for me was the Faculty of Business & Economics and the Faculty of Humanities. Furthermore there were: - Faculty of Law - Medical School - Faculty of Health Science - Faculty of Adult Education and Human Resources Development - Faculty of Music and Visual Arts - Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology - Faculty of Sciences I think in the fall semester there were around 200 Exchange students, the main countries were the exchange students were from were Brazil, France and Spain. There were also people from America, China and Bangladesh I think most of the European countries were represented in Pécs. II PRACTICAL INFORMATION Information before you left I received the information in the beginning of May, this was apparently already a bit too late for the University of Pécs, because they want to know everything as soon as possible. My date for sending in the courses I wanted to follow etc. was the 14 th of May. This gave some stress but everything turned out fine. Of course, I got a lot of help from our International office. Arrival You had to take care of everything yourself. Since Pécs does not have its own airport you have to arrange transport for yourself from the airport in Budapest to Pécs. You can rent a mini-bus (mistral) and then someone picks you up and brings you to your destination. You can also take the train and then it is arranged that someone from the faculty or ESN picks you up at the trainstation in Pécs. You can also take a taxi these are very cheap. At the university

2 they helped you really good with everything, if you encounter any problems they always help you to find a solution. The international office at the faculty of Business and Economics was very helpful. Orientation/Introduction activities In the first week of September there was an introduction week. After this week there was an introduction camp, organized by ESN*PÉCS. The introduction week was organized by the faculty. We got Hungarian food, and of course a lot of information about our upcoming semester there. We got this kind of small book where we could find the classes and other information. They also took us to some interesting places in Pécs and they even organized a pub crawl for us. Furthermore we all got mentors, these mentors were Hungarian students and the university appointed one of them to you. They will contact you and if you have any problems or questions, they are always there to help you. The introduction weekend organized by ESN is more or less like the introduction camps you are used to in Tilburg. Housing I lived in the accommodation that the university had for the exchange students. It was called the Hunyor Hotel, in this hostel were students from Europe located, so the Erasmus students. Students from America, China, Canada etc. were located in other dormitory s. I filled in, in my application form, that I wanted to live the university s accommodation. So I didn t need to find a place myself after my arrival. In Hunyor, I lived with one other Dutch girl in the room. We met before on Facebook, but you can also chose to live with someone you don t know. The dormitory appoints you than to a roommate. We had a bathroom for the two of us. Furthermore there was one kitchen which we needed to share with the rest of the dormitory which was about 80 people. So this was a bit small, but they are busy with a second kitchen. The dormitory was old, but good enough for one semester. If you are planning to stay longer, I recommend you to find a place by yourself. But living in a dormitory is a really good way to get to know the rest of the people. Living Costs Before my exchange I worked in a store, I saved my money a bit but of course as a student you can never save enough money. So next to the Erasmus grant I had an extra student loan. But this was together more than enough. Compared to Tilburg, Hungary was a bit cheaper. Of course you can make everything as expensive as you want, but it s possible to live with less money than in The Netherlands. For the room in my dormitory I paid 130,- a month, this is also way cheaper as a room in Tilburg. Also with going to party s Pécs is cheaper than going to a bar in The Netherlands. I also did a few trips, these are the things were I spent the most money on. But making trips and seeing more of Eastern Europe is definitely worth it. Approximate monthly budget whilst on exchange: Housing 130 Food 150 Transport 40 Books - Other 50 Total: 380 Academic Calendar The beginning of the academic calendar was in the second week of September, in the first week we had as I mentioned before an introduction week. The last week of the semester was the 23th of January I already came back to Tilburg on the 19 th of December 2014 because the official final exams started on the 15 th of December Because you are an exchange student the teachers are most likely to give you an earlier date or a date in the first week. The last day of classes are different in each faculty but in Business it was the 12 th of December We had a midterm break in October. This is an awesome break to plan a nice trip! The International Office At the University of Pécs is an international office, responsible for this offices and the incoming exchange students was in my year Judit Trombitas, with an intern and someone from the university who wrote her master s thesis. The office was really helpful, if you had

3 any problems you could always go to them and they helped me with everything. They organized the orientation week and give us all the necessary information. Exchange promotion I did not promote Tilburg University actively. The things I did to promote Tilburg University was in first of course behave in my best behavior. I also had conversations about Tilburg University with Hungarian students who were planning to go on exchange as well. Furthermore I saw some information about Tilburg University in the international office already. Social Activities The social activities which were organized, were mainly organized in the orientation week. During the semester there were a few more activities. But there is as I mentioned before, ESN*PÉCS, they organized a lot of activities. Every week was a country presentation, each group of students from the same country made a presentation/video around 15min and made food which was typical for their country. Furthermore they organized parties, and other activities like weekend trips. Through these activities you came a lot in contact with other exchange students. The main activity for contacting other exchange students was the introduction weekend. The contact with Hungarian students was more because of classes, but the contact with these students was not that much. I enjoyed my time with ESN, but be careful if you want to do a trip with them or other student organizations. These trips can be more expensive than it needs to be. Last but not least, during my exchange I traveled to lake Balaton in Hungary, and other countries like Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia. Really, you should try to travel as much as possible! It s amazing! Culture and Language The Hungarian culture is similar to the Dutch culture, so I wouldn t say I experienced a culture shock. I did have a period that I missed my family and friends very much, so you could say this was a kind of culture shock but more about missing people and not so much about missing The Netherlands and the things we do here. Of course there are some differences between The Netherlands and Hungary. I think the biggest difference is that people from The Netherlands are very clear about what they want and tell people what they think. Another big difference is that the country is not as wealthy as the Netherlands. You can find a lot more homeless people in Pécs than you can find in Tilburg. Also public transportation is cheaper and they use the old busses that are not good enough for us anymore (even with Dutch text). But still everything works fine! I found the people in Pécs very friendly. As long as you tried to speak in their language and was kind to them they really appreciated you. I did not hang out that much with the locals so I can only tell you what I experienced with the taxi drivers and the cashiers in the supermarket. One thing that was really different was the ability of speaking in English. Most younger Hungarians could speak in English but even at the university there were students who couldn t speak in English. The older people in Hungary cannot speak English at all. You have more chance with making yourself clear when you speak in German. I did follow a language course Hungarian at the University, this made it easier for me to do normal things, like going to the supermarket. Personal Development The thing that I got most out of my exchange period is the friends I made, who are living across the whole world, but especially Europe. I am really grateful for that! It changed me in a way that I know how much my family and friends mean to me. I thought these 4 months would be really easy, but in the end it was harder than I expected. It changed me also in the way that I am not that insecure anymore, because I know there are always people who are appreciate you for who you are. Furthermore I realized how much I like to travel. If I had more time in Hungary I definitely would have traveled more. It is awesome to meet different people from different countries and hear the differences in what you find so ordinary but what can be really strange for them. As a Dutch girl I heard a lot like, you are so rich and that we have so much stuff. I did not realize that before I came there, I learned that I should appreciate what I have and that there are people, even in Europe, who do not have everything that we as wealthy dutchies have. My best experience was the trip I made to Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina, it was awesome to do

4 this and use public transportation in these countries. Really I will never complain about the Dutch NS anymore. I also did a hitch-hike in Croatia to the border of Hungary. People are really nice if you are also nice to them. It was hard the hitch-hiking but it was a really good and fun experience. The worst thing I experienced were evenings that I felt kind of lonely, when my friends in The Netherlands were doing really awesome stuff. Of course I made friends myself in Hungary but still it is different from your friends in Holland, whom you know for several years. But still I will never forget and of course meet again the people I met there, they have a special place in my heart! III ACADEMIC INFORMATION Academic level at a host university The courses were offered in English, it was a English program of the university, also Hungarian students could follow these courses. They did their whole bachelor in English. The only course I took in the Hungarian language was the language course Hungarian. Of course, this was for a big part also in English. Unfortunately there was not enough choice for me in the faculty of Business alone, I already had done a lot of the courses they offered at Tilburg University, so I chose to do some courses at the faculty of Humanities in Psychology. In business I really recommend the course Strategic Management for the Bachelor. The teacher is awesome and you learn in a different way than you learn things here at Tilburg University. In overall the workload during the semester was quite the same as it would have been in Tilburg. Although I think the exams are easier. Especially the exams at the faculty of Humanities. There are not so many Hungarian students who do the English program, so the classes are around 25 people, which is a big difference from Tilburg. So because of the smaller groups teaching style can be different in some cases. Of course there is more interaction between students and professor. It still depends on the teacher whether or not the class is more theoretical or more practical. In the faculty of Business in Distribution Channels it was more just lectures, but also there were presentations (group work) of students every class. Strategic Management was really more practical focused, it involved group work, presentations, seminars and lectures. In the faculty of Humanities, it was more just lectures. The teachers in both faculties were really approachable. In general I think studying in Hungary, in Pécs is easier that studying at Tilburg University. Which makes it easier to get high grades and be positive about your results! It gives you more room to experience the country and the people there which is really positive during your exchange. Exams The only exams I needed to make were written exams. These are comparable with the exams we have in The Netherlands. The only difference is that the overall part of the exams are open questions instead of multiple choice questions. Also, the time you have for the exams is most of the time shorter than the three hours we have at Tilburg University. Next to normal exams in one class we needed to provide two presentations (Distribution Channels). These were also a part of our grade. In another class (Strategic Management) we needed to do a project with a real company located in Pécs, this included presentations as well but these presentations were not part of the grade, the project was a part of our grade. Other info There was a library close to the faculty of Business & Economics. In the beginning of the semester you could get a library card and you had access to the library. You could not bring your bag and coat inside the library, you needed to leave them in the secured wardrobe. If you wanted to bring your laptop and other stuff you could use a stroller which they provided there. The key pad of the computers at the library were not QWERTY key pads, so this gave me sometimes some struggles. I only used the library to print the documents I needed. There were also computers available at the faculty, but these had the same problem with the key pad as the ones in the library. Since the library was so close I always used the computers in the library instead of the computers at the faculty. Description of Courses Course Prerequisites Exam ECTS Comments Language course Hungarian (special for None Oral & written 9 Mini-tests each class, if passed 80%: no exam

5 exchange students) Strategic Management (BA) Distribution Channels (BA) Theories of Emotions (BA) Behavioral views of Personality (BA) in the end. (average difficult) None Written 7,5 Mid-term and project (average difficult) None Written 7,5 Presentations (average difficult) None Written 6 (easy) None Written 6 (easy) Tips for the future students: I would definitely recommend an exchange period. It is an awesome period of your life. You get to meet a lot of new people and get to know a lot about other cultures and of course your own culture. It is a great opportunity to get to know yourself a little bit better as well. I will also recommend my host university. Pécs is an awesome city with lots of exchange students, whom you will all know because the city is smaller. It is also in a convenient place in eastern Europe, which makes it easy to travel to other countries as well. All though, if you are more into capitals than Pécs is not the place for you. The quality at the university is also quite good and they provide help if you need it. I wished I had searched for more information about Pécs s history because they city is so beautiful it would have been great to know about that. Also I wish I had looked up the places I wanted to visit in and around Hungary. This are just small things but definitely worth it! Lastly, I have some awesome pictures to share! View Pécs from TV-Tower Thermal Waters, Lake Balaton Széchenyi square (main square) Pécs

6 Trip to Serbia & Bosnia Herzegovina, friends forever! Trip lake Balaton, new friends! An exchange is really worth the time, I recommend it to everybody! If you want any further information about Pécs, don t hesitate to contact me! My is All the best, Brenda

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