I GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL

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1 Study Program: Organisation Studies Exchange semester: Fall Academic year: Host University: University of Pécs Country: Hungary I GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL I spent my exchange period in Pécs. Pécs is the fifth big city of Hungary. It doesn t have an airport, to get there you can take a train from Budapest (3 hours, with your student card it is only 8 euros!). The city is approximately as big as Tilburg. This was one of the main points why I liked Pécs so much. It isn t that big, so it is really easy to get to know the city (and the Erasmus students). There is a lot of culture in Pécs, in 2010 it was the cultural capital of Europe. The city center is beautiful, there is a big main square with a mosque and the main street reminded me of an Arabic city because of the yellow and red screens they put above the street. Next to the city center you can find the Arkad: the shopping mall where you can find all the big shops. I followed my courses at the faculty of Business and Economics. In Pécs, all the faculties are spread around the city. My faculty was close to the city center. There was a nearby building where you could follow a Hungarian course and you could reach the main library within a five minute walk. Next to my university was also a café where you could get coffee, fruits and sandwiches. Next to the faculty was a canteen where you could get a hot meal for only 2 euros. The university didn t have a real campus because the faculties were all spread around the city. I don t know how the other faculties look like because I had all my courses on the Faculty of Business. Pécs is full of cafés and restaurants. The best thing about this is that the prices are much lower than in the Netherlands! When you have to pay 10 euros for a main dish it means you are eating in a very expensive restaurant. You can get a beer (0,5 liter) for less than 2 euros. The normal price for special coffees is between 1 and 2 euros. I really liked Café Frei; they have coffees from all around the world! The restaurants I liked most in Pécs were Replay and Lezser. There were 3 clubs (Pécsi est Café, Traffic and Ejzsaka) and every Wednesday we went with a group of Erasmus students to Pécsi est Café. The university offers some free sport courses like dancing. There are a few sport schools in Pécs, a monthly ticket is between 10 and 20 euros. As I mentioned before, Pécs is a very cultural city. There are a lot of museums and there is a cultural quarter. There is a TV tower on the top of the hill. Paying a visit to the TV tower is definitely a must. You have a beautiful view over Pécs and its surroundings from there. The biggest difference between Pécs and Tilburg was that the city center of Pécs is much more beautiful than the center in Tilburg. But, when you go outside the city center, there are really ugly and old parts. The difference between old and rich is much bigger in Pécs. The university of Pécs has 10 faculties and around students. This semester there were approximately 180 exchange students. Those are not only the students that spend 1 or 2 semesters in Pécs, but also students that spend their whole Bachelor or Masters in Pécs. Most of the exchange students came from Europe. The way of studying differed from Tilburg. I was used to having classes with 150 students, in Pécs I had classes with a maximum of 40 students. All the classes in Pécs are mandatory, you have to be present at least 75% of the classes in order to take part in the exams. This was also new for me; I was used to having colleges and mandatory working groups. In Pécs there are no working groups. II PRACTICAL INFORMATION Information before you left

2 In may I received an with a form for housing and I had to prepare my Learning Agreement within one week. This was a bit stressful, but I managed to hand it in on time. After sending everything I got an that they received all the documents. From June until August I received multiple s with information about arrival, the university, Pécs etc. Sometimes I didn t receive all the information I needed, but when I sent an to my coordinator in Pécs I got an answer within a few days. Visa procedure and arrival Before I got here, ESN Pécs offered to pick me up from the station. I was travelling together with Willem, so for me it wasn t necessary. We had a transfer from Budapest to Pécs that dropped us in front of the dormitory. Our faculty organized an introduction week, which was really helpful. We got a guide through the building and we had workshops for helping with the administrative problems (for example for getting a Hungarian ID). We all got a personal conversation with our coordinator. She helped with picking courses, but could also help you whit other problems. We had some meals in the faculty and one of the teachers even organized a pub crawl for us! In this week I got to know a lot of people from my faculty. At first I wanted to take courses from both the faculty of Business and Economics and the faculty of Psychology. It turned out this was not possible because of the distance between the faculties. My coordinator was really helpful with picking new courses. Orientation/Introduction activities Like I mentioned before, the faculty organized an introduction week. The faculty of Business and Economics was the only faculty with such a week. Besides that, ESN Pécs organized an integration camp in the weekend before the first week of school. This camp was specially organized for the exchange students. I think I met most of the exchange students during this weekend. Every exchange student had a buddy. In august, my buddy contacted me for the first time. We had a lot of contact via and she could tell a lot about Pécs. The day after I arrived, she gave me a tour through the city. Especially in the first few weeks, having a buddy was really helpful. Housing When we had to send our Learning Agreement we also got a form for housing. You could choose to search for housing yourself or you could apply for Hunyor Hotel, a dormitory for Erasmus students. I chose to apply for Hunyor and I got accepted. Good to know is that you have to apply immediately for the dormitory, there is only place for around 100 Erasmus students. In the dormitory I had to share my room with another girl. My roommate came from Turkey and it was a good experience to share the room. I got in touch with a very different culture and I really liked that. The room consisted of 2 beds, 2 desks, a fridge, 2 closets and a small bathroom. We had to share the kitchen with the whole hostel. We had some trouble with the dormitory. The kitchen was really dirty when we arrived and in a lot of rooms furniture was broken or even missing. There were also electricity problems and sometimes there wasn t hot water available. After talking with the owners of the dormitory and the University of Pécs the problems were solved and we got compensated for the days we didn t have electricity or hot water. Besides the problems we had, I would definitely recommend Hunyor. There were always a lot of Erasmus students, so you never had to feel alone. We could have parties in the TV room and play pool. And, because we all cooked in the same kitchen, you could try a lot of different foods. If I would live in such a dormitory again, I would definitely ask for a roommate that is not from the Netherlands. You can learn a lot from each other and it is better for your English to not speak Dutch the whole day. Living Costs I got an Erasmus grant for my exchange period. Besides that I got a grant for being in a board the year before that and I got a monthly amount of money from my parents. I saved some money before so I could also use that. I didn t need to borrow money. My living expenses were higher than in Tilburg. The only reason for this is that I travelled a lot. If I wouldn t have spent so much time travelling, my living expenses would have been

3 lower than in Tilburg. But, I can recommend everyone to travel as much as possible. Your exchange period is the perfect time to travel. Hungary is close to a lot of countries, so travelling is easier (and cheaper) than from the Netherlands. My monthly expenses: - Housing: Food: Transport: 30 - Books: 0 - Other: 200 Total 460 euro Academic Calendar Day of arrival: September 1 st Integration camp: September 4 th -6 th Introduction week: September 7 th -12 th First day of the semester: September 7 th Last day of classes: December 11 th Mid-term break: October 24 th -November 1 st Examination period: December 14 th -18 th and January 4 th -22 nd As an Erasmus student, you can ask your teachers if it is possibly to make the exams in December. Some students left already in December, but I decided to stay until January for possible resits and to travel. The International Office In my faculty there was an international office. The responsible persons for the incoming exchange students in our faculty were Judit Trombitas and Katalin Hartung. When we had a question, we could go to the international office or send an . I got good and fast help when I went to the office, so I am definitely satisfied with it. Exchange promotion I didn t take part in activities to promote exchange to Tilburg University at the University of Pécs. The University of Pécs didn t ask us to help with such activities, so I don t know when they even were. Social Activities The university and ESN organized a lot of activities for the exchange students. They organized pub crawls, language tandems, camps, a weekly country presentation, trips to other countries etc. You won t be bored in Pécs, almost every day there is an activity or party where you can go. I didn t have much contact with local students, only with the local students from my courses. I had a lot of contact with the other exchange students. We went to school and activities together, cooked together and travelled together. During my stay I spent 4 weekends in Budapest, 1 in Balaton (the big lake in Hungary), 1 in Szeged and 1 in Krakow. Furthermore I made a trip to Prague, Vienna and Bratislava and a trip to Maribor, Ljubljana, Venice, Trieste, Rijeka and Zagreb. Culture and Language I didn t experience a real culture shock while on exchange, but of course there are some differences between the Netherlands and Hungary. In Hungary, there is much more poverty than in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the locals seem irritated to foreigners talking English to them. But when we tried to say a few words in Hungarian, the people were really friendly. During this exchange I learned that in the Netherlands we have it much better than in some other countries. We don t have real poverty like in some places in Hungary. I don t think many Dutch people realize in what good conditions we live. Besides that, I really appreciated friends and family more. Keeping in contact with them was really good for me. I expected Hungary to be much colder but the weather was great! It almost never rained and even in the end of November it was more than 20 degrees. People in Hungary seem more closed than Dutch people. But as I mentioned before, when you tried to talk Hungarian the people were much nicer. The people are not in such a hurry as

4 in the Netherland, this means that I didn t feel stress. But, for Hungarian people it is normal to, for example, wait in a supermarket for twenty minutes. Also, for teachers and students it was really normal to be 15 minutes late. Especially in the first weeks I had to get used to this, because in the Netherlands everything is done as fast as possible. This is the thing I liked and disliked at the same time. It is good to not rush, but sometimes I really wanted to get something done. I think I learned pretty much about the Hungarian culture. The cities and countries I travelled to all differed from Pécs/Hungary. There is a big difference between richness, food, local people etc. I didn t have any language problems with the faculty or other students, because all the students from my classes were enrolled in a totally English program. I followed a Hungarian course for beginners during my exchange. It was really hard but at the same time funny. After 5 months I can still say only a few sentences, but it was really helpful to know how to say basic things to the locals. I didn t follow the Erasmus Intensive Language Course, but before I went on exchange I followed the course English for the Future. This was really helpful since I didn t have that many courses in English in my first year of study. Personal Development I think this experience will have a positive effect on meeting new people and meeting new cultures. I got to know that every culture is different and respect is very important when you are in another culture. Such an exchange is very good for future career possibilities. Going on exchange showed that I can get used to new cultures and can function in other cultures. I learned a lot from the people that I met here. For me the most important thing is that I now more appreciate the things I have and the people around me. I wouldn t do things differently if I had the chance, I really enjoined my exchange in Pécs. The best experience I had in Pécs was the chance to meet people from all around the world. I had such good time with my friends in here. My worst experience was the exam week. Right after my last exam there were already people leaving. It was really hard to say goodbye because I know I won t see everybody again. I will never forget the trips I made during my exchange and the fun I had with my friends in here. Especially the last party we had with all the Erasmus people was amazing, it felt like we were one big family. III ACADEMIC INFORMATION Academic level at a host university At the University of Pécs there are courses in Hungarian, English, German, Russian and some more. All my courses were in English, except of my Hungarian course. That was a mix between Hungarian and English. I didn t have much choice in courses, because Tilburg University didn t allow me to take Masters courses. The masters courses looked more interesting to me than some Bachelor courses. Half of the Bachelor courses that I could choose from I already followed in Tilburg so that was a disadvantage. The courses I chose were Strategic Management, Career Management, International Business and the Hungarian Language Course. Some students from Tilburg that were in Pécs before recommended me to take Strategic Management. I would recommend it, it is definitely different than courses we have in Tilburg. I chose International Business because I didn t follow such a course in Tilburg. The course was interesting, but the teacher made the lectures pretty boring. I would recommend this course because it is good for your general knowledge. I didn t know what to expect from Career Management, but it turned out to be really easy. It is not a real theoretical course, we had to make a CV, think about your goals, create a career plan etc. I would recommend this course because it is not really hard and it helps you to get to know what you want for the future. My last course was the Hungarian course, which was really hard. The Hungarian language is so different from the Dutch and English language, so it was hard to understand the grammar. It was definitely useful to know some basic Hungarian. The academic level at the University of Pécs was definitely lower than at Tilburg University. The level and he workload was a bit lower. We didn t use much extra material. Some teachers had a good level of English, but some teachers were just really bad.

5 The teaching method was a mix of practical and theoretical. Career management was very practical, while International business was very theoretical. It depends totally on the course. The teaching method was a mix of case studies, group work and lectures. The relationship between the students and the teachers was pretty informal. Only the older lecturers were more formal. It was normal to send s to teachers and calling them by their names. In Hungary they have a different grade system: 0-50 percent correct is a 1, a 2, a 3, a 4 and percent is a 5. You pass a course when you have a 2 or higher. I got two 5 s and two 3 s, so I am happy with my achievements. Exams For International Business and Career management I had a normal written exam. For Strategic Management I had an open book midterm and open book exam. For my Hungarian course I only had an oral exam. There was a written exam, but because I got good grades for the weekly tests during the classes I already got a 5 for the written part. Other The library was close to the faculty. We could get a library card for free. In the library we could borrow all the books we needed for the courses. There were enough computers in the university buildings, but all the computers had a Hungarian keyboard. For me it was better to take my own laptop to university or the library. Description of Courses Course Prerequisites Exam ECTS Comments Career Management None Written 7.5 Easy, many BA assignments, practical International Business BA None Written 7.5 Average difficulty, good for general knowledge, theoretical Strategic Management BA None Written (open book) 7.5 Difficult, practical and theoretical, big group project Hungarian Course None Written and Oral 9 Difficult, weekly test, useful for daily life Tips for the future students: I would definitely recommend an exchange period. In such a period you learn so much about other cultures, but also about yourself. I would recommend the University of Pécs too. The city is not too big which I really liked. I got to know almost all the Erasmus students. The courses are a bit easier than in the Netherlands, which gives you more time to enjoy your exchange and do fun activities. ESN and the university did everything to make the exchange students feel at home. Before coming to Pécs it is important to check if you have the right documents with you. But no worries, the coordinators of the university will send a checklist. Besides that, it is good to look on the internet for some information about Pécs. Pécs has so much beautiful places that I only discovered at the end of my exchange. A picture is worth a thousand words Finally here are a few pictures from my exchange in Pécs!

6 First day in main square At one of the Vienna Flag party!

7 Ice skating! Blog I didn t keep a blog during my exchange. Contact details: If you want any further information about an exchange in Pécs, don t hesitate to contact me! My is

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