Honorary consuls in Szeged together with foreign students celebrated the 30 years of Erasmus and the 15 years of Erasmus Student Network Szeged at the event of Erasmus 30 & ESN 15 organised in the Rector’s Office on 27th March, 2017.
SZTE’s Vice-Rector of International Affairs Prof. Dr. Katalin Nagy greeted the Erasmus-grant students and the honorary consuls living in Szeged. The Vice-Rector talked about the hospitality of the University and the values of Szeged. At the traditional event of SZTE she introduced the honorary consuls and stressed out that thousands of foreign students study here, some with Erasmus some with the help of Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme. The University provides a very valuable learning possibility, besides it organizes various social programmes, providing foreign students with the opportunity to meet Szeged and its inhabitants.
Which countries are represented by a consular or honorary consular service?’ For this question most of the foreign students do not know the answer – said Dr. Tamás Bene. The Director of the Directorate of International and Public Relations Affairs added that the honorary consuls mostly meet the students when they ask their help to solve their problem. Our aim was to provide publicity to the honorary consuls in Szeged in a more informal way.
From the 9 „volunteer diplomats” 6 bound in several threads to the University of Szeged. Several countries are represented by a honorary consul in Szeged: Prof. Dr. Krisztina Karsai represents Austria, Prof. Dr. Csaba Visy represents Finland, Eric Blin represents France, Dr. András Lednitzky represents Israel, Dr. Karol Biernacki represents Poland, Prof. Dr. József Pál represents Italy, Tibor Görög represents Serbia, János Andor Széll represents Turkey, and Sándor Róth represents Ukraine in Szeged.
Participating consuls even had the chance to have an informal conversation with the students following the debut of the honorary consuls.
The values of the host city
Szeged is a welcoming city, so this way many countries’ citizen can find cultural memorials to their homeland - said Prof. Dr. József Pál. The professor of SZTE, who is the honorary consul of Italy since 2003, was pleased to participate at the event organised by the SZTE’s Directorate of International and Public Relations Affairs, and Erasmus Student Network Szeged. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and to cooperate. The professor spoke with Italian students for example with Rocco Furfari, who came to Szeged from South-Italy in January of 2017; they even discussed the similarities and the differences between the Hungarian and the Italian cuisine.
International students ask assistance of honorary consuls here in Szeged in cases like as the loss of their passport, problems with the police or other authorities. Fortunately the students here in Szeged rarely have such problems so they rarely come into contact with the honorary consuls. Therefore this event is an outstanding occasion.
I came to the University of Szeged in 1984 as a Polish student. I got my degree here, and I found family, home and work here too’ – said Dr. Karol Biernacki, who is the honorary consul of Poland since 2012.
|Honorary consuls in Szeged met SZTE’s foreign students - Gallery|
Fruits of University Relations
Dr. András Lednitzky who is the honorary consul of Israel since 2006 helped a lot of foreign students directly as the employee of the medical faculty.
We have a strong relationship with the Ukranian students. The students from Ukraine had the chance to observe the educational programme of Ukrainian as a foreign language’ – said Dr. Natália Sajtos who represented the honorary consul of Ukraine, Sándor Róth.
The presence of the French honorary consul has another actuality: he informed the French students how they can exercise their right to vote when being away from home. Eric Blin talked with French students, for example with Violette Genet, who came from Lyon.
Volunteers of Erasmus Student Network
We help international students of the University of Szeged in every-day-life: from the flat searching to the academic registration – said Roland Bálint the Vice-President of ESN Hungary and local vice-president of ESN Szeged. He even helped as an interpreter during the event.
International students as French, German, Lithuanian, Italian, Turkish, and Tunisian students participated in SZTE’s traditional event.
This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Erasmus programmes, and the 15th anniversary of the foundation of Erasmus Student Network Szeged – pointed out Dr. Tamás Bene. He also mentioned that this year has a special double anniversary, which will be highlighted in several events throughout the year 2017 reminding us of the organizations and programmes assisting the University of Szeged to be as international as possible.
Photo: Anna Bobkó