2022. August 17., Wednesday

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Coursera Summer Camp by the University of Szeged

While for most students it is time for relaxing and having a break as the summer hits but at the University of Szeged, organizers were busy getting ready for welcoming students from all around the world for the first-ever Coursera Summer Camp which was held from the 12th of July until the 15th in Szeged, Hungary.

With the Coursera for SZTE programme, the University of Szeged tried to seize this unique opportunity to organize something extraordinary after the misery of the pandemic which was marked by social distancing, a halt to international travel, and cancellations of any in-person events. The main concept came from one of the organizers, who thought of incorporating the possibility of online learning, such as Coursera, into a traditional summer camp that all children had experienced in their youth which would result in something unique that no one has done before.


‘The fusion of a classic summer camp from our childhoods and the 21st century’s world of online learning will create a remarkable experience for university students. It will bring back a feeling of familiarity paired with something unusual and new.'’ - Said Erika Koncz, the inventor of the idea.


‘Our goal as organizers is that the first Coursera Summer Camp will be about learning and growing.’ - Said Lilla Kocsis, head of the project for e-learning from the University of Szeged.


The university's students who came from all over the world from Brazil to China were selected by a points criteria weighing in the completed courses on Coursera.

 

Each day had a particular theme to it with related courses, lectures, and activities.


Tuesday’s theme: problem-solving

  • To kick off the summer camp, Péter Szakál, the head of the Directorate of Academic Affairs gave an opening speech then Ben Schneider, Customer Success Manager from Coursera joined online to welcome the participants. After that, the students completed the Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Coursera course by Rob Stone from the University of California. The Coursera Summer Camp’s first day ended with a city tour of Szeged.

 

Wednesday’s theme: interviews and CVs (and getting ready to land a job)

  • The day started with a lecture where EPAM’s Recruiters Rebeka Zerebelyi and Tamás Hajdú held a workshop-like lecture about their company, the importance of LinkedIn, and how you can make the most out of your CV by taking advantage of your Coursera certificates. In the afternoon the participants were invited to the Botanical Garden of Szeged where they could enjoy the relaxing outdoor environment and could socialize with each other.

 

Thursday’s theme: learning and public speaking

  • The morning was started by Éva Kuruczleki who held an engaging presentation about data visualization and its importance in today’s world. During the day the students had the opportunity to raise their voices on social and educational topics in the form of a spectrum debate. They could express their opinion about certain matters by choosing whether they strongly agree, disagree or somewhere in between. Later in the afternoon, the students were welcomed by Luca Csák, President of Toastmasters International, and Toastmasters Club Szeged, who gave an extensive lecture on the importance of public speaking. She also gave the participants some tips and tricks on how to improve their current skills. The day ended with students enjoying a board game night which included the well-known party game, Activity.

 

Friday’s theme: farewell

  • Participants enjoyed the great weather of Szeged in the morning in the form of a picnic. Unfortunately, as much as everyone enjoyed this brilliantly organized camp, it had to come to an end in the form of a closing ceremony. Students were awarded certificates for their participation by Péter Szakál, Director for Academic Affairs.

 

During the picnic, the organizers, namely Erika Koncz, Anna Kovács, and Alex Berczeli-Nemcsényi had the chance to interview some of the participants.


- Which program had the biggest impact on you?
‘I’d like to highlight Thursday’s Spektrum-type debate. It was interesting because we are at different levels of our education like Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD and we bring different knowledge from that. This type of debate is a great way to deliver your opinion in a more controlled, less complicated atmosphere.’ - Ren Jihua


- Why would you recommend the Coursera Summer Camp to future applicants?
‘It’s an opportunity to look behind the scenes of the Coursera courses you take. Meeting with international students who have different points of view and come from different cultural backgrounds is also a perk of attending the Coursera Summer Camp. Having a different perspective on things and intercultural differences creates space for amazing discussions. Also, the food is great.’ - Axel Uhalde

 

During the 4-day summer camp, the participants had the opportunity to improve their problem-solving and public speaking skills, participate in a CV workshop, and also they were able to get a taste of data visualization.


‘We are beyond delighted to have had the opportunity to host such a ground-breaking and well-organized summer camp. With events like this we hope that Coursera can be brought closer to the everyday, offline life of the students.’ - Said Péter Szakál at the closing ceremony.


Article by: Anna Kovács

SZTE Experience

93292160_608489396406408_4799535565693255680_oOlney Rodrigues - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

My name is Olney Rodrigues de Oliveira and I am from Brazil. I am currently pursuing my PhD studies in the Doctoral School of Education at SZTE. I chose the University of Szeged because it’s one of the best universities in Europe, especially in the field of education. I personally love Szeged because it is safe and I love the architecture, the cultural events, the local Market Mars Tér and so many other beautiful destinations. For my studies I wanted to have an excellent university in a good quality life city and Szeged offers me that. It’s neither too big nor too small, I can ride my bike to go to my classes and practically everything is within a walking distance. I would advise the prospective students to enjoy the city during their stay, the cultural and historical events, know other international students and make a lot of friends, visit other cities in Hungary and make good memories. I am pretty sure that you will be proud of this priceless experience. Before coming to Hungary I worked several years as a teacher. I love the academic environment, the libraries, relationship with students and the feeling to be involved in the acquisition of new knowledge. That is why I plan to be part of a University as a professor as well as to keep researching in different aspects of the process of education. I am so thankful to be here and I believe that the Universe brought me to Szeged because the city and the University are the experience that I need in my life now.

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Ferdous Rahman – Faculty of Law and Political Sciences

My name is Ferdous Rahman and I am from Bangladesh. I am pursuing doctoral studies at the Department of Private International Law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science under the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme. Currently I am in the first year of my four-year PhD programme. I came to know about SZTE while exploring for the Stipendium Hungaricum programme. Among the other available options, this was my first choice. Apart from its excellent ranking, I got my supervisor with similar research interest. The increasing number of international students gave me a comfort of having a cosmopolitan environment. After starting my studies here in September 2019, I am convinced that I could not expect more. For prospective students, I would advise that SZTE can be their next home as I got mine. Everyone here including the professors, the administrators, and the students are very friendly and helpful. They make studies a joyous journey instead of pile of classes and books. After my graduation, I will return to my home country. The knowledge and the experience that I have been receiving here will be a great resource for my academic career. I intend to continue my research further and expect to contribute to policy formulation at national and international level."

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