Homesick for the second time

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The four-year Science Without Borders programme that saw more than 800 Brazilian students choose the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) has wrapped up.

„This is a brilliant initiative. It best describes that science has unlimited potential”, remarked János Józsa, rector of BME saying farewell to the fourth, and for the time being the last Brazilian group of 142. „Back home you can prove that Hungary has helped you realize your potential. Some of you have already taken the first steps in research, which, in my opinion, is never too early to start”, János Józsa emphasized at the ceremony held at the reception room of Hotel Gellért.

„Although this program has now ended, we are seeking new opportunities. We are flying out to São Paulo in early August to sign an agreement with the university”, the rector of BME disclosed.

„Student mobility has enormous power”, emphasized Károly Veszprémi, vice rector for education, whose speech was inspired by the symbol of bridge, „it connects not only two coasts but figuratively nations and continents as well.”

„When you arrived, this was just a tiny, faraway country. Now it is a bright point in your hearts and on your maps. I am convinced that you gained useable knowledge during your semester at BME. You had the opportunity to learn about our culture and history, and made new friends”, he underlined. „Be our ambassadors at your university and in the world. Recommend us to others”, the vice rector addressed the students.

„The Brazilian students are more flexible and lively than the Hungarians, while they are always there to lend a hand in solving problems”, noted László Dvorszki, head of the International-Scientific Section. He thought that the Brazilian students had worked really hard in the past year. „I hope we will be able to welcome you back in the coming years as MSc or PhD students, or research collaborators”, he added.

„You didn’t choose us because that was the easiest decision or because you took us for granted”, said Kitti Balogh, international coordinator for the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference. „You believed that you had taken the right decision. Seeing your results, and hearing your plans and opportunities I can agree, you indeed made the right choice to have picked Hungary.

„We fell in love with this beautiful city and country”, confessed Deborah Kolstok Monteiro saying farewell on behalf of the Brazilian students. „In a few weeks we all are going to bid farewell to our new friends and BME, the place we’ve called home. We are pondering again, just like we did a year ago, how it will feel to go home, to be away from our loved ones. We’ll feel homesick again. But by now we’ve learned not to fear the future as there is always something good waiting for us around the corner, even if it’s not immediately obvious”, she said encouragingly.

The best performing students (editor's note: those having earned 40 credits, and with a minimum grade point average of 4) were awarded certificates of excellence that were handed out by János Józsa, rector of BME.

Gabriel Silveira Barbieri

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Yasmin Azevedo

Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics

Luan Silva Ribeiro

Faculty of Civil Engineering

Mariana Silveira de Sá

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

Thamiris Guerra Giacon

Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

Rodrigo Rabioglio

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

Dias Alves

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

Joana Bristot Variani

Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

Nayara Azevedo de Castro Souza

Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

Sandrine Schueller Mafra

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Juliana Hirono

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

Henry Dias Alves was given a „Green degree” by assistant lecturer György Ádám  Horváth (This certificate of the Department of Environmental Economics is awarded to students taking up 5 courses in the field of  environmental protection - the editor).

„1 university, 8 faculties, 4 Brazilian groups, 805 students, 3 years and 5190 emails”, Valéria Balogh, the coordinator of International-Scientific Section quoted the unique statistics. In her speech she recalled the group trips in Hungary and the neighbouring countries, the sports events, the concerts, and the dinners. „Wherever we went there was never a complaint about your behaviour. You’ve always been kind, polite, decent and talkative.” The coordinator who is considered „the mother of the programme”, said that all the students had had one common characteristic during the four years of the programme: none of them wanted to go back home.

„I remember our first outing, a city sightseeing tour as if it were yesterday. From that day on we’ve not only started to become friends but also a family”, remarked Annabella Varga, saying farewell on behalf of the mentors. „I hope you’ve enjoyed your days here, and looking back you will consider the semester spent in Hungary as one of the best times of your lives. I’m happy to have known you, you will always have a special place in my heart. I’m grateful for your trust, love and friendship. On behalf of the mentors’ team I wish that all your dreams may come true.”

„My family and friends were proud of me when I told them that I would go to Europe to study. Still, they kept asking me: why Hungary? I had quite a few really good reasons: I would go to a good university, the living costs are not too high, travel is easy in Europe… All true, but now I know it wasn’t pure coincidence that I ended up here: I took up courses at BME that I could never have had the opportunity to attend back home, I took part in various lab projects, and learned a lot”, Nayara Azevedo de Castro Souza expressed her gratitude.

„We have changed a lot over the past year. I hope we have all become people that know no boundaries. People that are courageous enough to change the world around themselves”, added the Brazilian student.

MA - TJ

Photo: János Philip