Over 500 students, visitors and embassy representatives filled the hall of Building K
“I know from my own experience that completing your university studies is extremely hard work. It’s not easy, but I also found that the BME mentality provides a solid foundation that lasts a lifetime and is highly valued in any part of the world”. These were the words, with which Balázs Vince Nagy Vice-Rector for International Affairs and the host of the event addressed the students, lecturers and embassy staff, attending BME’s third international student festival, while also expressing his appreciation for everyone who helped to organise the evening.
BME has offered BSc, MSc and PhD full time degrees in English from the beginning of ’80s. Over the years more than five thousand students have completed their degrees and over three thousand spent one or two semesters at the university on various mobility programmes offering courses in foreign languages.
This semester, close to 2000 students are participating in the English language programmes, including the Erasmus and the fee-paying students arriving from 77 countries. Around 600 of them are self-financing and over 1000 participate in the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme. We also have close to 400 students in the Erasmus Programme. The countries boasting the most students with 100 each are China and Turkey, with almost 80 students each arriving from Iran and Syria, but many also apply from Nigeria, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
“We love our country, not because it is great, but because it is our own”, said György Horváth, Assistant Professor of the Department of Environmental Economics at BME’s Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (GTK), one of the moderators and hosts, welcoming the visitors with the words of Seneca. He was assisted by language teacher Anna Veres from the English language section of GTK’s Centre of Modern Languages. Two mentor students, Brenda Hernandez and Péter Takács oversaw the technical aspects of the event.
Visitors at the large-scale gathering on behalf of BME included Vice-Rector for Education Károly Veszprémi, Director for International Relations at the Department of International Relations of the Rector's Office Adrien Rátkai-Füzesi, Programme Director László Gergely Vígh and several lecturers, who had a meeting beforehand with the representatives of the embassies accredited to Hungary. Participants sent a welcome message to Rector János Józsa, who has been an avid supporter of previous such events, but was unable to attend this time, due to other engagements.
The organisation of the festival was supported by the embassies of the countries involved; Abdelkader Dehendi, Ambassador of Algeria, Vilayat M. Guliyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan, Zaza Kandelaki, Ambassador of Georgia, Zabihollah Naderi, Ambassador of Iran and his wife, Hammad Dahan, Ambassador of Yemen, Zeneemyadar Batbayar, Ambassador of Mongolia, Manuel Hassassian, Ambassador of Palestine, Jakkrit Srivali, Ambassador of Thailand, Samia Ilhem Ammar, Ambassador of Tunisia, Nosratollah Aghamohammadi, Consul of the Iranian Embassy and his wife, Ratih Dewi, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Indonesia and his colleagues, Zahid Hussain, Counsellor of the Embassy of Pakistan, Wu Hua, Head of the Education Section of the Embassy of China, Emil Rahimov, First Secretary of the Embassy of Azerbaijan, Satish Kumar Khanna, Secretary of the Embassy of India, Venkataraman Narayanaswamy, Second Secretary of the Embassy of India, Babalwa Makwati, Third Secretary of the Embassy of South Africa and Nana Khurtsilava, Assistant to the Ambassador in Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of Georgia honoured the event with their presence.
The event has outgrown its previous venue and this year moved to the hall of Building K, which was completely filled by the guests.
The programme started with a Hungarian performance by BME’s Folk Dance Ensemble, which was established in 2001. Their show was choreographed by Berta Csilla Almási and Máté Módos.
The Mugunghwa dance group, formed in 2013 by Hungarian ladies, performed traditional Korean dances: their name refers to Korea’s national flower, the Hibiscus syriacus.
The event provided an excellent opportunity to bring together young people from countries with very different cultural backgrounds: students from China, Georgia, Indonesia, Tunisia, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico and Pakistan created a wonderful ambience with their dances, songs and stories.
“As usual, the students prepared for their performances with great enthusiasm and were very busy rehearsing”, revealed Valéria Balogh, administrator expert of the Department of International Relations of the Rector's Office and originator of the festival, to a question by bme.hu. She stressed that staff members of the various embassies were very eager to help her in organising the event, getting involved in rehearsals and setting up the exhibition stands presenting the various countries.
Photo: Philip János