„Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

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Twenty-one foreign students graduated from the English language programme of BME at the beginning of February.

„Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Ákos Jobbágy, Vice-rector for Education, quoted Nelson Mandela’s words at the graduation ceremony of the students of the English language programme. „The words of the statesman are especially true for engineers, who have the skills to build a better world.”

The Vice-rector emphasized the important contribution of scientists to the economies of developed countries. „Engineering science means that we teach students how to apply scientific, economical, social and practical knowledge to build and develop machines, equipment, systems, material and processes,” he pointed out. Students studying abroad, besides their qualifications, also gain a higher level of self-confidence, individuality, cultural experiences and communicational skills, which will all support them in their future careers.

 “You have many years ahead of you to create the dreams that we can't even imagine dreaming,” as  László Dvorszki, Director of the International-Scientific Team quoted words of Steven Spielberg. „Why have I told this to you?” asked the leading representative of the University of Technology. The answer is that global economical and environmental problems affect all the corners of the world. We do need you, your dreams, your skills and the activity of your generation to find answers to the challenges of today and prevent problems of the future.”

Áron Ónodi congratulated the graduating students on behalf of the Student Union of the University remembering both the lighter and harder moments of their university lives. Georg Jürgen Tepfenhart said goodbye to the graduating students, wished great success for the new phases of their lives and reminded them that the „Alma Mater will always be happy to see you again!”

On behalf of the graduating students Carolina Andrea Rodriguez Balda gave a speech, she remembered the university years, the students and the professors, the difficulties of taking exams and happy moments spent with friends. She advised to her fellow students that „always trust yourselves, do never become victims of the circumstances and be active heroes of your own lives!”

In this term 21 students graduated at the faculties of Engineering, Architecture, Chemical Technology and Electrical Engineering and three of them, Carolina Rodriguez Balda, Saghar Soleyman Banai and Anders Riise Maehlum, received special certificates for their outstanding achievements. Students from South-Korea and France did not attend the ceremony because they had exams at their universities at home and therefore they had had returned to their countries.

Anders Riise Maehlum Norwegian student studied software engineering at the University of Technology. After finishing the secondary school his aim was to study abroad and first he heard about studies in Hungary from some Norwegian medical students.

Later he met a student architect from the Budapest University of Technology, who persuaded him that BME would be an excellent choice. ANSA, a Norwegian student organization also helped him to make his final decision.

„The first few months were very difficult for me,” told Anders. „It was not easy to obtain information and it also took long until we found out how the university works. But altogether I really enjoyed studying in Hungary; I made a lot of friends from Hungary and other countries as well.”

Ander got a job with a Norwegian IT company for the next seven months and he is planning to get his MSc degree in his country. He wants to visit Hungary in the future.

Carolina Rodriguez Balda arrived from Venezuela and did both her BSc and MSc studies in chemical engineering at BME. Carolina wanted to study in Venezuela but she heard about Hungary from her violin teacher so eventually she decided to join a BME programme.

„Hungary has become my second home and BME was the best part of my life here,” she said. At the beginning I was concerned about studying in a foreign language but I was able to use English already in the second week. Our professors were very kind, just like my fellow students who arrived from various countries. I will never forget the first university lesson, where our professor arrived on roller-skates!” Caroline is convinced that she achieved her excellent results mainly with efficient time management and hard work. Besides studying she always found the time to do yoga and dancing, learn languages and make excursions.

„I have seen a horse show in Solt and I was at a wine tasting programme in Eger; these are unforgettable memories,” she remembered. She had the opportunity to develop her organizational and management skills as a member of the BEST and AIESEC student organizations, therefore she travelled to Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany in study tours and summer university programmes. „Many of my professors recommended me to start my PhD studies but I would rather start working to get some working experience. Maybe after a few years I would start my PhD research,” explained Caroline, who is not planning to return to her country for some time due to the unstable political situation there.

Saghar Soleyman Banai arrived from Iran and studied BSc level Mechanical Engineering. First she heard about the University from friends and collected information from the university website.

She became interested in the culture of Hungary as well and after some research she decided to study at the University of Technology. „Just like for other foreign students, the first period was not easy for me,” she remembered.

„I was far from my country, my family and friends and I had to build up my new life on my own, There were difficult and successful periods in both my studies and private life as well but I became stronger and I learnt how to handle difficulties. Hungary has become a second home for me and I regard my fellow students at BME as my second family.” Saghar is planning a practice period in the near future and wishes to start her MSc studies at a European university.

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Photos: János Philip, György Ádám Horváth