University of Public Service (UPS) organised the International Welcome Day on 7 September 2022 in the Szechenyi Assembly Hall of the Main Building. At the opening ceremony of the international academic year, the international students could get information about the fundamental issues of student life, in addition to the wide range of the programmes of UPS. At the event, not only the university faculties but also the International Office, the University Student Union (UASU) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) had the possibility to introduce themselves.
At the opening ceremony, Boglárka Koller, vice-rector for international affairs, welcomed the international students. In her speech, she encouraged them to dare to ask questions and to get to know the university staff, the city and the country. She added that UPS students have access to a high infrastructure level and that Budapest is a beautiful city, so it is worth looking up from the books sometimes. He said it was a great pleasure to see internationalisation at the university again in high gear.
Péter Krisztián Zachar, vice-dean for international affairs at the Faculty of Public Administration and International Studies, said: "The faculty aims to present what is happening in the world as accurately as possible. Therefore, if anyone has a question about the current war, the migration crisis, globalisation, energy management, diplomacy or the threats of the modern world, the faculty is the right place to get meaningful answers. He stressed that there is a vast need for qualified young people with an international outlook but the ability to act locally. He is convinced that future leaders will come from today's students, and international students will be part of this wonderful, patriotic and ambitious community.
András Szöllősi-Nagy, Professor of the Department of Water and Environmental Policy at the Faculty of Water Sciences, spoke about how water science was integrated into the portfolio of a university with a public service profile. He stressed that, apart from the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse, the second most significant problem humanity is facing today is the issue of drinking water. Water availability is primarily a social issue and, therefore, a political one. The faculty, therefore, offers students interdisciplinary courses in Baja to find complex answers to these issues.
In her welcoming speech, Colonel Klára Siposné Kecskeméthy, pro-vice-dean of international affairs of the Faculty of Military Science and Officer Training, gave a detailed presentation of the faculty's buildings, institutes and departments and outlined their tasks. She emphasised that the faculty is the only Hungarian institution offering master and doctoral programmes in the field of military sciences with strong international links. Graduates can thus become the next generation of military leaders, join global military alliances such as NATO, and take up jobs in the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Pol. Colonel Bence Mészáros, the vice-dean for international affairs of the Faculty of Law Enforcement, presented the institutions and departments of the Faculty of Law Enforcement. He highlighted a unique feature of the faculty. In addition to attending lectures and seminars, students often work as police officers. They are out in the streets, taking part in police actions, helping international organisations, contributing to crises and serving on the border.
In his welcoming speech, the President of the Students' Union, Bendegúz Dibusz, stressed that while the students are at the NKE, the Students' Union will represent them, helping to show the beauty and opportunities of student life, organising student events and maintaining good relations with the university administration. Blanka Korsós, President of ESN, said that the organisation will always help students with the little problems of everyday life, such as finding a vegan diet, taking them to the doctor or explaining how the metro works. At the end of the event, Orsolya Jászfalvi briefly welcomed the students on behalf of the Stipendium Hungaricum mentors. The mentoring programme also helps students settle in, and mentors guide students through various administrative difficulties.
Later, in the afternoon, the organisers tried to foster a sense of belonging and help the international students find their way around Ludovika through guided campus tours, a visit to the library and other activities.
Original Hungarian text: Tibor Sarnyai
Photo: Dénes Szilágyi