After last time's visit to the Hungarian lowland, "Puszta" our students had been introduced to a completely different side of Hungary, as we visited the historical town of Visegrád surrounded by the Danube Bend from one side and the Visegrád Hills on the other. One of the most spectacular and scenic part of our country is the Danube Bend, 40 km North of Budapest. In fact, it is the most beautiful stretch of the river’s 3 000 km course from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.

Visegrád is a small town famous for the remains of the Renaissance summer residence of King Matthias. While enjoying the early summer weather, we visited all parts of the remaining castle. Already at the very beginning we could feel the spirit of the Middle Ages as we witnessed a spectacular knights' tournament at the Solomon Tower. Afterwards we had a guided tour at the medieval royal castle, the official residence of the kings of Hungary until the beginning of the 15th century. We wandered through different parts and terraces of the castle. Interiors presenting the residence of the Queen and the prince, the historical kitchen, the bath, the reconstructed chapel, courtyards, fountains and the herbal garden helped us to get a glimpse of medieval life.

The Hungarian Kingdom during the Middle Ages was a military society, in which hunting, armor and heavy weapons played a key role. At the end of the guided tour our students had the chance not only to attend to an interesting presentation of medieval weapons and armors, but also to try their skills in archery.

As the last moment of the trip we mounted to the upper castle, to the Citadel (Fellegvár) which offers a breathtaking view to the Danube Bend and to the whole region, which hopefully will be a memory that our foreign students can call to mind after returning to their home countries.

The ultimate destination: a visit at the Lake Balaton

The time of the last excursion for the Brazilian Science Without Borders students arrived. Our destination was Tihany and Balatonfüred by the lake Balaton which places are really worth to visit in Hungary. The area is full of nice destinations, historical places, there are many things to do and see. So many that we took the opportunity and make the last trip for 2 days long on the 8-9th of June.

Our first destination was Tihany where we had a guided visit at the Tihany Abbey a church built in 1055 with many interesting facts and stories about it. After looking around in the church the hardest part of the day was waiting for us; hiking hills of Tihany. We had to face with hot weather, narrow paths and steep roads but when we arrived to the top, all of us thought: yes, it was worth to do it. We got a beautiful and breathtaking view to the Balaton, the hungarian sea. Of course, we took many pictures and the selfie about the group couldn’t miss neither.

In the afternoon we arrived to our nice and comfotable accomodation, it was very pleasant to relax for a while, for some in the bed, for some in the swimmingpool.
When the sun went down, it was the time to have dinner in a very good restaurant, located next to the Lake. Eating delicious foods, drinking some wine, having conversations and laughing characterized the night.

The next day the weather was perfect for going to the beach and spending the day by swimming and sunbathing. The temperature of the Balaton was a bit cold but we were brave enough to jump in. We have spent a typical day on the beach therefore we couldn’t miss eating ’Lángos’ for lunch.

After these two days it’s understandable that everybody fell asleep in the car on the way to come home. We hope that the last trip was an enjoyable excursion for our brazilian students and they will remind for this as happy and pleasant memory.

It was indeed the official title of Dunaújváros during the late 90’s as basically all the cities’ teams were competing in the highest divisions of national leagues. And not just competing! They become champions under the name Dunaferr Sportegyesület; football, volleyball, ice-hockey, both men’s and women’s handball, woman waterpolo.

Unfortunately the tide is turning; after the privatizing of the steel factory that used to be the main sponsor of our teams, the previous big successes failed to come about. Many of our teams just disappeared from the scene. Fortunately the current municipality hand in hand with our university and some committed local entrepreneurs took the town’s sport life under their wings to be able to return to the elite again. At the moment Dunaújváros has three teams which roots are leading back to the local university. Each of the three teams achieved at least one huge success in the season 2015/2016.

“Ladies first” – they say and luckily we immediately have two teams their achievements are worth to mention. Our women handball team, Dunaújvárosi Kohász KA was playing their biggest international game for a long time a month ago. It was the return match of the EHF Cup final against a German team, TuS Metzingen. The match took place in Veszprém, in front of 4500 people, and with their victory, our girls took their place on the top of Europe. Due to the unfair play-off stage in the Hungarian league, DKKA got only to the 5th place (after normally finishing on the 3rd place). Still it is a huge success not just for the team, but to the city to the University of Dunaújváros as well. And what is more, that the academy’s team has achieved the results 100% with just Hungarian players on the pitch which is unique nowadays in any kind of team sport.

Still strong handed were our girls in the water. The university’s water polo team, DUE-Maarsk surprisingly came second in the Hungarian premier division. By no chance it is a negative surprise, compared our team to the others it is clear, that our team is the youngest among all of them. They managed to beat the heavy favorite BVSC in the semifinals, but then to beat the previous champion, UVSE was a difficult task. The other team standardly gives 7-8 players to the Hungarian national team compared to our “just” 4-5 players from which all of them are talented youngsters. Although their experience was clearly visible, yet we played three really strong ties against them. Finally the young lust could not keep up with the professionalism gained with age, but the silver medal is still a great result from the youngsters. Now it is the responsibility of the team management, to keep these talented ladies at the club and come back in full force. But before that, as for the summer, don’t forget to support them in Rio.

Last but not least let’s praise the men futsal team of our university who also earned the silver medal with their second place finish this season. The team, Dunaferr DUE Renalpin FC itself was founded three years ago, and this was their second season among the best teams of Hungary. If we dig into deeper the current balance of power in the Hungarian premier division, we clearly see, that behind Győr there is a huge gap. They consist of mostly Brazilian and Spanish players who are masters of this art sport and both professionally and financially are in front of other teams, they aim to achieve results in international level. Behind their team Dunaferr achieved two second places, one in the first division, and another in the Hungarian cup. Just like in case of our other teams, they were competing with talented young Hungarian players in the league. Dunaújváros has already three players who are constant members of our national team, they also took part in the Futsal European Championship in 2016. If this years’ convincing performance can be kept up, I am sure, soon for the others members of our team opportunities will open up to represent our team in international level.

Beside the teams above it is important to mention that three young athletes of the Dunaújváros are going to Rio for the Olympic Games this year; Zsófia Kovács gymnast, Jonatán Hajdu canoeist and Krisztián Takács swimmer (and by the way also a student of our University) will represent our city among the best athletes of the world. One thing for sure, these brilliant results and achievements show that our city fight fiercely to prove that they are worthy of holding the title “National Capital of Sport”.

16 Portuguese students have spent the last semester with Erasmus at the University of Dunaújváros. We enquired about their experiences about Hungary and about their studies here:

Q: Somehow you all ended up in Hungary, at the University of Dunaújváros. Why Hungary? What were the key points in your choice?
Fernanda Garcia: When I chose Hungary the main point for me was the big number of subjects that I can do out of my University in Portugal.
Ines Delgado: I applied to this university because it was the one giving me the most equivalences compared to my subjects in Portugal, which I have not yet completed. Also there were friends of mine who have been here in the previous semesters and they recommended Dunaújváros.

Q: What was the most important cultural difference you realized so far?
Lara Soares: Well, the most important ones? The language and the food….
Maria Martins: Yes, for example we didn’t know that the gastronomy in this country is so much based on cheese. In Portugal there are no varieties of foods with cheese. Like cheese soup, we tried and it was simply delicious.

Q: What do you like the most about the country?
Rafael Lima: Hungary surprised me very positively, the first time I visited Budapest was completely fascinated and I can say that is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited.
Valeria Gomes: It’s wonderful to feel secure in the streets no matter it is day or night!

Q: Is there anything you don’t like in Hungary?
Ines Delgado: Many people do not understand English, they might strive but mostly they just talk to us in Hungarian.
Lara Soares: For example when we go to a cafe, gym or even a disco I feel that there are always people rudely staring at us, sometime they are saying some unfriendly things. I do not know why.

Q: The University of Dunaújváros has international students from all corners of the World: from China to Brazil, from Cameroon to Finland. What do you think about the student community?
Fernanda Garcia: This travel for me was like a dream come true. I always liked the idea to be far from home to see how people lives in other places of the World. Being here with so many different cultures was so special for me. Breaking down taboos about some cultures and understanding the way of their thinking and actions. In my opinion there is a great student community here. I made good friends and I wish that we can keep this for the rest of our life, even living so far from each other.
Maria Martins: I loved it, the things that we learn from each other is amazing, we learn other culture and manners to think, all about stuff like, religion, gastronomy, games, languages and it’s amazing, it gives us other thoughts about life. Everybody is very helpful, friends and good companions of this adventure. A real family, very welcoming.

Q: You are now at the end of your exchange period. How do you consider your studies here? Are the structure of courses and the educational methods different from what you are used to in your home country?
Rafael Lima: I really enjoyed studying here in Dunaújváros, found that the evaluation method is quite identical to Portugal.
Ines Delgado: The educational methods are a little bit different but in general they are quite identical to the one in my home country. It was not difficult to perform at all, however we always hear that for Erasmus students it is always easier.

Q: What do you think, will the knowledge and skills you gained here contribute to your further studies and your future career?
Valeria Gomes: Of course, the time that I spend here helped me a lot to improve my English and to learn how it’s like to live in a different country. It is a unique experience which can help us a lot in the future.
Rafael Lima: Yes, I think I made the right decision when I applied to Erasmus. I feel much more comfortable to handle certain situations since I came to Hungary and this owes much to the fact of not having my parents around

Q: You are studying here within the framework of the Erasmus+ exchange programme, which is based on mutuality. What would you tell about your institution to Hungarian students who could be interested in selecting your home university?
Lara Soares: Our institution is very welcoming, as students and the city. It is a small town but it has a lot of life, especially nightlife. Regarding the studies, the teachers are great and they can learn a lot. I am sure they will not regret if they choose Leiria.
Maria Martins: I think Portugal is a beautiful country to visit. Portuguese people are really cozy and we have something that the Hungarian students would simply love; we have a coast full of beaches and it’s really near by the school. The nights are amazing, the clubs, the people, the music the diversity of music they can learn and try to listen. Our most traditional music is called “fado” and it is really unique and beautiful. The food here is fantastic too, our traditional dishes mostly made of different kind of fish.


We hope that indeed it was an unforgettable experience for each one of the students. Our door remains always open to them if they would intend to come back sometime in the future to take a trip down to Memory Lane.

How many spoken languages are there in the world? What spoken languages are there in Morocco? Which are the most beautiful places in Ivory Coast? 
The participants of the International Club DUE could receive answers to these questions.

Orsolya Bartal, organizer of International Club DUE, believes that it’s a great opportunity to get to know each other’s countries, cultures, mentalities better and to improve multicultural communication skills for the potential future university students (Some students visited the meeting from Bánki Donát Secondary Technical School and from other secondary schools, too).

On the last meeting of the Club on the 22nd of February the first speaker was Cedric Guede from Ivory Coast who held a presentation about his home country. Cedric told us briefly about the history of Ivory Coast, and about the places in country that “must be seen”.

 “Abidjan is the former capital and largest city. The architecture is very modern. There are not many old buildings. Abidjan comes as a pleasant surprise for many visitors”, said Cedric.

 

 

The second speaker was Jaouad Abdouss from Morocco, who told us about specific languages in his home country and made it possible to listen to the pronunciation of unique languages.

 

 

The participants had the opportunity to have a discussion with presenters, to ask questions in English. In the frames of “International Club” University of Dunaújváros provides possibility to Hungarian and international students of the university and of local secondary schools to improve their English language skills.

At the the next Club meeting (on the 29th March) we will have the opportunity to get to know and learn more about Russian and Indian cultures.

 

 

The International Club DUE is a forum where Hungarian and Foreign university students and local high school students can meet eachother and exchange informations and ideas about their countries and cultures. Club meetings are held on the last Wednesday in each month from 5 pm.

 

Article by Polina Oleneva, Erasmus student from Ural Federal University