Other news - Friday, 24 July, 2020

Studying Pharmacy at the University of Pécs with Erasmus

Experiences of Erasmus students from Spain

How did you get to know about the University of Pécs and why did you choose Hungary as your Erasmus destination?

My university in Spain, Universitat de Valencia, offered a range of different cities in different countries. I really didn’t care much about the country of destination but the language, as I am quite comfortable talking in English, therefore my main reason to go abroad was to improve my English skills.

I was looking more for a comfortable place to live, which would be close to many different countries allowing me to travel and which wouldn’t be really expensive either.

When informing myself about the location of many cities from which I didn’t know, I chose 4 possible destinations for my Erasmus in which Pécs was included along with Budapest, Brno and Poznan.

At first, my expectations about Pécs weren’t too good, since I never heard about Pécs but after talking with a pharmacy student from last year in Pécs, I started to like it and I was so excited to start my experience ASAP. (Styven)

When I decided to go on Erasmus the first and only thing I knew was that I wanted to do my exchange programme to a relatively cheap country and situated close to the centre of Europe in order to be able to travel to other countries during holidays. It is because of this that Hungary was a good option from the very beginning and even further when a friend of mine, who did his Erasmus in Budapest, recommended me to choose Hungary as the country to do the exchange. (David)

How did you like studying in Pécs compared to your expectations?

In my opinion about studies in the University of Pécs, I think they have a really good system to avoid anxiety and stress up on the students. By this I mean, even though the amount of work and material is really big as in every Pharmacy degree, they have an examination system which provides the student a chance for organizing their study which is an advantage and a method other universities should take into consideration. For example, in my home university each exam is just once and on a specific date so if you can’t assist or haven’t had the chance to prepare well for it you just fail that exam, and we just have one retake in June/July. (Styven)

All the teachers proved to be extremely empathic and willing to help the students. And not only teachers, I lost myself in the building several times at the beginning and workers there (administrative workers probably) helped me every time. Teachers were good people and were good within their fields, so the quality of the education was good. (David)

What differences have you come across as compared to your home university?

We are used to going only to one classroom (or different classrooms in the same floor/building) in my faculty and everything takes place there, being the professors the ones coming to the university to give different lectures from different subjects but all in the same classroom. However, here in Pécs it is the student who moves from one place (classrooms, buildings or even faculties) to another depending on the subject so it was a shock for us at first sight.

Another difference I really noticed was attendance as in my home university, lectures usually aren’t compulsory and you just have to respect the attendance in practices. Here all are compulsory and one can just miss maximum 2 or 3.

And also, the lessons schedule, here in Valencia, in my faculty we just go to class from 9 am (even 10) to 2 pm, without any gap between classes, and the length is only 1 hour per subject. But I think this is also because I had subjects from different years in Pécs. (Styven)

Where did you stay and how did you choose your accommodation?

When I told the university that I wanted to stay in one of their dorms I was assigned to Szántó Kollégium dorms and it was by far the best decision that I could have ever made regarding the accommodation. We lived 4 people in a block sharing kitchen and bathroom and then there were 2 bedrooms for each pair. The beds were surprisingly comfortable, the room even if it was not that big for 2 people to live inside, the furniture was well distributed, and it felt way more spacious than it really was. But above all, it allowed me to get to know a lot of people and make new friends which otherwise I would not have made (some people who had rented a flat, most of the time came to the dorms because that is where all international students were) so I find it crucial to anyone considering to go on Erasmus to leave the fear aside and go into a dorm. Most of the Erasmus experience consists of the social life and I think it is important to take this into account before every decision you make related to your new lifestyle. (David)

My most memorable aspect of Erasmus is clearly the people I got to know. I’ve gained a family there, bonds became special, making everything really intense, amazing and unforgettable, especially since after the quarantine we were always together and sharing every moment in Szánto dormitory (without any doubt the best place to stay in Pécs). (Styven)

How did you like the city of Pécs and Hungary?

During the months I lived in Pécs I gradually became in love with the place. Pécs has a special thing, I don ́t really know how to describe it but it is just magical, extracted from a fairytale. At first it seems a really small place with just one important thing, one important Street where everything is but then you start walking around discovering really special corners. There aren’t many sights but the ones present and shown by the correct people are more than enough to reach your heart. The first time I saw the main square I was shocked by the beauty of the place, so wide, clean, so historical and decorated in a perfect way. Then, the cathedral, locks in walls, many cute cafés and restaurants, cinema, enormous parks... stay stucked into your heart.

Once you are tired of the city, the great advantage of Pécs is you have a lot of lakes near to enjoy the good weather and nature. The best one is Orfű as you reach there in 40 minutes by bus and just 80 cents. The first time we went, we were a really large group of Erasmus that didn’t know each other and it was the perfect way to start creating bonds.

Also beers are really cheap which I think is quite important for a student’s life. A great idea was the creation of a special card called Visitme in which there where specific discounts in certain places and at certain times. This gave us the opportunity to save some money and also benefit the shops giving them money at times when normally nobody would go. I could not miss the chance, so I tried typical Hungarian dishes such as homemade Goulash and Langosh. (Styven)

What is your opinion about Erasmus life in Pécs?

Pécs has a really great advantage which is the ESN organization. I have heard about the organization in many other cities and I really think the one from Pécs is one of the best ones as they know exactly which events to organize, how to create bonds, offer really cheap and worthy trips and activities and create an amazing atmosphere among the Erasmus students. Events were really varied and led us to get to know Pécs quickly. There were city adventures, pub crawls, spa-night, Mohacs carnival, ice skating, laser tag, Orfű, country presentations where we could learn about different cultures and food. All of this in only 1 month and a half, so I’m sure it would have been even more amazing if we had all the semester. (Styven)

Also, throughout the program I learnt to organize myself, become independent and enjoy every single moment as if it was the last because this experience ends up really quickly.

I think the most important factors needed for a good Erasmus destination are low prices, good location in Europe with good communications, small city with facilities, active student life, high quality education and with people who know English. Pécs fulfil them all so I think there is no doubt when choosing. (Styven)

Why would you recommend Pécs to students planning an Erasmus mobility?

I think the most important factors needed for a good Erasmus destination are low prices, good location in Europe with good communications, small city with facilities, active student life, high quality education and with people who know English. Pécs fulfil them all so I think there is no doubt when choosing.

However, these are my main points and for a different person they might change or another of value may be different. What is clear is that it is impossible not to fall in love with Pécs! (Styven)

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