ERASMUS IN THE TIME OF CORONA - THE EXPERIENCES OF FERENC IN THE NETHERLANDS

An important moment of the university period, when our students gain experience in a foreign educational institution, get to know the culture, students, art life of another country and new impulses reach them. Our students always return home with exciting stories of these study trips. The epidemic situation also overwrote and transformed this period, many had to return home, but some remained at their host university. We talk to them in our series.

Ferenc Szalai, one of our Business Administration and Management BSc students, is currently studying in Eindhoven with the Erasmus program.


 


Why did you choose your host university as your Erasmus destination?

I was very unsure at the beginning which country to choose. I knew I wanted to go to a northern country because I was wondering how different the education is there. When I finally decided that the Netherlands would be the destination then my situation was already easier. I chose the university where most of the common subjects were available so as not to lose a semester.

How long have you been out and what is life like there now? If you've been out before, how has it changed?

I've been out since February 9th. Currently, all cafes, restaurants, hairdressers are closed, and from 15:00 you should not meet many people and keep the distance of 1.5 meters. But apart from these rules, everyone is calm, they don’t really panic, you can also get everything in the shops. We can’t really travel as many flights have been cancelled.

How does online education work for you? Or how is the teaching solved there? What are your tasks?

Education is currently underway at Microsoft Teams. We plan to return from the 1st of June, so we’ll be taking exams at school already (we don’t really know how, because a lot of students have gone home and continue to study from home, so it’s questionable if they can travel back for the exams). In addition, we have many essays and assignments and only a few hours a week are held. We mostly have consultation classes with teachers.


                               


How do you feel: what have you experienced, seen from the city, country so far?

Despite the epidemic, I really enjoy my time here. Before this whole situation started, I also had the opportunity to get to visit Antwerp, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam. We haven't travelled to so many places since the epidemic, but last week we cycled over to the neighbouring town of 's-Hertogenbosch (we did 76 km that day) and I really enjoyed it. Still, there are plenty of things, so I’m not bored, and I also often meet the students who have stayed here.

How do you think the next few weeks will go?

There will be a lot of things I think. Now there are submission deadlines as well as exams so there will be plenty of things to be done. In addition to school, I also want to be with others as well and play sports and I planned to rest a little too. The epidemic started to decline here too, so I hope life can slowly return to normal.

Due to the lack of personal contact, the situation is pretty unusual now, but how are your classmates and teachers like? How is your relationship with them?

I really like everyone. They are all very open and helpful. Most teachers answer quickly and whatever questions we have, almost all of them help us right away. My classmates are very friendly and I like to spend time with them.


                               


Then, after the experience, would you like to work or study in another European country in the future?

Yes of course!

What would you say to those considering Erasmus? :)

All in all, I think it’s a huge experience, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m evolving day by day, even despite the epidemic. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who feels motivated! On the other hand, one must be prepared that not everything will surely turn out as one plans at the beginning, but with perseverance everything can be solved.

2020. 05. 14.

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