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From the Home of Giant Pandas* to Pécs
Another group of Chinese students arrived at the University of Pécs, this time from the capital of Sichuan prefecture, Chengdu in order to study the European and Hungarian cultural heritage. Thirty-one students and two professors of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) are staying in Pécs from 30 July - 4 August, where they have lessons and participate in study trips. The academic programme of the summer university is organized by the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development; while the complete organization of the event is the task of the Centre for International Relations.
At the official opening ceremony, Dr. Iván Zádori, vice-dean of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development greeted the students: “I hope that you are going to have a wonderful time in Pécs!” Dr. Gyöngyi Pozsgai, institutional coordinator of the summer universities first introduced one of the professors of the summer university: Dr. Zsuzsa Koltai, as well as the Hungarian student mentors, then she greeted the Chinese group in their mother tongue. In her short introduction of the University of Pécs and of our city, she mentioned that the life of the city and the university are intertwined in many aspects, therefore we can find building of the university scattered around the city.
Pécs is characterized by rich cultural heritage, active student life, where English language degree programmes have been taught for 30 years. She informed the audience that the University of Pécs plans to increase the number of international students. We currently have inter-university agreements with seven Chinese universities, including UESTC. At the University of Pécs various options are available to the students: they can spend a semester here with Study Abroad programmes, or they can apply for the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship, through which full degree programmes are offered in English with the help of the Hungarian government. “We hope that the University of Pécs will be in your hearts when you leave!” – said Dr. Gyöngyi Pozsgai.
Currently there are 300 Chinese students studying at the University of Pécs, four of them help the newly arrived summer university group as mentors. They introduced Hungary, Pécs and the most important sights of the city, and shared some practical insights with them. Afterwards, Dr. Zsuzsa Koltai discussed the programme in detail.
During the one-week summer university programme, the Chinese students learn about Europe and Hungary from many different perspectives. They have lessons about history, art history, folklore and traditions are introduced as well as current economic and social challenges in the European Union.
In their leisure time, students have the opportunity to go sightseeing; they can study the cultural heritage of Pécs. A very rich selection of leisure activities is available to them, including a quiz night about the European Union, and they have the chance to meet the 35-member student group from Hangzhou Normal University, who are participants of another summer university programme at the University of Pécs.
*Giant pandas are native to south central China, mainly Sichuan, in which prefecture the UESTC is located. The giant panda is conservation reliant vulnerable species.