Studying abroad. Episode 1
Hi, my name is Anna and what follows is my account of events while being a student at Central European University in Budapest.
Studying abroad offers a whole myriad of impressions, opportunities and fun alongside with tough work, cultural shock and a bunch of strangers all around you.
AND we are back to school
Finally you are there. After all packing, unpacking, airports, train stations, suitcases, goodbyes and farewells you get to the point of destination – the school.
What strikes immediately is the effort university makes to bring together students from different cultures and continents. Tolerance, intercultural communication, understanding and acceptance loom from every corner. There is a reason. I was convinced that “civilized world” is free from intolerances but I was wrong.
European tolerance is pretty superficial though vigorously promoted. Views do change there but slower and less willingly that we are told in Ukraine. There is still some degree of dislike between the Slovaks and the Czechs, the Hungarians and Romanians, the Germans and the British. Students joke about these things but every joke is a joke only in part, the rest is the truth. Europeans live with it and learn to forgive rather then forget.
The life in school:
It was terribly painful to start studying after a long break. It was terribly difficult to get used to a different process. Within ten months we did 22 exams, wrote 60-page master paper, participated in international contest, traveled, partied, got completely exhausted. I missed only three classes in the whole academic year. It was unthinkable to miss two in a row. You would be half-dead and crawling but attend a class. It wasn't because you had to but mainly because you wanted to. I had desperate, scared red zombie eyes after first one and a half months in school, five exams and two sleepless weeks when one PhD student told me: It will not get better, you will just get used to it. So it was. We all did.
International schools encourage students and teachers to cooperate and communicate on equal terms, respect and promote cultural differences. They do not succeed to the fullest, but the fact that opinions as wide as the poles apart coexist beneath the same roof is rather impressive.