Why did you choose studying at BME?
Before I graduated from my bachelor's study in mechanical engineering, I was working with one of my professors in his laboratory about solar updraft towers at Trakya University. Later, my professor told me that a Hungarian P.hD. student going to join us for some classes. I was very excited to meet with this new Hungarian student, however, my knowledge about the country and its universities were very low, back then.
In the meantime, I was planning to go further in my academic career with a master's degree in a European country. I had many countries in my bucket list but, not somewhere really specifically.
Later, I met this Hungarian Ph.D. student, Balazs Bokor. We started to talk about master programs, career aspects, and renewable energy. I was very lucky because he also had a master's degree in Germany. So, I could easily address all of my questions about studying abroad to him. When we were discussing studying abroad, he mentioned to me about the BME and its possibilities for studying for a master's degree. Later, I checked more information about BME and studying in Hungary. When I figured out that I can study in BME with a scholarship called 'Stipendium Hungaricum' organized by the Tempus Public Foundation, I have made my decision to come for BME for a master's degree. Amazingly, Dr. Balazs Bokor became a supervisor for my master thesis!
What was your first impression about the city, when you first arrived here?
I heard a lot about Budapest from my friends came here for their Erasmus semesters. I knew that it is a fascinating city with lots of possibilities for culture and fun. However, it is really different to experience something from first hand and I was also afraid of what was waiting for me since I was in a different country with its different language. I was so lucky, due to my Hungarian mentor Balazs Bokor was there to pick me up from the airport, and he showed me around the city. When I was on top of the Gellert hill for the first time, I truly impressed by what kind of city that I am about to experience it! I felt suddenly so excited to spend two full years in this city.
What do you love in Budapest?
There are many things that I love about Budapest! To write all of them, I would need a book not a letter. Since I am a person comes from Istanbul, I always love to contact different people and cultures, it can be a little bit of Mediterranean cultural thing maybe. Even though I heard that Hungarians don't like this kind of social contacts, the truth was opposite to me! After living in Budapest for around two and a half years, I can clearly say that it is a multicultural city with so many different nation and expats. I always love to go out and meet people from South Africa to Luxemburg randomly.
What is your favourite place to go in the city?
It is a really hard question to answer, since Budapest is full of historical and cultural spots. However, I really like history. That's why I would say that my favorite place in Budapest is the Hungarian National Museum. I always enjoyed to discover and learn about Hungarian history from King Sigismund of Luxemburg and Gergely Bornemissza to baron Istvan Dobo from Eger. I even do have a Turkish version of Egri Stars (Hungarian novel about a certain battle with the Ottoman Empire - Ed.)
It is always a pleasure for to me discovered our common past with Hungarian and Ottomans. I learned that when I learn more about Hungarian history and culture, I learned more about myself and my history as well. It is still surprising me to seeing the common thing that we are still sharing about our language, culture, and our cusine, after such a long time...
Do you think, Budapest is a good study destination for a foreign student?
The city is home to over 35 higher education institutions, and some of them appearing in QS World Universities Ranking every year.
Whoever wants to hold a study abroad must bear in mind that it going to be a very individual experience that they are going to have. Therefore, I can clearly state that if you are keen on learning and discovering different cultures in an international environment, Budapest is a very good destination from my very own experience.
If you want to read more about the experiences of Alper Uzum, please visit the official blog site of the BME Faculty of Mechanical Engineering here! Please, visit the website of the International Mentor Team of the University to get more information for your stay here in Hungary.