“I am from Egypt, but I lived in Kuwait and Dubai, always in cities. I was not exposed to nature much, that’s why I have chosen hiking, so I can walk and look at Hungary’s views. I signed up also for kickboxing because I am an active man, I practiced it when I was younger,” Khalifa told our website. The freshman of the Faculty of Medicine (ÁOK) at Semmelweis University is one of the numerous students who have joined clubs at the promotion event held on 15 September, at the EOK. The Egyptian student can meet among others a German student who also signed up for the Kickboxing club. Christin Magdalena, fresher of the ÁOK, came from Bremen, she has been doing this sport for 3 years.
“I used to climb mountains in my home country, India, I would like to continue, so I signed up to the Mountaineering club,” said Mannat, first-year student of the ÁOK. The leader of the club, Jassan Hoeckle, 5th-year German student of the university explained that they climb in several places in the mountains around Budapest and they also go to Slovakia for mountaineering. The club has more than 120 members, half of them are German and more than 50 English-speaking.
The Semmelweis Student’s Union (HÖK) worked on the implementation of the Moodle platform, has been running the system and funding the student clubs.
“In 2021 we started organizing student clubs, the first club day was in last September. We have about ten clubs, however any student who is wishing to start a new one can reach ISSA, DSVS or HÖK, and we can discuss it. We wanted to have a medium where all language programs from all years of all faculties can get together. We highlight the clubs on our websites and clubs have Moodle page as well, all the information will be there,” Moein Moeinzadeh, a 5th-year student from Iran, President of the International Semmelweis Student Association (ISSA) pointed out.
One of the organizers of the event was Deutschsprachige Studentenvertretung Semmelweis (DSVS).
“Last year we came out with the idea of the students clubs because there hasn’t been many leisure activity options, we wanted to offer some possibilities. We were inspired by the models of the American and British universities where there are lot of clubs, but this also exists in the German-speaking area. It is a program organized by the students for the students. We are really happy that there are so many clubs but also hope that there will be more. Half of the clubs were founded by German students,” explained Michael Hubatka, president of DSVS, a 4th-year medical student from Switzerland.
The swimming club also would like to increase its membership. They hold trainings in the sports center of the National University of Public Service (NKE), the leader of the club, Amirata Karimpour, 3rd-year student of the Faculty of Pharmacy told our website.
There are not only sports clubs for students, those who like to dance can join the Zumba club. As Naina Woker, 2nd-year student of the ÁOK explained us, the club has already about 70 international and Hungarian members. Classes are held every Friday afternoon, at a dance studio in the center of Budapest. In addition to teaching each other, sometimes they invite professional zumba teachers as well. “We are open to everyone, beginners can join, we want students to have fun,” she added.
The book club, with about thirty members, holds weekly meetings in the Nagyvárad tér Theoretical Building (NET) of the university.
“We started the club in November last year. At the meetings anyone can suggest a book and we vote on what to read. Depending on how long the book is, we decide how much of it to read the following week and discuss that part. I really like the meetings, we often disagree on something and we can discuss it,” says Maja Szabolcs, one of the leaders of the club. The 3rd-year student of the ÁOK mentioned among the books they read together The Great Gatsby, Where the crawdads sing and Catcher in the Rye.
Medimeisterschaften were also represented at the club promotion event. The German students compose together a song every year and they publish it with a video on the internet gathering huge audiences.
Students from over 90 countries from 5 continents study at Semmelweis University. Almost a third of the students are international, and in the academic year 2022/2023 more students than ever before start their studies in English and German. The university’s cultural, scientific and sport events are open to Hungarian and international students, enabling them to socialize and feel at home as active members of a real multicultural community.
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University