Semmelweis University awaited the visitors with a huge stand, games, visual and educational tools at the 23rd Educatio International Education Expo between 12-14 January. All six faculties of the university attracted a lot of interest during the three-day event held at Hungexpo.

Petra Tele, an 11th grade student at the Katalin Dobó High School in Esztergom, visited Educatio to find out more about university courses and admissions. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any family member or friend who work in the health sector, so I came here to ask my questions,” she told our website. She wanted to visit all the stands at Semmelweis University, as she was interested in all the courses, especially in the Faculty of Medicine (ÁOK) and the Faculty of Dentistry (FOK). She is currently studying in biology-chemistry faculty, she would like to take final exams at advanced level. 

“I would like to become a dentist, and in Hungary the best dental education is offered by Semmelweis University – but you also need the most points to get there,” said Blanka Kollár, a 12th-grade student at the German bilingual secondary school of the General Cultural Centre of Germans in Hungary, Baja. Her father is a dental technician, that’s why she wants to study at FOK. She said that, apart from the quality of the education, she would like to study at Semmelweis University because she likes Budapest. She knows that it is not easy to get into the university, so she plans to take A-level exams in biology and chemistry, and is also preparing for university on her own.

“I think that the majority of those who visited our stand today have already decided that they want to study medicine and health sciences. They have decided to choose a vocation, not a profession – a vocation that lasts a lifetime, brings great happiness and joy, and now also offers a secure career model for young Hungarians,” said Dr. Béla Merkely at the event. 

The Rector of the university stressed that Semmelweis is the highest ranked university in Central and Eastern Europe, offering the best medical and health sciences education.

Young people want to get into the best higher education institution, and Semmelweis University is among the best in the world. We welcome all those who want to receive a quality education and we are confident that our university, with its long tradition and renewed by the curricular reform, will appeal to students and that more and more of them will choose us as their first choice when applying for admission.

– he added. “Six or seven people from my class applied to Semmelweis University, which was already difficult to get into. We were all very excited and counted how many points we got. I got 117 out of a maximum of 120, and that’s how I got in – unfortunately I was the only one in my class,” recalled Dr. Béla Merkely. “The end of high school was a time of excitement, contemplating my chances and, of course, active learning. And the summer after the admission, I was already confidently preparing for my first year, but I also knew that university would be much harder than preparing for the entrance exams,” he pointed out.

Dr. Péter Hermann, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs emphasized that Semmelweis University has always been priding itself on quality. “The best students choose our university in the fields of medicine and health sciences. We have traditionally had the highest grade point average among Hungarian medical schools, and in the last four years we have also made significant progress in international higher education rankings, being ranked 236th in the world by Times Higher Education (THE),” he said, stressing that applicants can expect quality education and a truly practice-oriented training.

Speaking about the Educatio Expo, Dr. Péter Hermann emphasized that all six faculties of the university were represented, and they not only provide information to the public, but also offer visual and educational tools that match their profile. At the FOK stand, for example, students can take dental impressions, but there is also a real ambulance and a chance to see how an ambulance officer treats the wounded.

The Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs pointed out that they get a lot of questions about how to get into the university and what the expectations are.

“Compared to last year, the admission system will change slightly in 2023, but significantly in 2024, and visitors will receive information about this,” he said.

Csenge Gecsey, Vice President for Events of the Semmelweis Students’ Union (HÖK), said that at the Educatio Expo, they not only answered all questions about the university, but also prepared games and gifts. “Interested visitors can collect stickers in a score booklet, and those who visited all our stands could win souvenirs from Semmelweis Shop,” she explained, adding that they also prepared textbooks and 3D scanners to give students a more complex picture of the education offered here.

“Most people are interested in the faculties overall: what the courses are like, what student life is like – and of course how difficult the exams are. Experience has shown that students are a bit shy at first, but they soon relax and leave happy and liberated after listening to the students’ stories,” she told our website. According to her, Semmelweis University is not only a great place to learn because of the quality of education, but also because of the excellent relationship between students and teachers and the university’s management. “A great community, a lot of parties and programs ensure that everyone can get out and about while learning,” she pointed out. She highlighted in particular that nearly 30 members of HÖK volunteered at the expo, who were happy to help inform visitors to the Semmelweis stand from morning to night, even in the middle of the exam period.

“I chose Semmelweis University because I wanted to study at an outstanding institution,” Eszter Németh, a third-year student of the András Pető Faculty (PAK) explained, specializing in pre-school education. Before choosing her vocation, she visited the faculty’s open day, where she was shown around the practice area and got an insight into the work of the conductors.

“The complex development and holistic approach immediately struck me. I knew before that I wanted to work with people, but I didn’t know how. PAK gave me an excellent tool to do that,” she said. “PAK is a good choice for people who also consider themselves people-oriented and are interested in education, health and the philosophy of András Pető. The faculty has a large number of practical hours: practicals make up almost fifty percent of our training. Studying here is a great experience, and graduated conductors can become full-fledged professionals in habilitation and rehabilitation teamwork alongside neurologists, orthopaedic doctors, and physiotherapists,” she explained.

Patrik Kreuter, a fifth-year student at FOK, always wanted to be a doctor, and decided to study dentistry during the months before his admission. “I have chosen Semmelweis University because of its reputation and because of the capital, Budapest, and I didn’t regret my choice. Moreover, the university offers excellent specialization opportunities, and I plan to continue my studies here after graduation,” he told our website.

He stressed that Semmelweis is recognized not only in Hungary but also worldwide, where students can expect a real, practice-oriented education and graduates can find a job anywhere, whether abroad or in Hungary, in public or private care. At the Educatio exhibition, the most common question asked at the FOK stand was how difficult the university is and what student life is like, but many also asked about the first digital dental design bachelor’s degree course, which was launched last autumn.

Semmelweis University will also be hosting the Semmelweis Online Open Day for secondary school students and their parents on 27 January from 9 am. The event will showcase all six faculties of the institution, its secondary vocational schools and its talent management programs. Visitors will be able to learn about the courses through interactive presentations, forums, short films and ask questions live via Zoom. The program and registration – in Hungarian – is available by clicking on this link.

On the occasion of the Educatio expo, the Semmelweis Newspaper’s Admission Special  – also in Hungarian – was also published, which is available by clicking on this link.

Ádám Szabó
Translation: Rita Kónya
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University