From India to Max Planck Institute

June 12th, 2024

From India to Max Planck Institute

June 12th, 2024

In a foreign land where everything is unfamiliar, fitting in can be quite challenging. For Muneeb, studying in Hungary for a 2-year period marked his first time leaving India. Now, as he gets a PhD position at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, he shares his experiences about this significant time in his life, during which he achieved great milestones in both his professional and love life.

The day I arrived in Hungary is still fresh in my memory, even though years have passed. As an Indian student who had never visited any foreign country, the idea of studying abroad was both exciting and frightening.

After the end of the compulsory quarantine after my arrival, I decided to explore Budapest. From the moment I stepped onto the streets, I was completely taken aback by the incredible culture, stunning architecture, and warm and welcoming nature of the Hungarian people. It was an honour to have the opportunity to pursue my academic ambitions at such a prestigious institution. The professors at Eötvös Loránd University are not only knowledgeable in their respective fields, but they are also passionate. Their support and guidance have been invaluable throughout my three years of study. Thanks to the financial security provided by the Stipendium Hungaricum program, I was able to focus on my studies and fully immerse myself in the rich academic and cultural experiences that Hungary has to offer.

Professional achievements

The most amazing thing that happened to me was receiving an internship opportunity from one of the prestigious research institutes named Wigner Research Centre for Physics. Working with brilliant minds in my field, such as Dr. Gyula Fudor and Dr. Peter Forgacs, allowed me to hone my research, problem-solving, critical thinking, technical, and other skills. One of the most poignant moments of my entire journey was when I presented my study at the TDK conference. As I took the floor in front of a group of academics and business executives, my heart raced with anticipation. The energy in the audience was palpable, a tangible excitement and sincere curiosity about my study topic. My passion was further stoked by the questions and conversations that followed my presentation, which helped me to see how important and pertinent my work was to the scientific community. To my surprise, I placed first and qualified for the OTDK conference. Although I did not win the award at that conference, I interacted with students and professors from different universities and learned a lot.

Muneeb a Stipendium Hungariucum scholarship holder at ELTE

The second-best moment was when my research paper got accepted in a peer-reviewed journal, Physics Review D. When I received the news that my first research paper had been accepted for publication, an overwhelming thrill surged through me. It was a culmination of two years of tireless research, meticulous analysis, and countless revisions. The validation and recognition that came with seeing my work in print were beyond words.

I found love here

Lastly, another amazing thing that happened to me was finding my life partner while I was in Hungary. We got engaged in front of the Fisherman Bastion, and that is a memory that I will cherish forever. Therefore, Stipendium Hungaricum has not only helped me become an excellent researcher, but it has also helped me meet my life partner, and I will forever be grateful for this.

Story and photo by Muneeb Mushtaq