These past four years have been the best of my life

July 9th, 2024

These past four years have been the best of my life

July 9th, 2024

Living abroad can be challenging, but if you learn about the local culture and keep an open mind, you will gain more than a diploma after finishing your studies in a foreign country. This was the case for Layla from Azerbaijan, who studied and lived in two different university towns in Hungary. Here’s her story.

My adventures in Hungary started four years ago in a beautiful city called Pécs. I spent a wonderful year there, full of unforgettable memories. Afterwards, I moved to Budapest, joining the prestigious Eötvös Lorand University to pursue my education in International Business Economics and seek employment opportunities. Words fail to convey my gratitude for Stipendium Hungaricum and the Tempus Public Foundation, as these past four years have been the best of my life.

Experience Pécs during covid

Even though COVID-19 hit Hungary in 2020, I still enjoyed that year to the fullest, and I will forever cherish the moments spent in Pécs. Walking on the streets of the city while looking at the stars late at night, swimming and goofing around in the crystal blue lake Orfű in the middle of the forest, trying all sorts of wine and Hungarian cuisine at the Bock winery in Villány with my dearest friends, travelling across the country to visit other Hungarian cities like Debrecen or Szeged, hiking or playing charades until we cannot breathe from laughter with my dorm roommates. Every moment of this beautiful journey will stay in my heart. These experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me to socialize with people of diverse backgrounds while discovering Hungarian traditions and culture.

layla pecs

Inspired by the Sziget festival

My adventures in Budapest were not less fun. One of the highlights of my time in Budapest was attending the world-known Sziget Festival. I was fortunate to listen to artists I have been fascinated by since childhood. Sziget taught me how the power of music can unite people from any part of the world. Inspired by the atmosphere and diversity at the festival, I decided to travel on my own. Hungary’s convenient location in the centre of Europe allowed me to visit various European countries, such as France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and many more.

Self-development and success

Stipendium Hungaricum not only helped me explore Hungary but also highly contributed to my self-development and professional success. The education I received here exceeded my expectations and was the reason I landed my job in Finance at Morgan Stanley, which is one of the leading investment banks in the world. Thanks to ELTE’s Faculty of Economics, I also participated in a Business Case Study Competition, which challenged me to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to real-world business problems. It was one of my favourite memories because I got to work with both Hungarian and Dutch students, who later became my close friends.

layla budapest

Overall, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship and life in Hungary helped me develop in the best possible way. Living abroad was a challenge for me to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances and adjust to new environments but learning about Hungarian culture and interacting with people from different backgrounds, whether international students or locals, has broadened my perspective and deepened my understanding of a wide range of views, cultures, and traditions. I will be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity to Stipendium Hungaricum and Tempus Foundation. I will continue encouraging students to apply for this lifetime chance to study in Hungary.

Story and photos by Layla Gaziyeva