The Award of Excellence is given to those Scholarship Holders who have achieved the most outstanding academic performance and contributed to the development of the Stipendium Hungaricum community. The award was presented by Miklós Lengyel, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Check out our interview with Anel, from Kazakhstan.
What made you chose Hungary? What are your impressions so far?
During our first family vacation in Hungary, I was left with a strong feeling of coziness and warmth. The atmosphere of Hungary is close to my personality, being calm on the outside and filled with passion inside. Also, Hungarians and Kazakhs share common origins and have similarities in traditions, which was extremely interesting to explore. After living in Hungary for a year and a half and learning more about its culture and life here, I can say that my first impressions have not failed me, because simultaneously relaxed and vibrant rhythm of life suited me very well.
What made you apply for the SH scholarship?
The first person who informed me about this program was my father, and that was the first time I seriously thought about studying abroad. Since then, I have been hearing about this program more often at school and on social media, where alumni and scholarship holders were sharing their stories and impressions. Seeing the opportunities that the program offers to its participants encouraged me to try my hand and have the same unforgettable experience.
What is the best earning of being an SH student?
Apart from the financial support, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship was a doorway to the bigger world. I found myself in a unique, culturally diverse community, where I was introduced to Hungarian culture, as well as the cultures of my new friends, like Columbia, Jordan, Brazil, Mongolia, Spain, and others. The international community made me more open-minded, so I became aware of the features and problems of other countries. It is exciting not only from the point that I discover new cultures but also includes the rediscovery of my own culture. Being surrounded by people from different backgrounds, I went deeply into my roots, which brought me innovative ideas and solutions for my future artworks.
How did the SH scholarship contribute to improve your professional and/or personal skills?
The new path of SH scholarship was challenging from the beginning, starting with the long separation from family and following the adaptation process. However, these difficulties allowed me to grow as an individual in both personal and professional ways. I reached my goal of overcoming my soft character and gaining self-confidence. I developed curiosity and courage through traveling in a completely new environment on my own. I stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people, which enhanced my communication skills.
What would you advice for those who are planning to apply for the SH scholarship?
For those who are now in the process of applying for the program or are planning to do so in the future, I would like to advise you to never give up ahead of time and go all the way. I had many fears and doubts both during the selection process and the time I arrived in an unfamiliar country all by myself. However, after immersing in learning and new surroundings, I realized that you should not be afraid of the future, as there are a number of new opportunities, connections and places are waiting for you to explore. And in that moment, you will feel that all your hard work was worth it.
Author: Damilia Arzybekova, International Alumni Volunteer