You were born thousands of kilometers away from Hungary, but the huge distance does not seem to bother you. Now both of you study at the field of Applied Mathematics at Óbuda University. Why did you choose Hungary?
Cristina: All my life I wanted to study in Europe and I learned that Ecuador’s government has an agreement with Hungary. One of my best friends already studied in Hungary earlier and she told me about her good experiences. I study applied mathematics and she told me that Hungary has very good mathematicians and that the courses are very good here. I also got informed that the country is part of Schengen and the EU, so the diplomas are universal. My acquaintance also told me that all the people are very friendly. That’s all I knew.
Khulan: I also heard of the agreement in the news, and that the Mongolian and Hungarian governments are developing good ties not only in education, but in other industries as well. Besides, I found out on the internet that Hungary is quite advanced at Computer Science, which is my field of study. Not least, my parents also encouraged me to come here.
How do you consider the level of education at your university?
Khulan: Mongolian research laboratories are not so well equipped as in Hungary, and the quality of education is also very high here. I am a PhD student and I received a lot of help from my professor who provided me all the necessary courses that I can increase my knowledge with. There are also a lot of opportunities to publish in Europe or to attend conferences where I can test the results of my researches. This is a very good opportunity for me.
Cristina: I just started my Msc in September and the first semester was pretty hard for me. The level of education is very high in mathematics at Óbuda University. I have faced a lot of difficulties, I had to study hard to keep up.
What was the most important cultural difference you realized so far?
Cristina: The difference is big, I can see it everyday. The main thing I observed that people are much more kind and friendlier here. In Ecuador it is not the case. For example, when I want to enter the door at the uni in Óbuda, there is always a guy who opens it for me, they are quite polite. In my country it never happens. I also realized that Hungarian people respect the traffic lights and traffic rules in general. I also like the public transport here, which is very well developed, unlike in Ecuador.
Khulan: I agree, guys are very polite and I also realized, that the gap between old and young people is not so big. For instance, here they feel insulted when I want to offer my seat on public transport, they don’t expect it from the young. Or an other example: my professor is around 40 years old, and he talks to me like a friend. This is a huge difference. And there are many others I could mention.
What do you like about the country the most?
Cristina: There are many things. But the purest love for me is the architecture and the Danube – so beautiful!
Khulan: This is definitely true. Whenever I feel down I go to Gellert mountain to see the whole view of Budapest - breathtaking!
Is there anything you don’t like?
Cristina: Smoking! Hungarians smoke a lot, I can feel it whereever I walk the streets. I am a non-smoker and it is quite disturbing that I can’t avoid it.
Khulan: I can confirm that, smoke is everywhere.
Do you plan to stay longer?
Khulan: I would definitely like to settle down here. The environment is peaceful and and I don’t have to worry about the financials either. If I don’t have the opportunity to stay, I would probably go back to Mongolia and become a professor. I would like to bring home the culture of education from here.
Cristina: I like this journey very much so far, Hungary has a lot of beautiful cities, the transportation is excellent all around the country and of course, the nice people make it even better. So yes, I would like stay longer if it is possible. It would be nice to do my PhD here after I finished my master programme. If I can’t make it, then I will probably go back to Ecuador or to an other foreign country.