An interview with Güney Akbarli

Güney Akbarli, a Stipendium Hungaricum student originally from Azerbaijan, was recently interviewed by Paul Rogerson, a colleague from the Centre of International Programmes at Széchenyi István University.

PR: So, Güney, you’ve just finished a 2 year Master’s Programme in Marketing and Strategies here at Széchenyi István University. When was your graduation ceremony?

GA: It was on 14th June.

PR. So, what comes next?

GA: Well, I’ve already been accepted for a place on a doctoral programme here, so that’s for the next four years.

PR: Congratulations! And in which discipline are you planning to do the doctoral programme?

GA: I’ve chosen Regional Sciences and Administration in SZEEDSM.

PR: Did you manage to obtain another scholarship?

GA: Yes, I applied through the Stipendium Hungaricum scheme and fortunately I was granted another scholarship for my PhD.

PR: Can you tell me exactly what the scholarship covers?

GA: So, apart from the tuition fees, accommodation is covered and there’s also an amount for living expenses.

PR: Are there any other Azerbaijani students currently studying at Széchenyi István?

GA: Actually there are 13 at the moment.

PR: In Azerbaijan, how well-known is Hungary as a study destination?

GA: Azerbaijani students are usually aiming to study in Europe primarily. They are attracted by Europe, and Hungary is increasingly becoming a popular choice for them. I think that the Stipendium Hungaricum makes it very attractive for students who are not self-funded.

PR: What kind of contact do you have with the other Azerbaijani students?

GA: I like to think I have a kind of mentor role for the new arrivals from my homeland. I enjoy that. Oh, and we have a Whatsapp group which keeps us all in contact…

PR: What is it that you personally find attractive about Hungary?

GA: I like the people: they are so kind, friendly and helpful.

PR: And what about Győr as a place to live and study?

GA: I love Győr because of its size – it’s not enormous like a capital city, and yet it has everything. It’s just right! Big cities are all about public transport but I like walking, which is perfectly possible in Győr. I have visited both Budapest and Debrecen, but I really do prefer Győr.  

PR: And how much Hungarian do you speak?

GA: Well, I haven’t had a lot of time since coming here to take formal lessons, but I do understand quite a lot when people speak to me.

PR: I believe there are some connections between Azerbaijani and Hungarian in terms of grammatical structure….

GA: Yes, and some vocabulary items too.

PR: So are you going to learn the language more actively in the future?

GA: Yes, I’d like to…… I hope so, if I have time apart from all I need to do for my PhD.

PR: Just getting back to your doctoral studies for a minute…..have you already decided on the research area of your dissertation?

GA: Yes, I have. I’ve chosen to focus on Marketing Strategies and more specifically the theoretical background.

PR: Is there the possibility of doing some teaching as part of your doctoral course?

GA: Yes, there is, in the third and fourth years.

PR: Tell me, how do you see your professional future, say in ten years’ time?

GA: In teaching - I would like to become a lecturer in Higher Education.      

PR: That’s great. Thank you so much for coming here today and taking part in this interview. It’s been a real pleasure talking to you.

GA: Thank you.

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Széchenyi István University continually strives to widen the scope of its international activities. To support this aim, the University founded the Centre of International Programmes (CIP), which under the direction of the Vice-Rector of Educational Affairs, provides a comprehensive framework for the administration of international academic affairs, including collaboration with partner institutions in the form of bi- and multilateral agreements, coordination of mobility programmes, the advertising and promotion of the 24 English-taught academic programmes as well as the major cultural and academic events organised within the University’s international community. CIP’s role naturally also encompasses all aspects of administrational support to the body of international students at the University.