Former Iraqi student would choose Széchenyi István again

"I made significant progress in my profession and made many new friends. I also had a lot of experiences along with my degree," recalls Jawad Mustafa about his years spent in Győr, and who graduated a few months ago with a Master's degree in infrastructure engineering from Széchenyi István University. After half a decade in the job market, the young Iraqi decided to continue his studies in the city of rivers, and he says even today he would not have done things differently.

Every year, Széchenyi István University attracts more and more international students from all over the world, which is a good indication of the reputation and esteem of the institution abroad. Quality English-language courses, research opportunities that deepen professional knowledge and, last but not least, exciting programmes that ensure a pleasant way to spend your free time, combine to form a high-quality package of services that make it worth studying in Győr. The story of Jawad Mustafa is a good example of how true this is.

Jawad graduated from the institution's Master's degree in Infrastructure Engineering just a few months ago and has since returned to live and work in his home country, Iraq. The young professional spent several years in his profession before embarking on one of the biggest adventures of his life: he decided to continue his studies at Széchenyi István University in Győr. As we learned, he wanted to become more skilled in the field of infrastructure maintenance, more specifically in the field of transport systems, with a special focus on earthquake-resistant construction. In this context, he found his calling in Győr, where, among other things, he was able to work on soil stability analyses.

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Jawad Mustafa arrived at Széchenyi University after several years of employment.

"The programme provided everything that was interesting for me, so I think I gained valuable knowledge in Győr. Professionally, I have developed a great deal, but more importantly, I have found a balance between university and my private life. This means that while I have been successful in academia, attending conferences and writing papers, I have been also spent my free time in a good way," said Jawad of his time at Széchenyi István University. While here he was involved in many activities on campus and in the city, also travelling to several European countries, including France and Spain. Nevertheless, his fondest memories are of Győr.

"I had countless wonderful moments at the University. I will never forget the international dinner for international students organised in Autumn 2019 by the Students’ Union and the mentor network, where students presented each other with dishes from their own cuisine. To this day, I tell my Iraqi colleagues that our traditional dish, dolma, was one of the winners in the competition where we had dishes from all over the world, from Mexico through Syria to China," he recalled. 

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Jawad at the International Dinner event, preparing a traditional Iraqi dish.

Jawad said he was impressed by Győr's long history and fell in love with the baroque city centre. As a civil engineer, he was also impressed by the city's transport infrastructure, which he found organised and efficient, and particularly liked the free city bus service with its special city centre circular route. He described the campus as his second home, where everything can be found from the sports hall to the bars and the forest next to the Hall of Residence.

"It may sound strange, but one of my most memorable experiences in Győr was the snow," he said, adding that he had never encountered this natural phenomenon in Baghdad. "When the snow started to fall in thick flakes, I couldn't get enough of the sight and went straight outside. To this day I look back on that day fondly and it is a special memory for me," he said.

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"I had never seen snow before," the young engineer recalled.

Jawad is currently working for a German design company in Baghdad as head of the quality assurance department. He believes that his career has taken a new impetus since returning home, thanks in large part to the professional knowledge he gained in Győr. He says he feels that his investment has paid off quickly and he would not have made a different decision today than he did two years ago when he applied to Széchenyi István University.

"I am grateful to my lecturers who supported me in all my endeavours. It's impossible to put into words the amount of help and encouragement I received, thanks to which I successfully completed my research project. I will always remember them fondly," he concluded.

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