From love to marriage: Brian and Judit met at SZE

"We have made some good decisions in our lives. One of them was to choose Széchenyi István University," admits Brian and Judit, who grew up on different continents but crossed paths in the city of rivers. The boy from Ottawa and the girl from Zalaegerszeg met through the international community of the Győr University - a meeting that blossomed into love and a marriage. Here is their story.

The paths of fate are inscrutable, they say. Through careful guidance or the play of chance, life brought an Ottawa boy, Brian Sanders, to apply to the University of Győr. Perhaps it would have turned out very differently if his tutor had not invited him to Hungary. His teacher had decided to continue his career in the country and had also recommended that his student take the same opportunity. The professor's name was Dr. Dániel Feszty, who has been head of the Department of Whole Vehicle Engineering at Széchenyi István University since 2017. 


"I had just graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering. A dear lecturer, Dr. Dániel Feszty, suggested that I come to Hungary, to the Széchenyi István University, where I could continue my studies in the Master's programme in Automotive Engineering. Along with this, I was offered a job at Audi Hungaria. It sounded exciting to study in Europe, so I was keen to take on the adventure in Győr." – said Brian, who didn't know at the time that he would find his life-long love in Győr alongside his education and work.


The Carleton University campus in Ottawa. The University of Győr is located in a similar green environment, which was particularly appealing to Brian (Source:


He first met Judit Preisz at an event of the international student community, where she was working as a mentor, as she was then in the final stages of her bachelor's degree in technical management. 

"I was working late that day, I arrived late to the event," Brian recalls of the day they first met. "We sat down at a table and started talking. She was immediately sympathetic. About a month later we met at a nightclub. It was like in the movies, we really bumped into each other. Then it was date after date, there was no stopping," Brian recalled the beginning of their relationship.


The international student community of Széchenyi István University is home to eternal friendships and great loves.


In the story of Brian and Judit, distance has ironically always played a role. First, in the first semester of 2019, when Judit was on secondment in Germany for six months, while studying for a Master's degree in Logistics Engineering at Széchenyi István University. During the six-month secondment, they were only able to meet once a month. Soon after some time had passed, they had to face another challenge: the pandemic. As the coronavirus outbreak came at an unfortunate time when Brian did not have a visa, the Canadian boy had to leave Hungary.

"Borders were closed everywhere, so we couldn't see each other for almost a year. The only time I was able to go to Canada to see Brian was for Christmas, but they only let me because we had lived together for a year, so we were considered civil partners under the law there," Judit recalled. In the end, everything turned out well: Brian found a new job in Veszprém, Hungary, and Judit followed him to the capital of the Bakony.

"There was no question of planning our future in Hungary. This is where we work and we feel we can do well here," Judit added. 

"We currently live in Veszprém, in a shared apartment. Our workplaces are opposite each other, we couldn't wish for a more ideal place. Nevertheless, Győr is still our first destination and we would like to move there as soon as possible. We have a lot of friends there and many pleasant memories of the city."– she said.

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Brian currently works as a design team leader and Judit as a prototype coordinator. They both started their careers at Széchenyi István University.


According to Judit, an international relationship is not that common, but not at all special. Communication is not a barrier, she says, and cultural differences can be overcome.

"Of course, sometimes you have to explain a word or a phrase, but that's never a problem, and I think that even though we have different mother tongues, Brian is the one who understands me best in the world." 

- revealed Judit, who said that her parents quickly grew fond of her partner. And Brian's mother enrolled in a Hungarian course online, even though her son's sweetheart speaks perfect English.

Whenever they can, Brian and Judit put on their hiking boots and travel the world. They have been to many countries in Europe, and during the Covid period they got to know Hungary better, visiting every county in the country except Békés. They planned a trip after the epidemic had passed, and Brian decided to propose to his partner.

"I had to hurry because Judit unexpectedly brought forward the date of the trip. I had less than a month to go. I ordered a ring from Canada, which arrived three days before our departure. I had planned to ask the big question in Hungarian, and my colleagues helped me get it right. I had memorised the words, but of course in my nervousness I forgot them and all I could ask was: will you marry me? She said yes. I finally slept well that night after two weeks of stress," Brian laughed. 

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Brian and Judit have travelled the world and Hungary. The photo was taken in the picturesque Danube Bend


Brian and Judit have been married since last year, they got married in Zalaegerszeg. As some of the Canadian family were unable to attend the ceremony, a second wedding was held in Canada in September, where Brian's entire family and friends were able to celebrate the newlyweds together.

"Of course I miss my family and friends. But nowadays, with technology, we can stay close," said Brian, who plans to travel to Canada for two months every year with Judit and work remotely. "If we can do this over and over again, even distance can't keep us apart," the Canadian boy added

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The most beautiful moment of a wedding.

The university years in Győr changed both their lives. Judit spent two semesters abroad, and during the semesters at home she mentored foreign students. If not for that international dinner, she might never have met the love of her life.

"We have made some good decisions in our lives, one of which was definitely to choose Széchenyi István University."- Judit said. 

"It was thanks to the international community that we met each other. For this reason, we always look back on our years in Győr with gratitude," she concluded.

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