Lisa Wahlmeyer is an Erasmus student at IBS who talks about her expectations and experiences in our interview.
How did you decide to come to Budapest and spend a semester here at IBS?
As I am studying in the Netherlands, going abroad for one or two semesters is quite common. So, after I have gotten into an internship position at SEAT (VW Group) in Barcelona, I wanted to discover another, for me so far unknown city. And, due to the fact that I could realize my minor in International Finance in Budapest at a school with a very international and multi-cultural background, this was an easy choice to make. Moreover, everybody who has been to the city has just been extremely enthusiastic, so I just needed to take the chance and assure myself of this hype and applied for IBS Budapest.
What course were you taking at IBS?
During the semester in Budapest, I decided to put my focus mainly on financial subjects because either this or Human Resources will be my future job specification. The objective during the months here, was to find out which suits me and my character better. So, I took courses in Business Planning, Investments and Foundations of Finance but I also mixed these financial subjects with those of Project Management,Production & Operations Management and Hungarian Language Class. Taking the financial subjects would maybe not be the first choice of an Erasmus-student, because they are really time-consuming and require studying at home, but with the right time-management it’s doable to also have time to discover the city. In addition to that, I am also following the course of Spa and Wellness Management which is required as an Interdisciplinary course from my home institution and its Honours Class, which I am a member of. Here, it was simply required to choose an additional subject not directly related to the normal study program of IBS.
Have you tried any Hungarian dishes? If yes, how did you like them?
Yes, during one of my first evenings here in Budapest, with my new room-mates, we went to a typical Hungarian restaurant which wasclose to the synagogue. There, we tried the famous Hungarian goulash and liked it a lot. But, regarding the drinks, every Erasmus-student must try Pálinka at least once.
What similarities and differences can you mention compared to your home university. What was the most surprising for you when you arrived to Budapest?
Actually, the teaching style and design of the schedule is quite similar to what I know from the Netherlands. There, we also have small classes, practical connections between theory and practice, a lot of group works and presentations. Teachers are also easily accessible and attendance in class will be required (not in all subjects though). However, I am used to less individual assignment.
Does the Erasmus program in Hungary meet your expectations?
Yes, it does. It is exactly what I imagined in terms of internationality. I have made a lot of new friends with very different backgrounds and there is always something going on. Due to the seven subjects that I had to take, however, the workload has been really high.
How do you find the spirit of IBS, was it difficult to find your place?
I would describe the spirit of IBS to be very international, open and familiar. Moreover, I think the school is very active by considering the events held at IBS or the Facebook page and IBS blog updating about different news.Interaction among students but also with teachers is high due to the fact of teachers really giving support and them (partly) directly coming from a job position with great experience.
Have you already found places you like in Budapest? What party places have you discovered?
There are so many simply beautiful places in Budapest, it’s hard to say which are the nicest ones. I definitely like Buda Castle and the Fisher Bastille for its view and the big place at the Parliament just to watch people and to marvel the architecture. For good cocktails, me and my friends mostly went to Patent 48, for a late and cheap (but good) brunch to Bordó and for really great parties and music my first address always was the Trafiq. I mainly went there when international DJs from the electronic scene came over.
What do you expect from this semester, how do you think this semester will help you in your further studies and also professional life?
Referring to the leisure time, I hoped to meet people when coming to Budapest who are easy-going and open-minded towards foreign people and the new culture just to be able to discover the city together with them. Regarding the personal and professional development however, the overall goal of this stay abroad was to dive deeper into the field of finance. Staying abroad and coming to a country where you don’t know anyone, wasn’t a big problem for me, since I left home at the age of 19 and since then I lived in different countries all over the world. And for me, leaving my own country helps a lot to understand myself and to see what I really want in life, plus the positive side-effect of becoming more autonomous and independent.