Ibrahim Safarli, the alumni of International Business School is the Chairman of Azerbaijani-Hungarian Youth Union. We will talk with him about his student life in Budapest and he will also share his thoughts about his social and job experience.
How did you choose Hungary for study? What attracted you to this country?
First of all, let me thank you for this interview. I was thinking about studying abroad for master’s degree during my bachelor’s studies. I checked different options and decided to choose Hungary given it was an optimal one for me. The facts that IBS provides British diploma and Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe influenced my choice. I would like to highlight that the living costs are important for students as well. From this point of view, the prices in Budapest are lower than in other European big cities.
When you arrived to Hungary what was your first impression about this country?
First of all, I witnessed the beauty and the active life of Budapest. The city is as beautiful at daylight as it is spectacular at night. The totally different student life also caught my attention. The sincere and friendly relations between professors and students, the diligence of university personnel to solve all students’ questions and problems highly surprised me at IBS. I would like to mention that IBS campus is situated in Graphisoft Park, on the bank of Danube, where you can see the offices of international companies as well. It gives additional excitement to the daily life of the students.
What was the reason to choose International Business School to study MSc in Marketing Management?
After finishing my bachelor’s studies in Management I decided to obtain a master’s degree in Management as well, but more specialized on Marketing. Due to this reason, I made a deep research and chose IBS to study MSc in Marketing Management. The most important factor for me was the partnership between IBS and Buckingham University, one of the most popular universities in Great Britain, and that IBS grants British degree to its own graduates. Moreover, I was impressed by the teaching staff and professors of IBS. When I arrived to IBS and started my studies, I understood that it was a good choice to come here.
What was your free time activity during your student years in Budapest? Generally, how do the foreign students coming to Budapest for studying spend their time?
Mostly, I preferred spending free time together with my university friends and visiting interesting places, cafes and restaurants. Moreover, we organized group trips to visit other regions of Hungary. Of course, we traveled across Hungary and Europe’s different countries with our compatriots as well. Budapest is very suitable city for foreign students. Different festivals take place in Budapest throughout the whole year, especially on weekends, and foreign students try to enjoy them.
What do the students have to consider while choosing university and country?
While thinking about studying abroad, I was researching based on several criteria. The education level of university was the most important factor for me. The diversity of students, the staff of the university and the experience of the teaching personnel also played an important role in making a decision. You have to know about the student life of chosen city as well. After getting enough information I figured out that Budapest is a real student city: lots of foreign students, student discounts for transport and in many other places, etc. I highly advise to prospective students who are preparing for studying abroad to decide based on these factors.
After finishing your studies you worked in the European Parliament in Brussels for a couple of months. Could you share your experience with us?
After my studies in Hungary, I was selected for three-month internship in the European Parliament (EP). During this internship I strengthened my social skills and political knowledge. I participated in the European Parliament’s daily events organized by political parties and groups, as well as the conferences held by international organisations based in Brussels such as NATO and UN. I also prepared the reports for EP members I worked with. Besides this, I also had opportunity to meet and talk with state officials during my internship.
Which knowledge and skills you had obtained during your studies in Hungary played an important role for being selected for this internship in such a big international organization as European Parliament?
There were different important skills required. The most important ones were the level of your knowledge (education) and certain experience in public activity. I would like to mention that I was interested in social activities while studying in Hungary. I had an internship experience at the Embassy of Azerbaijan Republic in Hungary during my studies in Budapest. Moreover, organizing several cultural and social events by Azerbaijani-Hungarian Union Youth helped me to be selected for this internship in the European Parliament.
Also, you were selected as the first chairman of Azerbaijani-Hungarian Youth Union. Could you give us more information about this union?
During my internship at the Embassy and discussions with compatriots studying and working in Hungary, we thought about a unique organization frame where we would demonstrate strong social activity and improve bilateral relations on youth level. After some preparations we founded Azerbaijani-Hungarian Youth Union (AHYU) with our compatriots and socially active Hungarian youth in December, 2012. I was elected as a chairman of this union according to the votes of the community. Then we organised several events, concerts and mutual trips together with Hungarian members in the AHYU Board. For example, I can highlight the concert of Azerbaijani and Hungarian musicians in Liszt Ferenc Music Academy, organizing the trip to Baku for the active members of the Youth Organization of Fidesz (ruling party of Hungary) to participate in the meeting of ruling parties of both countries, etc.
What are the future plans of your organization?
We continue supporting the development of mutual relationship and cooperation between two countries, especially on the youth level. One of the most active fields is education and we promote Hungarian higher education system in Azerbaijan, including advantages of studying at IBS. Obviously, we have projects for each year, and we try to realize them according to our plan.
Thank you for an interesting interview.
Thank you for your interesting questions and interview. Good luck in your future work!