Conversation with diplomacy students Rodrigues Andreia Staline de Carvalho, Lilla Ivanics and Sándor Faragó
Why did you choose diplomacy? Are you happy with your choice?
Sándor: For me, it was an obvious choice. Before selecting a programme, generally, there are short introductions that the professors offer to the students to help their choice. Mr. Várkonyi’s speech was great. That was the final convincing moment for me. I have already worked as an intern at the Algerian embassy where I was doing press work. The diplomacy program helped me a lot; it was very useful in my work. I already speak French, English and Arabic although I am still working on the latter one.
Lilla: I was lucky to spend a year in Canada, I had a Canadian boyfriend, and so personal reasons brought me to that country. I knew that I wanted to come to Hungary to go back to school and study in English, but I did not really have a specific idea what I wanted to do. Then I found the diplomacy programme and that is why I chose IBS, so actually the diplomacy programme led me to this school.
Andreia: I am from Angola. My mom worked at the Angolan embassy, and she was looking for a school for me and she found IBS. She sent me all the information options, and brochures. When I came here, I was not sure what I wanted to study. I found diplomacy the most interesting and appealing for me. I saw that we need to read here and I like theory and reading more than numbers. So, this had a part in my choice. Diplomacy is the one that caught my attention the most.
Does diplomacy meet your expectations? Which was your favourite class or field within diplomacy?
Sándor: For me, by far the best one was Theory of International Relations. I could even say I could have had more of it, you can add more load into the course. That was the most interesting. It gave us critical thinking by applying theories to current events. That was the best part. And I really enjoyed the teaching of Mr. Dániel Vékony as well.
Lilla: I am in second year now, so I have not yet had the option to choose these classes but I am very much looking forward to them. I really loved to study Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, Global Political Economy. I loved the way these subjects were taught. We were encouraged to be critical, we had to argue in favour or against each other, and these were lively discussions.
What did you like the most?
Sándor: I am embarrassed a bit to say but I loved my own presentation on liberal, new global order and how the US will prevail. I enjoyed making the presentation, preparing for it, answering the questions, I think that was my favourite part.
Lilla: We were discussing very recent events, teaching was very up-to-date. We heard about something in the radio or saw on television or we read about something online, in the news and the next class we were talking about it. That was fascinating to me.
Andreia: For me the best part was reading an article and then making it a presentation. I also gained self-confidence of it because I just did not think that I could do such serious work, reading and understanding, and even explaining articles to others.
What was the student-student relationship like?
Sándor: Our class was really good. We helped each other all the time. We set up a Facebook group and my suggestion would be to others to do the same. We are very close, and we will stay in contact for a long time.
Lilla: We also had very good relationship. We are of the same age but we all come from very different parts of the world. So we have rather different opinions about things but we shared those anyway. This diversity was very interesting. We were, for example, talking about the US elections and we had very different opinions but we as diplomacy students could come to an agreement.
Andreia: We had also very close relationship, and there is always somebody who helps you.
How about the student-teacher relationship?
Sándor: Mr. Várkonyi, the leader of our programme is by far the most popular teacher. How does he do this? That is his secret. Of course, teachers are different and we are different too, so it differs who finds whom really cool or less cool. But I have not yet met a teacher who would have said to a student “I have no time for you because I have 300 other students.” This is a university where you establish much closer connections than in any other place I know of in Hungary.
Lilla: It was actually surprising for me how close we could get to certain teachers. Conversations are very easy to initiate. You are not afraid to go up to a professor and ask about something. They are interested in your opinion. This is a very positive thing about this school. Professor Krisztina Vida is always ready to help, always e-mails, contacts us. I appreciate this contact with the teachers.
Professor Várkonyi always says that IBS is not training only diplomats since students do not necessarily will become diplomats. We train experts in international relations in a very broad sense. How do you see your prospects? With this diploma in hand, do you see any problem in finding a job?
Sandor: I do not think anybody will have a problem finding a job. Having graduated a university you can prove your future employer that you are able to prepare assignments on time, you are intelligent, and you are disciplined. The course helped me a lot, I learnt a lot, it also gave me a lot of self-confidence to advance in my career. I might become a diplomat someday, hopefully, even if the school is not necessarily training diplomats. I am just about to start an internship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The course also gave us contacts through guest lecturers, teachers. I think our prospect is great. Besides me, there are two other students who will work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lilla: I am also confident that I will have a job next year. I have already started to send out e-mails for interviews. I am passionate about it and I will be happy, even if it is not in Hungary.
Andreia: I am also sure that I will have no problem finding a job. In Angola this diploma has a great value, it is highly appreciated if somebody studied abroad and received a foreign, British diploma. This will be a great advantage for me.