September 2, 2012 § 4 Comments
Today marked our first school function. We woke at 7:00 so that we would have time to relax, have coffee and oatmeal, and get ready before heading out at 8:30. The ceremony didn’t start until 10:00, but we were informed that we needed to be there at least 45 minutes before. We gave ourselves a little extra time in case we had a hard time finding the location – which we did.
If you want to get strange looks in Budapest: walk to the subway early on Sunday morning in a suit. It was almost as though people had nothing else to look at. Once we got underground, however, we began spotting more of our own kind. I was amused by the awkward glances that ensued between “the suits” on the subway. As we neared the station, more and more began to stream onboard. Regularly-clothed citizens glanced around in confusion as we all just continued to pretend like we weren’t all dressed the same and headed in the same direction. As it was Sunday morning, Skjalg and I weren’t entirely sure that every suit was headed to the ceremony and not to church. At our transfer stop, we debated trailing behind the majority of the suits or following the directions written on the invitation. We decided on the latter and jumped on tram 61 – unsure of whether or not we were headed in the right direction. Our stop was supposed to be “Hegyalja út” but it wasn’t listed on the stops for our tram line. Our instincts told us that we were headed the wrong way, so we jumped off and waited for the tram headed the opposite direction. By the time we returned to our previous transfer spot, the number of suits had doubled. When they all hopped onto our tram, we were sure we were headed in the right direction.
We took our seats in a large hall that was divided into three main sections: professors and Hungarian students on the ground floor, German students on the left of the upper deck, and English students on the right.
There were two large projector screens showcasing a promotional video for the University, which included facts about the students, research programs and facilities.
The ceremony began with a procession of the deans of the different faculties, all dressed in long blue robes. The procession was followed by an introduction by the Rector of the Semmelweis University, which included presenting each of the professors. After the introduction, there were speeches by the Minister of Education, University Rector, Student Representative, and finally by the three deans of the Faculty of Medicine (Hungarian, German, and English).
When the speeches were over, each group recited the Solemn Oath in their respective languages:
I,__________, student of Semmelweis University, promise under oath, that I will respect the Hungarian laws, and the fundamental law of Hungary. I promise that I shall abide by the regulations of Semmelweis University. I promise solemnly that I will respect the professors and teachers of the University and that my conduct will be in keeping with the honor of my profession. I will keep the secrets of the patients that I learn about in the course of my studies. I will pursue my studies with full sense of responsibility to prepare myself, to the best of my abilities, for all my duties and obligations in my profession so as to be able to serve with my knowledge, the progress of mankind. So help me God.
After the ceremony, we treated ourselves to lunch at a café in my favorite little “square” in Budapest (so far). The square hosts two cafés, a fountain and the 24-hour Semmelweis student library – and is only a 10-minute walk from our apartment. Perfect!