September 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
In hopes of adjusting to our upcoming schedule beforehand, we have set the alarm for 7:00 a.m. On Monday we abused the snooze button and rolled out of bed sometime around 8:30. Tuesday we improved by half an hour and Wednesday by another 50 minutes. It is tough now, in this last week before school starts, to drag ourselves out of bed so early but we figured it was better to get used to it this week than next.
I called in to the school’s financial office to check that they had received my payment. We went together on Monday to pick up our tuition payment receipts – which are required for registration – but my payment had not arrived yet. I’d called twice yesterday (much to the irritation of the woman I spoke with) and was hoping that I wouldn’t have to make a fourth call. She remembered my name this time and told me that they had finally received my payment.
We picked up my receipt at the financial office and then headed over to the school. It took us about 15/20 minutes, since the school is spread out over the city. Once we got to the stop for the “main campus” (most of our classes for the first year are in the same building) it was easy to find where we were supposed to go – just follow the students!
The building is beautiful: tall ceilings, plenty of light and colorful hanging banners. The best part of the building? Air-conditioning!
Registration was broken down into groups by last name. Skjalg’s registration was from 12-13 and mine from 13-14. We were about fifteen minutes early for his registration, but the guard (yes, there was a guard. In fact, there are guards everywhere in Budapest!) let us through without hesitation.
The registration process itself was seamless. I went up to one of the tables, handed the woman my passport, tuition receipt, and all but one of my signed declaration forms, and was handed school information pamphlets and the 2012/2013 Student Guide. I then went to a second table where I handed in my last declaration form and was handed a card with my group number and certification of my enrollment.
The freshman class is divided into 15 groups of 13-18 students, which share the same schedule. I am assigned to Group 12 and Skjalg to Group 11. We’d discussed a bit about schedules before registration and agreed that being in the same group would be the most ideal situation. This would make it easier for us to study together and help each other in class if one of us missed some information.
Skjalg asked if it was possible to switch groups and was told that it was no problem. In order to switch, however, one would need to find a student in the other group that would be willing to switch and both parties would need to send a “letter of acknowledgement” to the registrar. (For any students that are reading this and want to know where to send it, look up Ms. Adrienn Bácskai’s e-mail address on page 8 of your manual. All you have to do is include your name, group number, and the information of the student you are switching with).
So began the task of finding someone who would be willing to switch. We weren’t entirely sure about how to do this, but settled on asking people who were leaving the registration area. After harassing about 50 people within the next hour, we decided to call it a day. Many students had other groups they wanted to switch into to be with friends, others were skeptical about whether you were actually allowed to switch, and finally a handful were a bit… possessive. Even though it was uncomfortable approaching so many strangers, it did help us meet a couple of people. The school is more international than I ever imagined it would be. There are students from all over the world: Iran, Israel, Seychelles, Cyprus, Japan, Philippines, China, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Italy, England, Canada, USA, Australia, France, Germany – and those are just the ones I know about so far. I am looking forward to going through this experience with such a diverse group of people.
At 15:00 we had a fire and safety lecture, which was anything but exciting. The speaker read directly from the slides – verbatim – and often had a hard time pronouncing the words. Skjalg and I glanced at each other several times during the lecture in a sort of “I really hope this isn’t the English level of all of our professors” panic. The good part about the lecture was finding out what the emergency numbers are. For English-speaking emergency operators, you can call (06-08) 630-800. For the main emergency line, call 112 (or 105 for Fire, 107 for Police, and 104 for Ambulance). I remember reading in a Norwegian student’s blog that she had tried calling 911 and was hung up on when she started speaking English.
Once we were home, we took a deeper look at our schedules. Out of 17 total classes, Skjalg and I share 11. It is actually perfect for us because we will be together during most of our lectures and then separate during the practicals, which will give us a chance to meet new people.
Tomorrow is another meeting about how to use the school’s online system and afterwards there is a boat ride down the Danube river for all incoming freshman from all the different faculties. I still can’t believe this is all happening now. It’s the final stretch before school starts – and we are SO ready!