ISAS Freshman Day

September 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ever since watching Gross Anatomy (1989) with Skjalg, I have been secretly hoping that we would get to hear a similar speech to the one by the head of anatomy to the incoming freshmen in the movie. After the opening ceremony, Fire and Safety and NEPTUN lectures, I lost a little hope that we would get to hear such a speech.

Our Freshman Day began with a 45-minute wait in the entrance to the Basic Medical Science building. We kept ourselves busy with small talk and looked on at the booths being set up by different companies and by students hoping to sell their used books. Skjalg and I sneaked our way to the front of the group in order to get a better look at the books being sold and when the lecture hall was finally ready, we were at the front of the line. We took seats in the back so that we could be among the first to leave after the lecture and stay ahead of the masses that were sure to envelop the book fair.

The lecture hall

In the lecture hall we were introduced to the members of ISAS and then to the head of the English Secretariat and the head of anatomy (English Program). The first two speeches were much better than the ones we’ve had so far, which was a pleasant surprise. The last speech was by the head of anatomy. Although not quite the Gross Anatomy speech I was hoping for, it was close. I wasn’t able to record the speech, but there were two points that I was able to note down. The first was (and I am paraphrasing here): Anatomy holds a lot of information and this has to be studied like a pyramid. It is not a cloud of facts that you can memorize or pick from. You must learn first the bottom and then make your way slowly up to the top. She then began into more of a “rules and regulations in the anatomy lab” lesson, where she said:

No eating, no drinking, and no chewing gum. Why? Formaldehyde and dead bodies.

After we were dismissed, Skjalg and I made a beeline for the book fair outside. This morning, before we left for school, I made a list of the books that we needed so that we would be better prepared for the fair. I didn’t want us to lose out on a good deal because we were too busy being indecisive at another table.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure – Confucius

We already purchased the majority of our books online when we were still living in Oslo, but there were still a couple that we needed. After a second look at the two different anatomy atlases we had already purchased (Netter’s, which has drawings, and Rohen, which has pictures), Skjalg and I both decided that we preferred the atlas with pictures and would therefore need to buy another one.

Beginning of the book fair. Many students had their books spread on the ground, while others had theirs on tables towards the back.

After a solid round through the different book “venders” we ended up with a new atlas, anatomy flashcards, and the majority of the Semmelweis-issued booklets. Skjalg lost his wallet at one point, but luckily enough found it waiting for him at the security desk. The rest of the fair included booths for different companies offering discounts to students (gym, phone, etc.) and booths for different nationality groups. We stopped by ANSA (Association for Norwegian Students Abroad) and picked up information about fadderuke, a sort of initiation week for Freshmen students. The festivities begin with the rebusløp (scavenger hunt) tomorrow and continue throughout the week. I’m looking forward to meeting other Norwegian students but also a little weary of how much drinking and partying play into fadderuke. I don’t have anything against having a good time with friends, but I care much more about having a good first week at school. It would be a different if fadderuke had been this week and not next.

Vendors in the main hall

Tonight we are going to take it easy, go to the gym and then maybe watch a movie at home. It’s been a pretty heavy week. There haven’t been any classes or anything, but there is so much new information that it is understandable that we find ourselves more tired that usual. Plus, we have to enjoy these stress-free nights in while we can 😉

NEPTUN Lecture and Danube Boat Trip

September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today we met up in our different groups to attend a lecture on the class/exam registration system utilized by Semmelweis: NEPTUN. The lecture was held by members of ISAS (International Student Association of Semmelweis). Each session was led by one main speaker and three or four student aids that ensured we completed the log in and registration processes correctly. I was happy to discover that the system is very easy to use and pretty straight forward. Any future registration process – whether it be for classes or exams – will occur through this education portal. Fall semester ends December 14th and after that, we have a 6-week exam period. As most of our exams are verbal, we can essentially make our own exam schedule. The lecturer informed us that on the day that the system opens for exam registration, there is a rush of students fighting for their desired exam spots. I prefer this to the alphabetical or accumulated credit points systems used at other schools. This way there is equal opportunity to sign up for your exams – granted the system doesn’t crash, of course.

Welcome to NEPTUN!

After the lecture, I took the opportunity to ask a couple of the 4th and 5th year students there about any recommendations they have for incoming freshman. I got the following tips:

  • Don’t stress about taking electives in your first year. You are required to have completed 300 credits by the end of the 5th year – which averages to 30 credits per semester – but you will have plenty of time to catch up on credits in later years. Most of the freshmen electives are also available to 4th and 5th year students and since they have registration before freshmen, the electives are usually full. It is better to focus on the mandatory course-load.
  • The book list that is sent out by the school is not a list of books required for your classes but rather a recommendation list of books that you can buy. There are no assigned books for any of your courses. If there are any required texts or materials, you will be notified by your professor or even given a print-out in class.
  • When it comes to choosing your books, make sure that you take the time to look through the different versions and chose one that you really like. Some anatomy books have detailed drawings instead of actual pictures and this can make it difficult for you when faced with the real thing.
  • Buy your books at the book fair at Freshman Day. Try to figure out what you need beforehand so that you know what to get when you are there.
  • Avoid buying books at the university bookstore – they are much more expensive there.
  • Some books are available online. If you are the kind of person that prefers an online textbook, this is a good option for you.
  • Don’t overload yourself with a large array of books. The more books you have, the more cluttered and confusing your study sessions will be. It is better to know one book well than have a scattered understanding of several books.
  • The anatomy professors at Semmelweis are geniuses and will go deeper into the subject than your book does. Take good notes in your lectures because everything mentioned is fair game for the exam! If you want a detailed anatomy text – one akin to the knowledge level of your professors – try Gray’s Anatomy (but beware: the book is very extensive and may be more detrimental than beneficial).
  • The Thieme pocket books are perfect for your first semester of anatomy (in addition to your main text and atlas). Volume 1 covers almost everything you need to know in that first semester and is much easier to digest than the larger texts.
  • As brilliant as most of the professors are, they are not paid very much to teach us. It is important that you show them respect and don’t let yourself get offended if there is even the slightest negative regard towards your being an international student. If you show interest in the subject and are open to doing more (such as being a teaching or research assistant), they will greatly appreciate your efforts.

We headed home for an hour to relax before heading out to the dock where we would board the boats for the sightseeing trip. We met up with two other students: Rina, who is Japanese but grew up (mostly) in the US and has a degree in Neuroscience, and Frida, who is Turkish/Norwegian and has lived in Norway for the past 10 years.

Drawing detailing the departure point and course of our sightseeing boat trip. The sun was setting as we left the dock, which made for some quite amazing scenery.

We made our way onto the first boat and then through to the second, which was tied to the first by a series of ropes and connected by a platform so that people could cross between the two. With our complementary bubbles in hand, we headed up to the top to secure a spot on the deck. The front area was already full but we were lucky enough to find an empty spot against a railing. The students invited included all attending the pre-med program at McDaniel College, the veterinary students from Szent István, and finally all six faculties of Semmelweis (if I am not mistaken), including the Hungarian, German, and English medical programs, and the dentistry and pharmacology programs.

We, regretfully, decided against bringing our camera on the boat trip. Luckily, Frida brought hers and was good about taking photos. I stole this one from her facebook page. The bottom left picture shows Skjalg, me, Rina, and Arthur, a Hungarian/American medical student whom we met on the boat trip.

Here are the two pictures I was able to take with my phone. Not the greatest quality, but you get the idea 😉

 

Speeches from the Opening Ceremony

September 3, 2012 § 4 Comments

The majority of yesterday’s Opening Ceremony consisted of a series of speeches. Both Skjalg and I greatly appreciate a good speech, one that has the power to awe and inspire, to motivate and persuade its audience into a state of reflection. I expected the speeches to be directed solely at the incoming students, at the journey we are about to embark on, and was therefore a bit taken aback by their political undertone. Some of the speeches went beyond basic inspiration into a sort of underlying political battle about government funding in education.

The first speech was by the Minister of State. There were two points highlighted in her speech that, in my opinion, detracted from its inspirational competency:

  1. Directed to the Hungarian students: It is the moral, ethical, economic, and patriotic duty of the Hungarian students to stay in their country for at least 10-12 years after they have completed their education in order to give back to the people that have paid taxes from their “meager wages” to fund students’ educations. She said that too many graduated students selfishly flee to other countries to make more money “before the ink on their diplomas have dried”.
  2. Directed to the professors: The government is aware that many of the international students receive significantly more in student aid than the professors annual salaries. It has been difficult, during these hard economical times, to find a way to allocate more money to the educational sector. She then said (and I am paraphrasing, from the best of Skjalg and my memory) “We are paying the debt – even though it is not our fault that it is so (you know as well as I do that we didn’t take up the loans, we are just paying them!)”

I understand, and am sensitive to the fact, that each country has its own political issues and that these issues are approached in different manners. However, I have to admit that I felt a bit uncomfortable during the read-between-the-line portions of the speeches. I got the impression that these issues were big topics that were starving for an open dialogue between the proper parties. Instead of passively arguing their sides in front of the entire incoming freshman class, it may have been better for the parties involved to hold an open meeting and invite interested students. That said, I appreciated the chance to experience the perspectives on these issues from both sides. We learned, at least, that Hungarian students are too quick to move to other countries to make more money, that professors are aggravated that they make less money than the international students receive in aid, and that the University would like more money invested in its education and research platforms.

I wish I had recorded the first speech, as it was the best example of the political nature of the speeches, but I didn’t consider it until she had moved on from this topic. The majority of the speeches were in Hungarian, with English text projected on screens on either side of the stage. I have re-produced two of the speeches exactly as they were displayed: the Rector’s speech and the Student Representative’s speech. The Rector of the University’s speech was quite long, so I have organized it into two parts: the portion of his speech directed at first year students and the speech in its entirety, for those interested in reading the whole thing.

Student Representative

Honourable Minister of State, 

Honourable Rector,

Honourable Deans, 

Distinguished Guests, 

My Dear Fellow Students,

The world might end in 2012, according to the Mayans, while others don’t believe the year 2013 has much good in store for us either. But don’t be afraid, and don’t worry about the predictions, because this, now, is Your future!

Many of you have wanted to become doctors since you were little. Others, myself included, chose the medical profession at a later time. But, whichever group you may belong to, the day has arrived: soon, you will launch your ships and, like the captain about to embark on his maiden voyage, will write 2012/2013 on the opening page on your logbook as the date of your first departure. 

My Dear Fellow Students, 

As you stand at the gates of higher education, the hope of a new life may gleam before your eyes. But, there is also a long road behind you. You did not “carelessly set upon strumming on the strings”, for you are here today as the result of hard work, persistent diligence and successful final exams. 

Never forget where you started from, because remembering is like a ship’s keel: to the casual observer, it is merely an unnecessary burden but, during a storm, it keeps the ship stable. 

You can expect stormy winds at the University, which is not a bad thing, for a calm sea does not breed skillful sailors. 

However, you should bear in mind that the most powerful air currents – be they called anatomy or physiology exams – are, sooner or later, followed by periods of calm. So just hold your sails firmly and persistently, and then your ships will be set to sail on the Sea of Medical Science. 

Over the new few years, your journey will be guided by the University’s lighthouses. These are navigation lights, which today – as in the centuries past – are determined by a strong tie to tradition, as well as openness to new ideas, or, to use the modern word: innovation. 

Be proud of the fact that you are Semmelweis University students!

More than a thousand publications are produced within our institution’s walls, and the Semmelweis name has become an international brand that is coupled with the guarantee of quality. 

No matter which corner of the Earth you choose to visit before you finally anchor down at your home port, ships bearing the flag of Semmelweis University are warmly welcomed everywhere. 

Dare to dream of faraway harbours, but don’t get lost in the obscurity of the future. For, the problem with the future is that, once we say the word, its beginning is already part of the past, and so those who are always fleeing to the future have, in reality, buried themselves in the past. Make sure You live in the present!

Many will travel on your ship for whom you’ll bear responsibility, and so you cannot be satisfied with the promise of treasure islands to be attained in four or more years’ time. Necessitas ante rationem est – necessity is stronger than deliberation!

My Dear Fellow Students,

Use your time wisely, and take care to always complete the given day’s tasks; otherwise, after a semester taken too lightly, you’ll spend the exam period walking “in search of lost time”. Strive to be a little better each day, let the diligence, knowledge and success of your classmates serve as a motivating force.

But, even during the struggles of the university, you must keep in mind that, once you leave the walls of the classroom, you will be working together with the same people who had been your rivals in academic competition. Healing, after all – whether you become a doctor, pharmacist or allied health worker – is team work. To return from the waters, the Spanish national football team owes much of its success to the fact that the players of two competing world class football teams, once placed on the same team, are able to work together.

A saying by Hippocrates suggests this same notion:

Two men are sawing a log: one man pulls, while the other pushes, but still, they do the same work, and by making the log smaller, they make it greater.  

My Dear Fellow Students, 

You are not preparing for a profession, but a vocation. So, for You, university is not merely a school, but a mission, the successful completion of which will enable you to take up your calling, both mentally and emotionally. 

I wish You much faith and perseverance in this mission!

On behalf of Semmelweis University: welcome among us!

Rector of the University 

Portion directed to First Year Students

For You, first-year students, the beginning of the new academic year is a tremendous experience, since you will find out in the coming weeks whether you have made the right choiceIn other words, you will see whether you have set your target upon the faculty and major which will allow you to practice a profession which suits you, and whether you will be capable of fulfilling the obligations described above.

Allow me to share with you a well-known parable:

A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and chocked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!

Clearly, there will be some among you, who will not be able to keep pace with the course work, and will fall behind. There will be others, who will realise that they should have applied to a different program, and will transfer. There will be still others who, in hopes of easier advancement and a higher income, will leave their vocation. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that the majority of you will learn the content of the curriculum with joy and enthusiasm and, in a few years’ time, will be practicing your vocation with you well-earned diploma in hand. 

Many of you will become masters yourselves, with more and more new students, thus increasing the University’s crop manyfold. 

The grape berry is a small fruit; still, it takes a whole summer to ripen – Szilveszter the apostle muses in Sándor Petőfi’s poem.

How much more time, effort and money is required for a student to ripen, or, in other words, for the seed planted in fertile soil to grow and become a professional, a master!

This is precisely why we need to invest not less, but increasingly more in higher education, research and innovation, as the nation’s development and advancement is essentially determined by its intellectual potential. Recovery from the current economic crisis is inconceivable without a multitude of cultivated individualsReturns on the investment will, however, take much longer to come than in the case of, say, a bank or car manufacturer. 

In the words of Nobel Laureate György Oláh: 

The future must be invested in, and the best investment a nation can make is the education of its youth.

The situation of our resident doctors doubly underlines the value of a higher education qualification in the medical sciences. First, through the fact that their departure from Hungary leaves behind a gap which cannot be filled, and second, when they superbly hold their own abroad, and permanently abandon the idea of coming home.

My wish is for all of You to hold your own in Hungary!

Let me conclude my speech with an admonition by Péter Pázmány, which speaks to master and student alike:

Fear God, study diligently, and faithfully serve your nation, your homeland.

Rector of the University 

Entire Speech

Honourable Minister of State, 

Dear Colleagues,

Dear New and Returning Students, 

Dear Guests, 

The opening of the new academic year is a celebration of commencement and recommencement, of setting goals and, at the same time, preserving values. On this occasion, I would like to extend my warmest and most respectful welcome to all those students who are beginning their studies at our 243 year-old University this year, whose faith and determination we are really counting on during, not only this year, but in the years to follow as well. 

This is the first time I am standing before You as Rector, and so my welcome address is, to a certain degree, a rector’s creed as well;

the central idea of this creed is that the primary task of a university is education. 

Therefore, all the activities which the University undertakes – such as medical care, and in the medical, dental, pharmaceutical, health and sport sciences – serves, foremost, to expand Your knowledge, a notion which I shall expand upon below. 

The true essence of today’s celebration is the joy which I feel over the fact that professors and students are able to act together in the spirit of universitas.

For what is the meaning of university? The universitas is an ensemble of masters and students, or, in the words of Kúnó Klebelsberg, Minister of Culture between the two world wars, a “collective“whose members, working in various scientific fields, devote all their efforts to acquiring and transmitting the latest knowledge to each other

This is not a slip of the tongue: they transmit the knowledge to each other

A good student plays an active role in the educational process: she poses questions to her master, thus prompting him to think further and expand upon his existing knowledge while, as a member of the Students’ Sceintific Association or as a Ph.D. student, she acquires the knowledge through her research work, which enriches also her master and Alma Mater. 

Europe’s first university began its operations in Bologna in 1088, and it is from this date that we trace the name university

Hungary’s oldest continuously operating university was founded by Cardinal Péter Pázmány at Nagyszombat in 1635. Semmelweis University was established by Queen Mária Terézia in 1769 as the Medical Faculty of this university. 

Two hundred years later, it took on the name of its former professor Ignác Semmelweis, one of the most influential figures in not only Hungary, but in the medical history of the world. 

What can we learn from the patron, the ruler, the scientist and the cultural minister?

What is the task of today’s university?

Péter Pázmány, who contributed toward the foundation of the university out of his own wealth, formulated the following admonition:

Qui honorat patrem suum jucundabitur in filiis – Only he who honoured his master can take joy in his students.

The universality of master and student is, perhaps, one of the most defining characteristics of our university existence, since we pass onto our students what we had learned from our masters and, soon, our students will, in turn, become masters to new students themselves. 

What does Mária Terézia, founder of the Medical Faculty, write in her educational provision, the Ratio Educationis?

The university is a professional school, which endows students with the aptitude to cultivate science and disseminate noble aspirations throughout our homeland. 

A university does not only teach, it educates as well. 

It does not only transmit knowledge, but excels in the acquisition of new knowledge as well. 

In the words of József Eötvös, Minister of Culture during Hungary’s War of Independence in 1848:

The university should be a scientific school, a lighthouse where scientists teach!

Based on a slightly complicated, but all the more apt phrase of Minister Eötvös,

Just as the sun shines first upon the highest peaks, and only later spreads across the Plain, finally penetrating into the narrowest valleys, so does civilisation follow this exact same road, and in all of history we cannot show a single example where scientific progress did not bring with it progress to social and political life as well.

His son, Loránd Eötvös, who also served as Minister of Culture, said:

The university of today – following the principle that science can only be transmitted by one who is, himself, capable of moving science forward – gathers into its sphere almost every one of those working in the scientific field. The university provides them with all the necessary tools, making it their only duty to teach as their conviction dictates; it provides everything needed for them to be able to freely assert their personalities in the field of scientific research, and to nurture successors for themselves out of their students. Can it come as a surprise, then, that the free atmosphere of the university is where scientific life is at its most vibrant?

Finally, a sentence from the creed of our University’s namesake, Ignác Semmelweis:

We, however, would like to keep our postnatal women healthy.

Semmelweis was very much ahead of his time in his recognition of the significance of asepsis. The message which the “Saviour of Mothers” sends us is that a person whose hands a patient’s life has been entrusted must do everything in his power to save that life.

Semmelweis was able to place this goal above even his own professional and scientific career, defending his truth even when the “great race ’til the grave” put his very livelihood in jeopardy. 

It is my sincere wish that each of us be able to “fight, according to his strength, for the noblest causes” in this same spirit. 

Three centuries, four great personalities, three imperatives:

  1. Let there be mutual respect and cooperation between professors and students!
  2. In addition to teaching and learning, let outstanding research activities abound at our university as well!
  3. Let all our activities be permeated by the greatest possible feeling of responsibility and sacrifice towards the lives that have been entrusted to us. 

Perhaps as a result of all of the above, Semmelweis University was awarded the Research Centre of Excellence distinction in 2010. Then, in 2012, Hungary’s oldest medical school was selected among those brands, which represent the highest quality, becoming a so-called Superbrand. In the same year, in honour of their shared history, three prestigious universities – Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter Catholic University and Semmelweis University – entered into a long-term close partnership in education and research under the name Higher Education and Research Association of Nagyszombat

For You, first-year students, the beginning of the new academic year is a tremendous experience, since you will find out in the coming weeks whether you have made the right choice. In other words, you will see whether you have set your target upon the faculty and major which will allow you to practice a profession which suits you, and whether you will be capable of fulfilling the obligations described above.

Allow me to share with you a well-known parable:

A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and chocked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!

Clearly, there will be some among you, who will not be able to keep pace with the course work, and will fall behind. There will be others, who will realise that they should have applied to a different program, and will transfer. There will be still others who, in hopes of easier advancement and a higher income, will leave their vocation. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that the majority of you will learn the content of the curriculum with joy and enthusiasm and, in a few years’ time, will be practicing your vocation with you well-earned diploma in hand. 

Many of you will become masters yourselves, with more and more new students, thus increasing the University’s crop manyfold. 

The grape berry is a small fruit; still, it takes a whole summer to ripen – Szilveszter the apostle muses in Sándor Petőfi’s poem.

How much more time, effort and money is required for a student to ripen, or, in other words, for the seed planted in fertile soil to grow and become a professional, a master!

This is precisely why we need to invest not less, but increasingly more in higher education, research and innovation, as the nation’s development and advancement is essentially determined by its intellectual potential. Recovery from the current economic crisis is inconceivable without a multitude of cultivated individuals. Returns on the investment will, however, take much longer to come than in the case of, say, a bank or car manufacturer. 

In the words of Nobel Laureate György Oláh: 

The future must be invested in, and the best investment a nation can make is the education of its youth.

The situation of our resident doctors doubly underlines the value of a higher education qualification in the medical sciences. First, through the fact that their departure from Hungary leaves behind a gap which cannot be filled, and second, when they superbly hold their own abroad, and permanently abandon the idea of coming home.

My wish is for all of You to hold your own in Hungary!

Let me conclude my speech with an admonition by Péter Pázmány, which speaks to master and student alike:

Fear God, study diligently, and faithfully serve your nation, your homeland.

Opening Ceremony

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.

View of the main floor

Students in the German program

There were two large projector screens showcasing a promotional video for the University, which included facts about the students, research programs and facilities.

Students practicing on a dummy

Faculty of Medicine!

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).

Deans of the different faculties

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.

Students taking the Solemn Oath

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!

The square

Leafing through the booklets we picked up at the ceremony

Finally, the Faculty of Medicine section!

Grilled chicken breast and veggies. So nice to know that you can get a healthy meal right next to the library.

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