Francesco De Felice October 10, 2019

Italy

Please, tell us about yourself. Where are you from, what is your major, and what do you study here? Anything, that you think could be important.
I'm Francesco De Felice and I'm 21 years old, I was born and raised in Naples. I have always been attracted by different cultures and languages, therefore I am enrolled in the University of Naples "L'Orientale". I am currently in the third year of my bachelor in "Linguistic and Cultural Mediation" and my majors are Spanish and Hungarian; last year I took up Serbo-Croatian language, too, as I'm really interested in Central European countries. Here, at the Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, I'm studying at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and I am attending Spanish, Hungarian Language and Literature, History and Sociology classes.

Why did you choose to come to Budapest and Pázmány?
As I already mentioned before, three years ago I started my career at the university and I began learning Hungarian, so the best choice for me was to come to Hungary for improving my language skills. In 2016 I came to Budapest for the first time and I fell in love with this capital, so back in that time, I knew that for sure I would have come again here and I chose it for doing my Erasmus. In the summer of 2018, I met a girl from Germany who had chosen PPKE for her Erasmus and she suggested I choose it as it was one of the best university in Budapest.

How do you like Pázmány Péter Catholic University so far? Do you enjoy studying here?
I love studying at the PPKE because it gives me the chance to meet people from other countries and to get in touch with other cultures. Even during classes, I have the opportunity to share different points of view about various topics. Moreover, the number of students in each class gives me the chance and the feeling of being part of real groups in which every student can feel at ease. This is the reason why I'm enjoying my stay at this university.

Is this your first time in Budapest? Have you travelled a lot?
My first time here Hungary was in 2016 when my friends and I decided to travel to a city about which we knew nothing. As soon as I had spent some days here, I fell in love with Budapest. I came back again here in the summer of 2018. Firstly I studied at the University of Pécs, as I was a helder of a scholarship. After that, I spent one week more in Budapest with my new friends. The same happened this year after I studied in Pécs again, as I moved to Budapest in an apartment. I started travelling around Hungary because I wanted to know more about this country and its beautiful landscapes and cities.

How much information did you have about Hungary before?
The first time I came here I knew nothing about Hungary, but after I started getting in touch with the culture, the history, the literature and the language I fell in love even more with this country.

What were your first impressions here?
The first impression I had about Hungary was the one of every tourist who came here: a beautiful capital in the centre of Europe. As soon as I got more information about Hungary and Hungarians, I understood the way of thinking of a country who has always been misunderstood. A country whose language is one of the most unique in the world and among those from all European countries. A country who was home to writers and poets such as Márai Sándor, Radnóti Miklós, Petőfi Sándor, Szabó Magda, Ady Endre and more. Music and arts were also flourishing here because of people like Liszt Ferenc or Victor Vasarely.

Have you tried any typical Hungarian dishes or drinks? How do you like them?
I have tried many dishes and drinks here in Hungary but for sure my favourites are pálinka, Unicum, fröccs, pörkölt, Jókai bableves and kürtőskalács.

Do you miss anything from your hometown?
The only thing I miss from my hometown, and here comes the stereotype, is PIZZA.

Are you content with the programmes and social events the university organizes for international students?
I am really happy and satisfied with the programmes and social events organised by the university. The first International Dinner Party we had was really cool as we had a Hungarian dinner, wich I loved, and helped me get in touch with mentors and some Hungarian students from PPKE.

Have you learned any Hungarian words yet?
It's been for three years that I study Hungarian, so I know "few" words, of course. I think that this is one of the most difficult languages in the world and here I am trying every day to deal with something that could be seen as "extraterrestrial".

What is a goal of yours?
My goals for the future? Trying to graduate as soon as possible! Plus, trying to master Hungarian as a language, which is quite the challenge. A real dream, for me, would be to be a teacher of Spanish or Hungarian language at a university no matter where, otherwise being a translator would make me happy too. I am sure about one thing: if I ever have the chance to work here in Hungary, in Budapest, I would move immediately and I would be ready to leave Naples, my hometown, in which I spent my whole life and to which I am really attached to!

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