Madalena Santos October 8, 2019


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.
Hello! My name is Madalena Santos and I am from Portugal. I live and study in the capital, Lisbon, and I really enjoy living there, its a beautiful city full of life. My major is Social and Cultural Communication and I study at Catholic University of Lisbon. Here, in Budapest, I have multiple courses and I´m taking some about media and others about international relations.

Why did you choose to come to Budapest and Pázmány?
Budapest is really an amazing city, it was a happy surprise for me! My sister had been here for her senior trip and she really liked it so that was one of the reasons for my choise. The other one was because many friends of mine told me that Budapest was the perfect city for Erasmus because of its youth, beauty, and geographical position in Europe.
Concerning Pázmány, I based my choise by talking to my erasmus coordinator and because Pázmány is a great University, well known and with a variety of different and really interesting courses that I was excited to take.

How do you like Pázmány Péter Catholic University so far?
Until now, Pázmány Péter Catholic University has been great! I really enjoy all of my courses and the professors are all very kind and available to help and clarify my questions. Both campus I study at have great facilities and I think also a positive aspect its the fact that each student has a tutor who can help at anytime needed.

Do you enjoy studying here?
Yes, I´m really enjoying this experience.

Is this your first time in Budapest? Have you travelled a lot?
This is my first time in Hungary, and its been great! I really want to explore different towns near Budapest and I’ve heard lot of good things about places like Balaton, Szentendre and Debrecen.
So far I went to Croatia, to Split and Hvar, and to Slovakia, Bratislava. Those trips were great and both countries were very beautiful too.

How much information did you have about Hungary before?
Honestly I didn’t have much knowledge about Hungary, but I’ve already gone to two free tours, one to visit the most iconic places, and the other focused on the jewish quarter, and they were really interesting.
I have also one course where we debate the history and economy of Hungary, since the XIX century, and from my perspctive it’s really interesting to see the cultural and social changes of Hungary since it has such a different background compared to the History of my country, Portugal.

What were your first impressions here?
My first impressions were good! I wasn´t expecting the city to be so modern and had so much to see and to do, was definitely a good surprise. The only downside, at least from my short experiecne, is that people have difficulty speaking English, even the younger, and sometimes are not the most friendly.

Have you tried any typical Hungarian dishes or drinks? How do you like them?
Yes, of course! I already tried some typical dishes like chicken paprika, schnitzel with fries, kurtos kalacs and the jewish flódni cake. They were all very good although they´re very different from what I’m used to eat back in Portugal. But I have to say that kurtos kalacs really have my heart.

Do you miss anything from your hometown?
I am enjoying very much my time in Budapest and this month that I just passed it went by very fast. I think what I miss the most from my hometown it´s just my family and friends. My city is very beautiful too so if I had to pick one thing that I miss it’s just the sunny weather and the walks by the beach.

Are you content with the programmes and social events the university organizes for international students?
To be honest I’m sad because I could’t make it to the international event that took place last month because I was travelling to Croatia, but I’m looking forward to the next one. I think it’s great that our university promotes the relationships between erasmus students! For me is very interesting to learn more about the culture and gastronomy from other countries so I’m excited to be part of the international dinner that is going to happen soon.

Have you learned any Hungarian words yet?
Hungarian its a very difficult language at least for me, but I already managed to learn some words, this are the one’s that I’ve learned so far: szia, koszonom, utca, állomás.

What is a goal of yours?
That is a difficult question but I think I have two different goals, one short and one long term.
The first one, short term, is just to enjoy every day of this journey here in Budapest! Not every person has this opportunity to study abroad in such a nice country so I’m very thnankful that I’m here and I want to have good grades and improve myself as a person.
The long term goal of mine is just to be happy and have an impact in our society. By this I mean having a job where I feel complete and where I can manage to help others, trying to be the best version of myself every day.