Before the start of Academic Year 2022/ 2023, the central and faculty-specific Orientation Days for the new freshmen took place between 31 August and 2 September in Szeged.
Apart from the official welcome by university leaders, a variety of orientation programs including useful information sessions, cultural and recreational activities were organized to welcome the new international students of the university.
At the Medical School, the International Student Union of Szeged (ISUS) was responsible for planning and organising the social events, whose aim was to help new students to get to know each other, explore the campus and meet their seniors and faculty staff. The campus tour, library tour, book fair and freshmen party are usual programs on their agenda, but this year ISUS added a new event to their repertoire, the Freshmen Field Day.
The president of ISUS, Kasra Shekastehband (5th year medical student) highlighted that the number one objective of the Field Day was to bring students together from the very first day of their university studies. After almost two years of online education and social isolation it is essential that students get to know each other and their new environment as soon as possible and make friends who they will be able to rely on when inevitable hardships occur during the course.
The ISUS Team designed fun, interactive, group-based activities and games to encourage participants to work with one another. The activities were conducted by higher-year medical students, so the freshmen also had to opportunity to identify helpful mentors among older students. Unfortunately, late arrival due to delayed visas and the unusually cold and rainy weather halved the number of participants, but those who attended still had fun while working their way through the Ninja Tournament, Human Knot or Water Balloon Toss, just to name a few of the numerous activities. In the breaks, students could visit their own national booths to meet their nationals or join their country union. However, one of the most important achievements of the event was that it had brought together the English and German Program students as both groups had to work on community building and their interactive skills together. In the future, ISUS definitely plans to continue in this direction and organise more intercultural events that international, German and Hungarian medical students can take part in.