Future physicians, dentists, and pharmacists routinely start their educational programs at the University of Debrecen by taking a course in basic Hungarian.
Several hundred international students began to familiarise themselves with Hungarian language and culture on Monday at the crash course offered by Nemzetközi Oktatást Koordináló Központ (NOKK) [Coordinating Center for International Education] through the cooperation of Debrecen Summer School. Participants of the course had arrived from 41 different countries altogether, including locations as diverse as Egypt and India as well as Great Britain and Cameroon. About three hundred of them will study general medicine, while roughly forty will specialise in pharmacy and more than eighty in dentistry as of the next semester at UD.
These “international freshers” will also receive a sort of an orientation guide to Debrecen and to wherever else Hungarian is spoken: after forty classes, they will know how to introduce themselves in Hungarian, how to greet local people and use the numbers, how to conjugate basic verbs in the present tense or ask for a coffee in the canteen, and to talk freely about their families and friends. The primary objective of NOKK Iroda and the faculties concerned is to provide as much useful information to the students during the course as possible in order to facilitate their future process of acclimatisation to the Hungarian environment. This pre-semester two-week course is helpful for them to pick up just enough Hungarian to be able to fully concentrate on the English-language courses after the start of the fall semester.
At the orientation intro session held for the incoming international students, apart from getting the routine useful information package, the freshers were also briefed on how this course would end with a written and an oral closing exam. This, however, does not mean that they do not need to take any more language classes at all. In fact, in order to get by in the daily routine and also to be able to converse with native Hungarian patients in the vernacular during the course of their clinical practice in the third year, they are expected to have covered 6 more semesters of Hungarian by that time.
At the two-week preparatory language course, /usually before the academic courses start, after the 20th of August/as many as 30 instructors will be teaching the basics of Hungarian language and culture to 24 groups of first-year international students.