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Jake Asmah: My journey in Hungary as a Sociology student at Corvinus

By Jake Josiah Morrison Asmah

Hi ya’ll, I’m Jake Josiah Morrison Asmah and I am a second year Sociology BA student at Corvinus University of Budapest. You may wonder why I have such a long name. Well, that plays into where I come from.

My dad is from Ghana, West Africa. From him, I got Morrison and Asmah (Sounds like Asthma, yes I have Asthma). It is tradition to pass on the father’s middle name and last name.

Jake and Josiah come from my mom. She was deciding between calling me Jake or Josiah and decided to give me because Siah means skirt in her native language, Papiamento.

Btw, she is from the Dutch Caribbean, so I’m legally Dutch … and from the Caribbean. Cool, right? We aren’t all pirates just in case you were wondering.

I spent my early life hopping between my parent’s countries and the United States, where I picked up an American accent. This life of travel gave me a lot of experiences, and I learned to love differences in people.

How did you hear about Corvinus and when did you decide to apply?

I moved to Hungary in 2017 and lived here for two years doing Bible School in a small village called Toalmas. I enjoyed living here and decided to continue my education in Budapest. I started looking for universities and found Corvinus.

One big reason that played a role in choosing Corvinus was that the tuition fees are more affordable than the other universities in the region, yet you still receive good education. Moreover, the Sociology programme is the best one here in Budapest. When combined with the fact that I wanted to stay here, it became a simple decision.

What was the best thing about moving to Budapest?

I love how small the city seems (even though it’s not so small at all!), while providing everything you need to have fun. Something to do, new people to meet, and event to go to. The ex-pat and student communities are well populated which is different from everywhere else I’ve lived.

Was there an organization that helped you integrate into this new environment?

Yes, several in fact, Budapest Blend helped me meet several people at the beginning which helped me find a diverse community in the school. Alongside that, my church hosts a university student group that meets every week, and I quickly became one of the leaders.

Also, I spent some time a Toastmasters, a public speaking club that developed my skills and social circles. Through these, I developed a very interracial group of friends. It isn’t abnormal for all my friends to all be from different countries and at times even continents!

For example in this picture, all of us are from different countries with four continents represented!

How is it to be a Sociology BA student?

Generally, I’ve found it quite interesting. We spend a lot of our time doing practical assignments. For example, out of six classes, I had to take a test in only two because of the amount of course work and projects we have had. For someone who doesn’t like tests, this setup is perfect.

If you get a good schedule, you might have a four-day weekend, but it also depends on how you place your subjects in the table. What I really liked is that the first year is spent studying with the other social science majors, which means an even greater chance of finding friends and meeting a wider diversity of people.

Regarding the first year however, while you do get a bit of a taste of what Sociology is like with prof. Attila Melegh, most of the classes are foundation classes. This means that you will be receiving knowledge in many fields in order to have a strong base for the next 2 years. For example, I personally loved taking Political Science with Professor Farkas Katalin.

Have you decided on your future occupation?

Yes, for the last three years, I’ve wanted to be a teacher. I chose to do Sociology as it gives me an opportunity to grow in the areas I need to. I strive to become a multidisciplinary teacher in theoretical fields.

What hobbies kept you afloat whenever you felt down?

I have several interesting hobbies. For my whole life, my main hobby has been reading. I got started at an early age and at one point I could read 3 books a day.

My favourite genre is fantasy, and my favourite author is Brandon Sanderson. He’s known for his books that are massive, generally 600-1000 pages. Check him out if you like fantasy or sci-fi novels.

This love for reading led me to start writing. I’ve finished one book (fantasy of course) and am working on a few others. Unfortunately, I’ve never summoned the courage to publish a book, but I have some of my writing on my personal blog.

Forgive my self-advertisement but just a bit more. More recently, during the first lockdown, I started writing poetry as well. Those can be found along with my more academic writings on my Medium page.

Read Jake's poetry HERE or check his website HERE!

What’s your favourite spot in Budapest?

Kalvin Ter, hands down. I used to live there and I simply love the area. Not only is it an easy walk to university, everything you need is right there.

Want some amazing Incan food or Vietnamese food? Just go down Raday utca. Feel like you want to see the river? Five-minute walk.

There are cafes and bars in each direction with some of the most unique styles. Puder is one of my favourite cafes because of its unique design and great menu.

It is also probably the nicest and safest place to live and walk around at night. I have fond memories of walking with friends after midnight enjoying the lights of Budapest. I miss living there and will try to move back there as soon as possible.

What would you say to anyone who’d like to apply to Corvinus?

Just do it! (insert meme). Not much more to say. You will find a diverse community of people from all over the world here (like myself). The city is fun, and you will get a great education here. So, what are you waiting for? See ya when the lockdown ends!

  • If you'd like to find out more about Sociology BA at Corvinus, read our dedicated article on it, featuring prof. Attila Melegh - a sociologist, economist and historian, or check out further information on our website.

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