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"This diverse environment shapes my view of the world every day" – we talked to two winners of the SH Excellence Award

Akhilova Ayaulym, a student of the bachelor study programme in International Relations and Al Aridi Mira, a student of the master study programme in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, were awarded the Stipendium Hungaricum Excellence Award by the University this year. To mark the recognition, we spoke to the students from Kazakhstan and Lebanon about their experiences and plans in Hungary.   


For several years, the Tempus Közalapítvány (Tempus Public Foundation) has been providing an opportunity for Hungarian higher education institutions to award a one-time scholarship to the most outstanding students studying at their universities under the Stipendium Hungaricum and Diaspora Higher Education Scholarship programmes.  

Recently, two international students were among the ten applicants who received the award, Ayaulym Akhilova from Kazakhstan and Mira Al Aridi from Lebanon. The two girls earned the one-time scholarship not only for their excellent academic results, but also for their volunteer work.  


"It feels amazing to receive this recognition for all my hard work over the past years”, says Mira, who has been studying at the University for two years with a Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship.  


The Lebanese-born student wanted to come to Corvinus specifically for the master study programme in Health Policy, Planning and Financing: "I have a big dream come true, because with the Stipendium Hungaricum I can study in Hungary and in the study programme I am most interested in. I have just moved away from home for the first time, and although I miss my family and Lebanese food, I have made a lot of new friends in Hungary. For their sake - and of course for my own interest - I even took a Hungarian language course”, says Mira enthusiastically, who, in addition to her studies, now also helps the new Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship holders to integrate into Corvinus as a mentor.  


Akhilova Ayaulym, a Kazakh-born International Relations bachelor student, also arrived at the University two years ago. In addition to her studies, she has volunteered in Corvinus Science Shop projects over the past year and participated in events promoting the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme.  


"For me, the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme is an exceptional opportunity in many ways. On the one hand, this scholarship has allowed me to study in the heart of Europe, and on the other hand, through SH, I can belong to a very diverse, multicultural community, which shapes my whole world view every day”, explains Aya, who is most pleased with the Stipendium Hungaricum Award for Excellence because, in addition to her academic achievements, her volunteer activities were also appreciated when the award was given.  


When they arrived in Hungary, the biggest difficulty for both international students was the lack of Hungarian language skills, but they managed well with English from the beginning within the walls of the University: "as international students, we might find it a bit easier to make friends, as we are all far from home, away from our families and looking for new contacts. Fortunately, at Corvinus we were immersed in a very international environment from the very first moment”, adds Aya.  


Over the past two years, the two girls have grown to love the University and the country so much that they both have plans to continue their studies at Corvinus. Mira is now preparing for her doctoral entrance exams, while Aya will most likely apply for a master study programme. They both also want to gain experience in international organisations in the near future, and later use their skills in their home countries.  

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  - Emily Brontë


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