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Thread: Just Accepted - Semmelweis Dentistry (LOTs of questions)

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    Marlowe_Dental is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Just Accepted - Semmelweis Dentistry (LOTs of questions)

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    Last edited by Marlowe_Dental; 09-10-2012 at 05:28 AM.

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    Marlowe_Dental is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks again African_child for such a detailed answer!

    Seeing you're from Canada, I would like to point out that you would see a lot of differences between here and Canada. First off, don't expect all those futuristic skyscrapers covered in glass dotting the skyline here as you see in Canada. Instead, you would see a lot of Victorian (?) buildings here. Second, the facilities in the labs are a mix of old and new. Third, expect the English secretariat to piss you off a few times by delaying your requests, lacking in certain information you might inquire about other departments or at times having "miscommunication" with the dean's office. However, things are getting better and Budapest is reputed to have the best student services.
    The more you describe Hungary, the more it actually sounds like the school I'm at haha.

    The Budapeststudent website answered more of my questions so thank you for linking it! It was very very useful.

    I'm glad you found this useful. But please be aware I'm not in Semmelweis, so there may be some differences from all that we have discussed.
    On a lighter note, you're Canadian, eh? I bet you hate South Park then. He he...Terrace and Phillip? Damn! Mat & Trey really make fun of you guys. But hey, who hasn't been mocked by South Park?
    Yup, don't worry, I'm going to contact someone from Semmelweis and look into that further, but you're discussion of your experience in Hungary in general has been helpful. And actually, I like South Park, it's pretty funny . I don't watch it all that often though.

    Anyway, at this point I've heard enough positive things about Hungarian schools to be more decisive about going.

  3. #12
    african_child is offline Member 521 points
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    Anyway, at this point I've heard enough positive things about Hungarian schools to be more decisive about going.
    Still, they have their disadvantages. I'll urge you to do more research & get the views of other current/past students, preferably those from your country.
    Good luck!
    V/VI
    UD-MHSC, Debrecen, Magyarország.
    edu.dote.hu.
    Pls peruse the forum before sending me PMs. All answers to your questions are there!

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    chayank is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hi African_Child
    How about South Asian Students? Have you ever met Indonesian,Singaporean,Philipphines or Malaysian Students there.?
    Is 4 days enough to make a campus tour? If I do the research, should I join the class, too? Thank you..

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    african_child is offline Member 521 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by chayank View Post
    Hi African_Child
    How about South Asian Students? Have you ever met Indonesian,Singaporean,Philipphines or Malaysian Students there.?
    Is 4 days enough to make a campus tour? If I do the research, should I join the class, too? Thank you..
    Hi chayank,
    So far I've only met students from Vietnam, Taiwan, China and Japan. I know, none of these countries are among the ones you mentioned. But maybe they're out there somewhere and I've not met them yet.
    Oh yeah, 4 days is MORE than enough. Not only will 4 days allow you to tour Semmelweis (and Budapest), but the whole of Hungary! It's pretty much a small country and if you are financially buoyant, I'll advice you to widen your options and check out the medical schools in Szeged and Debrecen also. Good luck and wishing you a safe trip

    P/S : Of course, try to join the lectures!!!
    V/VI
    UD-MHSC, Debrecen, Magyarország.
    edu.dote.hu.
    Pls peruse the forum before sending me PMs. All answers to your questions are there!

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    Asom is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks African Child!
    Last edited by Asom; 01-22-2011 at 05:00 AM.

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    Dr_Cupcake is offline Newbie 511 points
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    A bit of a lengthly response...

    Heya!

    I've been poking around the web for some resources, and found this post by accident, and I decided to give a response from my experience as a Dentistry student finishing her second year at Semmelweis University, as we speak!

    First of all, congratulations for being accepted!

    Secondly, I cannot speak from experience regarding University level education in North America, however, my responses are based on my personal experience here at Semmelweis University, and I'll respond point to point to your questions.

    1- Lectures depend on the lecturer/instructor as well as the class. Some lectures you will find to be quite boring if you do not have a particular interest or skill in the subject, and the lecturer may be monotonous and not quite charismatic. However, naturally, if you have a passion for a subject, for example Chemistry, you wouldn't have much trouble following the lecture.

    The sizes of those lectures differs from a total of about 50 people for Anatomy (Expect absences, so turn outs may be smaller) to about 300-something people for general sciences Dentistry and General Medicine students have in common.

    Either way, the lecturers are usually to the point on what you need to know, and paying attention there takes you a long way and cuts down on the study hours you have to do at home. Additionally, lecturers allow students to ask as many questions as they want, as long as they pertain to the material, and students can always ask the lecturers/instructors after class.

    Tip: Make sure you show up a bit early and find a place in the front rows, especially for medical sciences. The back row hosts all the kids that aren't paying attention, sleeping, texting, talking or studying something else entirely. The buzz from all of that makes it difficult to hear and sometimes decipher what the instructor is explaining, not to mention how distracting it can all be!


    2- For most classes, slides are posted on department websites as each department has its own website and resources, perhaps with the exception of Anatomy, which requires you to combine theoretical and practical notes of your own for better understanding. Anatomy, however, isn't comparable to medical sciences in terms of learning, in my opinion, so slides for that are useless anyway.


    3- The use of chalkboards depends on the department at which you take classes. The biology/immunology department uses white boards with markers. The anatomy department, housed at an antique building, uses chalk boards due to the fact that those boards are as old as the building itself. They're pretty proud of them

    The basic medical sciences building has a combination of those. Not sure on what basis, but in general I'm more in favor of chalk boards than white boards because over a distance, which is the case in larger lecture halls, chalk is more visible in contrast to a dark background than marker ink against a white background.


    4- The availability of notes online ahead of the actual lecture they're intended to depends on the department and the instructor responsible for posting them. That varies, however, it's not something many people do, so in my opinion it's not a prerequisite or a necessity to obtaining 5s (The equivalent of "excellent" in the Hungarian grading system).

    Every subject has a set of textbooks indicated in the Academic Calendar (Which is a little booklet that indicates subjects, credits, textbooks, exam dates and holidays-- issued by the university). Plus a set of textbooks for recommended readings and further readings, for those that want that extra bit of knowledge.

    Generally, the curriculum follows the textbooks closely. And while textbooks generally contain more materials or more details than you would be required to know, you can either use your textbook to mark what is being taught during lectures or in comparison to slides after the lecture.

    In my opinion, textbooks aren't necessary for all classes. For first year biology, genetics and biophysics, I studied lecture slides posted on department websites, and my personal notes taken during those lectures. I got 4s and 5s for those subjects just by relying on those sources. (4 = very good, 5 = excellent).

    5- I'm not sure about the meaning of "how electronic" teaching is, mostly because I'm not sure about the standard you're measuring it against. However, I would say it's fairly "electronic"; subject registration, exam registration and all notifications pertaining to studies are done through an online system called Neptun, for which you are given a code and a password before the end of the first semester.

    All departments have websites with lectures, notes, recommended readings, news, further readings and such. They also post e-mail addresses, phone numbers and other contact info for all of their instructors in case you need anything.

    6- Regarding class sizes, it depends; for general medical science classes, the class size is about 300-400 people, though with absences it's considerably less. It's supposed to encompass medical and dental students.

    For all practical classes, the practice is limited to your "immediate" group, which ranges from 15-18 people, and you have one or two instructors depending on the subject (One for sciences, two for anatomy composite).

    Classes that are more specific to dentistry students such as theoretical anatomy and general dental materials, classes are about 50 people, which is the entire year.

    7- Most profs are available outside class to help you out with things. Some will set appointments at their offices to catch up, some will stand and immediately discuss things, while others will make time during the next practice or class to answer your questions.

    I would say the majority of instructors are very dedicated to teaching us to the best of their abilities, which is actually quite impressing.

    8- Recipe for success? Okay, this is my recipe!

    a. Always show up ahead of time and get a front row.
    b. Miss as few classes as possible; waking up at 6.30 on a freezing snowy morning tempts me to stay in bed, but I keep in mind that attending even the most boring lecture will get some things out of the way because you learn easier in class; audio and photographic memory types both benefit from it, plus you associate learning certain things with certain gestures and they tend to stick better.
    c. Go over notes within the same week. Maybe not the same day, but never let the weekend pass on a week's notes of any subject.
    d. Take ALL midterms; not all midterms are mandatory, but they're an opportunity to brush up on knowledge, experience the quality of questions and get bonus points. They also pave the way for competitions or even partial exemptions from parts of semifinal exams.
    e. GOOD SLEEP. Some people party a lot; you can do that on weekends. During the week though, get your good 8 hours of sleep so your brain has the chance to sift through information and retain important stuff.
    f. Say no to energy drinks

    It's a simple recipe, but a little commitment takes people a long way in life.


    9- Student life is actually WAY better than you'd be able to find on facebook; the reason is most "groups" have their own facebook groups within which they mostly exchange study tips and notes. However, student life in Budapest isn't limited to Semmelweis but it spans a number of other universities in Budapest that have English programs.

    International parties are held with or without an occasion, celebrating everything from Persian new year, Purim, Halloween, Valentine's day, Christmas and the lot, and those are club parties.

    Student parties are smaller, and there's always a good number of get-togethers going on. ALL the time.

    Plus, you will find student parties sponsored by specific student associations, but that extend the invitation to everybody, such as the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA), ISAS, Israeli Student Organization in Hungary (ISOH), and I think there's a newly founded couple as well, for North American students and Persian students.

    Either way, don't worry about that. Regardless of what your scene is, you will find a place with a ton of people with whom you get along.


    Sometimes, SOME students do tend to zone out and babble in their own languages, but if you choose to study here you will discover that it only extends to about 2-3 nationalities out of the 50+ nationalities in Semmelweis. Otherwise, people of all nationalities mingle together, and you will find that some are more helpful to you than others; Scandinavians are very friendly and speak very good English, Israelis have the best-compiled notes out there, and so on. People will always share the bounty, whether it's school or party-related.

    There are also organized trips to various cities; from ski trips to Slovakia, to more historically-oriented trips to Auschwitz, to Prague, to Vienna, to Bratislava and so on, all of which are only a few hours from here by train or bus.

    Additionally, some dude here, LFent or something, has made a career out of foreign student entertainment. Which is actually...epic.


    10- By applying here and being accepted, it might not make you a super-stellar student in North America. However, to get by here, you do have to be a bit of a stellar student because they do have high expectations here, if not exceedingly so. I know for a fact that while the application and acceptance process is more difficult in North America, the sheer load here is something else, because again, we're not required to go to college, so the load is college PLUS university level education.

    So yes, you will have to work your tail off. But it's ALL doable, all the resources are available for you. I do agree on how "sneaky" and "lazy" it is to study past papers, but some people opt to do it if they're less than talented in a certain subject, such as Biochemistry. However, everybody has the means to really LEARN and UNDERSTAND everything they're supposed to know, and pass legitimately. Additionally, extensive sample tests with separate solutions are available on department websites to give students a feel of what an exam is going to be like.

    Libraries here are AWESOME. If you cannot focus at home; because you have too many distractions, or because you need the company to studies, the medical library is actually famous and quite gorgeous. The building is a typical antique European building, and everything looks like a work of art. You will find that there's a good number of student studying there at all times, while others opt to stay at home. Depends on how well you can apply yourself and focus.

    Plus, the Basic Medical Science Center, which is where we do...well, basic medical sciences plus language classes (elective, free credit, helps with communication AND helps with passing a required proficiency exam to pass from the third year to the fourth/clinic) has a great library and student center. It's pretty much my favorite place to study. They also have benches and tables and chairs in virtually every other empty space; students occupy them with their books usually. AND, free wifi <3



    I'm sorry about the long post, but I've been living in Budapest for a couple of years now, and I personally love this place. People have various experiences with Semmelweis and Budapest, but in my opinion it stems from their own attitudes in life; if you're someone that smiles a lot and is polite in general, and someone that makes effort to communicate in Hungarian, they will be more helpful and they will actually speak English. Otherwise, rude people that show no effort or respect are...universally treated dryly. Attitude also applies to studying; if you believe in yourself, use your time wisely, dedicate time for studying and for fun, and find your own balance and focus, you will fair well. Otherwise, students that party too much, put too little effort or simply fail to find a balance or a study-method are the ones that aren't as content. Even the English Secretariat, which has a horrid reputation sometimes, is highly dependent on your attitude; I personally make sure I smile a lot, say a lot of "please"s and "thank you"s, and dish in a little something for Christmas and a little souvenir when I come back from vacation, in fall. It shows them that you kind of "care" for them as people, and they care in return. Works like magic

    I love Semmelweis, and I don't regret neither the time nor the money put into it; it may not amount to much compared to tuition in North America, but as an European citizen, I could have studied for free at my home country or a number of other countries where education is free or for minimal fees for EU citizens, and from what I've been told, with much less effort as well. But on the other hand, I love the "international" environment, because it exposes me to many other cultures, and it exposes other people to mine. I get to learn words and expressions from various languages, and get to refute many stereotypes, taste many foods, participate in many feasts and learn about holiday traditions. For the rest of my life, wherever I go, chances are I will have a friend to get together with, and will be able to maneuver my way around in the native language, thanks to that. Beside the fact that Semmelweis DOES offer excellent education, for those that are dedicated enough to learn it all, I personally cannot put a price on how valuable the student experience here is.



    I wish you luck in your studies regardless of what you choose, and I'm sorry for how long this post is; but this has been my experience at Semmelweis University for the past two years, and now that I'm done with the most difficult part, I have three years of fancy-cruising ahead
    CherryBaby likes this.

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    apparentdiamond is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thankss

    wow what a post. Thanks again for your insight. I want to do dentistry and come back to canada after I graduate.

    btw how safe is the city. I mean here in canada I can walk around at 1am with an iphone in my hand and would not be mugged(for the most part), how is budapest in this regard.

    ohh and do you guys have oral examinations....can you throw some light on that...I have heard that one is basically at the mercy of the profs....
    Last edited by apparentdiamond; 06-08-2010 at 08:41 PM.

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    african_child is offline Member 521 points
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    Read Dr_Cupcake's post!!!

    I STRONGLY advise everyone interested in applying or has applied to Semmelweis University to peruse Dr_Cupcake's post. Moreso if :
    1. You are interested in the Dentistry programme at Semmelweis. And
    2. You can't personally go to Budapest to visit the school on your own for some reasons.

    Dr_Cupcake has virtually said everything there is to say...and more! The post is priceless!
    However, could you say a few words about the Foreign Students Secretariat or Education Office (as we call it here at Debrecen)? Ours here leaves a lot to be desired. But a few changes have started taking place
    How helpful are they there at Semmelweis? I think this is important for prospective students to know as they're basically your "best friend" especially in the 1st year and how they treat you leaves a lasting impression.
    Thanks and congrats acing through your final exams!
    I have one more to go!
    V/VI
    UD-MHSC, Debrecen, Magyarország.
    edu.dote.hu.
    Pls peruse the forum before sending me PMs. All answers to your questions are there!

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    Dr_Cupcake is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Response!

    I'm glad you found my post helpful!

    Budapest is fairly safe, especially when compared to many other European cities and capitals. In my years here, I have never been mugged or even remotely harassed by anybody. Much like in Canada (And Scandinavia!) you can walk around the streets at wee morning hours with your iphone in hand without getting mugged.

    I think a very good standard to judge safety by is the fact that girls, after a long night partying, return to their homes, alone, unharmed. If you think about it, girls in general aren't only prime targets for mugging but for assault/rape/whatnot, and all such incidents are unheard of, here, even for those students that don't live in the best parts of town.

    Aaand yes, we have oral examinations. To some extent, you are at the mercy of your examiner; some examiners are more lenient than others, and are more forgiving towards student mishaps caused by stress or anxiety. Others generally have higher expectations of their students. But it's nothing to worry about, in my opinion; dress formally, be confident, calm and smile, that first impression is important and it can make a difference in the way your examiner perceives you. Additionally, being prepared and knowing the material you ought to know takes care of everything else. Even the toughest examiners are fair, in that aspect, and the aim is usually to find out the extent of your knowledge, taking into consideration that a student cannot possibly know "everything".

    Oral examinations for some subjects are optional, such as Biophysics for first year; you can sit for an oral examination if you obtain over 60% of the grade and wish to improve your grade further. I've never personally sat for any of those, but I heard they're not that difficult.

    The one subject for which an oral exam is always the norm is Anatomy composite; Anatomy, histology and embryology. First, you follow your examiner around the autopsy room, answering questions on various specimen, hands on. That involves identifying structures they point out, as well as being asked to find structures and talk about them, by yourself. That is to test a student's ability to recognize or find and identify structures on a cadaver. That constitutes the practical part, and upon passing that, you proceed to take the theoretical part of the examination which includes discussing one question of embryological development pertinent to the semester's curriculum, identifying and discussing a histological preparation of the examiner's choice, and finally, a couple of anatomical questions which you sit and discuss with your examiner similarly.

    Students have to be dressed formally, as showing up in denims and trainers is frowned upon.

    Personally, I like such exams because charisma leaves a good impression, and that usually works in the student's favor. However, it really depends on the individual as some people aren't particularly adept at speaking or explaining things and simultaneously...chewing scientific jargon



    Regarding the English Secretariat here, they may leave some to be desired but it's still highly dependent on a student's attitude. Some people think that just because they pay tuition (Unlike Hungarians who go to school for free, like all EU natives in their own countries), that they own the place, and that attitude is very common among European and non-European students alike. Many are under the impression that their tuition pays the salaries of these people, and as such, they treat them like they own them. Regardless of whether tuition pays their salaries, nobody likes to be treated that way, and everybody appreciates a simple smile, a "please" and a "thank you" for what they do, which usually makes the difference in the treatment you get. That is actually applicable to everything from the student Secretary here to the people that work at ticket offices in the subway, the person at the supermarket cash register, and even people that work at McDonald's and KFC; if you give them the attitude, they give it right back. In the US, they take it a step further and...add an unwanted condiment to your sandwich. Here, they just return the attitude.
    Last edited by Dr_Cupcake; 06-10-2010 at 08:23 AM.

  11. #20
    Aavii is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Top quality article! I will be applying for the fall 2012 to study medicine

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