University of Szeged, Hungary (SZTE) is the country’s #1 higher education institution as ranked in QS World University Rankings 2023. A key reason for this is the university’s focus on impactful research. After all, this is the alma mater of one of TIME magazine’s “Heroes of 2021” Katalin Karikó. She was part of the team that helped develop mRNA-based vaccines against the coronavirus.
Karikó first heard about the medical applications of mRNA at her alma mater, the University of Szeged and the Szeged Biological Research Centre — a discovery that would propel her career to the US before gaining worldwide recognition.
It is this innovative outlook on saving lives that make SZTE graduates special. Medical students join the university not only to become highly qualified professionals — they are determined to heal patients through one or several of the doors to infinite possibilities opened to them globally.
But what is so special about SZTE? Why have over 22,000 talents — 5,000 of whom hail from 130 different countries — choose to study in Szeged, the city of sunshine?
Start with the fact that SZTE is a launchpad for career-ready graduates. After gaining “an exceptional medical education” here, Class of 1992 graduate Julie Potzick returned to the US to complete her residency. Her time at SZTE — plus summer externships at the American Hospital of Paris, a summer on the Isle of Man and in Ireland — gave her “a strong foundation upon which to build.”
“The theoretical knowledge I learned was truly in depth and sound,” she says. “I learned good critical thinking skills and how to apply theory to practice. The meeting of new people from other countries and cultures really helped to broaden my outlook on life and my understanding of others. All of these were, and are, useful to my success as both a physician and as a human being in general.”
Her SZTE education prepared her well to be a doctor — and more. Today, she’s a consultant for the insurance company and doing peer reviews as well, specialising in Allergy and Immunology. “I have achieved a really good work-life balance and feel I have the best of both worlds as I can do these things whenever I want and have no set schedule to follow. I work part time at the Allergy and Immunology practice two to three days a week.”
International students thrive at SZTE. There are several programmes available for them to undertake such as the Medical Programme, Dentistry Programme, Pharmacy, Nurse (BSc), and Physiotherapy (BSc).
Courses are in-depth, with practical experiences embedded. This is why SZTE graduates are able to specialise in a number of medical fields — from becoming a general practitioner in a traditional private practice to working in areas like forensic medicine, medical economy and management, or health journalism.
Outstanding professors leave a lasting impact on their SZTE students. “I felt the relationships I had with my professors were quite good,” says Potzick. “They were very approachable and open to explaining and discussing what was taught in class if I had any questions.”
Indeed, intensive student-teacher interactions are at the core of all SZTE programmes. Small group sessions enable a more personal connection to be made and create safe spaces where even the smallest voices can be heard. This ensures every student maximises their university experience and takes full advantage of the resources that SZTE has to offer.
Beyond campus, the city of Szeged charms students from far and near. Ask graduates and they will recall a wonderful and very liveable city with beautiful historical buildings and stunning natural surroundings. The university is located downtown and everything is within walking distance.
In this vibrant intellectual environment, students will find a a great place to learn, explore and live. Little wonder why Hungary’s fourth-largest city was ranked eighth on the list of “The 10 Best University Towns in Europe” by Condé Nast Traveler.
If you see a future for yourself in healthcare, head to Szeged. Learn more about what the University of Szeged, Hungary has to offer here.
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