International Show Yourself Day – The event, where you can make yourself visible

Varga Tímea

Internationalization has been one of the most important assets of the University of Pécs in the past decade. We can see a steadily growing number of foreign students starting their studies at the different Faculties of the University, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences welcoming the second largest number of them after the Medical School in the last few years. These new students are bringing their own languages, traditions, all in all their own culture with themselves, making Pécs much more colourful in every sense. However, most of the times what we realize of that, are the new restaurants popping up all over town serving the different needs of these different cultures; and the fact that it’s hard to go into a bar nowadays without hearing people talking in English.

My perception is that for some reason these international students still often remain numbers, behind which we do not put faces or individuals. Students are sometimes so sucked in by their daily lives and by the hardships of university life, that they forget to just stop and look around themselves and see what an amazing opportunity is opened by what the administration calls internationalization. Since I am convinced that this is a unique situation, not only for those coming from countries that are thousands of kilometres away, but also for those who are already here – Hungarian and foreign students as well.

It is a unique opportunity to get to know dozens of other cultures, basically from the safety of our ‘living rooms’ as we meet them on a daily basis, at a place what we can consider our second homes (whether we like that or not). We do not have to leave the boundaries of the city anymore in order to dive deep into cultural diversity and get to know the way how people in the Middle East, Africa, South America or in the Far East live, as young adults from all of these regions are living here among us. The Faculty of Humanities for example has more than 800 students from almost 80 countries all over the world, who are – in my experience – more than happy to share their traditions, their thoughts, and even their foods and beverages with us.

Maybe we do have to step out of our comfort zones just a little bit, and open up to them, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

Trust me on this: they do not care if your English is not perfect, as that is not their mother tongue in 90% of the cases either – they are fine with it, as long as you are willing to talk and listen to them. 

Also taking this from personal experience: everybody loves speaking about their own cultural heritage and their own country, especially if they are far from home – maybe it makes us feel less homesick – so do not be afraid to ask. What is the worst that could come out of such a conversation? Mostly, a realization that even though we come from different political units, we speak different languages, have our own traditions and culture, still we do not differ as much as we expected.

That is why I believe the event of International Show Yourself, taking place on 21 March, at the stage of Szenes Club is a great opportunity, that was long-due in our Faculty: it gives us the chance to put faces behind the numbers, and see how amazing cultural diversity is, but at the same time get to know each other, engage in conversations and have that marvellous realization that we are struggling through the same difficulties of young adulthood and university.

In this event, everybody is welcome to perform, who wishes to introduce themselves or their culture in a creative way, using any kind of accessory or special instrument. At the same time, it is definitely worth joining as a spectator as well, because you can not only get to know new people and new cultures but can also vote for the performance you like the most – so viewers are also participants in a way, helping performers win valuable prizes in the end. 

Thus, I encourage everyone to visit Szenes on 21 March and see for themselves what the world has to offer, from the comfort of our very own club – you won’t need a passport for this, still you will feel like you have travelled around the world in just a few hours.

Both participants and viewers will find the most important information on the program (including how to apply as a performer) at its Facebook event, via this link: 

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