5 November 2021
The Peer Program in the UP MS Aula greeted Medical School students in Pécs with hot drinks, snacks, comfortable armchairs and beanbags. Students had the opportunity to talk to participants of the Peer Program, whose task is to provide support and advice to those in need. During the pleasant event, visitors could also learn about the Programme that started in 2019.
written by Viktor Harta
The leap from secondary education to university is a huge one, and not only because of the large amount of study materials; in many cases, especially for international students, there is also the culture shock – an unavoidable obstacle if one has to acclimatize to a new environment. And that’s not even mentioning the ever-present question: who to turn to with questions about living situation, learning methodology and time management?
The Peer Programme, started in 2019 at the UP Medical School provides Hungarian and International students in all of the above; it ensures that students know they have someone to turn to. The advice and information is coming from fellow students – people who have been in the same shoes, who see the system from the same viewpoint, and have felt the effects of the same challenges.
The programme started with 16 peers two years ago. Now, there are 44 students in the international group, who can all be contacted about problems with university life. However, they are also available for general support, and as a safe community for those needing help.
Autumn tea with the Peers
In order to raise awareness of the programme, the “Chill with the Peers” event was organised on October 21 in the Aula of the old Medical School building, as part of the UP MS Well-Being Month. The Aula was furnished with armchairs and beanbags, and students could enjoy some hot tea or chocolate, have some snacks surrounded by autumnal decorations. Students could chat with students who are participating in the Peer Programme – the organisers arranged areas for chatting where students could retire for more personal conversations.
Aside from the Peers, the Mentorklub was also present – their stand allowed visitors to get advice and support from the educators at the Medical School.
The photo gallery for “Chill with the Peers”:
Dormitory, scholarship, Neptun, time management, mental health – or everything that the Peer Programme can help with
Students can turn to the Peers with questions related to every aspect of university life. Be that scholarships, dormitories, Neptun, administration, learning difficulties, time management, exam preparation, life coaching – the Peers are guaranteed to help.
They are not strangers to administration (e.g. arranging life insurance or opening bank accounts), career orientation, scientific life, sports and leisure activities. They can tell you about the best places in Pécs, but students can count on them in healthcare and mental health questions as well.
The main function of the programme is being a supportive community and coordination: either providing direct support, or contacting the relevant organisation, bureau or office, guiding the student to the relevant personnel.
Peers can be reached through the programme’s website. Peers can be filtered by topics as well, based on the nature of issues one needs addressed.
The website hosts introductions for every Peer, with a photo. They can be emailed using the form on the bottom of the page. The Peer will answer in a timely manner, and guide the questioner to the relevant department or organisation, or offer an in-person meeting for solving the problem together. The support does not end here: the Peer will follow up with the questioner and, if needed, provide more help and advice.
Peer Programme Contacts: