Administration in one place in the Office for International Relations

22 February 2023

Multiple changes took place in the organisational and personal makeup of the Office for International Relations in Spring 2022. Since it became a part of the Department for Academic Support, Development and Habilitation, the office can handle mobility programs for the Medical School and Faculty of Pharmacy. Their tasks were greatly expanded: students coming here or going abroad to study can handle their education administration (matriculation, course registration, Neptun) and tasks related to their Erasmus application. The goal of moving all of these services into one place was making the lives of students easier.

The office is led by Dóra Éltető, who was an administrator in the Doctoral School at the Faculty of Law for three years, and joined the Registrar’s Office at the Medical School in November 2021, handling administration for Hungarian program students. She started handling Erasmus and guest student matter in January 2022 within the Registrar’s Office, and moved to the Office for International Relations in April 2022 during the restructuring of the office. She is currently working as an international coordinator.


written by Rita Schweier


“We deal with incoming and outgoing students, and also educators and staff going abroad. Therefore every type of administration is slightly different, just like every person is different – this is what makes our job so complex. We mostly meet those who are in the Erasmus program or those who would like to participate in one of the exchange programs at the faculty. We handle all of the administration of incoming Hungarian and international Erasmus and guest students, we follow along on their path from first contact to the end of their studies” – says Dóra Éltető.

She adds that they are also dealing with the János Hunyadi scholarship program (organised by ELTE), in which students come for usually two week long practical courses, and there are also faculty exchange programs. With these programs, students can travel to the USA, Thailand and Japan for two weeks. We have received visiting students from Japan this march as well. The administration and contact with these students is also handled by the Office for International Relations, and the same goes for the 50-60 students coming from Marosvásárhely each summer, sent by dr- Valérián Ádám professor. They help them matriculate, with catering and accommodations, and with medical check-ups and other issues if needed.

“We have received 19 Erasmus students from various European Union cities in the 2022/2023 autumn semester. The most popular were Valencia, Pavia, Gdansk, Regensburg, Mainz and Münster. Most students come for a year or just one semester. Sometimes they extend their stay for another semester” – adds Dóra Éltető.

Students like to come to the Medical School in Pécs because they hear that the quality of education is very high, and they would like to experience it. It is also an adventure for them, since Pécs is a university city with colourful and vibrant life. Students in their sixth year really like going abroad for their practices, especially to Germany and places where English is spoken. They usually approach the office with concrete plans.

According to Dóra Éltető, overseas countries are also popular, but only a limited number of students are able to go there through various applications. The International Relations Committee makes their decisions based on in-person interviews about the 2-4 students who will be selected for these spots. Grades and social activities matter. The faculty has an exchange contract with Thailand, Saitama, Tokio and New York. She adds that every university has a different system for incoming students, therefore their own tasks differ for ach of them. These countries require a visa and extensive medical papers for entry.

As she says, sometimes they receive 120 emails a day, but the average is 20-30 emails a day. None of these can be answered in only a few words, since students mostly ask multiple questions at once. Cooperating with educators and administrative colleagues is easier, since they have been here for longer, therefore understand processes better. They read the call for applications carefully and – since they are not travelling for the first time – can mostly manage on their own.

The office supports students with regular information emails, including one about the start of the academic year. Their goal is to make their website more understandable, thereby making broadcasting information and news easier. Moreover, students think that personal contact is important; lower year students especially prefer personal meetings.

Applications for educators and staff are usually announced twice a year. Administrative staff can apply via Neptun, their works can be handed in to the UP International Directorate. Accepted and approved applications of educators are sent to the International Directorate by the office itself. Many interested parties visit the office during the application period, asking about possible locations, the types of documents needed, what to pay attention to and other useful advice. The staff of the office often reads the entire applications to provide help with additional materials or things to remove.

In the case of educator mobility, existing partner institutions can be visited to teach, maintain and build contacts. Staff mobility is mainly for administrative staff, but educators can also apply if they are not teaching or researching in that time period. In these cases, they do not have to travel to a partner institution, since the emphasis is mostly on building connections or creating new partnerships; and also on getting to know new work methods that could be used in education tasks at home. These trips are excellent opportunities for learning a foreign language.

An important part of the office’s task is keeping in touch with the International Relations Committee, headed by dr. Rolland Gyulai professor and his secretary, dr. Gábor Horváth. They have meetings every other month, where the current tasks are discussed. The office provides data to the Committee regularly and notifies them about new possible partnership options and inquiries thereabout.

The office also has to create and upkeep the records on which the international faculty rankings are based. They are also responsible for the mobility, Erasmus+, lateral and bilateral contracts of the Faculty, provide administrative support for contracting, partake as organisers or participants in events supporting partnerships, and welcome incoming delegations.

“We would like to maintain a good connection with our students, educators and fellow colleagues. There is always room and need to improve. I feel like we managed to prove in the past year that we can be counted on professionally, and a level of trust has been established. We would like to expand the mobility options at the faculty and increase the number of participants by providing more information and organising events. We would also like to increase the quality of our services. Together with the staff of the UP Internationalisation Directorate and the Marketing and Communication Department of the faculty, we will strive to make the cooperation with our partner institutions stronger. It is important that these connections remain stable and sustainable, so that we can provide the most possible opportunities for international experiences to faculty citizens” – says Dóra Éltető about their future plans.

The positive feedback from students, educators and colleagues are a serious motivating force for them, and they often receive letters with pictures included, expressing gratitude at the end of someone’s travel.


Dávid Verébi

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