Student testimonials - SUN 20th Anniversary

Alexandra Liebich (Canada), 2013 The Politics of Citizenship
The CEU Summer University was - and remains - one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was the thing, the "trigger" that convinced me to return to academia and pursue a PhD. I was not enrolled as a student when I applied to CEU, and I craved something engaging, something immersive and international, something that involved learning and would give me direction in my career. The CEU summer school was the perfect opportunity for this. Plus, it had the perfect course for me: “The Politics of Citizenship” (2013). I studied issues of nationalism, identity, and citizenship during my M.A. I had heard great things about CEU from several people, and had always been curious about its centre for Nationalism Studies.
The program was extremely engaging, comprehensive, constructive, and also a lot of fun! I spent two weeks with graduate students, professors, and policy-makers from across Europe and North America, engaged in debates and discussions on the topic of citizenship. It was an open, supportive, collegial atmosphere. I recall having “light bulbs” go on in my mind every day as I learned new things and gained new ideas & questions for my own research. I had the chance to present my research project, which was exciting, and I received valuable feedback from my peers.
Conversations always extended beyond the classroom, to the rooms and hallways of the CEU Residence Centre and to the breakfast/lunch/dinner table. In-class sessions were complemented by some wonderful extra-curriculars that allowed us to explore the vibrant, historic city of Budapest. The CEU staff was very helpful from the pre-departure planning to the moment I arrived at CEU and throughout my time there.
Overall, it was a terrific opportunity to meet others in the field, make connections, network, and foster future collaborations. I still keep in touch with many of the people I met there. I am now in year 2 of my PhD studying the politics of non-resident citizenship in Central/Eastern Europe. I will always be grateful to CEU for an amazing experience that reminded me why academia is where I am happiest, and encouraged me to apply for my PhD.
Thank you!
Wilson Box (Zimbabwe), 2011 Human Rights and Drug Policy

My short experience at CEU was next to none. I liked the setup of the university and the rich bank of academic resources available. A cauldron of knowledge and academic research. The course had a great impact on my professional development. The Zimbabwe Civil liberties and Drug Network is a baby of the summer course on Human Rights and Drug Policy. After graduating in December of 2011, l came back to Zimbabwe and registered an organization on Drug Policy Reform. The rest is now history.

Bishnu Bahadur GC (Nepal), 2014 Innovative Financing for Education, 2015 LMI- Teaching Integrity

The program opened my eyes in the field of financing for education contributing to education. It changed my vision, mission and my profession too. I initiated to form a group of people who could spare some resources for education, as soon as I returned from Hungary. Now we have established a school with the help of those people having similar vision, where I work as a Director.

Donatella Tronca (Italy), 2013 Medieval Codicology and Palaeography

I really enjoyed the time I spent in Budapest and I learned a lot of things during the Summer University Program in Medieval Codicology and Palaeography. This course had a significant impact on my career because one of the professors I met in Budapest wrote one of the reference letters thanks to which I obtained a three year scholarship for my PhD program at the University of Bologna.

Anahit Boyajyan (Armenia), 2010 Sustainable Human Development: From International Frameworks to Regional Policies

The course was very interesting, useful and very professional. It had a significant impact on my professional development as I am working in an environmental organization which has a direct connection to the sustainable development. I got both theoretical and practical skills and knowledge, had an opportunity to meet with foreign colleagues, to share and exchange experience. […]

The lecturers were experienced professionals with excellent background in the field. I got excellent knowledge and unforgettable memories from those days, really missing that time.
Thank you for organizing such kind of summer courses for us - international students.
Gunel Huseynova, 2014 Green Industry: Pathways Towards the Industry of the Future

Central European University gave me experience that I needed very much prior to starting my PhD research here in Azerbaijan.  I love everything about this university - professors and their ability to join together 25 people from 22 different countries, students which were selected very carefully, huge and very comfortable library, beautiful architecture of the building, garden for leisure which we, however, used during workshops.

It was my pleasure to be part of the course. We are still in touch with the classmates and hope to meet again in the same city. Thank you very much for this chance and I wish you continue with this project making a lot of students a little bit more educated and happy. 
Zuleykha Asadova (Azerbaijan/USA), 2014 Comparative Regionalisms: Changing Forms of Governance in Asia, Africa and the Americas and the Effects on the World Order

Attending the Summer Program at CEU brought back all the memories from my year (2011-2012) when I was getting my MA degree at IRES/CEU. In 2014, I got accepted for Summer University & I got a chance to meet my old friends & classmates, professors again in Budapest. I made new amazing friends, learned so much more from visiting professors in the area of Comparative Regionalisms. I am glad I did not miss this opportunity that year! 

Fredrik D. Hjorthen (Sweden), 2013 Justice: Theory and Applications

The course I attended held a very high level, both in terms of its substantive content and its organization. It also provided the best networking opportunity I have ever experienced, and I often run into friends from the CEU course when travelling to other universities. 

Eugenio Parise (Italy), 2011 Brains and Minds

I had the opportunity to learn about a new theoretical framework. My intellectual horizon has been enlarged and I feel intellectually richer. Not to mention the great, friendly atmosphere: just the ideal situation to learn!

Akufai Jonah (Nigeria), 2014 Human Rights and Drug Policy

Budapest was a delight for me as I was impressed with the architectural design of the city and the CEU campus is so serene for learning that I consider applying for a Master degree program.

The CEU SUN I participated in has enhanced my advocacy work around drug policy and human rights in Nigeria.
Oyeniyi Abe (Nigeria), 2012 Mediation and Other Methods to Foster Democratic Dialogue

It was a wonderful experience at understanding how disputes can be settled amicably from different cultural perspective. The interactive sessions, role play and participation further imbued me for real live situations. Having to sit in mediatory sessions with people from different cultures and countries created an incredible mark on me which I will never forget.

Shailand Gunnoo (Mauritius), 2014 Green Industry: Pathways towards the Industry of the Future

This was indeed an enriching learning and sharing experience for me. The quality of the Course faculties was excellent and comprised of a good mix of UNIDO experts, high calibre academics, industry specialists, NGO representatives and even an ex-Minister passionate for environmental issues. During their presentations, their experience and expertise were very much useful in what they conveyed to us, the participants. I would definitely use their teachings in my future working career. 

[…] During the deliberations, I realised how much our industrial and environment issues within our respective countries were common despite great differences in language, culture and country size. The activities which we worked upon throughout the course were also highly interesting and led to mutual understanding between ourselves. Given that most of us resided together, this was a plus point in knowing one another's background, lifestyle and study/work areas even better. I must state that most of us are still connected on social media and we often share ideas, knowledge and remember nice memories of the course.
Byambadorj Purvee (Mongolia), 2014 Leadership and Management of Integrity
The policy lab courses on integrity were very interesting and  I  had a thorough understanding of corruption, fix rates and how to close the loops. Still I am challenging myself how to update Galtung's formula on integrity by particular rates/weights of bad network, on increasing corruption and corrupt society. In general, the obtained knowledge helped me to understand the society more and open it as much as possible.  
Sona Ghazazyan (Armenia), 2013 Innovative Financing for Education: Arguments, Options and Implications

In 2013, I had a unique chance to participate in the Central European University Summer School Program on “Innovative finances for education”. In the scope of the program, I had the fortune to meet the leading specialists in the sphere of education and economics bringing their experience and energy to present alternative means of financing. It was during the program that I first learnt about the Diaspora Bonds and how it could affect the educational possibilities of the states with strong Diasporas like Armenian is. The presentation of the “Diaspora Bonds: Case study based on the Armenian example” held at CEU and the following research and the publication of the article entitled “Win-win situation: Diaspora Bonds as the means of supporting education system in Armenia” are just single impact examples of the summer school outcome.

Similar courses are not simply chances to meet and network with the like-minded specialists but yet another possibility to get to know international trends in your sphere and collaborate around the shared cause with the participants from all over the world․ The opportunity that the Central European University has been giving to the participants for the last 20 years is invaluable and simply life-changing. 
Abiodun Ayodeji Lawani (Nigeria), 2013 Leadership & Management for Integrity: Doing Business with Integrity Policy Lab

Being part of Class 2013 was an awesome experience. It was an impactful programme and the knowledge gained has tremendously helped my personal, social, academic and professional endeavour. 

My colleagues from different countries were fabulous and a wonderful set of people with our chains of friendship still very much intact.
So also are the Lecturers at the Summer Class, they are too good & friendly and hospitable.
The serene CEU environment was a nice place to be. Thanks to the exceptional and magnificent CEU Management.
I am looking ahead again to being at CEU  academic environment for a course soon.
Konstantina Tortomani (Greece), 2014 Luminosus Limes
My experience regarding the CEU Summer University was highly gratifying. I was left with the best impressions about the University in general and the academic staff in particular. The program was very organized regarding the academic schedule but also it was flexible enough to allow some entertainment in the beautiful city of Budapest. I will definitely come back for another summer school and highly recommend it to others.
Tim Libert (USA), 2012 Online Free Expression

An excellent two weeks which exposed me to numerous viewpoints which influenced my thinking for years to come.

Sinfah Tunsarawuth (Thailand), 2012 Human Rights Litigation

The course has strengthened my knowledge and skills in human rights litigation, making me more confident in what I am doing in Thailand. I have applied what I have learned in my teaching to my journalism students and in monitoring court cases for international and regional human rights organizations.

Ibrahim G. Bureh (Sierra Leone), 2011 Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and Transparent Local Government Management; 2013 Innovative Financing for Education: Arguments, Options, and Implication
The summer courses conducted at the CEU, which I had the opportunity to attend on two occasions, brought together participants from across the continents and from diverse backgrounds. The facilities at the university were of very high standards with state-of-the-art instruments. The directors of the courses were well experienced and knowledgeable in their individual areas of lecture.
Specifically, the course on Innovative Financing for Education gave me broad ideas on other non- traditional sources of finance for education as a way of reducing reliant on government and donor supports in financing education. Experiences from colleague participants on the implementation of the non-traditional sources of education financing were also useful.
With the reintroduction of decentralization in my country after some 32 years, fiscal decentralization programme, particularly its intergovernmental fiscal transfer system was a new phenomenon in the entire context. The course on intergovernmental fiscal relations provided the basic tools and was significant in guiding the design of fiscal decentralization in Sierra Leone. These tools acquired from the CEU have been adequately utilized in designing the own source revenue generation capability of sub national governments, expenditure assignment and the allocation of grants in a fair and equitable manner. Coupled with other countries experience, the course gave me an in-depth understanding on the required fiscal decentralization in post conflict countries like Sierra Leone.
Valentina Gevorgyan (Armenia), 2011 Mediation

The CEU Summer School was my first European and one of the most memorable and enriching experiences, which has laid the ground for further professional and personal progress. I am very much indebted to the CEU SUN instructors, organisers and staff for making this experience so much valuable and important. 

Proud to be a CEU SUN alumna - Valentina Gevorgyan 
Liviu Pop (Romania), 2012 Policies and Practices in Access to Digital Archives

It was a great opportunity to be part of this nutritious and fertile environment and it continued to have impact upon my professional life long after it was over. Thanks a lot for allowing me to take part at this!