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This article is written by two lovely lady, borned in Germany and Portugal, but now living in Debrecen. Their (un)experiences are reflecting very well of Debrecen so far. Meet with Tamara and Joana!

Tamara Messer, Germany

I arrived in Debrecen on the 13th of October to start a European Voluntary Service at ÚTON Egyesület. Being 19 years old and between school and university I felt the strong desire to experience an adventure.

Tamara Messer

So, I took the chance and came here, knowing nearly nothing about the country and it’s customs. Three days after my arrival I wrote about my first impression of Debrecen to my family and my friends. Of course I wrote in German, but I try to translate it here:

„Soo, now I landed here in Debrecen. I think I like it here. I don’t know if I can say that the city is beautiful but it is definitely interesting. Concerning the architecture, everything is very conglomerate. 

Tamara - narancs utca

There are big grey apartment blocks and old neglected houses standing side by side to amazing buildings from the Art Nouveau or the Historism era. One street is all orange, I really, really like it. There are a lot of cafés where I would like to take a coffee some time. They have many brands here which we don’t have in Germany and a lot of big, tidy second-hand shops. The huge shopping centers are also open on Sunday! (*In Germany they aren’t!) I already speak a little bit of Hungarian and I like the language. They have many „sch”s (*s in Hungarian) and a rolling „r”.

Yesterday, when I did my first city tour, I learnt to count until ten. Egy, kettő, három, négy, öt, hat, hét, nyolc, kilenc, tíz. That is pronounced in this way: „Aedsch(i), kettöö, haarrom, naeaedsch(i), öt, hott, heet, njolz, kilenz, tieß.” The house I live in is nice and located at the end of a green courtyard. Our neighbours are very nice as well. Last but not least, the food is much cheaper than in Germany. I just bought a huge chocolate croissant for 70 Cents! (*In Germany it’s between one and two Euros).”

Tamara - karácsony

Christmas time in Debrecen

When I wrote this, it was still summer outside. Now it is winter and I lived here for more then eleven weeks. I saw the city in the bright sunlight, in rain and in snow.

I discovered a lot of cafés, restaurants, bars, cinemas, shops and markets. I met many different, interesting, nice people. Day by day, I develop more affection for the city.

In my opinion the greatest thing about Debrecen is, that you can always dicover a nice spot, sometimes hidden behind a grey surface. If you search for it, you find what you are looking for – and much more.

Joana Viana, Portugal

Joana Viana


My name is Joana and I’m here in Debrecen, Hungary for an 8 month European Voluntary Service in Úton Ifjúsági-Kulturális Egyesület. I studied Organizational Psychology in university in Portugal and in last December I applied for an EVS in Hungary, one month later I came and I’ll be here until the end of August.

I’ve been in Hungary for 15 days now, so here are my impressions of Hungary and Debrecen so far.

My first sight of Hungary was really beautiful as the airplane was landing on Budapest I could see the houses and fields underneath all covered in white, as the snow had been falling before I arrived. I’m really fond of snow, and I love to see the leafless branches of the trees covered with snow, it seems like a fairy tale sight to me.

Joana - pszichoHungarian people were really nice to me since I arrived, they even helped me a lot, especially carrying my unbelievably heavy luggage, you know girls I brought my own weight in stuff,  from the Budapest Airport to the flat in Debrecen. I feel that Hungarians are really hospitable and I try to be as xenial as I can, and so far, for a foreign who can’t speak the native language, I’m having nearly no trouble in making myself understood.

Being a Portuguese who really like cherries, Hungarian presented to me as the cherries gastronomy paradise, because here you can find any and everything made out of cherries, some of them I haven’t even tried like the cherry soup. So far I had cherry pastries, cakes, candies, coke, palinka and I’m making an effort to cut back on the cherries as I don’t want to be sick of cherries in my firts month in Hungary.

Joana - egyetem2In my first week in Debrecen I went sightseeing and fell in love with the University building and its mystical atmosphere with the stained glass windows and the carved stones with the name of Hungarian renowned persons hanging on the walls.

Last but no least I really like the Debrecen night life when the pubs become filled with people from all around the world. There are a lot of Erasmus students in Debrecen who really like to party and to enjoy themselves and they can help you to have a nice time as they are welcoming and outgoing. You can choose between different atmospheres, you can  just have a beer and talk with your friends or go clubbing, so just ask anybody and they’ll tell where you should go.

So that’s all for now, I hope next time you hear from me I’m speaking a little more Hungarian.


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