Please introduce yourself to our readers!
My name is Paweł Folfas and I come from Poland. I am employed as an assistant Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics (in Institute of International Economics). My interests cover International Economics, especially international trade, FDI, transnational corporations and transfer pricing. At the Warsaw School of Economics I deliver lectures in International Economics, Microeconomics, Managerial Economics and Introduction to the Game Theory.
What was your first impression about Hungary? What are the cultural differences and similarities that you have noticed so far?
My first impression about Hungary was that it is very similar to Poland, so I have noticed many similarities in lifestyle, mentality, the standards of life and also in landscapes. The biggest difference is of course the language which is totally different from Polish and other Slavic languages (Russian, Czech, Slovak etc.). Hopefully, after a few weeks I will be able to recognize some Hungarian words and learn the tricky pronunciation of ‘s’ and ‘sz’.
How do you find the lifestyle in Szeged?
The lifestyle in Szeged is very similar to that of Poland, especially of Kielce (where I was born and grew up), so I find it natural. The biggest advantage of Szeged is the fact that it is a walk-distance town, so you do not have to spend a long time on buses, trams etc. (life in Warsaw is not so simple unfortunately). I really like the Szeged style fish soup and of course Salami.
In your opinion, what are the main benefits of university partnerships and exchange opportunities for students?
The main benefits for students probably stem from variety. Although teaching for example International Economics in many different countries is similar (based on the same well-known books), still there are some differences in teaching philosophy between lecturers from different countries. This variety bears some fruits for students.
What is the main motivation of your journey to Hungary? What kind of professional and educational perspectives do you expect out of it in near future?
>I have friends at the University of Szeged whom I met a few years ago when they came to conferences I was organizing in Warsaw. Consequently, I would like to strengthen our relationship and prepare for a joint research. I hope we will be able to continue this relationship and our joint research in the near future.
What is your teaching philosophy?
To scrutinize a lot of numerical exercises (sometimes very complicated) illustrating theories of International Economics, but there’s also an emphasis on practical aspects of contemporary world economics.
Are there any new ways or approaches of teaching methodology that you discovered here and plan to implement in your future teaching?
I managed to recognize that lectures in International Economics (or generally in Economics) at the University of Szeged contain more analysing of statistics illustrating contemporary world economics and more issues from Management (Theory of Management) than lectures in Poland. For me it is an important hint about how to improve my lectures.
How would you describe the research environment at the University of Szeged based on personal observations?
Research environment at the University of Szeged appears to be friendly and comfortable, especially for young researchers.