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French Week at the University

“Semaine Francaise” is the name of the week-long series of events hosted by the Department of French Studies of the Faculty of Humanities for the first time between April 9th and 13th but with an intention to make it an annually recurring program.

There is also going to be a photo exhibition and even a play performed on stage in the series of events connected to Frankofón 2018 Fesztivál [Francophone 2018 Festival] called French Week in French, opened officially at the joint exhibition of the university library and the Department of French Studies titled “Irodalmi díjak, francia művek, magyar fordítások" [Literary Prizes, French Works, and Hungarian Translations] in the lobby of DEENK [UNL – University and National Library of the University of Debrecen]. A common feature of all the books on display here is that the authors of each one of them are holders of prestigious literary prizes, including Nobel and Goncourt prizes. The latter of these, which has been awarded annually since 1903 in the month of November of every year, is the top achievement in French literary circles.

“This current exhibition is a symbolic or virtual bridge, connecting two cultures while inviting the readers to take an imaginary journey,” said Gyöngyi Karácsony in her opening address.

“Az egyetlen igazi utazás [...] Nem az lenne, ha új vidékek felé törnénk, hanem a másféle látás, ha valahogyan más szemével, ha száz más szemlélő szemével láthatnánk, [The only true voyage of discovery, […] would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others,]” said the Director of DEENK, quoting the words of Marcel Proust.

“French Week offers an opportunity for the city of Debrecen and for the university to bring French culture closer to Hungarian audiences with the help of institutions of culture and education,” said Andrea Nagy, Head of the Department of French Studies.

A round-table talk in the spirit of reaching out and establishing contacts was held with the participation of representatives from Református Kollégium [officially: Reformed College], Csokonai Színház [Csokonai Theater], MODEM [Center for Modern and Contemporary Art] and Alliance Francaise, at which the delegation led by Cultural Counselor Frédéric Rauser, Head of the French Institute in Budapest, could learn about the cultural life of Debrecen.

“At present, the University of Debrecen is involved in cooperation with as many as 29 different French institutions of education, in the framework of which it is primarily student exchange programs that are conducted under the aegis of Erasmus. However, there are also several other research teams involved in joint efforts, including the so-called ‘Balaton program,’ which has been active for the past 25 years in the fields of medicine, life and natural sciences,” said László Csernoch to unideb.hu after his discussions with Attaché of Scientific and University Cooperation Sébastien Reymond.

Our Vice-Rector for Scientific Affairs highlighted that the already existing and operating connections were crucial in laying the foundation for potentially successful future applications for EU funding on the one hand, while on the other hand, the continuously evolving English-language programs both in France and at the University of Debrecen might also be instrumental in further expanding the number of students participating in student exchange programs.

The events of French Week will continue to be available for students and the general public until April 13th at the University of Debrecen.

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