Less than a year after last year's barbecue for international graduates, the MU Centre for International Cooperation (CZS MU) organised another meeting where graduates of international study programmes, exchange programmes and ongoing summer schools at MU could meet and establish mutual contacts. The event was also attended by more than twenty coordinators from all ten faculties and other university-wide departments, from whom graduates could learn about new developments at the university and its faculties.
“The community of international graduates of Masaryk University is growing every year and we want to stay in touch with them even after their studies and know how they are doing in their personal and professional lives. That is why we are organising the outdoor barbecue for the second time and we are pleased that this year even more participants came than last year. We hope that the event will gradually become a tradition and that in the future it will attract MU graduates from different parts of the world to come back to Brno and meet their classmates, coordinators and teachers,” says Violeta Osouchová, Director of the MU Centre for International Cooperation.
The outdoor barbecue was attended by students and alumni from 21 countries including Australia, the USA, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, Mexico, Iran, Georgia, Ghana, Israel, Great Britain, Lithuania, Hong Kong and France. In addition to grilled refreshments, CZS MU also prepared a photo booth, outdoor games and competitive bingo for them to get to know each other.
Some of them, such as Georgian Shota Dzneladze, a graduate of the Master's programme in Business Management at the Faculty of Economics and Administration of MU, were at the event for the second time. “I completed my studies at MU three years ago and, like some of my classmates, I stayed in Brno, as it is a very good place to live. It's great that the university organises events like Homecoming, at least you can reminisce about your student years and meet a lot of new people who work in interesting places,” said the graduate, who also met his classmate Maame Ama Dede Adumetey from Ghana at the Homecoming.
In addition to graduates of study programmes, the barbecue was attended by students from summer schools who will be returning to their home universities after a month-long stay at MU. Georgian Anano Sanikidze, however, is thinking of returning to the university soon. “I came to the MU summer school because I wanted to check out the university – I heard so much about it, so I'm thinking of finishing my master's degree in Brno. And I have to say that after a month's stay, I'm impressed with the modern facilities, great teachers and international environment and I know I would like to come back to Brno for another term. So, I'm looking forward to what's coming in the future,” said the student.
The outdoor barbecue is one of the activities of the international alumni programme that the university launched at the beginning of the last academic year. Its aim is not only to stay in touch with alumni, but also to use them to spread MU's reputation abroad and to attract new students - for example, by sharing their experiences of studying at MU at fairs or universities in their country.
The programme has also created a webpage for international graduates, where graduates can find out more about the benefits of the programme and also share their stories. They can also sign up for the regular quarterly newsletter for international alumni on the website, where they can learn more about news from the university and alumni events.