STUDENT ADVISING AND INFORMATION CENTERS
To set up a student advising service that provides the complex consultancy that is commonly found in Western European universities. By providing information and advice free of charge, the Foundation intends to promote equal opportunities. To provide information to Hungarian students wishing to study abroad, especially in the US and Western Europe, about the possibilities, the application process, methods to prepare for examinations abroad and possibilities to take them in Hungary, and also about the Soros Foundation’s programs.
Hungarian Student Advising Centers
Universities and colleges could apply for support for a maximum period of three years to establish student advising centers or improve existing centers. Preference was given to applications by several institutions jointly establishing an advising center. The application plan had to be prepared for three years in 1999 (with a breakdown for the first year) and could be revised annually. The applicant institution was required to issue a statement to the effect that if the support was granted it would continue to operate the center on its own or find another donor to help operate it after the program period.
The centers provide information about study opportunities, related arrangements (with the involvement of the Department of Register, about the scholarships available in Hungary and abroad, job openings, cultural and training programs, sports, travel, and other recreational opportunities, accommodation, etc.
Experts are employed to provide advice and consultation for students on academic and legal issues; psychology, lifestyle problems (alcohol or drug abuse, mental problems); financial (tax) problems; employment issues; and application-related knowledge.
The host institution must provide the following resources in the first place: rooms with ample space, furniture, phone and computer network outlets, utilities and office services (heating, power, cleaning, telephony), full time jobs and public servant salaries for 2 staff (an Office Manager and an Information Officer).
The Foundation’s contribution: technical equipment, a scholarship-type incentive after a six-month appraisal period to reward the experts who give advice – e.g. lawyers, tax advisors, psychologists, career advisors, etc. – direct Internet and e-mail access via the C3 Center for Culture and Communication if necessary, possibly through a high-capacity ISDN line; provision of Soros School Booklets to provide students with general advice on legal, tax, employment, and application problems, a budget for in-house publications, leaflets, a budget/contribution to office operation and supplies costs (copy paper, toner cartridges, etc.)
Centers for information on higher education abroad
The following offices provide printed and/or computer-based information about higher education abroad – mostly in the United States. The network was established by the Soros Foundation in 1990 in conjunction with the USIS and the Hungarian host institutions (except for the Fulbright Center), and its operation has been funded on a tripartite basis ever since. The Centers provide guidance as to the foreign admission exam procedures – especially in the US – and ways to prepare for them, as well as application processes.
All the information available on higher education in the US is accessible
Szeged University Library Soros-USIS Information Center website at