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From Hungary to China, by way of Denver

By Cory Phare

June 19, 2017

Zoltan Voros, Ph.D., a faculty member of humanities from Hungary’s University of Pecs, coteaches a Maymester class at MSU Denver.
Zoltan Voros, Ph.D., a faculty member of humanities from Hungary’s University of Pecs, coteaches a Maymester class at MSU Denver.

Students in the class Political Science 39AC: Defense & Development – East Asia, had an unorthodox perspective in discussing the rise of China: a Hungarian one.

That’s because the Maymester class welcomed Zoltan Voros, Ph.D., faculty member of humanities at the University of Pecs as a co-instructor with Sheila Rucki, associate professor with MSU Denver’s Political Science Department.

“It’s exciting to be here, as American universities are different from those in Hungary,” said Voros. “And it’s great to practice a more debate- and conversation-based instruction that helps students test their ideas and knowledge.”

Rucki first met Voros when she was lecturing on U.S. foreign policy at the Hungarian university in 2016. This University partnership extends to students, who can also take part in a Study Abroad program.

Students in this recent course only needed to travel to the King Center for international insight, however.

“This course has been interesting to see two different perspectives,” said Voros. “The U.S. often looks at China as a rival, while Europe views it more as an entity to help deal with the lasting effects of the recent financial crisis.”

For Rucki, the educational value for her students was the opportunity for discerning and interpreting information from a different international perspective, which aids in the analytical process, she believes.

“I hope they get curious about the enigma that is China and develop tools that will allow them to make their own knowledge as critical and informed consumers of information,” she said.

Students weren’t the only ones to benefit from the opportunity, however.

“It was really great to see the academic research process here – from the library access to colleagues and the professional environment,” said Voros.

He noted his appreciation wasn’t limited to the classroom.

“The food is so different and good – I tried everything I could; the whole campus is just amazing.”

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