Luis Omar Calva Pérez
Study program: Doctoral School of Biology
Period of studies at ELTE: 2021.09.01 - 2025.08.31
"Everything is an exciting experience that you will not regret. Budapest is an outstanding place, perfect for students. People from all over the world come here to study."
What stood out to you about ELTE?
After five years of searching for the research area I wanted, the Mexican government shared the call to study in Hungary. I immediately understood that it could be my opportunity since Europe is known for its research in the area of speleology. Without hesitation, I looked for the best-ranking university in Budapest, and thanks to cavers from Mexico and Hungary, I found the people and the Department in ELTE that works in my area of interest. Now, I am here doing what I am passionate about.
What makes studying at ELTE so great?
Studying at ELTE is so great because the Department of Systematic, Zoology, and Ecology have focus on a group of cave animals. That makes ELTE unique and meaningful.
What are/were your challenges in your study program?
The first semester seemed difficult. Moving to a new place is always complicated, and after five years, returning to Academic life was a little frightening. However, my Department turned out to be supportive, helping me without hesitation, especially with the language issue, which is the biggest challenge on your arrival as an international student.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Do not be afraid to ask everything! The Department and the staff are open and ready to support and guide us through any bureaucracy. In addition, even though it is not mandatory as a Ph.D. student, I decided to take the Hungarian language course to feel closer to my new home and learn more about its culture.
How would you describe ELTE in three words?
Supportive, Inventive, and Likable
How do you think your degree will help you in your life and career?
It is the crucial step to establishing myself as a cave biologist. It will allow me to be part of a well-known international research group in my field that tries to answer deep questions related to the evolution and ecology of cave animals. Moreover, Europe has a long history of research in caves and their fauna, thus, by the time I completion of the Ph.D. degree in ELTE, which is a European Institution, I will acquire all the needed knowledge and skills that will show how serious and professional I am in my area.
Do you have any recommendations for future students at ELTE?
We constantly encounter challenges, whether at home or abroad. So, just come and try. Everything is an exciting experience that you will not regret. Budapest is an outstanding place, perfect for students. People from all over the world come here to study. You will have the opportunity to know even more cultures and travel around Europe. My only advice is not to rush, plan everything and keep your life balanced. Study, work out, and socialize because ELTE and Budapest have plenty of options to do it.