The extracurricular activities of our students are intertwined with the traditions of our University and those of SKF. The traditions of wood industry students originate from Selmecbánya, from the time before the University moved to Sopron. In addition to unique local customs, they are characterised by general human values of solidarity, a sense of responsibility, dedication, discipline and student-like good humour. Older students (dubbed “firma”) are tasked with initiating the freshmen (or “balek”) to the University. Their responsibility is to preserve and pass down traditions, like the 150-year-old practice of organising so-called “trade functions,” where students have organised fun with strict house rules, a lot of merriment and moderate amounts of alcohol. At the end of their studies, graduates say their goodbyes to the University and the City, during the traditional “valete” ceremony, walking the darkened streets of Sopron accompanied by students carrying mining lamps and torches.
Students in our newer academic programmes have partially adopted these customs, and sometimes created their own special traditions like the initiation ceremony of the arts students in the Zsennye Castle, or driving nails into the oak column erected in the hall of their building, at the end of their studies. The traditions of the Business Information System majors include the student-teacher sports day, where they can compete with their teachers as equals.
In addition to the traditions, Sopron students have many more recreational opportunities. Hills and forests around the city offer excellent opportunities for hiking and sports, and visiting the beach of nearby Lake Fertő promises great fun as well. The curricula also include PE courses. Students have their choice of various sports like football, handball, basketball, swimming, table tennis, or pursuits like tennis, yoga or squash. SMAFC, the successful basketball team of the University (including several SKF students) has recently won the finals in its category, providing further proof of the importance of sports in Sopron.
The magnificent botanical garden of the University is an excellent place for recreation. The city of Sopron and its environs offer many great cultural programs, like theatres, movies, concerts, choirs, etc. Even a simple walk around the ancient buildings of the downtown area offers a very enjoyable experience.
Whatever extracurricular interests our students may have, our alumni always think back to their own student life with great nostalgia. They are certainly in agreement: it’s great to be a Sopron student!