How can international students become members of the AAPG student chapter

01. February 2018. 13:50
Conferences and international field trips. What other opportunities international students can access through the membership of University of Miskolc AAPG student chapter

Written by Alina Girnet, 1st year SH fellow student, alina.girnet(at)


„I felt this membership weighted significantly at my job interview”, Laszlo Buslig told me, one of the members and the Secretary of University of Miskolc AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) student chapter. The student chapter was recognized by the mother organization as the most active from all the European chapters in 2016, receiving the Outstanding Student Chapter Award. „We were truly very active in organizing a variety of events for all the Earth Science students who are already focusing on gaining experience for their careers”, said Patrik Veleczki, the president of the Student Chapter in Miskolc. If you want to become a member, here is what you need to know in order to apply and access all the opportunities through such a membership.

What is AAPG?

Every Earth Science student must have heard something about the AAPG. Nevertheless, for those who are not so familiar with the meaning of this organization, it is important to know that the American Association of Petroleum Geologists is deemed to be as a pillar of the worldwide scientific community. Currently, AAPG's membership is made up of about 40,000 members in 129 countries in the upstream energy industry who collaborate and compete to provide the means for humankind to thrive.

Beside the professional focus, AAPG offers Earth Science students worldwide the opportunity to become members while pursuing a degree. The student chapters are of vital importance for the association, as here, the industry can find its new talents. Founded in 2010, the student chapter in Miskolc offered the membership to many students. Currently, the chapter has around 40 members, 25 of whom are actively involved in the association’s activities. That is mostly because many of the students graduated already, however, they continue to be members, being able to attend the events organized by the chapter. 

How can a student join the University of Miskolc AAPG student chapter?

Laszlo and Patrik joined the student chapter in their first year of studies at the university. More than that, as members of the board they are involved in organizing events, trips, and all sort of activities.

“Normally, students that join this organization are interested in developing a career, it can be Petroleum Engineering or Petroleum Geo-Engineering, General Earth Science or anything related to Earth Science”, Laszlo told me. “The international organization wants to find new talents, reason for which anybody could have a chance. Motivation is the main advantage.”

The board leaders told me that new students are welcome each year and the registration process is quite simple.

“Every semester we hold a big meeting where we invite non-members as well. After presenting the association, our activities, and also our future plans, we invite interested students to register.”

This is just one step, though. The students who want to become AAPG members should create a virtual account as well, by visiting the official website of the AAPG -

During the studies, a member does not have to pay for the membership, although a fee will be charged after graduation for the professional membership, which is “affordable”, Patrik says.

What kind of opportunities a student can access?

The activities that a student can join vary from field trips to soft skills trainings. Because a private company sponsors the student chapter, the board can afford to plan several activities on local levels, as well as on international levels. “Every year we go to field trips to visit oil refineries, drilling sites. Since the industry is not so developed in Hungary, we also organize trips abroad where we visit oil companies. The closer the city is the more students we can take, because even though we are sponsored, we strictly plan our budget to cover everything intended.”

So yes, by that Laszlo means that usually these trips are financially covered for participants. For those, students apply separately, and again “motivation is the biggest asset”.

“We organize international conferences, meetings where we discuss a variety of topics. Every year we have an experienced guest lecturer from abroad who comes to Miskolc to share his/her personal experience or talk to students about topics related to petroleum industry. We also take part in conferences organized by other chapters.”

As the board leaders told me, 70% of the activities are Petroleum Engineering related but since the international organization is orientated towards geologists mainly, they combine their activities as to keep alive geologists’ interests too.

International students do not have to worry about the linguistic issue, as all the events, presentations, and conferences are held in English. “There are some events held in Hungarian also, but we let our members know every time in advance when that happens”, Patrik says.

Online courses

Complimentary to the activities mentioned, an AAPG member can access free online courses on very specific topics. A student registered for an online course will receive weekly e-mails containing videos or readings regarding the topic chosen. The completion of the course gives the student the possibility to get a degree for it. Beside the fact that you get an insight into a particular subject, having graduated an online course like that can be highly appreciated.

Online courses can be found here:

The Outstanding Student Chapter Award

The AAPG tries to keep its members motivated and as active as possible, because students individually, and student chapters worldwide are granted awards on several categories. In 2016, the University of Miskolc Student Chapter received The Outstanding Student Chapter Award.

“This is a prize a student chapter receives based on the annual report of activities. The University of Miscolc AAPG Student Chapter is the second one in receiving such kind of award in Hungary”, the board leaders said.

This report is important also for the financial support that the student chapter receives, forasmuch as the company is interested in supporting an active student chapter.

Moreover, a strong asset for getting the award is organizing international conferences. „We organized an event like this together with the University of Szeged student chapter. The participants arrived from 18 countries representing 11 chapters. It was a one week program, the first three days of which were spent in Szeged, and the rest of them in Miskolc.”

„I felt this membership weighted significantly at my job interview”

„I felt this membership weighted significantly at my job interview”, told me Laszlo. “A lot. It can make it a lot easier for a job interview if you are an active member. You can go anywhere in the world with this membership. You can find members everywhere, people who could be your future colleagues or employers. AAPG is very popular in the petroleum industry. The difference between the academic program and the experience you get through being an AAPG member is enormous. Career wise, the academic program is not enough.

Attending AAPG events was maybe the most important decision in my student life, because otherwise I would not have had any idea about the amalgam of opportunities and doors I can open. I really believe that this experience gave a lot to my academic and professional experience.”

If you are interested in joining the organization, you can contact the board on the Facebook page -