Greetings from Budapest!
Our fall semester is almost over. This is our last week and students are taking their final exams and finishing their turn papers. We will close the semester with a Farewell Dinner where our faculty members will join us. But before we say good bye, we would like to share with you highlights of a significant element of our program:
Internship and volunteer work
Students in Budapest are encouraged to spend some of their free time volunteering or doing an internship, which is a major vehicle for us to increase student integration into host culture and to positively impact our local environment. This semester more than 80 % of the students are engaged in volunteer work! Here are some highlights:
Teacher’s Aid: Sara, Jo, Rachael and Eva are helping English teachers in two local high schools in language classes where Hungarian students welcome the opportunity to work with native speakers. In ELTE Trefort Ágoston High School Sara is doing an internship for credit and she is working with English language teachers, doing speaking corners, class discussions, focus groups, debates.
Ministry of National Resources: Our students have the opportunity to volunteer in the Education Department of the Ministry. Marissa, Sasha, Molly and Kyle are engaged there and their tasks include research, editing, and preparing presentations on special topics. They are also gaining insight into the daily work of a major government office. They also help with writing emails and letters for department, correspondence with foreign ministers, ambassadors, and help preparing for the Meeting of the Visegrad Group held in Budapest.
Andrew and Sophia are volunteering with the American Corner (AC) in Budapest. The AC is a US information center where they have administrative duties. They help with program planning, and deliver presentations about the US and American culture. Administrative tasks, proofreading, corner talks, presentations are among their tasks. Their main aim is to create cultural bridges between the US and Hungary.
We also have several students volunteering in Eötvös József College for Advanced Studies. Peter, Jake and Matt are enjoying tutoring university students and making new friends there.
Miranda is completing an internship at the Hungarian National Gallery. Miranda volunteered in the educational department where she did tours as well as help out with translations on the English website.
Claire and Nate are volunteering at FWD Affairs, where they have the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the Hungarian political, economic, and social systems. Their tasks are editing blog posts, researching articles about Hungary’s recent political developments and EU relations.
Kristin, Gabbi and Paige are also completing an internship at the Glove Factory Community Center. The Center provides programs for the community’s youth and adults alike. Among the aims of the Center is also to bring the community into the cultural bloodstream of Budapest. Our students help by teaching English, participating in activities (cooking, arts, sports), and mentoring.
With this Newsletter, we say goodbye for now. We hope our students will have safe returns to the States, their re-entry will be a smooth one, and will have the opportunity to share their stories with you.
Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director
Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator