Greetings from Budapest!
The time has come to send our last newsletter from Budapest. All the students are busy with writing papers, spending a lot of time in the library, preparing for exams. This week is the last week of teaching and final exam week is coming next. We are going to have a Farewell Dinner next Thursday with our students and Faculty members marking the closing of Spring 2014 semester. In this newsletter we would like to share with you news about our last – and most significant – field trip of the semester.
Our longest organized group excursion of the semester was the 4-day visit to Transylvania, which is always a big excitement among students. The area we visited was the Kalotaszeg region. We stayed with local families in the village of Kalotaszentkirály, which allowed us to experience their warm hospitality and gain an insight into their traditional way of life and customs. We also visited beautiful old churches, traditional homes of local people and beautiful collection of traditional Kalotaszeg style folk costumes, too.
We also spent some time in Kolozsvár (Cluj), the former capital of Transylvania, an important economic and educational center of the country.
Spring 2014 group in front of the statue of the great Hungarian Renaissance King Matthias and his captains in Cluj
Torockó was a highlight of the trip. Torockó, for centuries the center of iron mining and manufacturing in Transylvania, received the “Europe Nostra” award for cultural heritage in 1999. Unitarian religion was founded in Transylvania, and Torockó’s present-day walled-in Unitarian church is from the 18th century. We marveled the beautiful snow-white houses nestled below the monumental Székelykő (Székely Stone), a three-thousand feet tall rock, and the hike there was a real success among students.
Students enjoyed the hike to the top of the hill; the view was simply breath-taking. And look, there is proof of our visit: even in tucked-away mountain tops you can find people from CIEE:
Group Site Visit
From April 12-15, we had a group site visit from various U.S. colleges and universities: Stephanie Clark from Lynn University; David Das from Bates College; Susan Evans from Yale University; Barbara Hoffman from Whitman College; Lena Johnson from Virginia Wesleyan College; Ehren Kuzekov from Western Illinois University; Dr. Julie Sexeny from Wofford College; Sandra Spence from Denison University, and Dr. Dimeji Togunde from Spelman College. Also, Katie Jafarli and Judith Sachs joined them from the CIEE team. During their visit they had a chance to learn about the Budapest program and get to know the city itself. Thank you for visiting us!
With this Newsletter, we say goodbye for now. We hope our students will have safe returns to the States and will have the opportunity to share their stories with you. Thank you for your support and interest throughout the semester, and look forward to working with you in the next academic year, too.
Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director
Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator