Greetings from Budapest!
Fall 2016 semester has started in Budapest with a big group of 34 students. Everyone is doing well, classes are underway, and we anticipate yet another great semester. The first week was very busy with orientation, getting to know the city, arranging volunteer work or internship opportunities, beginning to learn more about Hungarian culture and language, meeting the CIEE Faculty members, and finalizing course registrations. But one of our students, Nate found time to ride his bike to the top of Gellert Hill and take this amazing picture.
City tour – Heroes’ Square
During orientation week we also made a great city tour to get to know Budapest and its transportation system as well. Visiting Heroes’ Square was quite popular among students. The monument is part of the World Heritage Site and was built for the 1896 Millennium celebrations, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarians arriving to the Carpathian Basin. Every part of the monument plays tribute to key figures of Hungarian history.
Fall 2016 students in front of Heroes’ Square
A highlight of the orientation week was taking a boat ride on the Danube River to enjoy the best views of the city. During the hour-long ride students marveled the two distinct parts of the city, “Buda” and “Pest”, and how beautiful Budapest is.
The Danube was really blue that day when we started.
The Hungarian Parliament building – even more beautiful from the river.
The public transportation system in Budapest is easy to manage. Students felt more comfortable using it after the Scavenger Hunt assignment. Students were divided into small groups and had to find places, significant landmarks, and even some food item. Students enjoyed all the sights, marveled the magnificent panorama of Budapest, and were able to get to know each other. These pictures tell the stories.
Ally and Camille on the Chain bridge with Buda Castle in the background
Students are advised to attend various cultural events in addition to explore the city on their own, or enjoy the medicinal waters of the many thermal baths in the city. Since their arrival, students have already experienced the following festivities: Budapest Wine Festival - wine is a major characteristic feature of Hungarian culture and gastronomy; Sweet Days Budapest - Hungary’s most important chocolate and sweets festival; the Nemzeti Vágta (National Gallop) - a grand international horse race around the monuments of Heroes' Square, with local riders dressed in Hussar uniform in a proud display of Hungarian traditions.
Maggie, Ian, Colleen and Will at the Wine Festival in the Castle District
On their second weekend in Hungary, a group of students decided to explore Lake Balaton – the “Hungarian Sea”. Lake Balaton is the biggest freshwater lake in Europe, a major holiday destinations for Hungarians. Weather was summer-like; a perfect weekend at Lake Balaton. Here are some highlights of their trip:
Anna is happy to be at Lake Balaton, the “Hungarian Sea”
Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director
Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator