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26 posts categorized "Resident Director"

04/03/2018

Spring 2018, Issue I

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Greetings from Hungary! 

When students arrived in Budapest at the very end of January the weather was still a bit wintry and even when they visited the ‘Hungarian sea’, Lake Balaton at the beginning of March they found it partly frozen. Even if the weather has not changed a lot meanwhile, CIEE students have had various enjoyable experiences during this month in Hungary.

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Cultural Program 

Right at the beginning of the semester CIEE students attended a cultural program. In February as part of the ‘Ethnicity, Rural Society and Folk Culture in Historic Hungary’ course several students from the whole group were fascinated to see the dance performance of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, which provided a captivating insight into Hungarian folk culture. The Ensemble, which consists of 30 dancers, chose such choreographies from their repertoire which are based on authentic dances, some of them were collected in isolated villages with dance elements dating back hundreds of years.

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Great Market Hall

Students are achieving considerable progress in learning Hungarian language as the semester moves on. Nothing illustrates this better than their ability to go shopping in the Great Market Hall hunting for the best Hungarian candies while the language of communication is nothing else but Hungarian.

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Group excursions 

Students are now discovering not only Budapest, but the whole country as well. Two wonderful CIEE trips took place at the beginning of March. Students first visited the 1000-year-old Benedictine arch abbey in Pannonhalma, a World Heritage Site in Western Hungary. The arch abbey stands like a fortress on a hill in the middle of the lovely countryside where Small Plains meets the Bakony hills. Pannonhalma is also famous for its lavender grown in its gardens and various medicinal plants and herbs.

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The group then set off the discover Lake Balaton – or at least one of its most beautiful parts, Tihany. The village is a favorite tourist destination, and the best view of the Lake is from the tip of the peninsula.   

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The following day students explored three gems of the marvellous Danube Bend. The group started the day in Esztergom and visited the Basilica, the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary. Following the curving river students arrived in Visegrád. In the Solomon Tower fanfare of drums announced the arrival of the royal guests, the CIEE students, who had the possibility to attend a spectacular tournament re-enacting the battles fought for the King’s and Queen’s grace in the 14th century’s Visegrád. One of the CIEE students had the honour to be elected as the King and enjoy the tournament form the throne.

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After students travelled 500 years back in time and admired the view of Danube Bend they enjoyed a unique medieval feast in the Renaissance Restaurant. 

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The last station of the one-day trip was Szentendre, with its charming cafés, souvenir shops, numerous museums, galleries and artists.

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At the end of this unforgettable day perhaps the students have also felt something from the famous Hungarian poem ‘By the Danube’ written by Attila József:

‘As if my own heart had opened its gate:

The Danube was turbulent, wise and great.’

(Translated by John Székely)

 

Celebrating the Hungarian Revolution 

In the middle of March, students in the Hungarian class also took part in the celebration of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 on their own way: they prepared hand-made cockades from ribbons with the national colors: red, white and green to pay their tribute to the revolutionists. 

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As the midterm exam period is now over, the spring break is ahead of the students, who can hardly wait to go on the overnight CIEE excursion to Transylvania in the middle of April! 

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Ph.D.

Director

 

 

 

11/22/2017

Fall 2017, Issue II

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Greetings from Budapest!

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Excursion to Transylvania

The CIEE Fall 2017 group had a memorable 4-day excursion to Transylvania in the middle of October. We visited the Kalotaszeg region where our wonderful hosts treated us to mouth-watering, regional homemade foods and drinks. With the help of three CIEE students, they also demonstrated us the traditional costumes still worn on holidays and special occasions. What a time travel!

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The group made a trip to Torda (Turda in Romanian) where we visited the salt mine dating back to the 13th century, and had an amazing view of the Torda Gorge. Then we traveled to Torockó (Rimetea) and Torockószentgyörgy (Coltești) where we climbed up to the nearby fortress amidst beautiful autumn colors. From the ruined walls of the old fortress, we enjoyed the dramatic scenery all around us.

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In Kőrösfő (Crisului) we also had the chance to glimpse into how Albert, the artisan makes chess pieces by hand. Students purchased the beautiful chess-sets to bring them home for a perfect souvenir!

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In our home village, we experienced yet more local tradition. We could see a village wedding and then enjoy a carriage ride. Travelling by horse-drawn carriages in an area nestled among beautiful mountains as the sun fell beyond the horizon definitely crowned our unforgettable excursion to Transylvania!

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Excursion to Domonyvölgy 

In order to revive the sweet memories of the Transylvanian excursion, we went on another excursion in November, this time to the northeastern part of Hungary. The autumn weather still allowed us to visit the Lázár Equestrian Park in the heart of Domonyvölgy. The Park, which is owned by the coach driving world champions, Vilmos and Zoltán Lázár, nestles among the picturesque lakes of the Gödöllő Hills.

 

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In the Park, students were welcomed with fresh Hungarian scones topped with crackling, cheese, or seeds. The group took part in a pleasant coach ride through the woods around the Park. The Lázár Equestrian Park is also the home of many horses and special Hungarian domestic animals. Not a Hungarian special animal, but the super cute cat instantly became students’ favorite.  

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The program’s highlight was an authentic Hungarian horseshow, which included archery on horseback, driving a four-horse carriage, expert cracking a whip, aligning a pony carriage, oxen-pulled cart, and even a donkey.

With the horseshow in Domonyvölgy in the middle of November, we said goodbye to the excursions this semester. We are now looking forward to various upcoming conferences, one of which hosts two CIEE students as presenters! December is also the month of the Christmas markets and ice-skating, two programs our students are looking forward to each year!

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Ph.D.

Director, CIEE Budapest

 

 

10/24/2017

Fall 2017, Issue I

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Greetings from Budapest!

Fall 2017 semester is a new fall record for Budapest: 38 students have decided to join the CIEE Study Center here.  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.

 

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 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.  

 

2 hősö tereFall 2017 students in front of Heroes’ Square

 

Enjoying the city while boat riding on the Danube River is a real treat. During the hour-long ride, students marveled “Buda” and “Pest” the two distinct parts of the city.  Budapest is incredibly beautiful from the river.

One of the most stunning sites from the river is the House of the Nation. The Hungarian Parliament holds its sessions here, and the building is often referred to in English as the Parliament Building.

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The Hungarian “Országház” House of the Nation

During orientation, Hungarian students joined our group for an evening of “games and conversation” in a local bar specializing in team building, board games, and making friends.


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  Our CIEE group meeting Hungarian students during orientation

and enjoying various board games

Budapest never seems to shut down. There are always special programs where students can gain a glimpse into local culture. A few examples from September: Budapest Wine Festival showcasing Hungarian gastronomy and winemaking in the Buda Castle; Sweet Days Budapest – Hungary’s major chocolate and sweets makers; the Nemzeti Vágta (National Gallop), a grand international horse race on Heroes' Square, with local riders dressed in Hussar uniform in a proud display of Hungarian traditions.  Students regularly receive information about programs in and around Budapest.

 

Group Excursions

We organized two excursions already to explore Hungary. Our one-day trip took us to the picturesque Danube bend to visit two historic and scenic towns, Esztergom and Visegrád. Clouds above us were ominous, but they did not dampen our enjoyment.

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View of Esztergom from Slovakia across the Danube River.

Hungarian students joined us for our overnight excursion, which also included a pilgrimage to the museum and memorial chapel of the 1956 Revolution. Other highlights of the rich program were participating in a special village harvest festival, visiting the National Heritage Park of Ópusztaszer, and trying our hands at archery with bows and arrows used by ancient Hungarians.

 

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The Mayor of the village of Bócsa is preparing to welcome us as one of the locals is reading a special poem written for the American guests

 

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CIEE students were invited to join to dance along with the locals

Classes are underway and students have started their internships or volunteer work. In our next newsletter you can read about our special excursion to Transylvania, Romania. We visited the Kalotaszeg region whose folk art is especially well known. Appropriately, prior to the excursion students saw a spectacular performance of the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble’s program featuring the music and dance of Kalotaszeg.

 

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Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Ph.D.

Center Director

 

04/13/2017

SPRING 2017, ISSUE II.

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Greetings from Budapest!

We send you warm greetings from Budapest, where finally spring is on its way. Budapest is at its best when all the trees are in full bloom, flowers are everywhere, and temperatures are warm. Midterm exams are behind us, and so is half of the semester! Students are ready to enjoy a more than a week long spring break. Here are some highlights since our previous newsletter.

Danube Bend Excursion

On our group excursion we visited two beautiful and historically significant cities, Esztergom and Visegrád. We visited Esztergom first, which is the birthplace of Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen and a former medieval capital of Hungary, and also the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church. The Basilica of Esztergom is the country’s first, Europe's third largest church, and the 18th biggest church in the world.

The historical town, Visegrád is located in the Danube bend region. The city has always had an important strategic role in the Hungarian history. It used to be Hungary’s capital and an important diplomatic center: The first royal summit of the central European countries was held here in the 14th century, and a new Visegrád Treaty was signed here again in 1990.  

Here we had a chance to enjoy a Knight’s Tournament performance by the Saint George Knightly Order. Our students were welcomed by fanfare on arrival to the tournament. The roof terrace of the Solomon’s tower provided an excellent view for the Danube Bend. As part of the performance, a king and a queen was selected from the visitors, dressed in robes and crowned by the knights, who showed their targeting and fighting skills with medieval weapons.  Students could look into the world of the medieval knights and enjoy a royal feast in a Renaissance Restaurant.

DóritólSpring 2017 students are ready to see the Knight’s Tournament in Visegrád

Lake Balaton – The Hungarian Sea

Our second trip took us to western Hungary. It included a guided visit of the 1100-year old Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma, a World Heritage Site.  We also learnt a great deal about organic farming in our visit to a small family-run winery dating back to the 18th century. Afterwards we went to visit Lake Balaton, the “Hungarian Sea” the most popular Hungarian resort. We visited Tihany on the northern shore. The weather was a bit cold, just as the water of the Lake, but some brave students took the opportunity to take a very quick dip in the Hungarian sea.

IMG_4706The Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma and its gorgeous library amazed all students

IMG_4720Students enjoyed visiting the Hungarian Sea

IMG_8900Payson and Kirsten at Lake Balaton

DAY TRIP TO PÉCS

Pécs, or Sophiane by its Roman name, was already an important city in the 2nd century.  Pécs is a popular tourist destination as you can find a large number of historical buildings, ranging from early Christian burial chambers to Turkish mosques, medieval buildings, and contemporary art galleries.

FullSizeRenderThe Mosque of Pasha Qasim is the greatest example of Turkish architecture in Hungary

During a nice guided walking tour, we were able to explore the major sights that Pécs offers, including the Cathedral, the Barbican, along with Cella Septichora (a World Heritage Site). The Cella Septichora, a sepulchral building with seven apses, has a floor plan which is unique in the whole Danube region. It is thought to have been built as a mausoleum for a prominent person or family in the second half of the fourth century. The St. Peter-St. Paul Burial Chamber Septichora is probably the most famous early Christian building in Pannonia. Students also enjoyed exploring the lovely Széchényi tér, the heart of the Old Town and the Love Lock Wall. You can also find here the Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, formerly known as the Mosque of Pasha Qasim.

It is a Roman Catholic Church, which was a mosque in the 16-17th century due to the Ottoman conquest.

The Cathedral on Dóm tér is one of Hungary’s most important medieval historical buildings. The oldest parts of the Cathedral are from the 12th century.

IMG_5258"Say PÉCS" whenever you smile in a photo - as students were advised by our lovely tour guide

King Saint Stephen made the city an Episcopal seat; and after the Mongol invasion of 1241, the city was reinforced by a wall, which can be still seen.  In 1367, the first university in Hungary, the fifth in Europe, was opened in Pécs. 

IMG_5228Our tour guide, Zsuzsi (on the right) enthusiastically shared some facts and stories about Pécs

Barbakán Love Lock wallThe Barbican and the Love Lock Wall

MOHÁCS

Our students are advised to attend various cultural events in addition to explore the city on their own. Several students attended the Csángó Ball here in Budapest. Csángó people are a special group of Hungarians living in the south-eastern edge of Transylvania, Romania. They maintained their unique folk culture, and retained an archaic form of Hungarian language. This Ball celebrates Csángó heritage and participants enjoy lots of music and dance.

A few people attended another famous event of the Carnival Season in the southern part of Hungary.

Busójárás in Mohács is on UNESCO’s World’s Cultural Heritage list. The festival takes place just before the beginning of lent in the Christian calendar. One interpretation as to the origin of this festival is connected to celebrating the end of winter and heralding in spring and the rebirth of nature. The other interpretation lies in history. Local people tried to chase away their Turkish occupiers by dressing in frightening outfits and making noise with various clappers. This festival also entails folk dancing events and culinary pleasures for visitors.

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IMG_20170225_145308Busó people marching on the street

 

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

Dóra Kovács, Program Coordinator

02/14/2017

SPRING 2017, ISSUE I

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Greetings from Budapest!

We send you warm greetings from a still cold Budapest, but we hope spring is just around the corner. Spring 2017 students have arrived safely, begun their classes and they are settling in to enjoy a great semester in Hungary. This semester we have 47 students—an all-time record for the Budapest program—and we are certainly very happy and proud to have such a big group. The first week was very busy with orientation, getting to know the city, set up internship opportunities, beginning to learn more about Hungarian culture, and finalizing course registrations.

AliceIcy Danube with Liberty Bridge and Statue of Liberty in the background (on the right)

We all braved chilly air as we toured the city during orientation. We went to see the most important places and learnt to use the city’s public transportation system.

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IMG_3601Students during the first day of orientation in front of Corvinus University

We finished the first day of orientation with an opening group dinner where students enjoyed tasting different kinds of Hungarian food.

IMG_3610Opening dinner – we simply cannot fit in one picture!

Navigating the city and its public transportation first appeared to be a daunting task but, after the Scavenger Hunt assignment, students felt more comfortable.  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.

JackstantonStudents are enjoying the fabolous view of the city during Scavenger Hunt

Sam3Another Scavenger Hunt item: St.Stephen's Basilica

Sam5Maddie, Marshall, and Joey found the bakery shop at the Central Market Hall

Students are already enjoying various cultural events in addition to exploring the city on their own. Last weekend there was a festival featuring and promoting a special Hungarian breed pig, called mangalica. There were all kinds of food made from mangalica meat, plus arts and craft, and music. What way to celebrate the end of the first week of classes!

MangalicaPayson at the Mangalica Festival

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

Dóra Kovács, Program Coordinator

 

12/09/2016

FALL 2016, ISSUE III

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Greetings from Budapest!

Warm greetings from Budapest where we have been having typical winter weather: gray, overcast sky and short days, but snow has not fallen yet. Holiday lights are everywhere and students have been enjoying the Christmas market in the middle of the city at Vörösmarty square. This week is the last week of teaching and final exam week is coming next. We will close the semester with a Farewell Dinner together with students and faculty.

But before we say good bye, we would like to share with you some highlights of our program:

Excursion to Transylvania

Anticipation was great as we left for a 4-day Transylvanian excursion in November. The area we visited was the Kalotaszeg region and 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.

Torda and Torockó

We hiked through the famous Gorge of Torda, where nature did its best.  Here a mountain is split in the middle and the sight is simply spectacular. According to the legend, St. Ladislaus, the great knight king of Hungary and his army were pursued by Cumanian fighters when, by the miracle of celestials, the huge boulder split in two before the Hungarians. The king and his soldiers escaped, but their attackers fell into the ravine.

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We are ready to hike through the tall cliffs of the Torda Gorge

Torockó, for centuries the center of iron mining and manufacturing in Transylvania, received the “Europe Nostra” award for cultural heritage in 1999. Torockó’s Hungarian inhabitants are Unitarians, a religion that was founded in Transylvania. We marveled the beautiful snow-white houses nestled below the monumental Székelykő (Secler Stone), a three-thousand feet tall rock, beyond which the sun rises twice. Weather was cool but sunny so all the students accepted the challenge find the remnants of centuries-old iron mines by climbing to the top of the hill close to Székelykő.

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Fall 2016 group with the Székelykő (Secler Stone) in the background

IMG_5781Patrick, Jen, Lexie and Betsy enjoying the hike and the fall colors in Transylvania

Traditional dresses are still worn on festive occasions in Kalotaszeg and trying them on is an adventure.

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The Transformation of Steve and Anna in Kalotaszeg style

On the next day we were welcomed by Albert, the chess maker, in the village of Kőrösfő. The village is famous for wood carving and embroidery, and we marveled as chess figures were being carved by hand. Producing and selling hand-made objects are the main revenue source of the local community.

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Students are amazed by the talent of Albert, the chess maker

Our four days went by very fast, we had to say goodbye. The excursion helped us all to better understand and appreciate rural and traditional way of life.

Hungarian class on ice and at the Christmas market

Learning Hungarian language is fun, especially if you are trying it on Europe's largest outdoor skating rink behind Heroes’ Square.

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Nate, Betsy, Clara, Camille, Sage, Jamie and Jen with Eszter – the European karate champion of her age group (!) (in the middle), the daughter of the Hungarian professor, Mónika

Screenshot_2016-11-17-22-18-56Hungarian class at Vörösmarty square: students’ task was to buy “lángos” (a fried dough) in Hungarian

Screenshot_2016-11-17-22-19-18And here it is: the delicious "Lángos"! Mission complete!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Though Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Hungary, we celebrated it with a wonderful group dinner in the dormitory. Food was plentiful as students also contributed some of their special favorites such as cranberry sauce, Mac and Cheese and mashed potatoes.

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Abigail, Kyle and Ally having fun at Thanksgiving dinner

Mikulás

The Hungarian Santa is actually called Mikulás and it is celebrated on December 6th, on St. Nicholas' Day. In anticipation of Mikulás’ visit, children put their polished shoes in their windows the night before and Mikulás leaves presents in them: all kinds of chocolates and candy. This year Mikulás also visited the CIEE office to leave some goodies for our students.

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Students are happy to receive their Mikulás goodies!

With this newsletter we say good bye for this semester. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to sending you news again in Spring 2017. We wish you Happy Holidays and a prosperous, healthy New Year!

 

CIEE Budapest:

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

Dóra Kovács, Program Coordinator

11/11/2016

FALL 2016, ISSUE II

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Greetings from Budapest!

We send you warm greetings from Budapest where it is becoming much colder and the leaves are falling fast. Students are done with their midterm exams and it is hard to believe that half of the semester is already gone.  

We begin this newsletter with our first overnight excursion – a special theme based one – which combined history, art, nature, heritage, and fun.

The „Kids of Budapest 1956” Pilgrimage

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Standing in front of the 1956 Memorial inside the ‘Small prison’ with the flag of ’Kids of Pest’

We joined a memorial excursion organized by a foundation called Pesti Srác (Kids of Budapest), which was founded for the commemoration of the youth who fought for freedom in the revolution of 1956. The 1956 Revolution broke out on October 23 – now a national holiday in Hungary – so learning about it on its 60th anniversary with the help of this excursion was especially appropriate for the fall group. This was a memorable live history lesson as we visited sights of the freedom fight, including the prison cells and execution room – now a museum – of revolutionaries. We heard recollections from a participant of the Revolution, traveled to the 1956 Museum in Kiskunmajsa and then to the National Historical Memorial Park in Ópusztaszer. The excursion was especially enjoyable as we traveled with a group of Hungarian students from Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Secondary School.

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Solemn moments for students with pictures of those freedom fighters who were kept in this prison

DSC01990A 1956 freedom fighter joining us for a group photo at the Memorial Museum (center)

We closed the first day on a lighter note:  students enjoyed the thermal bath in Lakitelek after a rather rigorous workout of learning traditional Hungarian folk dance. Everybody was delighted.

On the second day, we traveled to a small town, Bócsa to join the community’s harvest festival. The CIEE students were officially greeted by the Major of the town, and the band played “Born in the USA” and everybody joined in the singing. The community’s harvest celebration is not a tourist attraction, so our visit there was received warmly and with special interest. Students feasted on refreshments and home-made sweets.

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Photo 8Posing with the young Major of Bocsa (center back row) and then getting a ride with the locals

Photo 9      Bill even tried taking a few steps on horseback

The next day we traveled to Ópusztaszer, to the National Heritage Park and Open Air Museum.

The Feszty Cyclorama is located here depicting the arrival of the Hungarians to the Carpathian Basin in 896. The huge, circular panorama painting recalls the events of the Conquest of Hungary. Árpád Feszty, with the help of several contemporary artists, completed the painting between 1892 and 1894.

We enjoyed a beautiful fall day strolling around the park which also holds a large collection of traditional houses from the various parts of the country.

Danube Bend: Esztergom and Visegrád

On our very first group excursion we visited two beautiful and historically significant cities, Esztergom and Visegrád, north of Budapest.  First, we travelled to Esztergom, which is the birthplace of Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen and a former medieval capital of Hungary, and also the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church. The Esztergom Basilica is the country’s first, Europe's third largest, and the world’s 18th largest church. Esztergom coincides with Hungary’s historical beginning as a state and students enjoyed having a history class in situ.

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Fall 2016 group in front of the Basilica in Esztergom

We also visited the historic and picturesque town of Visegrád which is located in the Danube bend region. The city has always had an important strategic role in Hungarian history. It used to be one of Hungary’s medieval capitas and an important diplomatic center:  The first royal summit of the central European countries was held here in the 14th century, and a new Visegrád Treaty was signed here again in 1990. We visited the 12th century fort on top of the hill overlooking the Danube.

IMG_1289Steve, Tom and Bailey in Visegrád with Danube Bend in the background

Our group lunch was held in a renaissance-style restaurant fitting for the town’s history.

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IMG_1253Tom, Colleen, Bailey, Bill and Maggie dressed appropriately for a renaissance feast

IMG_1271Betsy’s new friend: a trained falcon

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

09/28/2016

FALL 2016, ISSUE I

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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The Danube was really blue that day when we started.

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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.

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Ally and Camille on the Chain bridge with Buda Castle in the background

IMG_0823Bill and Anthony at Fishermen’s Bastion during Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt Ally CamilleAnother Scavenger Hunt item is found: the famous “Krémes” in the Ruszwurm Pastry Shop

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.

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Maggie, Ian, Colleen and Will at the Wine Festival in the Castle District

Student Activities

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:

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Anna is happy to be at Lake Balaton, the “Hungarian Sea”

From Camille2

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Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

03/31/2016

SPRING 2016, ISSUE II.

NewsletterBannerBudapest686x101 25 invitation_képCIEE Celebrating 25 Years in Budapest

The 25th Anniversary of CIEE Budapest was held at Corvinus University – our host institution – on March 4, 2016.

All current spring 2016 students, alumni, guests from CIEE Portland, Corvinus University, US Embassy, partner institutions, faculty members, and staff gathered to mark this memorable event.

Dr. Maritheresa Frain, Executive Director, CIEE- Study, Mr. Edward Loo, Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Dr. Zita Zoltayne Paprika, Dean, Corvinus Business School delivered greetings and accounts of the past 25 years of successful cooperation between CIEE and Corvinus University and Hungary.

CIEE’s work in Hungary has been impressive. During the past 25 years, close to 900 American students came to Budapest with CIEE.  The CIEE-administered Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund supported more than 400 talented Hungarians to train in the US, and close to 500 Hungarian students traveled to the US through CIEE’s Work Exchange programs.

The CIEE Study Center in Budapest has been attracting outstanding students from leading American universities, and whose lives have been changed by the experience. CIEE Budapest is extremely proud that six former participants were granted Fulbright awards to Hungary.

The anniversary event highlighted testimonials from alumni whose lives have been changed by the experience and who, after many years, remember fondly of their time spent in Budapest and value the experiences gained.

We would like to share with you our anniversary event in pictures:

4Maritheresa Frain, Executive Vice President of CIEE Study Abroad talking about CIEE, its mission, and how we change lives through our work

9 10Guests at the 25th celebration

5    Mr. Edward Loo, Charge d'Affairs, US Embassy highlighting the importance of public diplomacy and the role of educational exchanges

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Dean Zita Zoltay Paprika of Corvinus University recognizing the value of student exchanges

12Guests enjoying the presentations at the 25th Anniversary event

18  CIEE Budapest alumnus, Tommy Wentling, Fall 2014, talking about his semester experience

Collage_gifts    Dr. Maritheresa Frain presenting gifts to our partners at Corvinus University (l –r): Dean Zita Zoltay Paprika, Corvinus School of Business, Dr. Zita Kelemen, Director, Ms. Doris Keszthelyi, Head of Office, and Ms. Gitta Pestalits, Program Coordinator of the International Study Programs

ALUMNI VIDEO MESSAGES

We change lives. Our alumni change the world.

To mark the 25th anniversary of CIEE in Budapest, we asked alumni to share their stories and photos of their study abroad experience with us. Read about these amazing alumni and how studying abroad with CIEE in Budapest has impacted their lives.

“I studied abroad with CIEE in Budapest in the spring of 1994, when the program was still relatively new. In one word, the experience was transformative. I came to Hungary expecting to better understand the political and social transition that former eastern bloc countries were undergoing, but I left with lifelong friends and a love for all things Hungarian. I was determined to return, master the language, and assist in at least some small way with Hungary's development journey.

I did return—in 1996 for a Fulbright fellowship, in 1997 for a graduate internship while working on my master's degree in international development, and from 1998 through 2000, when I had the great pleasure of living in Budapest while working for a local Hungarian USAID partner organization assisting in community and civil society development. I was proud that I had achieved near native fluency in Hungarian—it was such a window into the culture, history, and perspective of Hungarians. And it's such a lyrical, beautiful language.  

In the years since I left Hungary, I've continued to meet Hungarians all over the world—in the U.S., Nigeria, and even in South Sudan, where I’m currently serving as the Senior Conflict Advisor for USAID at Embassy Juba—and I always feel an instant kinship. I still sing Hungarian rock songs in the shower and love Hungarian food and wine. Hungary will always occupy a special place in my heart as a second home, and that started with Elizabeth's passion and the CIEE program—she was so committed to making study abroad a rich and positive experience, and it was. So much of what came later for me was shaped or influenced by my study abroad experience and I am grateful! Congratulations to CIEE and to Elizabeth for 25 great years in Hungary!”

Carrie GruenlohCarrie Gruenloh, CIEE Budapest, Spring 1994

“If I had to choose one word to describe my study abroad experience in Budapest, I think it would be metamorphosis. My time in Budapest was meaningful on a number of levels. My great grandparents emigrated from Hungary so my study abroad experience was a very special opportunity to explore my roots. Travelling and living abroad in my early 20s also instilled in me an appreciation for other cultures, customs, and points of view that I never otherwise would’ve had. My experience, over 20 years ago now, would not have been nearly as meaningful without Dr. Elizabeth Simon, who was not only our professor and resident director, but also our mentor, cultural liaison, and perspective-giver. Thank you Elizabeth and thank you CIEE for an amazing experience that helped to shape my life.”

-Brian Vohrer, CIEE Budapest, Spring 1995

“If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be unforgettable. Budapest is so different from the rest of Europe, it was just a very unique experience—the history is just fascinating. What does being abroad for the semester in Budapest mean to me? Well, I have continued learning Hungarian and I actually just applied to grad school in Hungary, so clearly I want to continue to live and work in Hungary and move throughout Europe, so it just has helped me realize how much I want to study and work on international education policies.”

-Marissa Kramer, CIEE Budapest, Fall 2013

A reception in the Grand Hall of Corvinus University followed the presentations and the alumni video messages.

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Toasting to the 25th Anniversary: Mr. Edward Loo, Dr. Zita Zoltay Paprika, Dr. Maritheresa Frain

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Mr. Edward Loo, Dr. Zita Zoltay Paprika, Dr. Maritheresa Frain, Dr. Elizabeth Simon celebrating with a glass of champagne

22Distinguished guests: Mr. Edward Loo, U.S. Embassy, Dr. Zita Kelemen and Zita Zoltay Paprika, Corvinus University, Dr. Maritheresa Frain, CIEE

32Celebrating CIEE's 25th year in Budapest

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H.E. Tamas Magyarics, former CIEE faculty member, Mr. Edward Loo, Charge d'Affairs, and Dr. Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director exchanging during the reception

35 34Reception in the Grand Hall of Corvinus University

30Spring 2016 group – record number of students participating in the CIEE Budapest program

You may read more about the history of CIEE Budapest here: https://alumni-news.ciee.org/2016/03/25-years-of-ciee-in-budapest-an-interview-with-resident-director-elizabeth-simon.html

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

03/03/2016

SPRING 2016, ISSUE I

NewsletterBannerBudapest686x101

Greetings from Budapest!

Spring 2016 students have arrived safely, begun their classes and they are settling in to enjoy a great semester in Hungary. This semester we have 36 students—an all-time record for the Budapest program—and we are certainly very happy to have such a big group. The first week was very busy with orientation, getting to know the city, set up volunteer work or internship opportunities, beginning to learn more about Hungarian culture, meeting the CIEE Faculty members, and finalizing course registrations.

ZachBudapest at night with the Buda Castle and Chain bridge in the background

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. In the second week, we left Budapest to see other spectacular parts of Hungary.

DSCF2741Heroes' Square: Our first history class

Navigating the city and its public transportation first appeared to be a daunting task but, after the Scavenger Hunt assignment, students felt more comfortable.  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.

IMG_0826Carolyn, Pear, Tim and Mary are enjoying  the view for the city during Scavenger Hunt

Central Market

The Central Market Hall is also an important element of the Scavenger Hunt task. The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. Among other things, on the ground floor you can find a large selection of meats, fruits and vegetables. On the second floor, there are food stands and plenty of vendors selling handicrafts, clothing, embroidery and other souvenirs. Students need to find the “rétes” (strudel) stand and pick two likely favorites. They should not miss the delicious “túrós táska” (pastry filled with sweet cottage cheese) and “kakaós csiga” (cocoa snail).

DSCF2737     The beautiful Great Market Hall in Budapest

Student Activities

We are having a long weekend in the middle of March because of a National Holiday commemorating the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49. Some students will make use of this small ‘spring break’ and travel outside of Hungary. Other students, who stay for the long weekend in Budapest, will participate at the celebrations and events on March 15.

Upcoming events - 25th anniversary of the CIEE Budapest program

On Friday, March 4, CIEE will celebrate 25 years of study abroad in Budapest, Hungary. There will be an anniversary celebration event at Corvinus University in Budapest: guests will be here from CIEE Portland, Corvinus University, US Embassy, partner institutions, our faculty, HAESF alumni and the Spring 2016 group. More details coming in our next Newsletter!

25years_2

 

Best regards,

Elizabeth Simon, Resident Director

Judit Fekete, Resident Coordinator

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