Each summer an entire class of Flinn Scholars engages in a group study-travel seminar. This year’s seminar, held in Hungary and western Romania, runs from late in May to mid-June. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Shantanu Bala (’11)
This morning, I woke up prepared to say goodbye to the Medosz Hotel — my bags were packed and I emptied a plate of breakfast. Feeling excited to explore Hungary, I found my way to an architectural museum for the first guest speaker of the seminar: Károly Pintér, a professor of American Studies in Hungary. He introduced us to the basics of Central European geography and culture in relation to America. His presentation was followed by a discussion of the Fulbright scholarship program and the Institute of International Education with representatives from IIE.
The lectures were followed by an all-you-can-eat lunch at a Hungarian restaurant with delicious food. I went through a table of soups, salads, fruits, desserts, and breads with a unique Hungarian flavor. Afterward, I went to the Palace of Wonders, which was an interactive series of science exhibits frequented by Hungarian students.
The highlight of the day was roaming through Budapest with my homestay, Tamasz Magda. Tamasz and I, along with Nick, Patrick, and their respective hosts, ate dinner at a local Hungarian restaurant and went to a park. At the park, we sat near crowds of locals and talked about Hungary, America, travel, and our lives in general. I’m still absorbing all of the details of my stay with Tamasz, but I have never felt as connected to another culture as I did this past day.
By the end of the day, I was awestruck by the unique culture of Hungary and the sheer breadth of experiences that occurred in just a single day.