Each summer the Flinn Scholars Program takes an entire class of Scholars to Budapest, Hungary, and neighboring Romania for a three-week seminar on the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Ellen Chang (’07):
The 27th began our first full day in Hungary.
In the morning, the group had a delicious breakfast at the hotel, complete with Hungarian Coco-Puffs and Cornflakes. Slightly jet lagged, the Scholars were still eager and excited to jump into the planned activities for the day. Our itinerary for the day included an orientation session at the Institute of International Education (IIE), a walking tour through the city, and an opening reception on a boat cruise with the Hungarian students that will be hosting us in home stays on Thursday night.
My group started with the orientation, where we met the wonderful IIE staff. Our itinerary is chock full with a variety of interesting seminars and activities covering a wide range of topics, and I sensed that this trip would be incredibly fulfilling for both personal growth and discovery. The group shared expectations for the seminar, and Efren’s response about maintaining a balance between an open mind and clear goals for the trip reminded me to approach this experience with purpose, yet flexibility.
After a lunch, we departed on a walking tour through the beautiful city. We made good use of the trusty public transportation system, using the metros and trams to navigate the magnificent and historic sites. Our tour guide, Andrea, told us the interesting history and legends behind each site, which made the beautiful scenery even more enriching.
We concluded the day with a boat cruise in perfect, balmy weather, where we met our Hungarian host students for Thursday night. Good food, good conversation, and good company made the perfect ending for today’s itinerary.
I know we have much to look forward to in the next three weeks, and today was just the tip of the fantastic adventures ahead.
Photo by Cole Wirpel (’07)