Friday, June 15, 2012

Amy Bourne in Budapest


Read about Amy Bourne’s experience as a SLU PT student studying abroad in Budapest to get an idea of what this unique study abroad opportunity is like. Discover interesting cultural norms, learn about the gorgeous monuments of Budapest, and become acquainted with kurtoskalacs.

I chose to go to Budapest because it was different from where everyone else from SLU was going and I wanted a unique experience. It was nice because I was still able to visit friends studying abroad in other countries. I was nervous about going because I didn't know how to speak Hungarian, nor did I know anyone else going to Budapest, but the program was fantastic and I had a Hungarian student as a mentor. I still keep in touch with her. The people there were very nice and helpful. It was different though because it isn't rude to stare, so at first it was weird to me that people just kept looking at me on the subway! Classes were interesting, and there were cool ones to choose from. I took a class about the history of Eastern Europe through film. 

There was a lot to see. Budapest Castle was beautiful (Katy Perry filmed her music video for Fireworks there). The Parliament building was also amazing.  Near where I lived were foreign embassies, an island in the middle of the Danube river that had a running path around it, Heroes Square (a park with monuments for Hungary’s passed Kings and rulers), a secret police jail that was turned into a Communism museum, and a Turkish bathhouse (which was fantastic, especially in the winter… huge outdoor hot tubs). We found a lot of really cool bars, clubs, and wineries as well. The food was good, too. They cook with a lot of paprika. This thing called kurtoskalacs was my favorite. It’s this kind of sweet bread rolled and baked over a fire at fairs and festivals and it’s covered in a glaze, cinnamon, sugar, or chocolate. 

I highly recommend the Budapest program for studying abroad. There are so many people there available to help you with anything. There are two study abroad programs using the school in Budapest, one is for Americans and the other is for Europeans students, but they mix quite a bit so you are able to meet people from so many other countries. It was really a unique experience. 

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