A Successful Summer’s Recap – Széll Kálmán Fellows Take on Washington DC

by | Aug 17, 2021 | News

Ármin Ladányi and Virág Turcsán 2021 Summer Széll Kálmán Fellows

Virág Turcsán amd Ármin Ladányi arrived to Washington DC this summer, to spend 8 weeks as Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellows. The two talented Hungarians truly immersed themselves in life in Washington DC. Here’s a short recap about their action-packed summer, and their two-month TFAS internship programs.

Virág Turcsán was part of the International Affairs track at TFAS where she focused on international policy cooperation. The TFAS D.C. Summer Program track on International Affairs brings together campus leaders who are passionate about global issues and aspire to work in foreign policy, economics, or international development. Through a course on “International Economic Policy,” Virág helped examine how economic institutions, property rights, and the operation of markets differ across countries.  As part of the program, she was able to attend small group meetings with policymakers from the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department as well as intelligence analysts from various agencies. As part of her program, Virág was researching counter-terrorism and the role of intelligence as well as the evolution of human rights during COVID-19 at the International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) at the Potomac Institute, a public policy research institute.

I had a wonderful time and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience life in Washington DC, working on a project that it so close to my heart and taking classes with a focus I have not previously had been able to explore. I am so thankful for the additional events, resources, and help from the Hungary Foundation team, it really enriched my experience and helped me acclimate and get a head start on things in a new setting compared to other TFAS students. I only wish we had more time! – Virág Turcsán

Virág Turcsán with TFAS’s Acedemic Excellence Award

At the end of her Fellowship, Virág received the TFAS Award for Academic Excellence.

Ármin Ladányi interned as an outreach representative ofThe Madison Coalitionfor the last eight weeks. Ármin’s duties were diverse and included frequent visits to Capitol Hill where he gained first hand insight into the workings of the US House and the Senate and the entire legislative process. Ármin participated in the Public Policy + Economics track of TFAS’ summer program. Through a course on “Economic Problems and Public Policies,” future leaders are introduced to the role of economics in the context of policy-making and learn how to apply economic thinking and analysis to a variety of public policy issues. Ármin had the honor of being chosen from a pool of hundreds of students to deliver a speech on behalf of his peers at the summer program’s graduation.

These two months of learning, living, interning contributed to enriching another layer of my field of vision, the strong necessity of which I did not know existed. It was US policy. Although I have studied the U.S. political system and, to a limited extent, decision-making, my first insight into going to a high-ranking university with American citizens studying about the free market, or taking actions that can contribute to better policies, is much more than I imagined. – Ármin Ladányi

After a year of covid-related delays and postponements, we were thrilled to have Hungarians back in Washington. Ármin and Virág excelled in a highly competitive pool of young leaders and were outstanding representatives of Hungary throughout their time in Washington. I was thoroughly impressed by their diligence, eagerness to learn about American culture, politics and policy making. Cannot wait to see what the future holds for these two bright young Hungarians!

About the Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship

The 2021 Summer Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship is a full scholarship for students from Hungary to participate in The Fund for American Studies summer programs in Washington DC. The 8 week program includes an internship placement in Washington DC, academic credit from George Mason University, housing in Washington, DC a variety of guest lectures and briefings, as well as opportunities for professional development and networking. HF’s scholarship covers full tuition and a living stipend for the duration of the program.

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