“Coming to this region of the world, that I love so deeply, and spending the first year of my marriage here, I could not have even dreamed of this.” – Michael O’Shea
With the aim of strengthening US-Hungarian professional, academic, and cultural ties and cultivating the next generation of Hungarian and Central-Eastern European experts in the US, the Budapest Fellowship Program recently concluded its second year.
Through the last ten months from September of last year, Budapest Fellows Kelli Buzzard, Michael Van Ginkel, Tate Sanders, and Michael O’Shea have taken part in more than 50 lectures, discussed a dozen Hungarian books and films, attended a series of Hungarian language classes and via more than ten excursions discovered not only Budapest but the countryside of Hungary and Transylvania as well.
„Something I really appreciate about the Hungarian mentality is the focus on reality.” – Tate Sanders
Utilizing the opportunities brought to the table by their established host institutions, the four fellows have concluded their individual research done with the help of their mentors — therefore contributing greatly to the understanding of Hungary and Hungarian-related issues in the US, and building further US-Hungarian ties. Fellows’ publications appeared in Hungarian and in US media outlets, shedding light on the importance of history, and current events such as the security of the Black Sea, the preservation of Hungarian culture, the Hungarian family policy, and the energy policy of Central-Eastern Europe. Fellows also took part in the educational activities of Mathias Corvinus Collegium, one of the Program creators.
„If I were to sum up in one word this entire 10 months for me it would be thankful. Thankful for the language, for all the site visits, for the lectures, discussions, the books, the films.” – Kelli Buzzard
The program could not have succeeded without dedicated institutions like the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Danube Institute, the University of Public Service, and MCC’s Centre for Political Science, which through the assignment of mentors, and providing a work environment, helped guide through the fellows the 10-month program.
After the conclusion of the Program Kelli Buzzard will remain in Hungary to conduct research at Ludovika – Public Service University, and the Center for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Shea will head back to the US to explore a more policy-focused work environment, Michael Van Ginkel will begin his PhD. in the Netherlands and Tate Sanders will start focusing on their family business in Ireland.
“Too often people show their preconceptions of the region and project them into Hungary and this program allows us to see the culture and the history, everything that informs the thoughts and policies of Hungarians. So, it’s of fundamental importance that we experience trips into this culture and the countryside, we lecture and speak to different students. It was a fantastic experience, it really changed my viewpoint and understanding of the region.” – Michael Van Ginkel