Boldizsár is spending this fall in Washington DC, taking part in the Capital Semester Fall Program organized jointly by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute (RRI), supported by the Hungary Foundation. After spending his first month there, he is now getting more and more familiar with the stunning city of Washington DC.
“My experience is intensive from the day of my arrival, getting to know the American people, their culture and history, through my classes, my internship, and personal discussions. I enjoy every minute of my stay, as even the most ordinary activity, like doing grocery shopping is a brand new cultural experience. Then you can imagine how excited I am when learning from respected experts from various fields.” – Tamás Boldizsár Hajas
The Capital Semester Fall program, titled “Leadership + The American Presidency” provides Boldizsár with classes of Economics, Public Policy, and Politics&Press at George Mason University. Also, he learns about American history and leadership through academically exploring the lives of past Presidents, visiting historical sites near and in DC, and hearing guest lectures at RRI. He enjoys experiencing a different educational style than in Hungary and to explore subjects that he never previously learned about on a professional level.
“It is just refreshing to learn new things and in a new way. I was always curious and loved to study. As for me, it seemed a way to understand the world better and to live a more quality life. Throughout the academics of this program, I am exposed to knowledge that will make me stand out as a future lawyer and be able to make an impact, whether working in the public or the private sector. Also, I am prompted to read texts, news and listen to podcasts that complement my real-life experience.” – Tamás Boldizsár Hajas
As part of the program, Boldizsár is interning at Americans for Tax Reform, a grassroots organization founded in 1986. He enjoys the challenge of being exposed to issues of fiscal policy, taxation, and government regulation while learning about politics and advocacy in the United States. His duties consist of doing background research on a wide range of public policy questions, presenting them in blog posts, and providing up-to-date information on ongoing tax legislation all over the United States.
In addition to these activities, Boldizsár is taking part in multiple events, namely guest lectures, conferences, and tours, organized by TFAS and the Hungary Foundation. He is looking forward to the Young Hungarian Leaders Program, which is an intense week of briefings, study sessions, workshops, and meetings with think tanks, U.S. government representatives, as well as site visits.
“By my internship and the different events, I could deepen my understanding of American democracy, by adding real-life stories and perspectives to the vast academic overview I am exposed to by my courses.” – Tamás Boldizsár Hajas
Boldizsár is a fourth-year law student at Eotvos Lorand University Faculty of Law and a member at Saint Ignatius Jesuit College for Advanced Studies, which is a multidisciplinary society of talented university students. Also, it is his third year at Bibó István College for Advanced Studies, which is a specialized community of Law and Political Science undergraduates of his university.
Last year he delved into legal theory and earned 2nd place with his paper and lecture at the competition of Hungarian university students, the National Scientific Students Associations Conference. His topic was a 2015 segregation case of a Greek Catholic school located in Nyíregyháza, an Eastern Hungarian city. Boldizsár continues with examining the work of Robert M. Cover, an American legal philosopher, as he is a recipient of the New National Excellence Program for a 10 months research period. He would like to be part of academia throughout his life.
Moreover, Boldizsár is interested in alternative dispute resolution and negotiation. Most recently, he and his partners received the “Best Teamwork” Special Award at The Transatlantic Negotiation Competition organized by Syracuse University in the Spring of 2021. Also, he and his teams won 3d place in 2020 and 6th place in 2019 at the commercial mediation competition held in Paris, France, organized by the International Chamber of Commerce. He considers becoming a professional mediator once.
When returning to Hungary, Boldizsár will continue his studies and would like to start interning at a law firm, to gain professional experience in the private sector. He hopes that the perspective gained by his stay in the US will help him understand cases faster and provide the best solutions for clients. His ultimate goal is to be able to influence policy-making by providing legal expertise in state programs, according to the American practices and methods he has learned.
Moreover, he will continue to aim for academic excellence, by continuing research in legal philosophy and by participating in international competitions. For both, he will benefit from the multiple skills he develops during the Széll Kálmán Fellowship.
He will use his experiences for the good of his communities, that is, providing input for the activities of the Colleges of Advanced Studies which he is a member of. These organizations have to set the frameworks for their own functioning and external programs, therefore policymaking experience could help them become more efficient.
About the Széll Kálmán Public Policy Fellowship
The 2021 Fall 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 15-week program includes an internship placement in Washington DC, academic credit from George Mason University, housing in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of 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.