Alumni testimonials
2014

“This is no ordinary trip; you actually experience the true Hungarian culture. Meeting important politicians and talented entrepreneurs was just so eye-opening. You come back home with more culture, more knowledge, and amazing memories. This opportunity has made me discover my own identity as a Hungarian-Canadian. I feel like I have discovered a new side of me, a more Hungarian side of me. I am definitely more proud of my Hungarian heritage, and I truly encourage every person to experience this kind of adventure.” Valerie Arseneau, 25, Quebec

“My birthright trip to Hungary was a life-changing experience that I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for. I think that it is crucial for every person of Hungarian descent not living in Hungary to go through in order to preserve a global Hungarian identity. This trip not only provided me with a general understanding of Hungary, as well as its current political role, but many other unique experiences as well. I am also very grateful for meeting so many people my age that grew up without knowing much about their Hungarian heritage. I made many great friends, who now feel like family, and plan to keep in touch with every single one of them. I am so grateful for this journey, and will continue to be involved in the Hungarian community in the US as much as possible because of it.” Daniella Baxter, 22, Pennsylvania

"Reconnect Hungary was the most defining experience I have had as an American-Hungarian.  I have always felt a strong sense of pride in being Hungarian, but the trip really inspired something deeper within me.  I feel much more connected with other American-Hungarians and with my roots in general.  It has inspired me to develop meaningful relationships with relatives in Hungary, learn more of the language, and to stay in tune with the current events and cultural relations in Hungary today.  Prepare to be completely inspired!" Kathryn Bor, 24, Minnesota

“Having grown up in a strong Hungarian-American family, I was always very eager to learn more about my ancestral homeland. Although I knew much about the Hungarian community abroad, I was rather ignorant with regard to the history of Hungary and the political and economic issues facing modern Hungary. I will always be grateful to all those sponsors who made my trip possible, and I would love for other young Americans and Canadians of Hungarian ancestry to have the same life-changing experience.” Nicholas Boros, 23, Ohio

“This trip offers to participants a rare glimpse into the life of a Hungarian citizen. Through the ReConnect Hungary program’s unique approach, participants have been able to explore Hungary’s rich history, cosmopolitan present and exciting future. From the landmarks to the Hungarian folk dancing to the authentic cuisine, we have truly been immersed in Hungarian life. And while this has been the trip of a lifetime, I am confident that our experiences will continue to shape every facet of our lives.” Marie Eszenyi, 26, Virginia

“My experience on the Reconnect Hungary trip was life changing. For me this trip was an opportunity to better connect myself to the feelings of my family. I learned about the nation that my family came from and the culture that indirectly raised me. Understanding Hungarian culture and comparing it to the U.S. is something more valuable than any other experience I’ve had. The biggest issue currently in Hungary is reclaiming a ‘Hungarian’ national identity. This program was designed to show American youth the new thriving Hungarian culture in an effort to connect us to this Hungarian identity.” Amy Gardi, 20, Florida

“This program changed how I view myself, my values, and what I want out of life. On this trip, I found myself immersed in cultural experiences which I had always longed to be part of or experience but never had the opportunity to. As an artist, every day on the two-week excursion was a gift; it was all so visually incredible and mentally stimulating. Everything I came in contact with held a story and a piece of my heritage which I have learned to appreciate so much more. I have found that immersion into a culture, instead of observation, is the best way to have a true involvement and unaltered understanding of practices and people. This program will be a milestone for anyone, and one of the most wonderful experiences ever.” Eve Goggins, 25, Massachusetts


“There is nothing more important in life than exposure to new ideas and information. One’s prejudices, fears and limitations are often dissolved by simple experiences and interactions. Having the opportunity to travel to a fascinating country like Hungary provides this opportunity. The result of these cultural exchanges leaves both the individual as well as the host nation richer. For many, it is their only opportunity to travel to Hungary and experience first-hand what they otherwise can only learn from stories.” Aron Hoffmann-Marton, 25, New York

“This trip has been truly transformative for me and I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity. I arrived in Budapest knowing close to nothing about Hungarian culture, aside from what I have learned throughout my European History studies, so I truly did not know what to expect. Immediately, I was struck by the shear architectural and natural beauty of the city’s buildings, bridges and the radiant Danube River. I learned of the progressive startup technology-based culture that is flourishing in Budapest, and I was intrigued by the minority Roma culture and felt a deep connection and responsibility to help cultivate integrative, humanitarian civil rights efforts.” Lucas Hoffmann-Marton, 26, New York

“Through this experience I have strengthened my Hungarian roots and learned about Hungary’s cultural and economic strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strongest Hungarian cultural identity was found on our trip to a Hungarian town in the neighboring country of Serbia. The adherence to the Hungarian culture and language shown by the Hungarians of Serbia incited my love and compassion for Hungary and its people even outside its border. It has inspired me to be more involved in the Hungarian community in my hometown and to make the culture a permanent and positive addition to my life.” Alexander Jetta Koves, 18, Georgia

My experience with Re-Connect Hungary will be something I will never forget. I will be forever grateful that I was given this opportunity through the Re-connect Hungary program. As a child, my grandparents talked about where they came from, how they grew up, and what a beautiful country Hungary was. I now appreciate everything they told me. I fell in love with my Magyar roots. Seeing it all first-hand really showed me why my grandparents were so proud of being one of the Magyar people. I am happy that I was able to meet people my age in the same circumstances as myself; it already gave us a common bond. I would not have been able to do this without the Re-connect Hungary program. All young adults with a Hungarian background should consider this program; they will not be disappointed.” James Savoy, 22, Alberta

ReConnect Hungary is an exceptional program that has allowed me to fully understand and appreciate my own culture and roots. It opened my eyes to culture, business, politics, and I have made connections with people that I know will last a lifetime. I truly believe my heart will always belong in Budapest. This program has touched my life in a way that I cannot quite explain, and I feel that every Hungarian-American should experience this amazing journey.” Aliecia Anderson, 20, Pennsylvania

“It is important for those with Hungarian roots to know their background. This has been the best program I have been in my life and it will definitely be a lifelong story to tell. The program was quite interesting. Every day we had a full day of activities, from cultural to religious to political. I can definitely say I am proud to be Hungarian.” David Takacs, 23, New Jersey

thank you! köszönjük!


Read what our 2015, 2013 and 2012 alumni say about the program!