ReConnect Hungary provides a total Hungarian experience, balancing exposure to history, culture and current-day trends, and innovations all in the context of a fun, informative and inspiring visit to Hungary.
Your ReConnect Hungary journey will start at home. Once you have been selected to participate in the program, you will be asked to complete an Online Orientation Course. Through this course, you will get a multi-media introduction to Hungarian accomplishments, history, culture and language. There will be suggested reading material consisting of a travel book, a language primer (list of 100 basic words and phrases), a fictional work, and a film. Throughout your orientation, you will be encouraged to submit short written commentaries on the material presented and interface with your fellow participants.
Through ReConnect Hungary's website and Facebook page, you will get the opportunity to connect to your fellow sojourners, and the trip will kick off with a meet-up in New York City.
Your program coordinator will meet you at Liszt Ferenc Budapest International Airport and accompany you throughout the two-week journey in Hungary. This young expert, versed in all things Hungarian and based in Hungary, will give you the buzz on the latest trends, places and people.
This is not your run-of-the-mill sightseeing program.
We will start out in the capital, Budapest, where you'll get unparalleled opportunities to hear from and question leading experts on top issues in today's Hungary, such as thriving economic sectors, minority policies, advances in science, foreign policy, and the environment. You will meet young Hungarians in government and Parliament, get the inside scoop from ex-pats, and hear first-hand from the leaders of successful, innovative companies.
You will discover Budapest and 20th-century history through a treasure hunt by visiting the one-of-a-kind Hospital in the Rock, a secret nuclear bunker recently unearthed. While in the capital, you will get to go to various "ruin pubs," the hip, retro nightspots that dot the city and feature up-and-coming artists. You will experience living folk culture and art: dancing at the uniquely Hungarian phenomenon, a "táncház" (folk dance house with live music), by making traditional Hungarian crafts in a workshop at an open-air museum, and byseeing what young artists and designers in the Design Terminál are up to.
There is so much to see in the country, but we've carefully selected a few "must see" locations and sights.
In our tour van, we will visit Lake Balaton, and we will pop over to Serbia or Slovakia for a taste of that Hungarian community's unique culture, and to see what young Hungarians there are doing to maintain their identity and traditions. You will also spend one day volunteering at a local charity.
Relaxation and fun will be had at places such as Europe's largest thermal complex, the Széchenyi Baths, an authentic outdoor Turkish bath replete with water chess. You will also have some free time to relax, explore, or visit the village/town where your family came from, if you wish. Your farewell send off will be something truly spectacular, but we've decided to keep it a secret (at least for now).
Your journey to rediscovering your Hungarian self continues when you return to the U.S. and Canada. You will be asked to mentor a future participant (it's only fair and fun), stay involved through ReConnect Hungary Alumni Group meet-ups and events, FUNdraising for the program, volunteer for a Hungarian-American organization.