frequently asked questions

I don't speak any Hungarian. Am I eligible for ReConnect Hungary? Will I enjoy it?
Absolutely! The program is designed especially for second, third, fourth (and beyond) generation Hungarian-Americans who do not speak any Hungarian.

My ancestry is only distantly Hungarian, do I qualify? How do I demonstrate my Hungarian background?
Yes! The program is designed for those who want to rediscover their Hungarian self while building connections to family, traditions and community, both local and global. In the video essay portions of your application you will be asked to tell us about what you know about your family's background, as well as of your Hungarian experiences so far, if any. This is enough to demonstrate your ancestry.

What is the cost of the program and what does it cover?
The out-of-pocket cost for you, a selected participant, is only $1,500 (which includes a $300 non-refundable administrative fee).  The total value of the trip is $4,000 per participant, thus giving you a scholarship worth $2,500, which is funded by the organizers and our individual and corporate sponsors.

Basically everything is covered! Roundtrip airfare and taxes between New York and Budapest; all transportation to/from airports in New York and Budapest; all accommodations while in Hungary; three meals a day while in Hungary; guides in Hungary; transportation in our own van throughout Hungary; all entrance fees to museums and historical sites; the pre-trip online course; and lunch and orientation in New York.

You will need to cover travel to/from New York City and spending money. You will have to arrange your own travel insurance and passport.

Do you need help covering the cost? Family and friends can give the trip as your birthday, graduation or holiday present. There are also creative ways for you to raise funds for your trip.

I've already been to Hungary, can I still participate in ReConnect?
It depends. The program is designed for young Americans and Canadians of Hungarian background who have never been to Hungary so that they can rediscover their roots. If you were born in Hungary but left before age 12, you are eligible for ReConnect. If you are not eligible, there are other ways to get involved and support the program: mentoring, joining us on Facebook and FUNdraising are but a few opportunities.

I'd like to sponsor a participant's trip. Is this possible?
Absolutely! Just download this form and make a donation by check to "RECONNECT HUNGARY" and mail it to: ReConnect Hungary - Hungarian Birthright Program, 120 East 90th Street #5D, New York, NY 10128.

... or make a secure online donation now!

Who are the organizers?
ReConnect Hungary - Hungarian Birthright Program is organized by the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New York, established in 1976. The Program is a public-private partnership supported by Hungarian-American and Canadian organizations and the Government of Hungary.

How are participants selected?
ReConnect Hungary is a unique cultural immersion program. As such, the number of participants per trip is limited to ensure an optimal experience. After meeting eligibility requirements, participants will be selected on a first-come basis and on the strength of their recommendations, essays and interviews. Your percentage of Hungarian ancestry is not a factor! Final selections will be subject to a phone interview with the ReConnect Hungary team. Participants selected for the trip will be informed by email. Completion of our online course about the past, present and future of Hungary is a prerequisite of final acceptance.

How can I participate?
You need to apply, take the online course, go on the trip, then participate in the alumni network. To apply, you need to meet the eligibility requirements, fill out an application, pay a $25 application fee online and submit supporting documents. Once selected, you will need to pay the $1,500 fee ($300 of which is a non-refundable administrative fee). Next, you and the other participants will take our online course.

What happens after the trip?
Your journey to rediscovering your Hungarian self continues when you return to the U.S./Canada. You become a member of the ReConnect Hungary Alumni Network. As such, you will be required to fulfill your selected task force responsibilities for a minimum of 12 months after the trip. You will also become a part of the global Hungarian community by fulfilling one of your alumni obligations: mentor a future participant, take Hungarian language courses, study in Hungary, seek Hungarian citizenship, volunteer at local Hungarian organizations, form an on-campus Hungarian club, or promote the ReConnect Hungary program in other ways. Furthermore, you will be able to stay involved through alumni meet-ups and events.

What are the specific alumni obligations?
By participating in the ReConnect Hungary program, you commit to fulfilling certain alumni obligations as detailed in our Terms & Conditions. These obligations include mentoring a future participant; assisting with promotion and publicity; organizing a local meet-up; procuring sponsorship for the Program; organizing/attending at least one ReConnect Hungary fundraising or publicity event; actively participating in the ReConnect Hungary Alumni Group on Facebook and regularly posting in social media; organizing an alumni event; volunteering in your local Hungarian community or in a national Hungarian organization; forming a Hungarian Club at your school or assuming active leadership in an existing one; or completing the coursework for at least one year in a Hungarian language class.
Furthermore, on your application form you have to select a task force with specific responsibilities which you will be required to fulfill and submit quarterly written reports on. The task forces are as follows:

Promotions, Publicity, Marketing, Social Media
• Promote the program and recruit applicants in conventional and novel ways, in various venues, across all media and platforms (e.g., high school guidance counselors, college scholarship departments, libraries, bulletin boards).
• Design and disseminate new promotional materials, including items and gear for sale.
• Get in touch with local media (TV, radio, Internet, print) and offer them content, an interview, or prepare a PSA they can air/print.
• Represent the Program at Hungarian festivals.

Fundraising and Sponsorship Drive
• Organize fundraising events benefiting the Program, such as alumni telethon, crowd-funding campaign, dining for a cause at restaurants.
• Convince an existing Hungarian event to donate part of its proceeds to the Program.
• Encourage employer matching contributions on the part of family and friends.
• Research grant opportunities for educational/cultural programs like ours.
• Convince local businesses or organizations to be a program sponsor in exchange for publicity in our promotional materials and online.
• Get a business to offer the Program a percentage of profit from a sale or service.
• Encourage a business or organization to sponsor the full cost of one, or a specific, participant.

Alumni Relations and Local Meetups
• Organize an informational event about the Program in a local venue such as a library, campus, popular hang-out.
• Form a local regular meet-up event for peers.
• Assist the class president. Organize alumni events locally and nationally. Keep alumni involved.
• Post weekly on RH Alumni FB page and the main, public RH Facebook page. Regularly post on social media about Hungarian-related issues, events, etc.

Forming/Joining a Hungarian Club on Your Campus
• Assume active leadership if one already exists. Form a new club if one does not exist.