our alumni get involved
We would love to know what you have been up to since returning from your ReConnect trip.
What have you learned about yourself, about your family, about your Hungarian roots? Have you found a way to get involved with a Hungarian organization? Has this experience influenced your professional or personal goals in any way? Updates on your adventures in reconnecting with your Hungarian identity are always welcome, as are any news about you. If you'd like to share your news or updates with your fellow ReConnect Hungary alumni, please join the ReConnect Hungary Alumni Group on Facebook, or send us an e-mail and we can post your message on this page.
Kathleen Horan ('13)"ReConnect was a phenomenal program that has introduced me to missing pieces of my heritage. Through the journey I learned new things about Hungary and more importantly about myself. The friends and connections I made through the program span not only the country, but across the globe. The participants and members of the ReConnect program are a large part of what makes this program so great. Although my trip to Hungary only lasted two weeks, my involvement in Hungarian culture continues to grow each day."
Emma Nagy-Menegazzo ('13)"Since I have returned from the Reconnect Hungary trip, I have been trying to involve myself within the Hungarian Community of Montreal as much as possible. After falling in love with the language, I decided that I wanted to learn the language myself, so I am now attending Hungarian classes every Saturday morning at the Hungarian School of Montreal. I will be attending the largest Táncház party of the year in mid-February, too. Along with trying to involve myself within the Hungarian community, I have started listening to Hungarian music, cooking Hungarian meals, and I even returned to Hungary this past December. Currently I am in the process of applying for my Hungarian citizenship, and I am doing this because I have never felt closer to a country and a culture than I do with Hungary, all thanks to the Reconnect Hungary program."
Jonathan Naser ('12)"Going to Hungary with ReConnect Hungary was one of the best experiences of my life. My favorite moment was going to the farm in Zsámbok and preparing a meal. I had vivid memories of spending time on my own childhood farm with my Hungarian grandmother who instilled in me a lot about Hungary from a young age. Since returning, I've tried to continue to be active in my local Hungarian-American community. I've continued to attend local events around Pittsburgh, such as Hungarian Day at Kennywood, the International Village, and the annual William Penn Association picnic where this past year I was honored to meet the current Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S., György Szapáry. I have continued to study Hungarian at the University of Pittsburgh and am now in my third year of study. This semester I have also started helping beginning Hungarian language students as a teaching assistant. This summer I plan on going back to Hungary with the help of the Hungarian Nationality Room Scholarship through the University of Pittsburgh to study Hungarian language and culture at the Debrecen Summer School."
McKenzie Fritz ('12)"Since my trip to Hungary in the summer of 2012, I've really furthered my exploration of my 'Hungarian Self.' Not only did the trip spur a discussion within my family about our collective past but it also allowed me to embrace Hungary today. I was able to make many great friends and contacts through my trip, many of whom I stay in contact with. During my gap year in Germany in 2013, I was able to travel back to Hungary and visit friends and further explore the beautiful city of Budapest. Without the ReConnect Hungary trip, I would only consider myself a tourist in Hungary but thanks to my experiences there, I am now able to feel at home in a city and country that I earlier had very little connection to. For that, I am very grateful. Outside of my wonderful personal connections made in Hungary, the trip also created a newfound sense of interest in Hungarian events. As a student at Columbia University, I've been privileged to sit in on lectures by many a notable Hungarian—including a recent visit by former Prime Minister, Gordon Bajnai. While I certainly had an interest in Hungarian news before the program, I didn't have nearly as much insight into the country and culture as I do now. The program has spurred me on to further my knowledge and be able to fully engage in the many Hungarian events that take place on campus and throughout the city. The ReConnect Hungary program has afforded me many unforgettable experiences and fostered relationships and interests that will continue on for years to come. The trip may only last two weeks but the memories and connections made endure and grow for much longer."