information for parents
Program Background and Objectives
ReConnect Hungary – Hungarian Birthright Program is a public-private partnership between the Kossuth Foundation of Washington, DC, a non-profit cultural institution, and the Balassi Institute of Hungary, the country's official promoter of Hungarian culture abroad. The special partnership also encompasses, of course, the exceptional young people selected to participate in the program, as well as the generous support of Hungarian-American individual and corporate sponsors who make this journey affordable for your child and your family. Your cooperation in this exciting partnership is vital and appreciated.
The program provides the gift of a peer group, heritage and cultural immersion trip to Hungary for American-Hungarian young adults ages 18 to 26 in order to foster self-discovery. The program is a result of the vision of Allison Pataki Levy, daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, who grasped the growing need among young Hungarian-Americans, like herself, to be able to rediscover their Hungarian heritage with a view to the future as well. (If you haven't done it so far, read Allison's thoughtful message!)
The experiences gathered in such a short time--the knowledge and new perspectives gained, the friendship and networks forged—will last your child a lifetime. They will meet the innovators and young leaders of the country at the intersection of a rich culture and colorful history. The trip lasts for 17 days (14 days in Hungary, 1 orientation day in New York and 2 days travel). Read more about the program!
The program has been designed by specialized travel professionals and relies on decades of experience that the Balassi Institute of Hungary has in educating Hungarian youth living outside the country.
What your child will experience - the exclusive events and access, quality offerings in programs and gastronomy - simply cannot be found in any tourist catalogue.
How you can help
Your active involvement and generous support are key to ReConnect Hungary's success. After all, the goal is to enrich the life of your child, deepen family traditions, and nurture community bonds.
The total cost per participant for this amazing two-week trip is $5,600. Due to the generosity of the organizers and supporters, we are able to offer this life-changing experience for your child for merely $1,200.
You can make your child's dream of visiting your ancestral homeland a reality by providing the ReConnect Hungary experience as the gift for that milestone in their lives: a special birthday, high school or college graduation present, getting that first job or promotion. You can support any other qualified young adult in their journey of self-discovery as well. Please visit the Support the Journey section to learn more and make your contribution today.
Logistics and Safety
ReConnect Hungary is your young adult's personal experience, but relatives play a key role in the participants' journey. During the trip, parents, relatives and friends will be able to find updates on the program website about the group's experiences as they are occurring. The participants will receive contact information to the program organizers in Hungary as well.
Your child's personal safety will be our top priority. Therefore, we require that s/he obtain travel insurance prior to departure. Also, it is mandatory that your child let us know of any allergies or medical condition that requires regular medication or special attention.
To ensure that participants abide by the two rules of the trip, partaking in organized programs and avoiding excessive behavior, we require a valid credit card number for a $250 security deposit.
Hungary is no more dangerous than any other European country and Budapest is similarly as safe as any other capital city. [Hungary has not been the target of any terrorist activity and is a close ally of the United States and Canada through many channels such as NATO and OSCE.] We advise common sense in hiding valuables (camera, smart phone, wallet and so on) in crowded places and keep belongings in sight. The bilingual program coordinator, who will accompany the group throughout the stay in Hungary, will always assess the safety of a situation and guide the participants appropriately. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions before, during or after the trip.