Your birthright trip
This is not your run-of-the-mill sightseeing program. There is so much to see in the country, but we've selected a few "must see" sights.
Our next birthright trip will be June 14-30, 2019. Applications are opening on September 17 for ReConnect Hungary 2019.
ReConnect Hungary provides a totally immersive 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 take the Essentials of Hungary: A Primer and Introduction Online Course moderated by a program assistant in our New York office. The course provides a multimedia introduction to basic Hungarian facts, accomplishments, history, culture and language. Throughout the course, you will explore several current-day topics in small groups.
Through ReConnect Hungary's Facebook page and Alumni Facebook Group, you will get the opportunity to connect with your fellow sojourners, and the trip will kick off with a meet-up in New York City.
Your program coordinators will meet you at Liszt Ferenc Budapest International Airport and your peer guides will accompany you throughout the two-week journey in Hungary. These young experts based in Hungary and versed in all things Hungarian, will give you the latest on popular trends, places and people.
We will start out in the capital, Budapest, where you will get unparalleled opportunities to interact with 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. You will also visit 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: by dancing at the uniquely Hungarian phenomenon, the "táncház" (folk dance house with live music), by making traditional Hungarian crafts in a workshop at an open-air museum, and by seeing what young innovators in the Design Terminál are up to.
You will have an inter-cultural day that includes basic language instruction.
In our tour van, we will visit Lake Balaton and focus on a region in the countryside. We may also visit a Diaspora Hungarian community just over the border in Serbia, Slovakia or Ukraine to see how young Hungarians outside Hungary are maintaining their identity and traditions.
Relaxation and fun will be had at one of Hungary's world famous thermal baths. Budapest is home to Europe's largest thermal complex, the Széchenyi Baths, an authentic outdoor Turkish bath replete with water chess. On the weekend we encourage you to travel to the city or hometown of your ancestors to spend time with living relatives, take photos of gravesites, meet people that knew your familty etc.
Since 2012, while each trip has shared common elements, we design and adjust each trip's unique itinerary to reflect what's new and happening in Hungary. At the end of your trip, you will be able to fill out a survey to give us feedback about your experience. The trip is intense and fast-paced and your feedback is important as we look to the future of our program.
Your journey to rediscovering your Hungarian self continues when you return to the U.S. and Canada. You become a ReConnected Participant. As such, you will be required to volunteer at a local national Hungarian organization and fulfill your selected task force responsibilities for a minimum of 12 months after the trip. Choose at least one alumni obligation such as take Hungarian language courses, study in Hungary, seek Hungarian citizenship, form an on-campus Hungarian club, and promote ReConnect Hungary in various ways.
A total of three million ethnic Hungarians live as minorities in the seven countries surrounding Hungary. The largest of these communities is in Transylvania, Romania. The extraordinary opportunity for participants to experience Transylvania in a 7-day excursion immediately following the ReConnect Hungary trip is now a permanent offering. The whirlwind immersion uncovers the region’s natural beauty and the historical landmarks and living cultural traditions. Descending into the Salt Mines of Torda, meeting Hungarian decision-makers in Kolozsvár (Cluj), seeing the treasures of the Teleki Téka library in Marosvásárhely (Targu Mures), walking through a Székely gate—those who choose this program do and see just about everything!
ReConnect Transylvania+ Fall 2019
A full scholarship opportunity for young adults over 18 to gain valuable work experience at NGOs in one of four Transylvanian cities, mentor university students in English and American culture, and discover the deepest layers of being Hungarian from 3-6 months. Contact us for more information!