Baylor offers study abroad in Budapest

By Rachel Leland, Reporter

Journalism students interested in studying abroad will have to say “arrivederci” to the Baylor in Florence program. Instead, next summer journalism students will have an opportunity to go on a brand new study abroad program in Budapest, Hungary.

In the past, journalism students were able to travel to Italy for the Baylor in Florence program that starts at the beginning of summer. The trip has been popular but also one of many study abroad programs in Italy that Baylor facilitates.

Maxey Parrish, senior lecturer in the Baylor journalism, public relations and new media department, knew that Baylor offered scarce programs in Eastern Europe and recognized an opportunity to teach students about media and the press in a post-communist country. Parrish, who has traveled to Europe frequently, spent some time in Budapest in the 1980s prior to the fall of communism.

“Until very recently Hungary has a history of total media control by the government, so it’s really neat to go to a place that is still an emerging media market as we would know it,” Parrish said.

The program will feature guest lecturers, who will speak to students about the role of media in the formerly communist Hungary.

“We wanted this to be strong on academics to utilize where we were to use local scholars to come and to give us knowledge that we wouldn’t get any other way,” Parrish said.

Located only two hours from Vienna, another destination scheduled on the program’s itinerary, Budapest is as beautiful as it is historically significant. In 2013, Conde Nast Traveler ranked Budapest as the second-best city in the world.

“Everything about it is ideal,” Parrish said. “It’s a great city. It’s underserved as far as Baylor is concerned and it’s close to some other major places we could travel to.”

The program offers six semester hours in two classes: Magazine and Feature Writing as well as Writing and Editing for Online Media.

“Budapest is an alternative study abroad program,” said Erin Thoes, coordinator of faculty-led programs, international travel and communications. “When most students think about study abroad, they think of Western Europe but not Eastern Europe.”

As the only faculty member who plans to travel with the group, Parrish said while the program is packed with material, he believes students will have plenty of time to explore Europe, especially the former Eastern Bloc.

“We’re going to be over further to the east, so that will open up some opportunities for us to travel in Eastern Europe which might be logistically bad for the Maastricht trip,” Parrish said.