For the first time, the Baylor journalism, public relations and new media department is sending a group of students to Budapest this summer. Baylor’s Center for Global Engagement has been pushing for students to travel to unfamiliar eastern countries – even tweeting about Budapest on their Twitter page. Journalism senior lecturer Maxey Parrish is leading the students to the Hungarian capital.
“Western Europe is low-hanging fruit,” Parrish said in reference to why students overwhelmingly stick to western countries like England, France and Italy.
Parrish, who traveled to Budapest in January to scope out the program, has high expectations for the students’ opportunity to experience the different culture.
In contrast to Waco grocery stores, he described going to the market in Budapest and being instructed by a vendor on what types of breads and oils paired best with his specific meal.
“You don’t get that at H-E-B,” Parrish said.
Tulsa sophomore Lauren Tedford, who traveled to Europe this New Year, also visited the Czech Republic capital, Prague.
“Taking the train was a great thing, too, that I would definitely recommend because it didn’t even feel like travel,” Tedford said.
Prague was a destination Parrish highly recommended for students to travel to on their free weekends during the five-week program.
Also built into the itinerary are trips to Vienna, Austria and the Transylvanian region of Romania.
“The goal is to utilize where we are and to immerse ourselves in it,” Parrish said.
Rather than bring a Baylor course to a different country, the Baylor in Budapest program boasts that it will allow students to interact with the local professionals. The journalism courses offered will be partially instructed by veteran journalists who reported during the Communist regime in Hungary.
And students do not need to be journalism majors in order to attend. Film and digital media students and business majors will also find available courses. Students from any other discipline can also attend and use the courses as elective hours.
Recent outbreaks of violence in Turkey and the global attention on the Syrian refugee crisis may leave some students hesitant about their safety. But Parrish is certain students have nothing to worry about.
He said he is confident in “Baylor’s commitment to security and safety.” He referenced the Associate Vice President of Public Safety and Security at Baylor, Mark Childers’, knowledge of international security and assurance that Budapest is a safe travel destination. The program will also have direct contact with the United States’ consulate in Budapest.
There are spots still available for the Baylor in Budapest program, and they will remain open for the next 10 days. Further questions can be directed to Maxey Parrish and the Baylor Center for Global Engagement.
“With both Prague and Budapest, they are places where you can just show up there and find something to do,” Tedford said. “If you go there, you are going to be entertained.”