Baylor in Budapest: Study abroad offers journalism opportunities

In this panoramic view, the city of Budapest sits on the edge of the Danube River. Students visited Budapest’s Parliament building and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Photo credit: Timothy Hong

Studying abroad in college is an opportunity that many students do not utilize because of the stress of missing a full semester, the cost of traveling to another country or not being able to take classes related to their field of study.

One of the many study abroad trips that Baylor University makes available is a program in Budapest through the department of journalism, public relations and new media. The trip is held during the summer from late May until early July and is intended for journalism students.

Students also visited Matthias Church. Photo credit: Timothy Hong

The classes that are available on the trip are mainly journalism classes, but advisers work with students to help make this opportunity possible. Students can petition to earn credit for specific classes that they may need.

“Courses will focus on travel writing, photography and videography published on a website students develop,” reads the program website. “The goal is to enhance [the student’s] portfolio, making [the student] a better candidate for jobs and internships.”

Maxey Parrish, senior lecturer and chaperone of the trip, said the journalism department at Baylor previously took students on a month-long trip to Florence. When the department was looking for a change of location, Budapest was a city that did not already have a Baylor study abroad program. Last summer was the first year that students participated in the new program.

Photo credit: Gavin Pugh

“We had a phenomenal experience. It really exceeded all my expectations,” Parrish said.

While in Budapest, students are provided with a public transportation pass, a meal allowance and are housed in a dormitory in the city. The intention is to have the students fully immersed in the culture and experience life as locals.

“I’m a big believer in cultural immersion,” Parrish said. “I think it is very important that, when you go someplace, that you learn and study that culture, that you come away more of a global citizen.”

In addition to time spent in and around the city of Budapest, students have the opportunity to travel to Transylvania and Prague as a group. The group trips include in-depth sightseeing and touring of the cities.

“My favorite part was going to Transylvania and living with a Hungarian family,” said Miami junior Christina Soto.

Parrish has been on 18 study abroad and international mission trips, and his wife has accompanied him on seven of them.

“I want to give [students] those job skills and let [them] see another culture, and I’m committed to that, as is my wife,” Parrish said. “We really are very passionate about this.”

Parrish said the program looks to increase the number of students who go this summer so as to share the city of Budapest and the experiences available there to students.