By Elise Crosley | Reporter
The study abroad program Baylor in Budapest is unique from other trips in the way students practically become local residents rather than tourists, according Maxey Parrish, the faculty member in charge of the trip. Baylor in Budapest is a program for journalism majors to get real-world experience while also getting to immerse themselves in different cultures.
“[We] produce high-quality work on our website, The Bundle Magazine. We do not do canned assignments from a regular course as in Waco,” Parrish said. “Instead, as they come to us after we arrive. We publish stories, photos and videos in a professional format. We have magazine staff positions. We do real-world work,”
Students have the opportunity to see what it’s like living in places like Prague, Budapest and Transylvania. They live in apartments like the locals and shop in the markets for their meals. Guest lecturers from the local universities come to speak to the students. They get to know the Hungarian students and even help in the local homeless shelters. At one point during the trip, they live with families in a rural region of Romania. This trip is about immersing in the culture and creating professional work.
Parrish emphasized the beauty of seeing these places and how they have grown over time. Through lectures and museum visits, students learn how most of these places were under communist rule until the late ’80s, and how they have improved from there.
“To see where they were to where they are now, with designer-label stores and cruise ship coming through, shows what resilient people accomplish,” Parrish said.
Parrish discussed the familial experience of living with locals in Romania.
“I think the best part of the trip is living with families in the Transylvania region of Romania. The village where we stay is very small and relatively isolated. The lifestyle is not too far removed from the 19th century. Most of the food is what they grow themselves. Our host families are so hospitable and generous. When we leave almost everyone is in tears,” Parrish said.
Terrell junior Austria Arnold shared her experience on the trip.
“We started the trip in Prague, and then landed in Budapest for the duration of the month. We studied at Corvinus University, visited famous sites and traveled on the free weekends. I loved staying with the host families in Romania. They opened their houses to us and made the most incredible dishes,” Arnold said.
Parrish said gaining cultural insight is key to a well-rounded education, and that this trip is a great opportunity for that.
“Every group and every trip still changes me in some small way,” Parrish said.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the trip, the price has decreased. The next 15 people who apply and pay the deposit get to go. Visit here to sign up.