COLA: Tell us a bit about yourself. (Major, hometown, interests, etc.)
Ross Styles: My name is Ross Styles. I’m a recent graduate of UNH. However, when I studied abroad in Budapest I was a junior. I majored in History and minored in American Studies here at UNH. My passions are helping students, history, politics and sports. I hope to one-day work for a college or company that provides educational support to students who want to study, intern, or research abroad.
COLA: Why did you choose the Budapest Humanities program?
Ross: What initially caught my eye with the Budapest Humanities program was a range of classes. You take multiple different types of classes and one counted as a history course and two others filled discovery courses for me. As I looked more into the program I loved how central Hungary’s location is on top of their rich history. It also helped one of my friends had gone to Budapest through UNH before and highly recommended the city.
COLA: How did you fund your semester abroad?
Ross: Financially doing a managed program was a perfect fit for me. I just paid my normal UNH tuition. With the plane ride included the Budapest managed program was approximately equal to what I would be paying to come to UNH, fees included, for a semester. I also applied and received a scholarship through the study abroad office here on campus. Between saving the semester before and the scholarship I had more than enough money. I was concerned about money going into the trip because my family doesn’t have a lot of it. However, applying for scholarships really helped me make the most of my experience. It also helps Budapest is a very cheap city to live in. Photo: Corvinus University where students will study COLA: What courses did you study while in Hungary? Did these classes help you better understand Hungarian culture? How?
Ross: I studied two Hungarian history courses, one European culture, and one classics course in Budapest. The classes put everything that I was visually noticing from traveling the city into context. Without telling you every aspect of Hungarian culture, through my classes I learned how Hungary became to be a country, why they’re so protective of their Magyar ancestry and what their view on the world is, among other things. The classes helped so much because the professor that goes over with you and your Hungarian professors have such a passion for what they’re teaching. You a lot of time traveling (you have an entire class dedicated to it) and seeing things hands on which really supplements what you read in class.
COLA: What skills have you learned from your experience?
Ross: Coming from a small town living in a big city was very different for me. I learned how to navigate foreign countries as a traveled more and became a much more independent person. I learned how important body language could be if you don’t know what someone is saying. In Budapest most people speak some English but if they don’t using common hand gestures or just saying things slow will help.
Ross: Built into the program is a class that you take field trips around Budapest. This allowed us as a group to explore Budapest far more than if we would have just been in a classroom. The class takes you on tours of architecture, museums, hidden parts of the city and more. The program also provided trips to the cities of Eger, Pécs, and to Tihany. Each trip was unique and provided us with different aspects of Hungarian culture.
COLA: Did you manage to travel outside of Budapest while you were abroad? Share a few of your best tips for other students who are planning their own adventures.
Ross: I managed to travel outside the country quite a bit while in Hungary. Some of my best trips were to well known places such as, Paris, Barcelona, Rome and Dublin. I’d also recommend visiting smaller countries such as Slovakia or Scotland. I would highly recommend doing New Europe Tours for all your trips around Europe and the UK. They’re free and the tour guides are great. Besides that you should definitely do your best to try the local food. Avoid just going to the places you know from back here in the U.S.