From Abroad: Whittemore School Students Arrive In Budapest
This fall, Robert Mohr, assistant professor of economics, is
in Budapest, Hungary, with 15 students from the Whittemore School
who are spending the semester studying abroad at Corvinus University.
Over the course of the semester, Mohr, who will be teaching while
at Corvinus, plans to keep the UNH community updated about the Budapest
study abroad experience through regular columns in Campus Journal.
Faculty members planning trips abroad with students or for research
purposes who would like to participate in our new “News From
Abroad” feature are encouraged to contact CJ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings from Budapest. I am here accompanying 15 Whittemore School
students for a study abroad semester at Corvinus University. My
wife, Marie, and my 3-year-old son, Karl, have joined me for the
trip. Along with Bruce Elmslie, professor of economics who coordinates
this program, we arrived about a week ahead of the students.
My first dinner was at a charming bistro the locals call, “McDonalds.”
I am learning that when traveling with a 3-year-old, the immersion
into local food needs to go gently. However, even McDonalds provides
interesting cultural insights. It is the spot for trendy young Hungarians
to meet. The interiors are colorful, sleek and modern. The restaurant
offers Internet connections, a “McCafe” with assortments
of pastries and coffees, and headphones playing the latest in popular
music. McDonalds, Budapest, is a great place to people watch.
Since then, our culinary choices have expanded. A highlight was
the introductory meal with the students. Once we had gathered them
all from the airport and allowed them a night to rest, we regrouped
at “Sir Lancelot’s Medieval Restaurant.” Here,
our party of 20 was seated at a huge round table. In keeping with
the medieval theme, the restaurant’s walls are decorated with
swords, shields and armor. Mounds off food arrived on big platters.
Just like the knights of the past, we were given knives but no other
silverware. Only the hounds to gnaw on our scraps were missing.
Having a big meal together was fun. It also provided an opportunity
for Bruce and I to check in with the students one more time before
they set off into their own daily routines. We addressed problems:
one set of students was sharing a single set of apartment keys,
and in another apartment the hot water was not working. We answered
questions about where to buy groceries and a cell phone, and on
how to get to the university. Finally, we offered our advice. This
ranged from the obvious (take your classes seriously and please,
please, please don’t experiment with drugs) to the more subtle
(beware of pickpockets, a taxi requested by phone is likely to be
cheaper than one hailed on the street, when you change trains on
the transit system you need to punch a new ticket, and remember
that your passport, not your American driver’s license, serves
With that we left them. Bruce, who has done so much to help me,
flew back to New Hampshire the next day. For the next several weeks,
the rest of us will not reconvene as a group. The students will
start their classes, and I will start to teach mine. While I will
be around to help, I know they prefer to explore on their own. In
mid-September, once we are all well acclimated to life in Hungary,
we will rejoin to go on a weekend outing to Eger, an ancient city
in the mountains northeast of Budapest. Over the coming months,
I will be sure to report back to Campus Journal about our experiences
Eger and about our adjustment to life in Hungary.