Yesterday I attended a meeting organized by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission, in which the 2012-2013 cohort of Hungarian Fulbright recipients reported on their experiences in the USA. Here are some of my impressions from this meeting:
Americans are kind, and America is a beautiful and exiting country.
All of the presentations I attended included words of praise for Americans as welcoming, supportive and open. Presenters also shared photographs of the US, from nature, to monuments, to street corners, to small town soccer teams. The Hungarian Fulbrighters took it all in and enjoyed the experience.
US data infrastructure is a game-changer.
Hungarians visiting the USA felt that our infrastructure, and primarily our ability to access and process large amounts of data, is a tremendous strength. This came across especially vividly in the presentation of András Pethő, editor at the origo.hu Hungarian news portal.
Of personal interest: Hungarian-Americans retain cultural heritage.
Since their birth, I’ve been teaching my two kids to speak Hungarian, which is one of the two languages I grew up with. One of the presenters, history PhD student Tímea Oláh, explored Hungarian-Americans in New Brunswick, NJ. It was interesting to hear that the New Brunswick Hungarians have a viable community where the Hungarian language and customs are thriving.
You can see my pictures from the meeting on Flickr.