Category Archives: bute

Budapest information session – fall 2011

This Tuesday I organized an information session for UNH ECE students interested in participating in the Budapest Exchange Program. Under the program UNH CEPS students can spend a semester at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE) during their junior year. The program also brings BUTE students to UNH for a semester.

Under the exchange program five UNH ECE students spent the spring 2011 semester in Budapest. All five (picture above) were present at the information session to share their experiences with the eight juniors interested in the program (picture below).

The experiences we heard about were awesome, in fact life-changing. All five alumni of the exchange program agreed that spending a semester in Budapest was an excellent decision, with some calling it their “best decision.” The program was challenging, but that was one of its most important aspects because of the skills and confidence it built in each and every one of them. They all enjoyed their classes at BUTE, with one student describing a BUTE professor as the “best professor” he’s ever had – enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and helpful. For more on studying in Budapest, read the eceblogger posts by Carol Perkins, one of the five alumni of the program.

The juniors received instructions on administrative steps to take in order to participate in the program. These instructions were assembled by Kathy Reynolds and Caitlin Baldwin – thanks Kathy and Caitlin! Also thanks to József Porohnavec, a BUTE student spending a semester at UNH, for participating in the session.

As Kathy said in a follow-up email to the eight juniors: we can’t wait to hear their stories next fall when it is their turn to meet with the next group of students going to Budapest.

2011 CEPS Study Abroad Information Session

UNH’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) has several exchange programs, one of which allows our students to study a semester at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE). On Saturday (3/5/11) I had a chance to introduce the ECE perspective of the Budapest exchange program to an impressively large (80+) group of students and parents. My presentation was part of the CEPS Study Abroad Information Session organized by Bob Henry, CEPS associate dean for academic affairs, and his staff.

My favorite part of the information session was the student panel. Bob Henry invited five students who spent time abroad (three in Budapest and two at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland) last fall to answer questions from the audience. As in panels I’ve seen in the past, the students gave the exchange programs glowing recommendations.  However, this year Bob Henry added something I haven’t seen in the past: the parents of a student panelist were on hand to answer questions from their perspective. This strikes me as an excellent way to make the parents of prospective study-abroad students feel comfortable with the program, and prepare them for the inevitable stress of their children moving to another continent for a few months.

Several UNH ECE students were at the information session and I hope they take advantage of the opportunity to study in Budapest. Carol Perkins and four other ECE juniors are currently in Budapest and, according to Carol, they are adjusting very well.

For more pictures from the event visit Flickr.

Return visit to Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE)

On June 7 and 8, 2010 I visited the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE) for the second time in ten months. As with my last visit I went to discuss the BUTE-CEPS exchange program.

During this visit I met six people who have been involved in organizing different aspects of the exchange program. My host was Eszter Kiss, the Program Director of the Information Center for Engineering Programs in English (ICEPE). For UNH/CEPS students, staff and faculty, she is the Hungarian face of the exchange program. Eszter and I primarily talked about the fact that, starting in 2011, UNH ECE exchange students will spend the spring semester in Budapest. Other CEPS students will remain on the fall-in-Budapest schedule.

Eszter organized two meetings for me with BUTE leaders. The first one was with Dr. Peter Moson, Vice-Rector for International Relations (the Vice-Rector position at BUTE is equivalent to the Vice President position at a US university). Ildiko Varga, the head of the BUTE Erasmus and Exchange Office was also present at this meeting. Dr. Moson expressed his full support for a vibrant relationship between BUTE and CEPS. On a personal note it was great to see Dr. Moson who I met during his visit to UNH last year. It was also nice to talk to Ms. Varga who went to graduate school and taught mathematics at Purdue.

The second meeting organized by Eszter was with Dr. Gabor Stepan. Dr. Stepan, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), is the Dean of the BUTE Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the ICEPE’s parent unit. Dr. Stepan expressed his full support for the BUTE-CEPS exchange program. Again on a personal note, it was exciting for me to visit the BUTE Faculty of ME where my father received his BS ME a long time ago. Dr. Stepan also spent some time telling me about BUTE’s history, including facts and anecdotes about BUTE’s Nobel-prize winning alumni.

While the meetings with Drs Stepan and Moson and with Ms. Varga primarily dealt with the overall BUTE-CEPS relationship, I also had a chance to work on issues related to UNH ECE directly with the BUTE unit that hosts ECE students. Specifically, Dr. Moson introduced me to Dr. Balint Kiss, the person in charge of the English language education at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics. This is the BUTE unit that hosts UNH ECE exchange students and Dr. Kiss will be my primary contact in determining courses for our students to take while at BUTE. The meeting with Dr. Kiss was also an opportunity to catch up with Dr. Peter Arato. Dr. Arato, who is also a HAS member, has strong ties to the UNH ECE department having collaborated extensively with UNH ECE professor Andrzej Rucinski.

In addition to all these productive meetings I had a chance to give a talk to BUTE students interested in the exchage program. Seven prospective students attended, several of them interested in coming to the UNH ECE department – I hope we’ll see them here soon.

I would like to thank Eszter Kiss for organizing my visit (on very short notice). I would also like to thank the BUTE faculty, staff and students who took time to meet with me. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the UNH ECE Department and the CEPS Dean’s office who jointly funded this visit.

For pictures about my trips to Budapest visit my Flickr page.

Promoting the CEPS-BUTE Exchange Program

In an effort to promote the CEPSBUTE exchange program I gave the following presentation to two similar audiences here at UNH. Last Monday Kent Chamberlin hosted me in his ECE 401 class (the introductory ECE course) and I had a chance to talk to about 75 ECE freshmen. Today I gave the presentation to Bob Henry’s TECH 400 students (TECH 400 introduces the CEPS majors to CEPS undeclared students).

View more presentations from Andrew Kun.

My main point was this: spending a semester abroad gives students a competitive advantage because it proves that they can adapt to change. Of course spending a semester in Europe allows students to travel and I spent some time promoting my favorite travel guide author, Rick Steves 🙂

Visiting Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE)

After my trip to Automotive UI 2009 I flew to Budapest, Hungary. The UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences has an exchange program with BUTE and I went to promote this program to BUTE students. I also got a chance to meet two people responsible for implementing the program “on the ground” in Budapest, Eszter Kiss and Máté Helfrich. Eszter is the person who looks after the UNH students (and many others from all over the world) from the time they arrive in Budapest, so I was very happy to meet her and express UNH’s gratitude for all of her efforts.

Eszter organized a talk in which I presented some of the reasons why a semester at UNH would be beneficial to BUTE students (see the slides). The discussion that followed my presentation was excellent, with students asking questions about many aspects of the exchange program, as well as a new summer internship program. The discussion was in Hungarian, which was fun, as I don’t use this language for work very much 🙂

You can see more pictures about my visit on Flickr.