International American Studies Conference

During the last full week in September, thirteen students and three faculty from the University of Pannonia in Veszprém, Hungary, lived on the Nazareth campus and participated in its International American Studies Conference. Sponsored in part by a grant from the Balassi Institute and the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, as well as various offices and departments at Nazareth, the group traveled more than 4,700 miles and experienced field trips to everything from Niagara Falls to a Wegmans grocery store. But the centerpiece of the week was a daily two-hour session of academic presentations by these students from the English and American Studies Institute at the University of Pannonia (EASI-UP) and Nazareth’s English, history, and communication and rhetoric majors. Topics focused on education in the U.S. and Hungary, American media studies, multicultural perspectives, and American history, politics, and humanities.

Reflection by Alyssa Lindstrom ’14G and Tess Hanna ’14G

Hosting the Hungarian students for the International America Week in September 2013 was an exciting opportunity to show the Hungarian students a glimpse at American culture. The conference was a success, ranging from presentations about school systems to American movies and much more. The conference is an exciting way to hear about what our peers are researching in Hungary. Through the presentations and spending time together, we realized that we really are not much different. We have similar interests and career goals and are eager to learn.

One of the fun and interesting things we did with the Hungarian students was bring them out to Wegmans. During this trip we confirmed that America is a culture of surplus and going over the top. The students were amazed by the sheer size and function of the “grocery” store. Another cultural thing we discussed with the Hungarian students was their view of America based on what they learn from mass media. Through our discussions we realized that many times we confirm the stereotypes. However, we were able to show and clarify to the students that not every college student is like the ones seen in movies.

Overall, this cultural exchange has been and is very important for us and to the students as a group. It gives us an opportunity to learn from others with new ideas and backgrounds. It also helps us step outside our own little community to see what others are doing. Bringing this conference and group of professors and students from the University of Pannonia gives other students access to insight and new ideas. It builds a wonderful connection between countries where we can continue to learn from each other.

EASI Goes to Rochester

Thirteen students and three professors from the English and American Studies Institute (EASI) of the University of Pannonia visited Nazareth College in the form of a study trip. Our main goal was to participate in Nazareth’s International Conference on American Studies, and also to discover the College, the city, and the surrounding area. The following short passages summarize our trip to the Unites States.

We left our capital Budapest to set out on a lengthy flight to Toronto. After landing we took a quick sightseeing tour in downtown Toronto and spent a night at a hostel after our tiring journey. The next day we visited the breathtaking natural wonder of Niagara Falls.

During our stay, Nazareth College put us up in the dormitories on campus and also provided wonderful meals in the canteens. Upon our arrival in Rochester, we took a quick night tour of Nazareth College. The next morning we had the chance to listen to an utterly exciting photography class by [art] professor Paul Porell, who provided us with many useful pieces of advice on how to take better shots during our stay. Thrilled to take pictures, we went on a walking tour of Rochester guided by Marjory Scheidt Payne [‘74, Ph.D., lecturer in English] after crossing the Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Bridge. We had a gastronomical feast, since we first enjoyed a delicious lunch at a barbeque restaurant, followed by a welcome party at [philosophy] professor Scott Campbell’s home for our group and the American students and faculty.

The conference took place in the following five days. After the opening remarks by Sara Varhus [Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs] and George Eisen [Ph.D., executive director of Nazareth’s Center for International Education and associate vice president for academic affairs], the American and Hungarian students made their presentations on various topics from films and television series to princess culture and the system of American and Hungarian education. On the final day of the conference our professors from the University of Pannonia (Dr. Sándor Czeglédi, Dr. Andrea Szabó, and Dr. Szilárd Szentgyörgyi) and also faculty from Nazareth College (Timothy Kneeland [Ph.D., professor of history], Carlnita Greene [Ph.D., associate professor of English], Olena Prokopovych [Ph.D., assistant professor of political science], and Suhail Islam [Ph.D., associate professor of English] held their presentations.

In the afternoons during the conference we listened to the Eastman Wind Orchestra at Kodak Hall, explored Pittsford on foot, celebrated the 89th birthday of Nazareth College, and took part in an ice cream social event. We got to sit in on courses at Naz and also listened to lectures by Monica Weis [’65, Ph.D., S.S.J., professor of English] and Thomas Lappas [Ph.D., associate professor of history]. We visited the Susan B. Anthony House and went shopping to Wegmans and Pittsford Plaza and the Rochester Market. A delightful day was spent exploring the Finger Lakes region, Taughannock Falls, and Robert H. Treman State Park. We also had the chance to meet our former University of Pannonia fellow students, Zalán Markó and Balázs Szilágyi, now students of the joint American studies M.A. program of the two schools. [Assistant art] professor Tracie Glazer and her art students even helped us organize and edit the photos we had taken. Finally, we enjoyed the hospitality of professor Tracie Glazer and her family at a marvelous farewell dinner.

On our last day we said goodbye to Rochester and left for Toronto to fly back to Hungary. Visiting Rochester, seeing the students and professors, the classes and the College, was a lifelong memorable experience to all of us.

Pannonia students

Students from the University of Pannonia in Veszprém, Hungary, visited Rochester's statue of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony during their International American Studies Conference last fall.