Just because something’s different, doesn’t make it wrong!


Casey Waldren took advantage of his study abroad semester at AIT Budapest to visit Rome as well.

“Studying abroad was simple,” says Casey Waldren ’17, a Computer Science major.  Casey spent his fall semester of 2015 studying in Budapest, Hungary, at the Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT Budapest).

 “I saw a flyer, got some letters of recommendation, and applied online. The staff of AIT really made the process go smoothly, from reminding us to send the correct paperwork to setting us up in our houses once we arrived,” he explained.

 He was able to transfer two of the three upper level courses that he took at AIT to satisfy requirements for his degree. He “gained some really close friends, broadened [his] network of people from different colleges, and, above all, gained a real appreciation for the differences between our culture and Hungarian (and European) culture.”

collage  “A lasting impression: just because things are done differently does not mean they are wrong.”

Another important takeaway: Budapest is a very inexpensive place to visit. “Our huge apartment's rent was around $260/month per person,” Casey said,  “and a great meal can be had for as little as $2.80. Public transport was about $15/month, for unlimited ridership on subways, trolleys, buses, etc.”

His travels outside Budapest took him to Rome and Munich (see Munich sunrise photo at left, above a hilltop view of the Pest side of Budapest) among many other countries.

A weekend trip to Bratislava, Slovakia was also memorable. “About 8 of us took a 2.5 hour bus ride over the border into Slovakia, and then wandered around the cold city for a few hours. Instead of staying in an AirBnB, we stayed with my grandpa's friend's wife in her spacious house. She took us in and cooked us dinner with a ton of leftovers, had her relatives drive us around. She really made us feel welcome,” Casey related.

“In Budapest, language school was unexpectedly fun,” he added. “We spent about 2 or 3 weeks trying to learn some basic Hungarian in a sweltering classroom (we didn't realize there was an air conditioner.) The environment was new; there were so many things to see, and to eat. We went on exciting trips: we visited Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake; we visited a village in the countryside, where we made soup, met the mayor, and could see for miles from the top of the hill; we attended a large festival with a vivid fireworks show of questionable safety.”

During one hike, Casey and some of his friends found a giant rock to stand on. “ Of course we spelled out AIT!”