Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
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F U L L. Our journey thus far has been very "full" and in the best and most interesting ways possible.
Eight of the nine of this year's tour members met up in Washington D.C. yesterday afternoon and flew together into Vienna and then into Budapest. After about 14 hours of flights and before reuniting with our checked luggage, we took our first photo together at the Budapest airport. We had so much luggage our taxi van came with trailer to hold just suitcases! We drove about an hour to just outside Budapest where Eric Olson, guidance & college counselor for International Christian School of Budapest, greeted us at our hotel, helped us check in and has served as our tour guide and most gracious travel companion during our time here.
Later Monday afternoon we were hosted by Kevin & Joy Phillips for an early dinner and a great time of fellowship. Eric's wife joined us and it was a full table of good food, stories, and God's provision. Joy prepped a delicious home cooked meal for us and after all of the carb-heavy airplane meals, we were ready for meat and vegetables!
After a short team meeting in the Phillips' living room, our sleepy team took Eric invitation to see the city. We drove into town and took a tram into downtown Budapest where we walked through a marketplace, awed at St. Stephen's Basilica, and made our way to the riverfront. Budapest is so full of history and culture. We would barely walk half a block and Eric would point out another building of significance, historic battle site or statue in tribute to people who sacrificed to help develop or defend this unique country about the size of Indiana.
After our downtown excursion, our final member arrived from Calvin College.
Today we visited with International Christian School of Budapest. All around a wonderful and encouraging visit. In English class students developed questions to ask college reps and those questions hit key things each student was actually interested in and allowed students to really engage with us in a way that built meaningful conversations during our program. In the morning we paired up and hosted a series of 30 minute sessions tackling topics from financial aid to developing your passions and picking a major. While the 9th-10th grade group was a little shy to speak up in our sessions, they were lively and energetic one on one. The 11th-12th graders engaged well and even humored some of our seemingly silly activities that helped drive home important concepts for them. After our sessions, we held two "college fair" times that allowed students to come up and speak to us individually. We were BUSY!
After school we snuck back to our hotel for a little bit before dinner at Johnny's, an American themed diner started by a California native in town. Burgers, Mexican food, milkshakes, and hot chocolate were the highlight of the menu! Eric and his wife Audrey, an English teacher at ICSB, asked us to share some of the challenging things we in Admissions see within the current generation of college applicants and what things we encounter and see that encourage us. It was a great sharing around the table.
From dinner we walked back to ICSB and our intended hour long panel for parents turned into two hours because of the great conversation and questions shared.
As I said in the beginning I shared that our time has been FULL. Truly, it's been full of so many good things beyond just a "full" schedule and tight transition times. Our conversations with students and amongst one another have been both life-giving and fun. We're learning so much about one another and also engaging in this unique opportunity to partner side by side with people across the country representing various Christian campuses who truly aim to counsel students well as they consider colleges and allow them time and space to consider how their faith will be impacted by those choices. It's only been two days and one school, but it's already been a unique and impactful trip. I am truly excited and thrilled to be a part of this program and to be able to live and work alongside these people these three weeks!
Olympia Sina Hugo
Assistant Director of Admissions
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