Mate Halmos, Hungary
Eötvös Collégium, Hungary
2008 Spring Semester
Areas of Study: Linguistics and Social Sciences
Coming from a big university, I wanted to experience the more intimate atmosphere of such a small school. I also wanted to take advantage of the freedom to choose from a wider variety of courses—I wanted to be intellectually challenged in areas other than my field. Both aspirations have been exhaustively satisfied: I got everything I was hoping for, and a lot more.
While at Beloit I have enjoyed frisbee, ballroom dance, rural Wisconsin, international law, the Chapin quad, Spring Day, fiddlers and banjo players, spring break backpacking, minor scales and tutoring Hungarian. All of these things rock!
I learned a great deal about American culture, both on campus and through my visits to other cities and states. I have found Europe’s anti-American prejudices unjustified and even unfair—everybody should come here to realize that America is not all about MTV reality shows and Hollywood blockbusters. I also realized how pessimistic my own culture is compared to the more positive world view of the people I met here.
I’d do it all over again the same way if the whole experience hadn’t changed me so much. I’m going home as a different person—if I had the chance to come back, it would be a totally different experience.
As for advice to students, I dare you to be curious. Both in academics and in extracurricular activities, you will most probably encounter many new or even unusual things. Try them out—they may change the way you look at the world and yourself.