While many of my peers were keen on joining the workforce after the final examinations in May, I wanted to do something meaningful and contribute back to society as an undergraduate. I then applied for a volunteer project (“Global Volunteer”) in Hungary to teach English with AIESEC and was thrilled when I was successful in getting accepted by Corvinus University in Budapest.
These seven weeks have been fruitful yet challenging. I lived with a host family in a small town called Nagykőrös located about 80km away from Budapest. My host family spoke limited English and I had to learn Hungarian. I spent a substantial amount of time learning new Hungarian words and constructing sentences. This eased my teaching of English to foster children as they only know limited English. During this placement, I taught English to children staying with four foster families.
This experience of getting to know the children and their families, and making conversation in English mixed with some Hungarian, has been quite amazing. The benefits have been mutual as the exchanges have allowed me to immerse myself deeply into Hungarian culture. The local food and the way of life in the small towns is just the tip of the iceberg. The bonus for me was also the interaction I had with the many volunteers from around the world who were also in Hungary via AIESEC. This experience will forever be etched in my mind.
Szeretem Magyarországot (I love Hungary).
- Walden Chan is a final year BSc Banking and Finance student at the Singapore Institute of Management. AIESEC is one of the 70 active student clubs available.