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Adventures in Budapest

Routine is finally setting in, and for those of you who know me personally, this is necessary for my survival. I like to have routine during the weeks, of course with a little bit of variety to spice things up. I had my first business class this week, yes only one because class schedules are very different here, seriously not complaining about it! It was Financial Budgeting, Planning and Control, and for the business students at AlgomaU, it was like a combination of Cost Accounting, HR Planning, and Management Science. I actually knew what I was doing. I also started to use the residence gym regularly, since I finally have the key to the room. Not going to lie though, my long-distance relationship with the GLC has been tough.

On Friday of this past week, I had the opportunity to be part of Open Day at FHWN, where the exchange students all took part in making an international dish that represents the country that they come from. I of course made pancakes with some maple syrup right from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Of course, I was right into the event, and brought souvenirs, and even some Canadian themed napkins, because why not go full out, right? So, I gave away all 80 of my mini-sample pancakes, my souvenirs, and left the event having met tons of people, and leaving smiles on others faces including my own. I even left with a full stomach after trying all the other exchange students’ dishes. Especially the parmesan cheese, but that’s just the true Italian in me coming out (which comes out on a regular basis).

The end of the international celebration brought excitement to my friends and I as we prepared to leave for Budapest, Hungary the next morning. We stayed for one night which felt like an entire week. We started off by taking a train to Sopron, and from Sopron to Budapest. We may have encountered a little bump in the road during these travels. We were so busy preparing for our international day on Friday that we didn’t confirm our seats on the train until we were actually on the train. Big mistake, because with prearranged seating, we did not have a designated seat and ended up having to move every time new passengers entered the train. We had some slight panic running through us thinking we might have to pay a fine, but at the end of the day, the conductor knew we were just some student tourists who needed to catch a break. So, we got off the train in Budapest having spent six euros and burning a few extra calories from moving seats every 10 minutes. Lesson learned: BOOK TICKETS IN ADVANCE.

This became the joke of an amazing weekend. When we arrived, we enjoyed lunch, and then made our way to our cute-as-can-be Airbnb. After settling in, the group of us set off to see the city, where we made our way to the river front and saw the Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and crossed the Chain Bridge to see the view from a whole new perspective. The beauty overwrote how cold we were. We then made our way back to our little home for the weekend, had dinner, and began to celebrate our friend Brayden’s 20th birthday. These celebrations and quality time truly made me realize that I have found a perfect group of friends to go through this exchange experience with.

On Sunday, after waking up to jello legs from the day before, we decided to go to the Szechenyi Thermal Spa. The first dip into the heated water was a feeling like no other. My whole body finally embraced relaxation and I left the pool feeling like a whole new person in desperate need of some rehydrating water and body cream. We ended the trip with a cute lunch and a train ride back home (we had tickets for this one). It is weird to call the city of Wiener Neustadt home, but it really is starting to feel like it for the time being.

P.S. If you haven’t already, put Budapest on your bucket list.

Written by: Alexandra Berlingieri

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