Eastern Europe 2016 (Poland, Austria and Hungary)

U.S. Embassy Budapest briefing with Public Affairs Counselor Eric Watnik

U.S. Embassy Budapest briefing with Public Affairs Counselor Eric Watnik

Seven Eastern students happily returned home to Connecticut on June 7 after completing a two-week global field course that focused on the nature of culture and communication in Poland, Austria and Hungary. Titled “The Nazi Aftermath in Central Europe: History, the Media and the Holocaust,” the class was led by Eastern Communication Professor Beltrán, who described the trip as “varied, packed and intensive.”

The course included official briefings provided by the American embassies in Warsaw and Budapest; lectures at prestigious European universities; a meeting with the director of the Centropa Jewish Historical Institute in Vienna; afternoon tea with a Holocaust survivor; and encounters with communication professionals in the areas of public relations and investigative reporting in Warsaw, Krakow, Vienna and Budapest.

Relaxing at the baroque Szechenyi baths in Budapest

Relaxing at the baroque Szechenyi baths in Budapest

Among the historical sites visited were the newly opened Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw; the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi extermination camp; the Schindler’s List factory and Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow; Vienna’s sumptuous Imperial district; the restored Jewish Quarter and Dohany Synagogue in Budapest; and the majestic Budapest Castle district that overlooks the Danube River.

Farewell dinner at the Gerbeaud cafe in Budapest

Farewell dinner at the Gerbeaud cafe in Budapest

The field course also included cultural activities, with a special viewing of the Leonardo DaVinci portrait of “A Lady with an Ermine” at the Wawel Castle; frequent stops at famous coffee houses and cafes; an evening concert at the Great Hall of the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest; and a relaxing morning spent soaking in Budapest’s baroque Szechenyi Thermal Baths.