Abroad diaries part two: Taking advantage of European travel


Devin Mack, Gabriela Onasanya, Sarah Craft and Emma Kostyun at the Budapest Opera House.

Emma Kostyun, Contributing Writer

One month into our journey and classes have begun. It seems surreal that we have homework when surrounded by such an unknown country that entices us to explore it. Although, who am I to complain as we only have four classes a week- one of which is just for field trips. 

On one particular field trip we went on a Food Tour of Budapest, tasting our way through the city. Starting at Great Market Hall we tried some typical Hungarian pastries called Pogácsa which are typically served at dinner parties. Next were two types of Hungarian salami; paprika and their traditional winter salami. The paprika salami might have been a little spicy but it was a fan favorite of the group. 

My favorite stand in the hall was where we tasted typical pickle dishes. Regular dills stuffed with horseradish, pickled baby corn and pickled hot peppers stuffed with cream cheese. If we weren’t stuffed already we headed upstairs to try a traditional dish called Langos. Langos is fried dough that is typically topped with sour cream and shredded cheese. However, you can always ask for more toppings. 

These field trips that we have been able to go on have shown us different aspects of culture that a simple vacation could not touch. For instance we went to an opera at a gorgeous opera house in Budapest. We sat in private boxes which gave us a good view of the stage, but for me, it gave an amazing view to the pit orchestra. The opera was “Carmen,” a famous French musical about a gypsy and soldier romance. 

Our next outing was one of our own accord, eight of us bought train tickets to Vienna, Austria to explore the city on our own. I researched a sample itinerary and thus began our day. We toured the Vienna Habsburg Castle and the famous library inside, ate traditional Vienna sausage and schnitzel at a local restaurant and then visited another castle to live out the dreams of royalty. Although the trip was short, it was a beautiful city and another to cross off of our bucket lists. 

Hapsburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.

If we thought traveling would take a pause, we didn’t. We are in Europe! This is the time to visit as many places as our parent’s wallets can handle. Next on the list was Geneva, Switzerland; this one sponsored by the school. While visiting all the sights that the historic city had to offer we also had the pleasure of going to a juvenile justice non-profit, Terre de Hommes, to learn about their organization and what they do for the youth of Europe. It wouldn’t be a proper field trip without a learning component. 

Now that classes have begun, there is some sense of normalcy in the foreign world around us, easing the homesickness that many of us are beginning to feel. The field trips offer a distraction to it but it helps show us how grateful we are for this opportunity and the ability to experience this so early on in our lives.