McDaniel College Budapest 

Culture shock?
More culture stimulation than shock

I won't lie about it: my very first night in Budapest wasn't all that exciting. I was tired. I was cranky after traveling for about fifteen hours. I was alone; I was in the hotel room by myself. My voltage converter didn't fit the plug of my laptop, and some hand sanitizer leaked in my bag. All there was to do was lay in bed, dying of thirst, and wonder "what am I doing here?"

Two days later I was singing karaoke at a club with students from Hungary, Holland, Israel, and Mongolia. Since then I've also met people from Croatia, Nigeria, Iran, Switzerland, Turkey, and Portugal. I've seen the Matthias Church, Parliament, and the Royal Palace. I've partied at clubs called New Orleans and School Club, as well as throughout Oktogon.

Welcome to Europe, Geoff.

It's hard to quantify what one expects when they travel abroad. There are countless prospects, ideas, and opportunities to be followed, and as much as you think you know how everything is going to go down, you don't. You need to experience the culture and society for itself to understand and appreciate just how amazing and surreal it can be. It can also be incredibly frustrating, but you have to take the bad with the good.

That bad' is often referred to as culture shock, when you're exposed to something so radically different from what you're used to, you're left helpless and unable to do anything about it :-). But from my perspective, it's the new culture that makes traveling so worthwhile. Most of the time it's the little things, like figuring out how to covert the Hungarian currency in your head. Sometimes it's the really little things, like the fact that you almost never get ice in your drinks, or that all the bottled water has a flavor to it.

:-) What's really been great so far is meeting so many different people with so many different backgrounds. Everyone has a story, and they're willing to share it :-) Culture shock? Forget about it. I miss my family, and I miss my friends, but I'm living in a European capital for the next four months. Opportunities like this don't come around often, so I'm not going waste another minute worrying about how I can't speak the language or don't like the taste of the water.

Welcome to Europe, Geoff.

Culture shock