Sunday, November 16, 2014

November Fulbright Adventure

I cannot fully express how wonderful the Hungarian Fulbright Commission is.  In addition to our orientation back at the beginning of September, they host monthly events for us.  In September we went to Szentendre and Visegrad.  In October we went to Eger. (See my previous posts for more information).  Dan and I are incredibly grateful for these events.  They are opportunities to travel Hungary, visit the best sights, meet the scholars and innovators of Hungary, and spend some time with the other Fulbright students and scholars. Everyone loves our monthly events.  On Friday, we visited the Aquincum Institute of Technology and the Aquincum Museum.

The Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT) is part of a large business park (Graphisoft Park) on the north side of Budapest.  The campus is beautiful.  When the area was developed, they put the parking garage underground.  This way, the businesses and AIT are surrounded by beautiful landscapes and sculptures.  It is a lovely area right next to the Danube.  After we arrived, we attended a presentation by Gábor Bojár, the founder of Graphisoft and AIT.  He was inspiring as he spoke about the development of his company and the institute.  Just like Graphisoft, we can use our own strengths to develop our unique value and function in the world.  He also explained his business ideal of designing products and services for the customer. At one point in his presentation, he touched on the development of new software.  Most new software that is developed is never used because the products are not tailored to customers.  He believes that many products are designed in an effort to prove oneself to peers.  I think this happens in all fields but I can personally see this happening in music.  Mr. Bojár's presentation gave me a lot to think about in regards to how I will use my skills and share music with the world.  Even though I don't study computer software, I wish I could have him as a teacher.  If you know anyone studying computer science or software engineering, have them look into the Aquincum Institute of Technology. It is designed for American students studying abroad. I highly recommend it!

After the presentation, we walked around Graphisoft Park. We saw buildings for companies like Microsoft, Graphisoft, SAP and Canon. As Gábor Bojár shared in his presentation, Steve Jobs was crucial to the success of Graphisoft. Since Steve Jobs' passing, a statue has been erected in his honor in front of the Graphisoft building. Here are pictures of me and Dan with the statue.

In the afternoon, we went to the Aquincum Museum.  In the 2nd Century, Aquincum was a Roman city in what is now Budapest.  We visited the outdoor ruins of the city and the museum protecting some of the most valuable artifacts.  Walking around the ruins, we learned about the life of the people. They had a marketplace to buy food and other products.  We went to the public bath and toilet areas and we even saw one of their outdoor amphitheaters.

My favorite part was the museum.  One of the neatest artifacts found in these ruins was an small organ! We saw the original pieces as well as a replica built at the beginning of the 20th century. They said that the organ was even used to help keep guards awake!

We also enjoyed the beautiful mosaics, jewelry, and sculptures.  This first picture shows glass items such as plates, pitchers, and bowls.

This jewelry was incredibly beautiful! It still has its charm today. Most of the Fulbright girls said we would wear this jewelry today.

This mosaic was one of several that we saw in the museum and out in the ruins.  The mosaics are special because they were expensive and they required a great deal of time and artistry. I can't imagine how they designed them. Did they make a drawing first and then try to make it with tiles or did they start with the tiles?

It was hard to believe that we were still in Budapest for this trip.  Graphisoft Park and the ruins of Aquincum are nothing like the rest of the city. It made for a special day that we won't forget.  Dan and I are looking forward to our December Fulright event at the Parliament! 

1 comment:

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