Ah, Welcome to the Real World – Part I

And now the continuation…

Well, was it really not a big deal? These lyrics mirror my mind’s inner workings during the first few days and weeks in my new environment.

“Hey yeah, welcome to the real world
Nobody told you it was gonna be hard
You said hey yeah, I can’t believe it
I barely started now I’m falling apart, and it’s hard”
– Real World ’09 by Rob Thomas –

That brings us back to day two. The destination was a large Scandinavian furniture store in New Haven. Ah, New Haven, that was an easy one. Been there, know my way around, and the bus goes just straight up and down Whitney Avenue. What could possibly go wrong?

But I still needed a map when I embarked on my first mission. Knowing what to do after I had exited the bus was useless as long as I hadn’t found solutions to the obstacles in-between – especially finding the right place to board that darn thing.

In an attempt to combine a few chores, I had picked Whitney Avenue and Skiff Street as ideal location to begin the bus ride. Two stores just around the corner were supposed to make life easier. A department store should solve my Internet dilemma and the supermarket across the street was supposed to sell bus passes.

I approached the first store after a thirty-minute walk. It was an icy day. I kept hat, scarf, and gloves on, although the temperature inside was summery. SIM card, where would I find a SIM card? The electronics department should do the trick, right? I passed dozens of ice cream options to my right and children’s clothes to my left. TV screens were dead ahead. That’s it. Cell phones, tablet computers, DVDs, but where were the cards?

The adverts from a handful of service providers smiled at me – green and black and lots of text on one, magenta dominated another, and a light blue was the favored color on yet another.

I skimmed their messages. But I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I wandered through the aisles, trying to discover the gemstone I was looking for – a purple lettering that had the word ultra in it. Five minutes passed; nothing.

Should I just ask a coworker? The only one in sight was busy. What would I say? I played various conversations through in my mind while I waited for her to finish. But the guy she was with kept asking question after question. It was getting warm in here, and I didn’t really feel like approaching her anyway. Another time.

Crossing Dixwell Avenue was the only task I had to accomplish to reach the second store – the emphasis is on only.

The parking lot alone was big enough to hold a soccer stadium, if not more. Once I had safely crossed the half-emptiness of the lot, I saw the real problem. Dixwell Avenue was a wide and busy street. Shouldn’t have surprised me since I had walked the sidewalks of this very street for a good portion of the hike that brought me here.

I watched the cars passing by. There were no traffic lights – for pedestrians that is – in sight. And what could be a sidewalk was covered under dirty snow remains. I remembered, however, that I saw pedestrian traffic lights at the intersection of Dixwell Avenue and Skiff Street.

They enabled me to cross Dixwell Avenue in relative safety, all right. But I needed to cross Skiff Street, too. The Supermarket was on the other side of the street. There were no lights at the intersection, just a crosswalk.

Be brave, you can do this. I approached the crosswalk carefully, step-by-step. I looked to the left and saw the cars rushing up the hill. They had still a green light. I used the time to observe the intersection. Why was this guy just making a right? He must have had a red light. Two crossing streets couldn’t have had a green light at the same time. The light switched to red. My chance, I thought.

I looked left – safe. I looked right – not so safe because cars were about to intersect the crosswalk I needed to use. I was confused. How am I supposed to reach the other side of the street in one piece? I waited until the last car had disappeared. I couldn’t see any additional vehicles approaching from that direction, and the lights hadn’t changed yet. I took a deep breath and aimed to set my right foot onto the street. My turn, I rejoiced.

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I turned my head to the left to check one more time. That was when I suddenly saw a car just short of three feet away in front of me. I bounced back a step. Phew. What are you doing? You’ve got red, dude! But the car had already completed the right turn onto Dixwell Avenue. Little did I know that it’s legal to do that in this country. But I bet they are supposed to watch out for pedestrians, right?

Well, I gave up. There must be a safer way to cross somewhere closer to the supermarket. So I walked down Skiff Street. The next intersection, which was basically just the entrance to the parking lot, baffled me even more. I wasn’t surprised to find no pedestrian street lights, but why could I see a sign telling me to push for a signal? There were no lights…

Not even thinking about the option to take my chances to cross in-between all the cars leaving the parking lot, I continued. Two minutes later, I could finally see a big yellow sign with a pedestrian on it. Phew, I had found a safe way across the street eventually.

To Be Continued…

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No Big Deal

The line was getting longer behind me. The CBP officer signaled the young couple in front of me to proceed to a booth that was so far to the left that I couldn’t even see it. The ratio of incoming passengers to CBP officers was unbalanced. Welcome to JFK, America’s busiest airport.

At least, I knew I was the next one to make it to one of the booths. From there, I would be able to count the people in front of me with one hand.

“No more from your line,” the officer blocking my way turned his head to his left to find the source of the message. “Connecting flights have priority until we have it under control.”

So I waited … and waited … and waited.

My pulsating heart slowed down with every minute. The thoughts about all the complications that might or might not come up during the inspection were pushed aside by the exhaustion I felt. It fought for victory; slowly defeating the nervous thoughts about all that could possibly go wrong while the officer would inspect the carefully collected pile of immigration paperwork.

It took them an hour to slim down the line of passengers who needed to catch another plane. When I was finally signaled to proceed, the thoughts, doubts, and fears kicked back in. In just a few minutes I would learn if I would be allowed to enter the country. They wouldn’t send me back, would they? The paperwork had been checked multiple times, and I’m well prepared, I reassured myself countless times.

A family of three walked past the checkpoint. Following their path, I saw the conveyer belts in the baggage claim area right behind the glass wall. Wait, what’s with my luggage? They don’t keep it on there for that long, do they? But that thought was merely a sidebar.

One more visitor in front of me, my heart kept accelerating. The longer this woman stood there, her eyes fixed on the officer, the more I wished I had the whole thing behind me.

I saw her taking back her passport and tucking it away in her purse. She turned and walked towards the glass wall, slipped through the wide opening a few yards to the left and into the baggage claim area. Gone she was, I had lost sight of her when I heard “next”.

There wasn’t much talking involved – just a few quick questions and instructions. “What is the purpose of your visit? How long will the program approximately be? Please remove your glasses and look right into the camera. Thank you. Please place the four fingers of your right hand on the scanner, now the left. Thanks.”

I walked passed the glass wall a few minutes later, relieved that I had put the final hurdle behind me. I found my luggage in the midst of a pile of bags parked in-between two empty conveyer belts. The adventure could begin.

The mixture of exhaustion and adrenalin prevented me from thinking about the steps I had to take to reach Hamden. As a result, the nervousness was not able to find its way back into my brain. I just moved forward and took care of one bird at a time.

The fact that I had just turned my life upside down didn’t kick in before a few days later. The chaos and anticipation in the days prior to my departure, the 9-hour flight without return ticket, and the new environment could have sufficed as hints. But it took more to make me arrive at that conclusion. So far, I had just moved locations; to a place I had prior experience with – no big deal.

To Be Continued…

Thirsting for that one forbidden apple — Part II

Voicemail

And now the conclusion…

Change was needed. Yes, I can do this! I finally picked up the phone, punched in the number from the small white card, and waited. When it went straight to voicemail, I hung up – my nerves shot.

When there’s one thing worse than phone calls, it’s got to be voicemails. Talking into a machine is one thing, but talking to a machine? I still remember my first voicemail message.

The location is a birthday party, I don’t remember when it happened, but it was somewhere around the elevation from elementary to high school. I was supposed to be picked up by my parents at the end of the day. The hosting parents, however, had other plans.

The task was simple: Pick up the phone, dial the six-digit phone number, and tell them they wouldn’t need to come pick me up. Well, easy in theory at least. I heard my heart beating faster. Come one, you’re calling home. What’s wrong?

The answering machine went off. Ugh. Well, the sentence I should have said could read like this: “Hey there, the party lasts a little longer, but you don’t need to worry because I’ll get a ride home.”

What I said instead was something like this: “I will be picked up. See ya…” I’m still wondering what the birthday boy’s mom, who was standing next to me during the call, was thinking… I don’t recall leaving another voicemail message ever again.

The ringing of the phone brought me back to the here and now. Great, the miracle worker called right back. What started with this first call at 3:29 p.m., ended three calls later at 8:10 p.m. – still no word on when (or better if) I would get Internet.

Throughout the conversations, I had a feeling that it wasn’t all too sure if he would find that magic potion that would enable him to dupe their fancy computer system. It came always back to the problem of not having a social security number, which was exactly what the system was requesting before the deal could be finalized.

“What I need you to do,” is the gist of the message he transmitted towards the end of our final phone conversation, “is to call our service number. Tell ‘em that you want to order Internet, but that I wasn’t able to get a confirmation for the order cause you don’t have a social security. They should be able to take it from there and complete your order.”

Great, I thought, more calls; guess that helps getting more comfortable with it, right?

Feb. 7 began with that phone call. It took a solid twenty minutes – and repetitive playback of the sleep-inducing on-hold music – before I finally heard a sentence that went something like this: “I can confirm that you’re scheduled for Internet installation on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. The technician will arrive between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.”

Great, story finished, you might think. Not so fast, I’m afraid. Winter felt the urge to step in and veto.

I was sitting comfortably on the couch, had just finished breakfast, and watched how the misfortune unfolded. All I could see when observing the street down below was white. The parking spaces were gone, covered under a thick layer of snow. The plows didn’t stand a chance against the full force of the 2014 Connecticut winter, yet their drivers felt the urge to keep us entertained by trying.

It was under the influence of those continuous engine roars that I began to feel that I wouldn’t get Internet today. That feeling should be proven right a few hours later.

A mix consisting of me waiting on any reaction from the service provider (shouldn’t they reach out?) and a busy schedule over the next couple of days was responsible for the seven days of freeze-up in the matter of Florian v Internet.

The next episode occurred on Feb. 21, a week after the snow had denied to close the matter. Seven minutes after the call had begun, I had a result, a disappointing one. March 6 was the day I could secure for the second attempt. Another two weeks – are you guys serious?

Well, the special day approached eventually. Unfortunately, March Madness had struck by then (I’m not talking about the huge college basketball tournament, just to clarify that). I knew I had to go to Stamford, Conn., for one of my classes on that day. Another round of rescheduling resulted in March 12 as newest iteration of my installation appointments.

We’ve come full-circle. By the time spring break had arrived, over two months after arriving here, and over a month after starting the process, I had finally arrived. I wish I would have known that there could be so many obstacles on the way to get Internet at home.

Thirsting for that one forbidden apple — Part I

Internet Router
Peeking carefully through the open door, the four green lights emanating from the small black box standing on the white shelf elicited chills. I was keen to find out if it really worked. I rushed to the laptop, opened the lid, typed in the password, and hit enter.

The cursor found the Wi-Fi symbol in the menu bar faster than it takes a baseball to travel from the pitcher’s hand to the batter awaiting it. A touch on the glass surface of the track pad revealed that the system had already begun searching for available networks. My eyes flew through the list, looking for three letters followed by three digits. There it was, ATT457. My heartbeat accelerated as I typed in the password and hit enter one final time.

The technician had promised that everything had been set up and would work like a treat, but I remained a bit skeptical.

The four bars in the menu bar stopped flashing, they’d changed to static black – I was connected! I realized that it really worked when I clicked on the icon of the web browser; I was online, finally.

It’s been quite a journey for me to arrive at a point where I could access the Internet from home. I arrived in Hamden on Jan. 8, and moved in a day later. The relieving moment you’ve just witnessed happened on Wednesday, March 12, two months after my arrival.

It all began on the day I moved in. “It won’t take long,” I remember the promise I received together with a card from a sales agent of a big telecommunications company. I was assured that this guy was a miracle worker who would make sure I was online whenever I wanted it to happen.

Having experienced waiting periods for Internet installation services as long as six weeks at home, I remained unconvinced but hopeful when the leasing agent closed the door behind her after she had finished the little welcome tour through my new apartment.

The first problem I saw seemed to be eliminated the next day. Without a U.S. phone number, it would be quite costly to go through all the details necessary to order Internet. The chosen SIM card was already on the way, but it would take a few days for it to arrive. Without Internet, VoIP alternatives were also out of the question. Luckily, the cheerful leasing agent told me that she had contacted that miracle worker of hers, and I should be contacted by him shortly.

The days went by, but I received no call. In addition, I couldn’t get one question out of my head: Would he really call a foreign phone number to sell a service? I received an email a few days later.

Wait… email? That’s correct, I managed to secure a SIM card for a tablet computer. That would be a story of its own, though. The first attempt to buy one of those ended with a coworker at a large department store showing me SD cards. I gave up when she, clearly working in the electronics department, told me that she had never heard of such a thing – hear face telling me that she thought I must have arrived straight from Mars.

That email, however, asked me to confirm that I was OK with them contacting me – an interesting little detail because in my experience it’s always been the other way around. Companies would keep contacting you unless you told them to stop.

When I had finally entered the world of communications in the U.S. a few days later, I hadn’t received anything in response to that email.

Somehow, and that’s my part in this odyssey, I couldn’t convince myself to place that one call. I’ve never been a fan of phone conversations. Missing out on gestures and facial expressions to find out more about the person I’m talking with has always been an element that bothered me.

My disfavor of doing this over the phone was strengthened by the fact that I feared to be overwhelmed by the options I might have to choose from. I wanted to make a well-informed decision, ensuring that I did only get what I needed and didn’t end spending more than necessary.

With just a few days in my new surroundings, I wasn’t sure if I felt comfortable enough to handle this matter in a phone conversation. The adjustment to the new language environment was still in progress. Would I be able to make clear what I wanted?

Days passed by, and my attention shifted towards the beginning classes soon. With schoolwork slowly building up, though, the problem became evident. Without Internet at home, I needed to be on campus for almost everything. Likewise, small things like video chats with friends and family or watching a movie on Netflix, which should help to bring some balance into my life, were impossible.

To Be Continued…

The Guillotine called Spring Break

The Quad
The Quad

I felt the warmth of the sun welcoming me on campus. There wasn’t a single cloud hanging over the Quad when I set foot on campus this Tuesday. Without the need to wear a hat, scarf, and a warm winter jacket, the name spring semester slowly began to live up to its meaning.

Spring break is the name for this week; it’s a new experience for me. German universities tend to have a summer and a winter semester, running from April to July and October to February respectively. The two break periods in-between those semesters are typically filled with term papers and the like; that’s at least my experience.

With such different semester schedules in mind, I had no idea what to expect when coming to campus during spring break. But the last day of classes before the break had given me a first clue.

It was 12 p.m. on this relieving Saturday. Walking out of the first of my two classes for the day, I felt the pressure from the week fading. The stress and hectic that had built up while juggling around the various different assignments transformed into excitement. I realized both the joy I felt while being submerged in all those projects and the pleasure of having completed and accomplished something.

I also knew that a break was coming up. Just one more class and I would finally get some breathing space. Spring break, at that point, meant a week of freedom.

But for now, the rumble in my stomach, accompanied by the urge to find some refreshing water, was what drove me towards the cafeteria. Campus tour groups swarmed the area – another new experience that I had already observed several times during the semester.

Once I had found a gap in-between the bulk of visitors leaving the Student Center, I grabbed the chance and slipped through the opened door. I was greeted by a disappointing emptiness straight ahead. The cafeteria was closed. Wait, the sign next to the entrance said it should be open. What was going on; oh, right, spring break…

Arnold Bernhard Library
Arnold Bernhard Library

Clocks tick differently during this special week. I knew as much, but when I walked through the entrance gate of the library, I was surprised by the lifelessness inside the world of the books.

I passed the checkout counter – no one present. Next came the computer workstations to the left and right of the aisle. I was still the sole person in the building. There, the familiar face of the research librarian emerged to the right. Regardless of when I set foot in this building, this man seemed to be there. I carefully dashed down the five stairs and found the three big rectangular tables empty. No one here, I was alone, where was everyone?

Yes, I’ve heard of spring break before, and that it includes trips to Florida or Mexico. The first thing I was confronted with when telling friends at home that spring break was coming up was the stereotype that spring break equals excessive partying in the warm South.

But what do students actually do? The university seems to shut down for a week. Dorm buildings, cafeterias, and academic facilities close. The shuttle service runs a special schedule to get everyone out of town and then shuts down for the week. Spring break acts like a guillotine that cuts the semester into two halves.

While classmates visited friends and family at home (little difficult for me…), or discovered the country (would have loved to), I welcomed the chance to kick back and turn my attention to bits and bobs I had to neglect during the past few weeks.

An additional bureaucratic task added itself to that list; one I hadn’t invited to the party – but more about that at a later time.

I enjoyed the first few days of spring break. I had finally the chance to take care of my private journal that I had to abandon lately. At least, I could start to get back into this activity that had helped me to find my way into the future.

But before I could get too excited about indulging into the world of relaxed and pressure-free writing about the events in my life, organizing class notes, tying up a few loose ends, and preparing for the next assignments stepped in.

But even after just two or three days of break, I felt that the rhythm was gone. I had just begun to feel comfortable and at home. Now, I needed to find my way back into the productive workflow. Spring break robbed me of that – as much as I had valued the break. It just broke off the routines, and getting back into the flow of things is always the hardest part.

So I was excited to be back in the library this afternoon, the day before the semester begins anew. The campus didn’t feel like a ghost town anymore. Cheerful groups of students began to reanimate campus life bit by bit. The library was still far from crowded, but the supportive quietness and presence of fellow students, trying to get back to studying, helped me fight off the final pieces of spring break irritation.

Don’t get me wrong, spring break was great, a nice change of pace, but I’d like to have “my semester” back. Now, shall we begin?

Spring Forward, Fall Back!?

Place: Hamden, Connecticut
Day: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Time: 8:54 a.m.

Me: “A sunny good morning, mom. Have slept a few minutes longer today. That’s why I’m checking in that late 😉.”

Mom: “No problem. There’s a time for everything. We are out and about with our bikes. We’ll be back no later than three.”

Me (in my thoughts): Wait a moment. Shouldn’t it be… time in Hamden + 6 hours time difference = time in Germany, right? So, 9 + 6 = 15 (= 3 p.m.) – what’s she talking about…

Me: “Isn’t it three now?”

The moment I had touched on send, a realization had hit home.

Me: “Oh. Summertime?”

Me (in my thoughts): All right, I remember that the U.S. and Europe don’t change clocks at the same time; there’s a gap of a few weeks. I’ve heard nothing about the beginning of summertime here, so it must be them…

Me: “Don’t have that yet… it’s only a five hours difference then, which makes it 2 p.m.… sorry… 😉”

Me: “Have fun then 😉”

Mom: “Thanks, it’s two now.”

Summertime (or day light saving time, as it is known on this side of the pond) has always been a strange concept. When do we have to adjust the clocks? When does it go forward and when backwards? Questions that come up twice a year – like clockwork.

Since newspapers and newscasts in Germany cover this over and over again every time, it’s never been a big deal. Without TV and Internet, things were different this time around.

Me: “Morning. When would it be best to call?”

A friend: “I expect a visitor around three. So now would be good… 😀”

Me: “Okay, give me a few minutes to finish breakfast.”

A friend: “Okay.”

Me: “Didn’t even know that summertime had started in Europe today… 😉”

A friend: “Well, a bit exaggerated, but yesterday…”

Me (a little confused…): “Doesn’t it begin Sundays?”

A friend: “Nope. Summertime begins on the 30th. How did you get the idea summertime would have begun over here?”

Me (even more confused…): “Now you’ve baffled me completely… Right now, it’s just a five-hour gap between Europe and the U.S. East Coast…”

A friend: “why that? We’ve got 2:22”

Me: “And I’ve got 9:22”

A glance to the kitchen reveals three big green digits greeting me from the oven – 8:22. Wait, does that mean…?

A friend: “Then, something must be different on your end. Nothing has changed over here.”

My wristwatch! That thing isn’t connected to the Internet in any way. Grabbing the small black device from the nightstand, confirms the error has been on my side…

Me: “Oh yes. I’ve been robbed of an hour… That’s why I didn’t get up before 8:20 a.m. … mhm … In that case, I just don’t understand why my mom accepted that summertime had begun in Europe without even complaining … Confusing stuff…”

A friend: “Because we’ve got summery temperatures since yesterday, that’s why I fell for it for a brief moment.”

Me: “Luckily, my wristwatch doesn’t adjust automatically… Even my laptop has changed to summertime, although it is not connected to the Internet. I completely missed the whole thing…”

The Business Geek

 

The lobby of Quinnipiac’s Arnold Bernhard Library can be a buzzing place. People come and go, but the young woman standing adjacent to the small lounge is one of the few people occupying the entrance area when I walk out of the library. I walk past her, position myself next to the round stone pillar on the other side of the hall. I check my phone; hear a Chinese conversation coming from the lounge ahead. Two young students in sports clothes enter the building and walk past me. The woman checks her phone, head down, and a bag next to her on the floor. With her blonde hair and business casual dress code, she fits into the environment. When our eyes meet, something begins to click in her mind.

At first sight, there’s nothing that sets Katalin Németh apart from a typical American student. Her name might be a first hint to her international background. Németh translates into the word German, and that, she says with a remarkable clear voice “has some sort of meaning because my family migrated from Austria. So my parents were the first generation becoming entirely Hungarian.”

With a delightful “ha”, she picks up the apple-green fountain pen and writes down the name of her hometown Győr.

Talking about the over two thousand year old city she calls home, her face lights up with a perfect smile. “If there are two remarkable things about Győr,” she explains, “water and baroque buildings for one and an extreme density of Audi cars on the roads for the other.”

The German carmaker produces several models and engines in the city. “Yes,” Katalin says, “the police officers have Audi TT roadster coupes. So you have to be really careful to no being intercepted by them. That was the company’s pro bono donation.” With a mild laughter, she adds, “bizarre idea.”

Having already completed master programs in Hungary that came attached with work experiences for industrial firms, the motivation for the two-year Master of Business Administration program at Quinnipiac developed during such experiences.

“Probably because of working for interesting clients,” Katalin explains, “sitting in one of their meetings, I was just amazed by some strategic presentations on the client side, and decided ‘okay, I would like to pursue an MBA program because I would like to know that much about business and sit in that seat!’ ”

With a clear goal in mind, the process of applying to a university abroad still elicits high emotions. “I was anxious and excited,” Katalin recalls, “I mean we submitted a program-plan for the next three to five years that also outlined which courses or what type of coursework you really would like to attend or pursue.”

In addition, it required her to think about her future. “That was,” Katalin says, “a really interesting thought process because I had to revisit what I wanted to do, what realistically I could do, why I was ready to risk that position and basically my life in Hungary.”

At the end of this journey through her own life, she felt ready to take risks to achieve her goals. “I understood that there is a special interest of mine,” she says with a clear focus in her voice, “which I really would like to achieve, and really would need this type of education, coursework, and professors here to be able to do that.”

Going through the application to an American university is one part of the story, getting ready for this new chapter in one’s life after being accepted is another.

“That was when the anxiety part began,” Katalin says with a gradually fastening voice, “I’ve never been to the US before; I have never seen an American university before.”

Millions of questions begin forming, questions that give you doubt about your plans, your decisions, and the path you’ve chosen for your future.

Thankfully, Katalin adds, Quinnipiac has stepped up their game in international student affairs. The supportive staff of the Central European Institute, the School of Business, and the Office of Multicultural and Global Education helped her through all the hurdles that needed to be leaped before a foreign student can finally set foot on campus.

But there are other, more personal obstacles for foreigners. Katalin wouldn’t want to bother school officials with everyday problems and feels gratitude for the global partner program the OMGE has initiated to help students adjust to life in the U.S.

“Quinnipiac officers really care about you,” she explains her intentions for becoming a global partner herself, “however, when you’re integrating foreigners into an American system, there are a lot of practical tests that are so to speak formal and the OMGE is doing a terrific job handling those, but you have a lot of such small uncertainties, often so banal.”

“That is,” she continues, “why they have this opportunity in place. Fellow international students have a shared experience, you just ask them.”

Giving arriving international students a helping hand, she adds while her smile lights up as if reliving good memories, gives her the opportunity to meet new people from across the globe and exchange views on life in the U.S.

Night view on Buda Castle over Danube river, Budapest Hungary
Night view on Buda Castle over Danube river, Budapest Hungary
Photo: Karelj (Wikimedia Commons)

Home, however, is far away for European students in America. “I believe,” she says about missing the ability to roam the streets of Budapest, “many who have been to Budapest will understand that. They are beautiful. The city is so much alive. I mean Condé Nast Traveler voted it the second best choice for international travelers to come to Europe. There is a reason for that! It’s an interesting city.”

With a year and a half filled with experiences, Katalin has mastered the hard beginnings and enjoys the atmosphere on campus.

“It’s just so cool seeing people lying around on the grass,” she says, interrupted by laughter, “especially when the weather is much more nicer. They chat and play Frisbee, it’s so nice. In Europe most of our universities are located in urban areas and the buildings are sometimes quite far away from each other. So when you exit the university library you’re on the street of a city and not on a laid-back campus.”

Describing herself as a business geek, Katalin feels that Quinnipiac has broadened her perspective and will prove helpful to her future plans. “I would like to pursue some sort of technological business, analytical support, or consultancy. For that,” she reasons, “it provided a thorough approach and fundamental education, like basic business disciplines.”

Hands-on experience is one of the key elements she’s received from the program. Receiving an education from a country that’s widely seen as the world’s tech and business leader, she concludes that Quinnipiac  “has helped a lot!”