My international marketing class is a master's level course, but so far it is comparable to basic marketing courses at Kelley. Corvinus University is the best university in Budapest, but it does not compare to IU. I would say it's comparable to Purdue University. Bazinga! You can miss up to 25% of the classes and the majority of the professors do not mind if exchange students skip class to travel. One of my professors is the former Hungarian Minister of Industry and Trade and President of the Hungarian National Bank. Color me impressed!
What is most interesting in my marketing class is hearing about American culture from the perspective of Europeans. My professor is Hungarian and has worked in several countries as a marketing exec and the rest of the class is from across the EU. When we discussed how September 11th affected the global marketplace, I was quite surprised that everyone talked about it from purely a business standpoint. Of course I was only in 6th grade in 2001, but I don't recall Americans being concerned about how such a tragedy would effect the global economy. The professor asked what major events have impacted the global economy and almost every single event mentioned by the EU students was American (9/11, Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal, Iraq war, subprime mortgage crisis, etc). I've been told time and time again how important the US is in driving the global market, but I did not understand until now.
One student thought the McDonald's menu in Europe was the same as in the US since McD is a global company. I thought that was funny, especially since the McD in Hungary sells "New York sandwiches" and other strange things. My roommate ordered iced coffee at McDonald's last week and got hot coffee poured over ice cream and ice! Interestingly, the first Starbucks in Hungary didn't open until this past September. Coffee culture is a recent trend here. Subway and Burger King are the only other American chains I've seen. Hungarians absolutely love American culture and listen to Top 40 American music.
I've always been fascinated with people from foreign countries, but now I'm the foreigner everyone wants to talk to (especially the Hungarians). A Dutch classmate was thrilled to find out I was American because he had never met a native English speaker before. It is quite amusing because sometimes the students who don't speak English as a first language have trouble understanding each other through their accents and I have to interpret for them :)
I think I'm going to be pretentions when I return to the US and keep calling my cellphone a mobile (rhymes with crocodile, not noble) and pronounce wi-fi as wee-fee. I do have a mobile here but it's expensive to send an SMS/text because you are charged different rates depending on which company your friend uses and the same goes for phone calls. However, incoming calls and texts are free. The first two numbers of your mobile denotes which company you use. Some Hungarians have more than one phone so they can SMS their friends using a number from the same company. Moral of the story is that I'm never taking unlimited texting and qwerty keypads for granted again! Shallow, but oh so true.
|The broken English on the screen cracks me up. Long press = hold.|
Side note: This is day 8 in Budapest and I'm on my second jar of Nutella. My diet consists mainly of Nutella on crackers, spoonfuls of Nutella, knock-off Kellogg's corn flakes, and yogurt until I can decode labels and be sure I am not buying paprika paste. Mr. Nutella can thank the American students studying in Hungary for singlehandedly increasing his net sales in Budapest. Did you know World Nutella Day was Februrary 5th? I know this because my roommates and I were so desperate that we googled Nutella recipes. The good news is that I have no idea how bad it is for me since the label is in Hungarian. Cheers!